25-50-90 years ago | AspenTimes.com
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25-50-90 years ago

Sara Garton
A glorious new flag, the second largest in the state, according to the Aspen Democrat Times, flew from the flagpole in front of the Pitkin County Courthouse in April 1917. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)
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Several months are missing from the microfilm of our newspapers 100 years ago. These news stories are from the 1917 Aspen Democrat Times, as The Aspen Times and The Aspen Democrat merged in 1909. We will run excerpts from newspapers 90 years ago until the microfilm picks up again in June 1907.The country was at war and Aspen was flying the colors, the paper reported.That 40 cent flag that has floated over the Court House for the past year will be taken down Sunday and tenderly stored away in the archives of the county.As per the order of Judge Shumate issued in open court, Miss Grace Prindle, clerk of the district court, ordered a new flag, second largest to be had in the state, and Sunday afternoon Sheriff Bruin will conduct a flag raising ceremony, and the new flag will be hoisted to the top of the flagpole of the Court House [see photo] amidst the ringing cheers of the populace.The Aspen band will play “The Star Spangled Banner” as Old Glory is unfurled to the breeze and from Sunday on everybody will be able to see the Court House flag without the aid of specs.The miners showed their patriotic spirit and then some,Yesterday the Smuggler Leasing company hoisted three flags, to wit:

One over the shaft-house of the mine, one over the mill and one over the sampler.The employees at each place attended the ceremony of Flag Raising and the salute was given as Old Glory was unfurled at each place.That’s the right spirit, gentlemen, and all the people should follow your example.Flags should float from every public building in the land these days.The paper then remarked indignantly,Have you noticed the fact that no flag floats from the pole on top of the post office building?And this is the one building in town that should have a flag, too!Somebody should wake up and see to it that a flag is hoisted over this building and if the flagpole is out of commission, it should be fixed and a flag run to the top at once.And another should float from the top of the Wheeler Opera House building also. Who owns this building anyhow? Whoever it is should be patriotic enough to put up a flag. It is the highest building in town and a 10 x 20 flag would look immense waving over the Wheeler.Everybody get out your flags.One of Aspen’s several elementary schools was losing its principal to the war effort, the paper reported.

Professor E.V. Pomeroy, principal of the Washington School [see photo], this morning enlisted in the hospital corps of the United States Navy. He expects to leave for San Francisco this evening where he will receive his preliminary training for the next six months. … Mr. Pomeroy is 25 years of age and has been in charge of the Washington School the past school year. He is as full of patriotism as a nut is of meat and the children at the Washington have learned to respect Old Glory during his time as principal. The flag is hoisted every morning at the Washington on the opening of school, and the kiddies salute as the Stars and Stripes are unfurled in the breeze.The paper published a letter from Aspen’s first enlisted recruits.Dear Mr. Dailey:Our cherished desires have been realized and we now stand ready to defend our flag and our country come what may. The draft of men is bubbling over with enthusiasm and anticipation of doing their little part as one small cog in the great machine. One could not wish for better treatment than we have received at the hands of officials and civilians. … You may say to the young men of Aspen that if we were called again after what we now know, we would enlist as readily as before.Sincerely, From the boysP.S. Would you kindly send the “Little Humdinger” [Editor Charles Dailey’s term of endearment for his newspaper] to E.V. Pomeroy, Naval Training Station, Hospital Corps, Goat Island, San Francisco, Calif.

After several editorials deploring the lack of a playground for Aspen’s schools, the paper noted planned improvements to the scrubby vacant lot that was called Wagner Ball Park (see photo).Unless the costs are more than expected the City will grade and seed Wagner Ball Park it was decided last Monday, April 15, at the regular meeting of the City Council. …If the council decides to seed the park, it will prohibit use of the area until next fall, the aldermen stated. This would be necessary to enable the grass to grow to survive. …However, to assure a good covering of grass [landscaper Hank] Pedersen stressed the need of a means of sprinkling the ground. No water outlets are presently available for such purpose, he pointed out.Alderman Ed Gordier was asked by the Council to look into the expense of installing a pump to permit multiple sprinkling outlets using the water from the irrigation ditch which borders the park. Before going ahead with the plan to seed the park the Council will ask the County co-owners of the land to share the expenses of such a project, the aldermen decided.The Aspen High School track team ran sprints and distance laps wherever it found a dirt street or lot, the paper reported.Having recently livened up the West End by dashing back and forth to practice sessions, the Aspen School track team will test their mettle today and tomorrow. Twenty members of the team will participate in a track meet at Rifle today.Tomorrow the runners will travel to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where they will participate in an Invitational Track [and] Field Meet and Relays.

The back side of Aspen Mountain was for sale or rent 50 years ago, the paper announced.Surface rights on about 550 acres of land on the back of Aspen Mountain will soon be available for sale or lease it was decided last Monday at a special meeting of the Midnight Mining Co. Selling or leasing the surface rights to the land may enable the company to continue in existence, [President Frank] Willoughby told the stockholders. Mining operations were stopped in 1951, and since that date the expenses of continued existence have been paid by the sale of equipment and machinery. …The Midnight was the only Aspen mine to operate throughout the depression years.Although present ore prices do not warrant the expense of mining, Director Willoughby hopes that a change in these prices may make it feasible at some future date to resume operations.

Mud season was more than a sticky annoyance in 1982, it was a disaster.The mud came down in waves from an old slide path in the hills above Moon Run Ranch Monday night, and buried the famed barn that was the largest solar barn in Colorado.Mud covered five to seven acres of the ranch, and Moon Run owners Doug and Holly McLain estimate that the damage may run as high as $175,000.According to McLain, he was performing with his band at the Pomegranate Inn, and his hired hand Don Bell was the only one on the ranch.Bell reportedly heard the mudslide 10 minutes before it washed down to the barn, and managed to lead almost a dozen horses to safety.”We didn’t even lose a chicken,” said McLain, crediting Bell and neighbor Jay Parker as “real heroes” in leading all the animals to safety before the mud hit. …Moon Run Ranch boarded and trained horses, scheduled pack trips, and sponsored programs to teach children about ranch life.McLain said he hopes to continue the pack trips and children’s programs this summer.The paper reported fire on the mountain.A blaze that lit the sky in the most spectacular fireworks since Winternational destroyed the Red Mountain home of Aspen millionaire Frank Butler last Thursday night.The three-pod home that was the highest on Red Mountain was described by Fire Department Chief Willard Clapper as “a total loss.”The house, which has reportedly been on the market for $1.2 million is now a charred mass of timbers and glass [see photo]. …Sheriff’s officials found the source of the fire in a Jacuzzi motor that apparently shorted out in an area beneath the kitchen.The jacuzzi and steam room were apparently in use when the fire began, and the guests reportedly escaped in various stages of undress. … The fire was apparently noticed by the guests only when it spread from the motor room up to the kitchen, which was reportedly not being used at the time.

By that time the blaze was in full view by Aspenites below. There was, however, a delay of perhaps 30 minutes before the fire was reported.The first report came in, not from the guests but from off-duty sheriff’s officer Keith Ikeda, who called to ask what was being done about the fire. Two members of the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol continued their powder reign, the paper reported. Aspen aces Erik Peltonen and Flint Smith avenged a defeat and maintained a championship last week, finishing an undisputed first overall (for the second year in a row) at the North American Powder-8 skiing championships in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.Competing in an invitational, international field of nine teams – four from Canada, four from the U.S., and one from Japan – Peltonen and Smith scored 92.5 points, for a clear-cut victory over the second-place team of Tom Simister and Andris Kakauka of Blackcomb, B.C., who finished with 87.1 points.The Jackson Hole, Wyo., team, who narrowly edged Peltonen and Smith in a somewhat controversial finish in the Jackson Hole Grand National Powder-8 Championships, was relegated to third place. …The contest, according to the two Aspen skiers – both members of the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol – was held under virtually perfect conditions, with a foot and a half of fresh light powder snow on a steep slope with about 750 feet of vertical drop. The length of the course required 65 to 75 turns, said the two victors, as opposed to the 30 turns each team put in on the shorter Jackson course. …The judging was on the symmetry and roundness of the competitors’ turns, the closeness to the fall line of their path, and the form and synchronicity of the skiers themselves. …Their next project is to find a way to get to New Zealand, where a world championship powder-8 contest is scheduled for late August and early September.Their first problem will be to find a way of paying for their airfare halfway around the world. Their second will be to remember how to ski once they get there,”Practicing for that one might be a little tough,” admitted Peltonen.


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