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

Sara Garton
Rocky Mountain springtime mud and slush can't put a damper on these motorists out for a spin around Aspen. (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 paper wrote a vivid commentary about our unsettled spring weather (see photo) in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are not kicking about the weather, not for a minute, even though we haven’t had five successive days of nice weather since last October. Don’t understand this as kicking, please, simply read between the lines and be cheerful.It’s a fact, honey, we haven’t had five days of nice weather running since last October. Some times she went four days and then a storm would butt in and make us cuss some. The she would warm up for two, three, possibly three and a half days, but just as the ladies would appear on the streets in toe slippers, it would freeze up for a week or so and the ladies would cuss mildly and under their breath.Occasionally a chump would leave home in the morning without his overcoat, would freeze to death on his way home in the evening, and be blowing his bugle the next morning. …Coming up to the present – yesterday was one nice day, and last night it snowed about “steen” inches; today it’s cold and – !

All the same, you should be glad that you are alive and so quityourkickindamit!Two warnings to the town’s scofflaws were published side by side on the front page. Occasionally one sees a bunch of measly cows meandering up and down the city’s streets and loafing out in front of the main stores and residences of the town.To say the least, all of this looks bad, very bad, and the new council is going to impose a heavy fine on the owners after this when their cattle, pigs, horses or chickens are found on the streets.So keep ’em up. honey, keep ’em locked up, if necessary.The Horten law forbids anyone even carrying a bottle of booze on their person. Over in Leadville they are enforcing the law to the letter. Yesterday, Judge Mahoney in his effort to smoke out bootleggers sentenced a Mexican to one month in the county jail for having a pint bottle of booze in his pocket.Down in Pueblo the officers yesterday raided several houses on Bohemia avenue and unearthed more than a dozen barrels of beer and a few barrels of wine and booze – all of which were turned over to the sheriff pending the time of trail.

Some haul!Some Aspenites on a bender were jailed for drunk-riding, the paper reported.Barbed-wire booze and an idea that they were bold, bad men got three young men in bad yesterday afternoon, and two are now rusticating in the city Bastille, and the officers are looking for the third wild and wooly.Shortly after noon yesterday, Joe Corcoran, Billy Jordan and Tom Case started out with a few bumpers of booze under their belt. After they had mounted their three steeds, these three guardsmen of their own importance began to feel the effects of the aforementioned bumpers. The booze being of the barbed-wire brand soon sent its barbs to the brains of the trio and their horses couldn’t run fast enough to suit their dashing spirits. They rode like wild Pintos up one street and down another, occasionally giving bucking bronco exhibitions whenever their befuddled eyes noticed a knot of spectators. As they dashed hither and thither, their horses bespattered mud over pedestrians on the sidewalks. Finally the mighty trio pulled up their horses in front of J.B. Frost, and Mayor Wagner nailed them! Case flew the coop and hasn’t been seen since; Jordan dashed behind Frost’s harness shop and stowed himself away in an outhouse where he was later found and escorted to jail; Corcoran showed fight and resisted arrest. But after he had repeatedly struck Mayor Wagner in the face and on the body, the mayor cracked him over the head with the butt of his gun. On the way to jail it was necessary for the mayor to throw a scare into Corcoran by firing his revolver. After that the prisoner was quiet and orderly until the massive steel doors clanged behind him.Realizing he was confined between four steel walls, Corcoran let out his indignation by whooping, cussing and tearing up everything that was tearable in the jail such as breaking up the stove, the chairs and the windows all of which he will be compelled to pay for.Corcoran and Jordan will be arraigned before police Judge Mugfur at 4:30 o’clock this afternoon and so will Case if he is apprehended. Secretary of the Treasury W.G. McAdoo announced the issuance of “Liberty Loans” to fund the United States war effort, and the president of The Aspen State Bank (see photos) responded in the paper.Complying with the request of Secretary McAdoo, The Aspen State Bank will receive subscriptions to the Liberty Loan and will assist subscriptions in securing bonds, without charge.DAVID R.C. BROWN, presidentEditor Charles Dailey added his 2 cents:Here is an opportunity for all our people who have money out at less than 3 1/2 percent interest, to call it in and loan it to Uncle Sam – the safest banker in the world today. …Loaning the government money at this time is one way, and a good way, too, of becoming a patriot.

The 4-H Club was a popular activity with the youth of the Roaring Fork Valley for decades. The paper announced,The Pitkin County 4-H Club’s Livestock Club will begin meeting regularly now that spring is here, according to local leader George Vagneur [see photo].

Planning to meet through the summer on the second and fourth Thursday of every month, the club will have its first meeting on May 9.Meetings will be held at the Woody Creek Community Center at 8 p.m.Any youngsters, 9 years or older, interested in working on a livestock project in the 4-H should either attend the first meeting or contact Mr. Vagneur before next Thursday.The seeds for our excellent Colorado Mountain College system were sown 50 years ago, according to this article.If present plans develop satisfactorily, Glenwood Springs will have its own junior college, or so says Mark Stephens of the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce.Stephens reports that the chamber has formed a committee to study the question of starting such an educational institution. …Tentative plans call for a liberal arts type school, Glenwood Chamber of Commerce sources stated.Development of a new community along the Roaring Fork riverbank was in the works, the paper noted.

Plans are being made for an Oklahoma away from Oklahoma on the Roaring Fork east of Woody Creek.To complement the already existing “Little Texas” camp, the Oklahomans will call their spot “Oklarado,” according to organizer J.R. Blanchard.Located directly across from Little Texas, Oklarado will be plotted and divided up into lots early this summer. Several houses are in the planning stage.Among them is a house for Blanchard whose newly completed house was completely gutted by fire last summer.

The news from 25 years ago has a familiar ring.A two-month moratorium on the processing of all new applications for commercial and lodge development was put into effect by the county commissioners this week, in an attempt to give themselves a little breathing room while they consider a commercial and lodge Growth Management Plan. The moratorium – actually termed an “administrative delay” – applies to the processing of any building permits or land use applications filed after April 26 for any territory under the county’s jurisdiction, except the Crystal and Frying Pan valleys. …The commissioners also approved delays in this year’s GMP application deadlines, postponing the residential deadline to Sept. 1 and the commercial and lodge deadline to Jan. 1, 1983. Both the Limelite Lodge, with its ongoing redevelopment, and the Hotel Jerome, with its change in ownership, have filled the pages of The Aspen Times recently. Both hotels were newsmakers 25 years ago, but under very different circumstances.While many visitors might find Aspen lodging expensive, Pitkin County Jail Administrator Bob Braudis is finding local hotels and inns a relatively cheap and efficient means of housing female prisoners. According to Braudis, the $32 per night cost of a recent three-day stay for [a woman] prisoner at the Limelite Lodge was the best and only alternatives for housing [her] during her trial here on theft charges.Pitkin County’s 90-year-old five-cell jail has no facility for housing females separately from the male prisoners. And the nearest county jail, the Garfield County lockup, 40 miles from Aspen, has refused to house Aspen prisoners unless Pitkin County pledges to accept liability in any and all lawsuits that might be filed by Pitkin County prisoners staying there. …[Two women prisoners] were kept last month at the Hotel Jerome ($54 double, $24 single) for one night in March. And [two women prisoners] were guests of the county at the Jerome ($54 per night) for several days just prior to Christmas last year.Braudis noted that even at $32 per night, the county was paying less than the $35 per night that Weld County is charging for long-term incarceration of Pitkin County prisoners.The county presently budgets $20,000 per year for transporting prisoners to other counties because the Pitkin County Jail cannot accommodate even the male prisoners.The Limelite was chosen for [the prisoner’s] stay during the trial because the lodge offers a television and bathroom in each unit, factors that Braudis said enhance prisoner security. The television helps keep the guarding deputy awake while the in-unit bathroom presents fewer escape risks than a trip down the hall, he explained.


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