25-50-90 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-90 years ago

Sara Garton

Hannibal Brown, tending bar at the Elks Club in 1910, was a bootlegger during the Prohibition years in Aspen. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Aspen-Democrat Times editor Cap Dailey grabbed the attention of his readers with the headline “Bootleggers Commit Murder.” He wrote,Yes, Aspen and Pitkin county have the officers who will put down bootlegging if the people will come thru and help.Often one hears the expression: “Oh, I know who is selling the booze and it’s a shame they are not arrested and punished.”But when asked who it is that is selling booze, they reply: “Oh, I don’t want to be a snitch, it’s nothing to me. Let the officers find out for themselves.”How in thunder can we expect the officers to catch these whiskey-selling criminals if we won’t help our officers do the catching? …Everybody in town believes that one fellow in particular is a bootlegger and has been a bootlegger ever since the state went dry. But nobody is willing to help the officers prove it. Our officers are as anxious as anyone to nab the bootleggers who are committing murder by selling their vile booze. Will YOU help them in the NABBING?If not, why not?He continued in another column on another day,To All Peace Officers: GREETING:

Let’s get busy fellers and clean out the bootleggers who are committing murder by selling their vile stuff to this community. Let’s cut out our careful watchfulness so far as kids are concerned and devote our ability to discovering the Speak-Easies and arrest the owners [see photo]. There is no use in our watching the boys who go to the picture show or who might be out calling on girls – they won’t do any harm in either case. …So fellers, let’s drop that part of our detective work and get down to real sleuth work.Booze, poison booze and rotgut booze that kills is being sold in and about Aspen. Our young men and our old men are dying from drinking this booze. No less than four deaths in the last six months can be directly traced to this poison booze. To prove this just ask any physician. …Arrest a drunk as often as we see a drunk, double his fine every time he is arrested for being drunk, and sometime he can’t pay it and then it’s street work for him. As a guess, The Democrat-Times believes that rather than work on the street where all may see him and know him for a drunk, said drunk will tell where he got the whiskey that made him drunk. …One fearless officer, just one, can do more to stop bootlegging than all the preaching that can be preached.Has Aspen or Pitkin county such an officer?In the About The City column, these two briefs appeared:Cats kill the birds that kill the insects that destroy garden stuffs – Kill the cats.While cleaning out the bootleggers, let’s clean out the cats – both are enemies to our country, state, county and community.Among the suffragettes imprisoned at Washington for picketing the White House is Hazel Hunkins whose father was a jeweler in Aspen for 20 years. Her mother has been a resident of Billings, Montana, for the past few years.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 autumn 1907.

New trails were cut on Aspen Mountain 50 years ago, and a contest was announced in The Aspen Times.Three prizes are being reserved by the Aspen Skiing Corp. for three persons who provide the best names for three new ski trails now being constructed on Aspen Mountain [see photo]. …Each of the three prizes offered includes a three-day pass on the ski lifts and a three-day ticket to the ski school. Winners may use their passes themselves or assign them to friends.First and longest of the trails to be named is located on the east side of Bell Mountain and connects the top of the new double chairlift to Collins and then Spar Gulch.Second of the new trails is a relatively short one and joins the Bell Mountain Trail, commonly called One Leaf, to the midsection of the Deer Park run. Deer Park goes from behind Bell Mountain to lift No. 3.Starting from the bottom of Buckhorn, the third new ski run traverses in the general vicinity of the old North America race course to join Dipsy Doodle about halfway down the upper double known as No. 3.The trail advisory group was elected by a committee of local Skiing Corporation stockholders early in the summer at the request of Ski Corp. officials.It is composed of Chairman [Friedl] Pfeifer, Steve Knowlton, Gale Spence, Dick Durrance and Morrie Shepard.A letter to the editor may have been the genesis of Mountain Rescue in Aspen.I am writing to ask about the accuracy of a statement made in the Aug. 1, 1957 issue of the Times relating to the death of a climber on Capitol Peak.

The statement in question asserts, in essence, that a rescue group was flown in from Boulder when Sheriff Herwick “was unable to raise a rescue squad in Aspen.”I happened to be in town at the time and personally talked with no less than eight climbers all of whom would have been more than willing to assist, and none of whom were contacted in any way. It would seem, therefore, that little, if any, effort was made in Aspen to raise such a group. The people and climbers in Aspen have always responded in a remarkably heartwarming way to such appeals in the past, often at considerable personable sacrifice, and it would seem a terrible thing to place such a black mark beside the town’s name when such an appeal would have undoubtedly been met as cooperatively in this instance – if, indeed, such an appeal was made at all. Such tragedies are always sad and unfortunate, but they do, and will, occur, and it seems to me that it is high time that some sort of rescue unit, with a list of available people and a pool of ready equipment be established in Aspen. …Sincerely, Jim SnobbleA favorite Aspen flophouse, a 1950s’ version of affordable housing, advertised, Ed’s BedsAgain Open For BusinessSpecial Rates Until Nov. 20$1.50 per night $30 per month Phone 4593

Gone fishin’ – with the president! The paper reported,It was a bright Sunday morning, and fishing buddies Georges Odier, George Byers and several others were arguing about their favorite angling techniques over breakfast at the Wienerstube.Suddenly, there were Secret Service men at their table.And that was how a day of fly-fishing with former President Jimmy Carter began.Before long they were all over at Odier’s Fothergill’s Outdoor Sportsman store, outfitting Jimmy and talking about the virtues of Trout Unlimited, of which Jimmy has been an ardent supporter.The local anglers, accompanied by “half the local police force and a platoon of Secret Service men,” took the visitors to the gravel pits at the first Woody Creek bridge. …Nobody caught much of anything. Nobody much cared.As Byers said, “Jimmy was a real nice guy and genuinely interested in Trout Unlimited.”The former president was in Aspen to visit friend Chris Hemmeter.Two articles reported that the Aspen Music Festival and School was saved.The Music Associates of Aspen attracted far more contributions than it dared hope, with the help of John Denver and his band, who gave two benefit concerts Monday night.Denver and his regular band performed to a nearly standing-room-only audience in the Music Tent, then performed at the Paradise Theatre under the name Johnny and the Sharks.Although the MAA hoped to net $100,000 from the event, the gross total was closer to $146,225, with $5,000 of that coming from the Paradise concert.Denver volunteered his and his band’s talents for both events. …

The last record-breaking benefit concert was hosted by Danny Kaye, and netted the MAA just under $100,000.The Aspen community, as well as patrons of the arts all over the country, have rallied to the support of the Aspen Music Festival and School.Although the totals are still being tabulated, the festival’s Rescue Committee has raised at least most of the money it needed to lift the festival out of debt. …The goal of a three-week “rescue effort” culminated by Denver’s concerts was to raise $300,000 that would be matched by corporate sponsors. And according to [Rescue Committee Chairman Carol Ann] Kopf, that goal has been met.A change in ownership brought a change in leadership at the Aspen Skiing Company wrote The Aspen Times. [President Tom] Richardson will officially leave his post as the Skiing Company’s chief executive officer on Sept. 1, and the company’s new boss will be Harry Holmes, 56, president of the Pebble Beach Resort.In a press release issued by the company, Richardson was quoted as saying, “These changes in ownership have diminished my ability to act as the chief executive officer of the Aspen Skiing Company. Philosophically, I believe it is best that I resign.” …That new ownership is Urban Diversified Properties, a subsidiary of Aetna Life and Casualty Company, which bought 50 percent of the Skiing Company from Marvin Davis last year.Along with half of the Skiing Company, Urban Diversified also acquired half interest in Pebble Beach. According to the Skiing Company’s director of public relations, Jack Brendlinger, the company’s quest to become more than just a lift company is not necessarily related to the presidential switch, although the corporate eye had developed a special gleam for real estate development. …Although Holmes will assume the top Skiing company post in September, he will continue as president of Pebble Beach. Brendlinger said, however, he expects the new president to spend the greater portion of his time in Aspen.

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