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

The members of the Crystal City Club presented a Comical Costume Carnival in 1917. The club was a group of young men who convened on the third floor of the Elks Building, and they sponsored and planned holiday celebrations and dances at the Armory. They were active, according to the memo on this photograph, from 1909 through World War I. (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.There was a sort of Comedy Fest in Aspen 90 years ago, with the Crystal City Club members (see photo) portraying characters from newspaper comic strips, known as “the funnies.”Were you at the Comical Costume Carnival last evening?If not, you missed the time of your life!Promptly at 9 o’clock the funny picture family, consisting of all the comics you ever saw, marched into the hall and had an hour’s fun entertaining the crowd as these comics would if coming to life. Old Doc Yac was there in his car making 90 per and throwing bolts in every direction. All the rest of the characters were also amusing the crowd like Father, Katzenjammer boys, Mamma Katzenjammer, Mutt and Jeff, and so on down the line. …

Had Woods was there as a Hula Hula girl and took first prize for the best masked gentleman. He and Fred Meger gave an exhibition dance that proved a scream during the performance. This act alone would bear repeating at any time for it was a roof-raiser.The Star Spangled Banner was played and the big assemblage quickly rose to their feet and all sang that patriotic song until the music swelled and rolled over the mountains far, far away. …During the evening every one present was supplied with many rolls of serpentine paper and soon the hall was a mass of different colored paper blending nicely with the decorations already provided.Every one had a good time, in fact the best time for many months, last evening. The closing hour came all too quickly at 12:30, for when being entertained by the Crystal City Club boys it means a treat long to be remembered.The names of the Aspen and Basalt “boys” who signed up to join the Navy were published in the paper’s “Roll of Honor.”Chief Master at Arms Alvin Werre, late of the Battleship New Jersey, arrived in this city this morning via [the] Midland and at once repaired to the Jerome hotel where five of Aspen’s young patriots were awaiting his arrival.The five young men were at once examined by Chief Werre, and the five passed the physical examination and were at once sworn into service in the United States navy.These new recruits will leave for Denver tonight via the Colorado Midland and will be joined by the two recruits of Basalt. At Denver, the Aspen-Basalt contingent will undergo further physical examination and if they pass will be ordered to the training station at San Francisco, to remain from one to two months when they will be placed on a battleship in the Pacific or Atlantic fleet. Good luck boys, and may you prove to be Uncle Sam’s most valuable men before your term of enlistment expires.

The Aspen war effort would involved citizens of all ages, according to a published proclamation from the mayor.Owing to the fact that Our Beloved Country is now at war all playgrounds heretofore provided by the city will be turned into food-raising. This will enable the little men too young to enlist in the army or navy, and the little ladies too young to become nurses in the army hospitals, to still do their part in supporting the flag and our country. All persons desiring vacant lots for the purpose of gardening this season may make application to the undersigned, with whom the county commissioners have arranged to take applications for all such vacant lots upon which taxes have been delinquent for a number of years. The lots need not be fenced as the City officers will rigorously enforce the ordinance in reference to stock running at large and prosecute to the full extent of the law any person or persons guilty of the violation of this stock ordinance.By order of the City Council,CHARLES WAGNER, MayorThe paper also gave some planting and irrigating tips for the town’s patriot gardens.If everyone with a back yard should plant a garden in it [see photo], the result would put a big dent in the high cost of living. …Beans, cabbage, parsnips, cauliflower, onions, lettuce, peas, beets, carrots, radishes. It will be seen that in this list are vegetables that are commanding record prices right now. …The average backyard is 50 x 50. First clean it up. Get those ashes up out of the cellar, and if there are no paths about the yard use some of the ashes to make them. Be sure the paths are straight. Trenches should be dug along the paths 18 inches deep to secure drainage way from the house if possible. The soil thus found can be scattered about the yard and used to fill depressions.Put in these trenches the stones, broken bottles, bits of brick and crockery that may be found. Before the garden is spaded give it a good covering of manure and see that it is turned under the soil. Then rake well, making the soil as fine as you can.



Aspenites never fail to amaze the world (and us !) with their exploits. The paper reported,In retracing historic water routes, four Aspen men are aiming at making a little history of their own this summer.Ed Vestal, Bengt Soderstrom, Gerald Hewey and E.G. Rickers plan to travel by canoe from Denver to Old Town, Maine, on inland waterways.

Mapped out at approximately 4,500 miles, the trip is estimated to take six months. According to group spokesman Rickers, it’s believed that the journey will be the longest one-way canoe trip ever undertaken on the entire North American continent. …Old Town [Canoe Co.] agreed to donate two specially adapted canoes for the expedition, in return for publicity. …They will embark on May 1. Their route will take them from Denver’s South Platte River to the Platte in Nebraska, then down the Missouri River to the Mississippi River.From there, they will go up the Mississippi to the headwaters of the St. Croix in Wisconsin. Then they will portage to the Brule and descend to Lake Superior to follow its south shore to Sault St. Marie.Once in Canada they will move along the north shore of Lake Huron and Georgia Bay, ultimately turning up the French River to Lake Hipissing. They will then follow a small transition river to the Ottawa River, which will take them to the St. Lawrence.Leaving the St. Lawrence at Quebec on the Chaudiere, they will go the Liniere to Portage Lake. A major portage there will take them to the Penobscot River system where they will follow a meandering route to Old Town. More Aspenites were making news – on snow.Two Aspen racers were named to the 1958 FIS training squad at the conclusion of the North American Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley Sunday.On the team are Max Marolt [see photo], now with the U.S. Navy, and Chuck Ferries [see photo], a senior at Aspen High School and the youngest member of the squad.Marolt is rated No. 4 and Ferries 10th on the 10-man aggregation.Listed as No. 1 is Buddy Werner of Steamboat Springs and Camp Hale. [The article lists several more names, including] Dave Gorsuch of Climax, Colo., … and Renie Cox [who would become Mrs. Dave Gorsuch a few years later] of Port Leyden, N.Y.




Spring is Aspen’s season of “last rites” for local landmarks, the paper noted.The Mill St. Station, for the past eight years a funky melange of shops and stores, came tumbling down Monday morning as a handful of spectators littered the streets to witness its last rites.The 35-year-old Aspen landmark was quickly and unceremoniously dispatched to make way for a multimillion dollar complex [Mill Street Plaza] that will be home for up to 30 shops by sometime next year. …Viewing the old building’s departure was Tom Sardy, the man who had built it back in 1947 or ’48 – he’s not sure.Sardy was a little dumbfounded at the efficiency of the demolition work. “It took a hell of a lot longer to put it up,” he said.The building first served as the headquarters for his lumberyard, which was later relocated to the Airport Business Center.

In 1974, the building was renovated and redesigned and became the Mill St. Station.A proposed third restaurant on Aspen Mountain was running the obstacle course of the county approval process, the Times reported.A new restaurant on Aspen Mountain at the top of Lift 1A ran into and then slipped past its first snags this week when the county planning and zoning commission began its review of the restaurant plans. The biggest of those snags appears to be employee housing, with the county regulations calling for the Ski Company to house 15 employees and the company’s plans including housing for just one worker.Other possible problems include the visual impact of the restaurant, which will be visible from much of town, and possible summer operation of the facility.Following a prolonged but inconclusive debate, the P&Z eventually voted its approval for the project, noting … the housing question would have to be resolved between the Ski Company and the county commissioners. …[Ruthie’s] restaurant would include a cafeteria seating 120 people, outdoor seating for 125 more on decks looking out over the town, and a sit-down restaurant for 40. In addition, a firepit and lounge would hold another 40 people.Ski Co vice president and general manager Jerry Blann told the P&Z that the restaurant is needed as “the next step in upgrading Aspen Mountain,” which he said has the worst ratio of skier capacity to restaurant capacity of any of the company’s three mountains.In addition, said Blann, the distribution of skiers on the mountain would be improved if more skiers could be enticed to the Lift 1A-Ruthie’s Run area.


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