Editor’s note: Microfilm of The Aspen Times from October 19031911 are missing from the Pitkin County Library. To continue our journalistic history of Aspen, we include excerpts from The Aspen Democrat, the Times’ competitor 100 years ago.September 1904The paper reported a raucous Labor Day under the headline, “The Eagles Sure Screamed.” There never was a minuteThat the Eagles weren’t in it.Monday was Labor Day all over the United States, but in Aspen it was Eagles Day. It was an ideal day for a picnic, and old Hallam lake never looked so beautiful and inviting as it did on this occasion.The pavilion and different booths were most tastefully decorated in the colors of the order [of Eagles] together with their emblems which gave the old place a decided patriotic look.By 1:30 the grounds had filled up considerably and by evening standing room in the big pavilion was at a premium. …Professor Hetherly in his usual happy manner kept the crowd moving in the ever popular square dances, and the dance floor was filled until midnight with the youth and beauty of the city.At 3 o’clock the drilling contest was started and then every kid in town got busy. … teams of them have been practicing daily as some of the rocks in the different parts of the town will testify to. …The foot race between Harry brown and Chris Anderson was a hummer. Chris claimed that he would have won if he had not overtrained.The dining room was presided over by a bevy of beauties that made the young men forget their appetites and feel like yelling “Home Ain’t Nothing Like This.” …The reporter lost count of the many that fell in the lake. Bets were being laid at two to one on every boat that left the landing as to how far out it would go before it upset.The venerable Wheeler Opera House has hosted everything from fencing and wrestling matches to grand opera on its stage. Here’s one for the books:
LOG-ROLLING AT OPERA HOUSEThe choppers of this community will be at the opera house Monday evening, September 12. Come out at see them wield the axe, beetle and wedge. It will be a barrel of fun – free! Our air quality has been carefully monitored for PM-10 during the last 35 years. One hundred years ago it was noxious gases from a 1903 fire in the Smuggler Mine spoiling our mountain air.The smoke issuing out of the Free Silver shaft into which it was drawn from the Smuggler was very dense and noticeable yesterday. The gas fumes which are being extracted are also noticeable in the east end of the city and is filling the atmosphere with an odor similar to burnt cabbage.September 1954The existence of the five-year-old Aspen Music Festival was threatened when Walter Paepcke announced he was unable to continue subsidizing it as part of The Aspen Institute. The citizens of Aspen rallied, and the paper reported,[A] town meeting was held on Thursday at the Opera House at which about 200 townspeople and visitors gathered to consider the raising of $25,000 as the Aspen part of a total of $50,000 necessary to carry the Festival music programs through the 1955 season.The response was astonishing, even to those who had plenty of confidence in the group assembled. … [the] goal was reached well before the deadline, and the good citizens and friends of Aspen had even exceeded the $25,000 goal by $170.00. …Remarks by Frank Myers and Courtland Barnes pointed out that Aspen had no other course to follow than to keep the Festival going as the summer economy was built mainly on it, and that the logical course was to cooperate with the musicians to make the Festival a permanent fixture of Aspen.Aspen had definitely emerged from “the Quiet Years” as the Times reported on the first day of school.The Aspen public schools opened its doors to 246 boys and girls Tuesday. This is an increase of 17 pupils over last year’s opening day’s enrollment. The biggest increase was evident in the first grade, where 34 new students were enrolled.
Stealing is bad karma, but stealing from God risks terrible retribution. A lady in the east side of town who is one of Aspen’s famous flower growers reports that last Saturday morning at 1:15 she was awakened by a noise in the yard and got up to investigate. A teenage girl was seen running across the street to get into a car which sped away at high speed. The girl was carrying in her arms several stalks of Gladiolus that she had pulled, some of them by the roots, from the lady’s flower garden.The flowers had been counted on Friday to see how many stalks would be available to decorate St. Mary’s Church. September 1979After negotiations broke down between the city and The Aspen Institute about expanding facilities at the Meadows, threats by the institute that they would leave Aspen were materializing.Some Aspen Institute programs now held here will be moved to a new site on the Boca Grande development near Crestone, Colo., 40 miles north of Alamosa, it was announced by Institute officials.In a surprise release dated Sept. 4, Institute Chairman Robert O. Anderson said that construction of new facilities would start this month on a 300-acre campus donated by AZL, Inc., and will be available for use next summer. …”It is a special opportunity that is beyond reach of our present facilities in Anderson,” Anderson stated in the release.Even before United Airlines, it was an expensive proposition to fly between Aspen and Denver.The cost of a one-way flight between Aspen and Denver was increased by Aspen Airways this week from $39 to $40, and John Krueger, Rocky Mountain Airways manager, said that company will also hike its regular fare to $40. Krueger and Nancy Miller, manager for Aspen Airways, said the increases reflect rising fuel prices and higher landing fees. … Miller said the fees are high in relation to the rest of the country, and the airlines have no choice but to pass on the costs to the consumer.Aspen Airways said it will charge $45 for Saturday flights in the winter. Rocky Mountain Airways will add a similar surcharge.
The identity of “The Lenado Man” remains a mystery 25 years later.The FBI has not been able to identify the dead man found near Lenado three weeks ago, according to Don Davis of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department. …Davis said international agencies have [also] been sent fingerprints of the man for possible identification. Scotland Yard, the French Surete, Interpol, and the French, English and Canadian Military Service organizations have all been sent copies of the prints.The body was found on Aug. 18 by a group of mushroom hunters 14 miles up the Lenado Road.A Labor Day weekend fixture in Aspen, 25 years ago the MotherLode volleyball tournament included some California ringers on Colorado’s winning teams.Doubles volleyball may be a California sport, but when the chips were down in last weekend’s MotherLode tournament, it was Colorado all the way, as the top three divisions sported Colorado addresses (although some of the players, admittedly, were California transplants).The two-day event drew 176 teams, many of them from California, for competition scattered across Aspen on courts at the Rio Grande property, Wagner Park, and behind the Chart House. …Aspen players showed well in both the men’s A and the women’s A competition, taking second place in both divisions. [The second-place winners were] Tom Snyder and Randy Gold and Patty O’Brien and Janice Flora of Aspen.
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Don’t freak out if you see helicopters hovering over the Roaring Fork Valley backcountry or fixed-wing aircraft making repeated trips. It is part an annual wildlife study by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.