Editor’s note: Microfilm of The Aspen Times from October 19031911 is 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 1904 Bicycle racing has been a part of our valley for as long as there have been bicycles. The paper reported on the annual Aspen-to-Glenwood race, with an exciting finish! A beautiful day with a cloudless sky greeted the Colorado Midland road race. … Had not a stiff wind sprung up during the race, there would have been some new records made as the road, save for a few sandy and dusty places, was in fine shape, while the riders this time were riding exceptionally strong.There were few bets laid, and no odds to speak of could be secured on any rider as the betting fraternity realized that the four principal riders were very evenly matched; if anything Buffehr the crack rider of Leadville was a favorite. The participants were Buffehr of Leadville; Hansen of Aspen; Broughton of Glenwood; Beard of Grand Junction; and a matched race between Barber and Harwitz, two youngsters from grand Junction and Leadville, respectively.Hansen was the first to leave the scratch getting away at 11:25. He was followed four minutes later by Beard; Beard followed him four minutes later, and Broughton, the last man got away at 11:39. …Beard and Buffehr were seen several times before the train reached Cardiff and all seemed to be in good shape and had met with no accidents thus far. …Hansen was the first to finish, arriving at the scratch at 12:48-35. Beard and Buffehr next appeared riding close with Beard slightly ahead: Beard crossing the tape at 12:53-26 and Buffehr one second later or at 12:53-27.It was then found that Buffehr had won first prize and Broughton second. In this race there were but two prizes; time was all that counted.As fall arrived, so did a flurry of newspaper ads.UNDERWEAR WEATHERAnd we have it. Just received 50 dozen bought at a low price that we will put on sale today at less than half regular price. Don’t miss this sale.Now is the time to lay in your winter supply of coal. Call at Tagert & Williams for special prices on the best lump coal in the market.The newspaper supported a thorough fall cleanup around town. It reported,
For the past week a hobo has been enjoying life in Aspen and working our kindhearted people to a finish. While he seemed perfectly harmless, having only one arm and being otherwise crippled, he had a habit of helping himself to other people’s property. In view of this failing, Marshal Brown told the gentleman to hike – and the hobo hiked. The marshal should continue in his good work and make the “soiled doves” hike back to their joints on Durant street when he hears their angelic voices in boisterous songs in the business and resident portions of the city. Keep it up, Bill. Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!Sam MacRay, a rancher from Woody creek, brought interesting news to town that he and a hired man while on the Lenado road to the sawmill came in contact with a mountain lion. The animal showed fight and as neither of them had a gun, they feared the beast would leap upon the horses, but they finally succeeded in putting the lion to flight by throwing rocks at him – What strange things we see when we have no gun.September 1954Keeping our mountain air pristine has long been a community concern. The paper reported,A major improvement to the Court House will be the installation of a Todd Fuel Oil Burner to the boiler now using coal to heat the county edifice. …The present boiler using coal as fuel was installed when the Court House was built in 1889. … The change is being made to oil because of the recent price increases in stoker coal and the difficulty in getting good coal.The dust and soot problem will be abated for with coal fired furnaces, even those fired by stokers, a certain amount of coal dust is raised and smoke escapes to coat walls and ceilings of the rooms and all furniture. Furnace maintenance will be reduced for no coal will be shoveled and no ashes will have to be carted out.Before John Denver, there was … Eugene Jose Singer!Eugene Jose Singer, who has been playing the piano at Mario’s during the summer months, has written a song about Aspen which is being published and will soon be available to Aspenites and most music stores in Colorado. Written specially for the Golden Aspen Festival, Mr. Singer says that the music and lyrics were inspired by the natural beauty of Aspen and the perfect time he has had while here. Mario has featured the song in the restaurant and has sung it every night, accompanied, of course, by Mr. Singer.ASPEN LEAVESAspen leaves are falling on the winter wonderlandAspen leaves are symbols of the Rockies where they stand
From near and far the people come and love and singFrom all the countries let their music ring.Golden leaves are falling slow when winter’s on its wayTrembling leaves will cover all the ground on winter’s dayMountains and music are blending while nature weavesLovingly, the glorious beauty of Aspen leaves.Aspen trees on mountain highFill your soul with wondrous sighBeautiful the majesty of natureEverybody comes to seeMagic of the Aspen treeColorado’s mountains and adventure.The paper reported a 1954 version of the Monkey Wrench Gang.Jay Barnes of Aspen and Donald Boxwell of Salida were arraigned in Justice Court and charged with malicious vandalism. …Sheriff Lorain Herwick was notified about 11:45 Sunday evening that a pickup truck was being used by two men to knock down signs and on investigation discovered the two men in the truck in the west part of town. They drove out of town at a high rate of speed and eluded the sheriff by making a quick turn off the highway onto cemetery road. They drove without lights.They were intercepted on the hill by the Rene Duroux ranch and Sheriff Herwick told them to drive back to town by the regular highway. They turned off at Brush Creek road and traveled the road at high speed and again eluded Sheriff Herwick by turning onto a long unused road through a field.Sheriff Herwick came back to town and accompanied by City Marshal L.A. Barber picked up Boxwell at Lenado where the two men were employed in the sawmill. Barnes was picked up at his home in Brush Creek.
September 1979Aspen’s grande dame put in her two cents regarding the City Council and Aspen Institute standoff.Some people feel the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies should be given special treatment because of all it has done for Aspen.One of those people is Elizabeth Paepcke, whose late husband, Walter P. Paepcke, was the founder of the Institute.”I think both sides are at fault in this quarrel with the city over the Institute’s use of its land,” she told the Aspen Times. “I told Joe Slater and Douglas Cater at the Institute that they hold these national-level seminars on communication, yet they have the worst communication with the city of Aspen I’ve ever seen.”The city seems totally ignorant of the role the Aspen Institute has had in the history of Aspen. I think the city has behaved very stupidly and the council and mayor have not done their homework.”This article’s headline read “John Denver, firemen, friends foil flames.” A grass fire of suspicious origin was swept by strong west winds to within 50 yards of singer John Denver’s Starwood home. Only a massive and quick response by volunteer firemen and members of the community saved the Denver home and four others in the immediate area.In all, a dozen expensive homes in the subdivision west of Aspen were in the path of the blaze. Denver held a press conference at the Starwood security guard station today to express his thanks for the firefighting effort. …Denver said he was rehearsing with members of the old Mitchell Trio in his guest house when he saw the smoke. (The flames were to reach with 25 yards of that guest house later.)The newspaper alerted party town, “Attention Aspen! The DEA is back in town!”Federal Drug Enforcement Agency undercover investigators have apparently returned to Aspen, hot on the heels of their major drug bust here last month. Although rumors of DEA agents are persistent and frequently unfounded, the current presence of at least one agent has been confirmed.That confirmation came from a local resident who was arrested in last month’s bust and told the Aspen Times that one of the DEA agents who drove him to Grand Junction after his arrest has recently been spending time in the Jerome Bar, looking innocent.