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 1904The Aspen Democrat waved its colors for the upcoming elections in its editorial column.The Republican platform says a man has a right to work where he please, when he pleases and for whom he pleases. The Mine Owners association says he has a right to work when it pleases, where it pleases and for whom it pleases. See the difference.If you are a Democrat – and of course you are – you will attend the primaries today and vote for the man or woman who represents your views. This is your duty and you should not neglect it. Participate in the primaries – work hard – express your sentiments. And when it is all over, no matter how much of a partisan you may be, accept the result. The majority should rule.How are these hunters going to bring home the meat? The paper reported,Word received in the city yesterday from D.R.C. Brown and Jack Atkinson, who are in search of deer, brings the interesting tidings that their horses have disappeared and they are now in a peculiar situation. They are at present encamped on the Flat Tops on Mud Springs and have met with excellent success in bagging game. The horses have been traced to New Castle and no doubt will be returned to them by hunters.The last dip of summer …Last Saturday a party composed of several of the city’s popular lady teachers departed for Devil’s Punch Bowl up Roaring Fork to take in the prominent sights there and enjoy a day’s outing … when they were all wandering around in the grotta a bright idea struck one of the party to take a bath, and although no bathing suit was handy she was undismayed but dived into the water which was as cold as ice and only six feet deep. After this nice plunge she came out and dried herself in the sun and after Old Sol had got in his work and warmed her up she was as frisky as a two-year-old and to prove this friskiness, she said that was the best bath she ever had.
More Aspenites were grasping at the last days (and nights!) of summer.A large crowd of young people, some in a big wagon, some on horseback, went to the Brush creek school house last evening and enjoyed a night of fun, the event being a jolly old-fashioned country dance. At midnight a supper was served and the fun continued until early morning, everybody having the time of their lives. The paper warned in the same issue that winter had already arrived in the high country.Mr. Niblock, accompanied by Will Ennis, who left the city the fore part of the week to look after assessment work at Difficult, returned to the city for a rest and supplies. Their work there has proven very tedious owing to the heavy fall of snow in that section as it has been storming since last Wednesday. The fall of snow was accompanied by a heavy wind, many large drifts were formed and one of the horses was lost and as 50 feet of rope was attached to it, it is feared that the animal has become fastened in the timber.September 1954As in last week’s helicopter crash on the slopes of Buttermilk, 50 years ago there was a fortunate ending to an air crash near the Aspen Country Day and Music School campus.A small airplane belonging to the Atomic Energy Commission crashed at 6:42 Tuesday morning about one mile above the Four Seasons Club on Castle Creek and both the pilot and the party chief walked away from the completely demolished plane. The two man crew were surveying the Castle Creek area with scintillometer, flying at a very low altitude, barely above the tops of the aspen trees when the plane hit the Feinsinger electric line. …The plane, a PA-18 Super Cub, was practically new … [and] besides the two man crew was carrying a $5,000 scintillometer, used to measure radioactivity in the rocks below as the plane was flown as close to the ground as possible.It’s apparent the Aspen High School teams were called the skiers for good reason.A large crowd attended the Aspen High School Swim Meet last Saturday and Sunday at the Jerome Pool. High school swimmers from many points were invited but only five teams were entered and they were from East, West and Manual from Denver; Colorado Springs and Englewood.Colorado Springs won the meet with a total combined score of 55 points, with East, 40; Manual, 26; West, 26; and Englewood,16.
It seems the team colors were established at least 50 years ago. In the News About School column,Irene Johnson, president of Pep Club, announces that beanies have been ordered for members to wear at games. These beanies, a brilliant red and black, will display Aspen’s colors to the opposition. Pep club members will wear these beanies at the first home game on October 1st.Hey, leaf peepers: How about a one-day race over several mountain passes to view the fall colors?Sometime Friday nearly one hundred sports cars will travel through Aspen on their way from Colorado Springs to Durango.The cars, starting at two-minute intervals, will leave Colorado Springs real early Friday morning, traveling to Denver, over Trail Ridge road to Estes Park, back over Berthod Pass, through Climax and Leadville, over Independence Pass, through Aspen to Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, Ouray, over the Million Dollar highway, past Silverton, and winding up at Durango sometime Friday night. This is a controlled race and has the sanction of the State Highway department.September 1979The Gentlemen of Aspen were victorious in last weekend’s Ruggerfest – not so 25 years ago.Wagner “rugby stadium” was packed last weekend as 16 rugby clubs from across the country battled it out for the 12th annual Ruggerfest championship.The two-day tournament, one of the most prestigious in the U.S., produced some of the finest rugby seen in recent years.With the traditionally strong California teams all scheduled in the first half of the draw, it looked as though the Gentleman of Aspen, battling it out in the other half of the draw, had a shot at the finals. Aspen eliminated Dallas 90 in first round action and moved up to face Memphis Old No. 7. …Midway through the second half Memphis took a three-point lead off a penalty kick and immediately followed with a successful try.That only aggrevated the obviously disheartened Gentleman, who gained a second wind in the final minutes and tore into Memphis with untold fury.With seven minutes remaining, John McDermott put Aspen back in action with a try. A good conversion kick gave Aspen six points on the board, and another chance to win the match.Then with Aspen on the ball and ready to move downfield, what everyone hope wouldn’t happen, happened. The referee blew the whistle on the Gentlemen, and Memphis gained another three points off the penalty kick.
Other traditional autumn events were in the news 25 years ago.Forty-five clunker bicycle fanatics from all over the West converged in front of the Grubstake restaurant in Crested Butte Saturday morning for the start of the [third annual Crested Butte to Aspen Clunker Tour].The tour ended Sunday afternoon in Aspen.On this tour, riders pedaled over Pearl Pass on everything from one-speed Schwinns to 18-gear custom-made molychrome frame cruisers.The 34.5-mile tour included overnight camping at the top of Pearl Pass, an elevation of 12,700 feet, and a harrowing stretch over a rocky mining trail before making the 17.5-mile descent into Aspen.The annual leafer peeper show is on for this coming Sunday, Sept. 30. Every year the Aspen Rotary club conducts the annual Fall Jeep Tour into the high country to view the changing aspens.In order to assure the best show, the location is not determined until the day before the trip. In the past, tours have gone up to Lenado, Hunter Creek, and Little Annie’s. Tour prices include a picnic lunch with soft drinks. Beer and wine may be brought along.