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.
If we are concerned about PM-10 today, consider what Aspen’s citizens had to tolerate in air quality 100 years ago. Much discomfort has been alleviated in the past week by the wetting down of the streets adjacent to the school buildings. This is a work that should be attended to by the board of health, and the city fathers. Water is cheap and a copious sprinkling about the school buildings will keep down the mortality list.The epidemic of throat trouble is slightly abating, but there are a few cases of measles.Low on flu vaccine for winter 2004? Quarantine was the weapon against contagious diseases in 1904. The paper reported,Pupils are required to report cases in their own family or vicinity. In spite of these precautions, children do get into the schools from houses where there are cases of disease, endangering the entire school. … All cases should be reported to the superintendent or to one of the principals.An announcement something like the above was made in one of the rooms the other day. A boy immediately raised his hand. “Teacher,” he shouted. “There is a woman next door to us has got appendickitus.”The paper commented on the continuing street maintenance and the unusual autumn weather.Chief Smith is still keeping up the good work, and had the big hose playing on the street again yesterday, much to the satisfaction of the merchants and public in general. It is certainly a novel sight to see the street being sprinkled in November, although some of the old timers here say they remember a time when no snow fell until Christmas. Who knows but that history may repeat itself this year.A news report predicted what would be Colorado’s renown in 50 years. It was headlined “Colorado in Winter.”For the first time in the history of the state the railroads are advertising Colorado as a winter resort. Many eastern people believe that the Rocky Mountain region is the home of the blizzard and the storm king. Life in this section is supposed to be intensely disagreeable.For those who are looking for flowers and soft breezes, the languorous odor of the magnolia and all that, Colorado is not the place for the tourist to seek. But it has been established by careful comparative investigation that the state, and in fact the Rocky Mountain region generally, possesses the ideal winter climate. The average of clear days is greater than in any other portion of the country. The temperature if cold is equable, and far less penetrating than in lower altitudes. Thanksgiving holiday was coming up, and the following warning was published, Owners of chickens had better look well to their hen roosts these nights, as Thanksgiving is very near, and the only way to properly celebrate the event is with a fowl of some kind. Parties living at the corner of second and Smuggler streets Friday night suffered the loss of four of their finest chickens. This shows that the chicken thief is again abroad in the land, and chicken raisers had better put double locks on the hen houses.
The Thanksgiving fowl thief was on the loose 50 years later. The paper reported,Bernard Stapleton reports that two turkeys belonging to his sister, Lurleen, were lost through fraud, deception, and forgery last Sunday during the Stapletons’ annual turkey shoot. …A man, who had evidently attended the shoot and observed how the last 14 turkeys were being disposed of, had forged two slips, went to the home of Mrs. Sally Stapleton, presented them and hurriedly picked up two turkeys and drove away. The two turkeys taken belonged to Lurleen. Where Boggie’s Diner is located now was the site of Aspen Lanes. The paper announced,Bowling, the second largest participation game in the world, will soon be a popular counterpart of the Aspen sports scene. Within two or three weeks the Aspen Lanes will open their alleys to a pastime which is enjoyed by nearly 75 million people. …The equipment at the Aspen Lanes will be sanctioned by the A.B.C., and will feature electronically controlled foul-line units that signal by both a buzzer and a red light when the foul line is crossed. Tele-score units flash league scores onto a screen, enabling the audience to observe and compare team scores, and semi-automatic pinsetters lower the pins automatically after the pins have been racked by pinboys. All equipment is from the latest Brunswick series.This caption ran beneath the photo of several members of a longtime Roaring Fork Valley family and announced,The birth of a son, Richard Dean Stutsman, Jr., to Mr. and Mrs. Dick Stutsman marked four generations in the families beginning with Mr. and Mrs. Laurent Arbaney, Jr., of Basalt, who are the great grandparents. Mr. and Mrs. Mike Gerbaz of Woody Creek are the grandparents.The following Want Ad is from the “If Only It Were True Today” file, Interested in starting Pre-School in January for 3 and 4 year olds. $5.50 a week. Fully qualified Pre-School teacher. Inquire 3525.
The Aspen Animal Shelter today is a true shelter with a no-kill policy. Not so 25 years ago. The paper ran a feature titled “Abandoned pets face the big sleep.”A dog’s days are numbered in the dog pound. If animal control officers cannot find homes for abandoned pets, eventually the animals must be put to sleep. The task is traumatizing for the animal, the veterinarian and the animal control officer who often has to help hold the animal for the fatal injection of a highly concentrated anesthetic.”You’re wrecked for the rest of the day,” says animal control officer Jo Anne Rando. … Pitkin County “puts down” about five dogs each month. Some are simply unwanted; others are ill or diseased; still others have uncontrollable temperaments. The dead animals are buried at the city dump. Rando says most animal shelters will use landfill areas for burial, but some still incinerate the carcasses. Another indignity to Aspen’s canine population was revealed in the following article.The management of the Pitkin County bus system has announced several changes in policy …Among the new rules: dogs will no longer be permitted to ride the downvalley buses, due to inconvenience and several dogfights.Several sons of Aspen did the town proud. The paper announced,With the World Cup circuit starting in only a month, US alpine director Bill Marolt and his staff have completed their selections for this year’s A and B national and World Cup teams.Aspenite Andy Mill was named to the national men’s A team. Mike Farny was named to the national B team, and national Junior Team member Dave Stapleton will join the men on the December World Cup circuit. A grande dame celebrated a birthday.The Grand Opening of the Hotel Jerome was Thanksgiving Eve in 1889, and in celebration of the venerable building’s 90th anniversary, a birthday party to the Hotel Jerome will be held in the lobby on Thanksgiving Eve 1979. …Birthday cake and champagne will be served and the event is free and open to the public.Members of the Historical Society will be dressed in Victorian costumes and will serve the refreshments as well as sell publications about historic Aspen.
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