25/50/100 Years Ago
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.Always hopeful that the bonanza days would return to the mines in Aspen, the paper reported, The Newman people [see photo] are about to start extensive development work through their property on claims at the entrance to Tourtelotte Park, known as the Keystone property. The company has leased the property for five years at the low rate of twenty per cent royalty and expect to commence work immediately. … no active work has been done recently and the present work may be the means of opening up a large body of ore.More good mining news appeared in the same edition.At present Snow Mass is looming up bright as an active mining center, the Copper King at that place owned by T.V. Hott of Pittsburgh, Penn., being the main factor of mining interests. Recently Mr. Van Houten, who has charge of the property, made a good strike and as this has continued to look good since, it has been decided to put several men to work to determine its real value and push development work on the claim.What Quiet Years? According to the paper, downtown Aspen was in the midst of revitalization in 1905!
The empty buildings on East Cooper, between Hunter and Spring streets, are now the scene of industry and are attracting special attention. Most of the buildings are among the first built in Aspen and during the boom were the scene of active business life but for years they have been vacant and were pictures of distress. All are now being torn down and in a short time the many memories associated with these old shacks will be forgotten. As soon as the ground where they stand is cleared, a fine big livery stable will be erected on the space by Billy Tagert [see photo] and he will then conduct one of the finest livery barns on the Western slope.Before historic preservation, many of Aspen’s treasures fell down, or worse, burned down. In such a house, the paper claimed, once lived a legendary character of the Old West. In the fire of Monday night which destroyed the Campell home on West Bleeker, one of Aspen’s old landmarks was destroyed. Very few people, however, recognized in the cozy home on the corner in its recent completeness one of Aspen’s oldest homes which stood before Aspen was known as a city. An old-timer, who resided here previous to the great rush to the camp, remarked that the house as it was at first, was built in 1879 or 1880, but of course, has been added to since then. It was at that time the home of Kit Carson, one of Aspen’s oldest pioneers.Excitement of another kind was reported regularly in the papers 100 years ago.There was plenty of excitement on the local street yesterday morning when Ed Hart’s young team became frightened at the switch engine near the depot and unexpectedly decided to take a little run. Mr. Hart was in the depot and the team was standing near the warehouse when they suddenly started down Spring street and soon struck a telegraph pole, breaking off the seat. This seemed to increase their fright and they increased their speed, dashing out Cooper, turning on to Main and out Main to the hill where they were captured by several men who chanced to be near. Mr. Hart arrived soon after and quieted the horses. No damage was done outside of the seat being torn off. The town and The Aspen Times were almost bursting in anticipation of Wintersköl (see photo), January’s toast to winter.
A Life Magazine photographer is expected in Aspen the last of this week to take pictures of Wintersköl festivities. Life is especially interested in the Saloon Slalom that will be run Sunday, January 23rd.The old rivals, the Red Onion, owned by Werner Kuster, and the Golden Horn, owned by Steve Knowlton, are squared away with each boasting a complete crew of technical advisers in addition to the 21 members of each team. The Saloon Race is entitled the Championship of the World. … If the Red Onion team wins, the Golden Horn team wears Red Onion patches to work for two weeks. If the Golden Horn wins, the Red Onion will display a sign made by the Golden Horn in the front window of the Red Onion.Wintersköl car bells may be bought at the Aspen Lumber and Supply company or at the Alpine Jewelers.Stocking caps can be bought at all of the sports stores. Drop in at your favorite store now and get a cap that will set the pace for this and future Wintersköls. Special prices are being offered so that you will be able to find a cap that will fit both head and pocketbook. After a lot of work and several meetings involving Aspen citizens throughout the summer and fall, the paper announced,Squaw Valley, Calif., was selected as the United States site to be recommended to the International Olympic officials for the 1960 Winter Olympic games. Six cities bid for this prize of all winter games competition and Squaw Valley received the bid after three ballots, the last of which was unanimous. Other cities making bids were Sun Valley, Colorado Springs-Aspen, Lake Placid and Anchorage, Alaska.A story, whose setting has a familiar ring, by a popular local author made it to the silver screen – and to the Isis.
Heralded as a top-notch action-drama played against the rugged background of a western mining camp, Republic’s “Hell’s Outpost” comes to the Isis next Thursday and Friday, with Rod Cameron, Joan Leslie, Chill Wills and John Russell co-starring.Based on the novel, “Silver Rock,” by Luke Short, Aspen’s Fred Glidden in private life, “Hell’s Outpost” tells the exciting story of a Korean war veteran who returns to take over his half interest of a million dollar mine and runs headlong into great danger fomented by a power-hungry competitor.
Every mid-January since 1951, the town has been in a Wintersköl frame of mind. The 1980 celebration was a special benchmark and included some rowdy events that have been eliminated over the years. This year’s Wintersköl theme, Toast to Another Century, is an obvious reference to Aspen’s centennial year. …Instead of the annual song and talent contest, Wintersköl organizers have planned a film fest Friday night… with photographer Dick Durrance acting as narrator.Entitled 100 years of Aspen Skiing, it includes a conglomeration of some of the funniest and most exciting ski films seen in town, organizers said.The Aspen Skiing Corp is donating a film, Aspen Album 1940-1970, in which many old-time Aspenites can be seen skiing in their childhood days. …A last minute event has been added to Saturday’s festivities, beginning at 12:30 pm, a motocross race on the Rio Grande Lot. …[On Sunday, Snowmass Day,] the ski joring race gets under way with contestants wearing regular alpine skis being pulled by horses through the snow.The finals for the ski splash contest begin at 1 pm at the El Dorado Pool just above the main village area. To commemorate Aspen’s first 100 years the Rotary Club minted the Aspen Centennial dollar (see photo). The paper reported,The Rotarians received their first specially designed dollars the first of January and already out of 15,000 dollars received, 8,000 have been distributed to Rotarians or sold. The Centennial dollars are made of nickel silver and being sold for $1 each through local merchants. …One hundred coins of pure silver were also struck from the Centennial mold and these dollars were sold out by Jan. 4.The solid silver dollars were made from 100 troy ounces of pure silver, which was donated by Henry Stein.Said Bob Gile, who is handling marketing of the dollars, “We charged $50 each for the pure silver dollars, and with silver prices hitting $40 an ounce last week, purchasers got almost their full value in the coin, as each coin has a full ounce of silver.” The front of the coin shows the town of Aspen lying at the foot of the ski mountain. The back of the coin contains an inscription saying Aspen Centennial Dollar – Aspen Rotary Club, and includes sketches of Maroon Bells, an aspen leaf, and four small sketches of an Indian, a miner, a skier and a musician.
An article described a new course being taught at Aspen High School 25 years ago.The school board of the Aspen Public Schools has voted to continue a pilot program on human sexuality for high school students.The pilot program was taught by Linda Conger and Vickie Clark (Clark is a member of the staff of the Visiting Nurses) during the last quarter at the school.Conger and Clark presented the following progress report on the class.There were 13 students, all girls, grades nine through 12, participating in the class. All had parental consent. Subjects included human reproductive biology and variations in normal development, decision-making regarding sexual issues, contraception, and unplanned pregnancy and choices.The teachers explained that no boys returned parental permission slips in time to join the first class. They said they hope to have boys in the second semester and will have male teachers to help make the class more comfortable for boys. … Conger and Clark reported that the class has been enthusiastically received by students.Following is a comment written by one of the students:”I think this is an excellent course. I’ve been wandering around for years, looking for information and answers to my questions, and now I’ve found it all in this course.Every teenager should be able to take this course.”
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The case and identity of a man found in the backcountry near Breckenridge in 2016 has baffled investigators. Officials are hopeful that new efforts in forensics will help them ID the man.