25/50/100 Years Ago
One of Aspen’s more influential residents was in town. The Democrat wrote,B. Clark Wheeler, the greatest rustler and promoter that ever struck the Rocky Mountains, arrived in the city Sunday, and stayed just about long enough to shake hands with his many friends and attend to important business here.The ex-senator looks better than ever, and while he has lost the familiar whisker which always adorned his face, he has lost none of his old time activity and is as strenuous as ever. Mr. Wheeler would say nothing about his visit here, but he still has a strong attachment for his Famous tunnel, and it will not be surprising if he begins operations at that place in the very near future.Aspen’s schools have long been on the cutting edge of education, as evidenced by this article,In looking over the courses of study of the different high schools of the state, we find that Aspen ranks very high. It is one of the three high schools in the state teaching the Spanish language. The magazines are full of the importance of teaching Spanish in the schools on behalf of our new possessions, and the growing trade with Spanish speaking countries. At the end of the present term a class will be able to travel in Mexico or Cuba without an interpreter.A whole different kind of roadkill was in the news 100 years ago.The attention of the health authorities is called to the fact that a dead dog has been lying in the street at the corner of Hopkins avenue and Original street for several days past. It is the dog that went mad and was killed recently, and it has been lying where it fell ever since. This is a menace to the public health and should be removed at once by the city scavenger. Another dead dog has been lying in the river at the head of Hopkins avenue for some time now, and should be removed by the city officials. This water is used by people living below this point, and is enough to breed disease in the city.Hallam Lake was a popular spot for locals, both good and bad …
A day or two ago the Democrat called attention to the fact that skating was fine at Hallam Lake and that large crowds daily and nightly enjoyed the sport. Since then we are informed that acts of vandalism have occurred, which if continued, will compel Mr. Lyster to bar the public from the resort. Nothwithstanding the fact that the entrances to the grounds are ample and convenient, hoodlums have been destroying the fences in order to save a few moments in time, entailing a very considerable expense upon the management.The weather has always made headlines in Aspen. In 1904, the Democrat reported,It looked for a while yesterday as if Aspen was to get a real live snow storm. Flakes of snow began falling early in the morning and kept falling spasmodically throughout the day. However, the atmosphere was too chilly, and the little flurries did not amount to very much. Toward evening it became quite colder, and it looked again as if it was a false alarm.
Let it snow …Aspen is in the winter season at long last with its fair portion of the recent heavy snowfall covering most of the western slope. After going through one of the driest and barest October and Novembers in several years, Aspen received a measurable 13 inches of snow last Sunday and Monday that will make a fine base on which to build a winter of skiing.Mrs. Will Hoff, office manager of the Skiing Corporation, has announced that the lift will run this coming Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5, with daily operations starting on the 11th. While the snow is considered too thin on the most lower slopes, the upper sections are quite good.The Onion recently played host to a birthday party for the late Freddie Fisher. Fifty years ago, it hosted the musician himself.Last week the Red Onion featured an outstanding musical trio, Freddie Fisher, with his inimitable clarinet, Dean Billings, bass, and Al winters at the piano. Al Winters, who a few years ago played in Freddie Fisher’s band in California, came to Aspen to visit the Fisher family. He is adept at playing the piano even wearing work gloves and with the piano keys covered with a cloth.This might be something Aspenites should again institute:Mayor A.E. Robinson today proclaimed Wednesday, December 15th as “S-D Day” – or “Safe Driving Day” – and pledged the full support of the city government in making the project a success. He urged all citizens to do their utmost to keep Aspen entirely free of accidents on December 15th. …”On this day let us all do the very best we can to give our attention to these things:1. Observe the letter and spirit of all traffic regulations.2. Be courteous to every driver and pedestrian – practice sportsmanship.3. Give full attention to driving and walking.In short: Drive and walk as you would have everyone else drive and walk. If we can do this on just one day, perhaps we’ll realize how important it is to do likewise every day.”
The start of the 1979 ski season came with changes in the Skiing Corp’s management. The Times reported,Jerry Blann, 31, was named vice president of the Aspen Skiing Corp and general manager of the company’s Aspen operations this week by the executive committee of the board of directors.Blann will report directly to Tom Richardson, president of the company, and will direct the operations and management of the company’s three ski areas in the Aspen complex, Aspen Mountain, Snowmass and Buttermilk.Public transportation has always been important to Aspenites, as evidenced by this article,An extension of city bus service to Aspen Highlands during the evening hours was approved, although reluctantly, by the Aspen City Council during its joint meeting with the Pitkin County commissioners this week.The new service was instituted at the request of Steve Peer of the Highlands Inn and other members of the Highlands Lodge Owners’ Association, who noted that tourists, residents and employees in the Highlands area have no available public transportation to and from town after 6 p.m.Under the new arrangement, the city buses, which now end their run at Iselin Park, will continue the extra half-mile to the Highlands ski area starting each evening at 6 p.m.How to manage public lands was a hot topic 25 years ago, as it is today. The Times wrote,The BLM is attempting to create a management plan for approximately one half million acres of land, most of which is in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties.The public voiced concerns about oil shale development, rancher’s grazing rights, the BLM’s wilderness review, wilderness designations and questions relating to mineral development. …After hearing what representatives from various interest groups and areas perceived as the most important issues, Mid-Continent Resource Co. representatives said the big question still boils down to how to exploit needed resources on federal lands without damaging the environment.A rash of prank calls frightened the community 25 years ago. The paper reported,The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department and Aspen Volunteer Fire Department responded to a bomb threat at Aspen High School Tuesday, Nov. 27.According to the report, the school office received a call at approximately 1:05 p.m. A female voice on the other end of the phone told the school receptionist a bomb had been planted in Aspen High School and would go off at 1:30 p.m.Sheriff’s deputies, firemen and other emergency vehicles went out to the high school and immediately evacuated the building.They waited until 1:35 p.m. before entering the building to search for the alleged bomb. Teams of deputies and firemen searched every area of the high school, but did not turn up anything remotely resembling a bomb.
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With COVID-19 health and safety practices in place, who is up for a road trip to see the Denver Art Museum’s hotly anticipated exhibition on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera?