25/50/100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25/50/100 Years Ago

Spectators enjoy watching a bicycle race along the Colorado Midland tracks at a stop below Basalt. Dubious racing tactics for these early-20th-century races included placing leather strips with spikes to eliminate the competition from the race.

Editor’s note: Microfilm of The Aspen Times from October 1903-1911 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.

The Democrat encouraged Aspenites to give the gift of words in December 1904.Mrs. Hopely has contributed a beautiful edition of Balzac to the library. This gives rise to a suggestion. Many have valuable volumes in their homes that are seldom opened. At the high school, there is a need of many books. Would it not be better that these volumes, serving at most only as ornaments, be sent to the library, where several hundreds will have the opportunity of using them? Almost any book is valuable to a library. Look over your stock and see if there is one you can spare.Stick ’em up …As Joe Vonah was going home Thursday evening, and when up by the Taylor & Brunton sampler, a man sprang out from between two of the cars and with the words, “give that money, you ——-,” struck him a vicious blow under the ear. Joe was slightly stunned for a moment, but recovered and made a run for it getting away. He says the would-be holdup did not follow him. …A holdup is the most cowardly and dangerous of criminals, and if there is one in Aspen, it is hoped he will be soon gathered in before he succeeds in further plying his nefarious and murderous business.The magic of Christmas is timeless. The Democrat wrote,The Morthland window on Galena street was the center of attraction yesterday to both young and old. The window is filled with mechanical toys among which is an automobile which loops the loop, and a train of cars that circles around the window in a very graceful manner.

The modernization of Aspen Mountain was under way 50 years ago. The Times reported,Aspen’s new $100,000.00 double chair lift will be formally dedicated at a ceremony next Sunday at 12 noon, when officials of the Aspen Skiing Corporation, County Commissioners, Aspen City Council and Chamber of Commerce meet at the new lift to open the new facility and trails for one of the best winter seasons in modern Aspen history.The new lift roughly parallels the upper section of the original lift. The upper terminal is immediately alongside of the present upper terminal near the sundeck. The lower terminal is located at the bottom of Tourtelotte Park. There are 92 double chairs with a rope speed of 450 feet per minute and a capacity of 500 passengers per hour.The trick to cutting the line in 1954? Enroll in Ski School.One of Aspen’s most important businesses, the Aspen Ski School will officially begin the winter season with daily classes next Saturday, December 11. …For the first time the Ski Corporation directors have agreed to reserve one half-hour on the lift, from 9 to 9:30, for ski classes only. This will enable classes using the upper part of the mountain to avoid losing valuable class time by not having to stand in line.Forget pricey, studded snow tires. How about tractionization? The Times announced,If you are sliding around and getting stuck, come to Tenbrok Garage and have your tires tractionized. $2.00 per tire. We will guarantee you will go anywhere without chains.As Aspen was beginning to grow into a world-class resort, city officials began setting guidelines for those renting rooms to travelers and short-term residents. Those rules included:Space rented for sleeping accommodations shall contain at least 40 square feet of floor area for each occupant. At least one flush water closet, lavatory basin and bath tub or shower shall be supplied for each ten persons residing within the rooming house. Hot water available at all times.

Apparently the restrictions on lodging put into effect in 1954 were either no longer in effect or were ignored – leading to tragedy. The Times reported,An employee of the Fireside Lodge was fatally burned in a fire that broke out in his room in the hours before dawn last Wednesday.Boyd James Sanford, 31, was apparently asleep in his employee room when the blaze began. …The cause of the fire … is being investigated by Aspen police and fire officials.The conditions in the small room, however, were completely unsafe for human habitation, in the opinion of Fire Chief Willard Clapper.He described the 12 by 12 foot room as small, at best, and designed to accommodate only one person. When two pump trucks and 31 firemen responded to the alarm, they initially found two beds in the room.Upon further investigation, they discovered the remains of three more beds, tucked away in a built-in loft attached to the ceiling, creating a total of five sleeping quarters.”This seems to me to be completely off any kind of reasonable thinking,” Clapper told the Aspen Times. “It was nowhere near safe, and I can’t believe people would sleep in a hole like that.”As opposed to the way things are today, here is the order in which the four area mountains opened 25 years ago,Aspen Mountain will open for the 1979-80 season tomorrow, Dec. 7, one day earlier than previously announced.Jack Brendlinger, spokesman for the Aspen Skiing Corp., said that snowcats and ski patrolmen have been working overtime to prepare the mountain. …Aspen Mountain opened last year Dec. 6 with a mid-mountain depth of 32 inches, after a 28-inch snowstorm that started Dec. 2.This year the mid-mountain depth is 22 inches.Snowmass opened a week ago … Buttermilk and Highlands have been in operation for two weeks now.Of course not everyone was happy with the situation. The Times reported,Three business owners in town held an organizational meeting with about a dozen other business people present to discuss the possibility of forming a coalition to confront the Aspen Skiing Corp.The organizational meeting came about because business owners said they realized they were losing money due to the late opening date on Aspen Mountain.If the group can get enough support behind it, it will approach the skiing corporation to discuss opening and closing dates, as well as other issues.A public servant still today, Dorothea Farris was in the news 25 years ago. Dorothea A. Farris of Woody Creek has been re-elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Colorado Association of School Boards.She serves as vice president of Region VII representing Eagle, Garland, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties.Farris, a member of the Aspen School District Board of Education, has been a regional vice president since 1976. … She has been a member of the Aspen board for 10 years and has served terms as secretary, treasurer, vice president and president.Ho, ho, ho …Santa Claus will be flying into Aspen from the North Pole this Saturday, Dec. 8.Children who want to listen for his arrival may tune into KSNO in the morning and hear him tracked by radar through the North American Air Defense Command.He will land at the Aspen Airport at 1 p.m., on Colorado Airlines flight 79. The Santa Parade will start down Main Street about 1:30 p.m. Santa will riding in the cherry picker on the Aspen fire truck.

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