25/50/100 Years Ago
December 1904Editor’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.As Aspen citizens worked their way through Christmas shopping lists, the editor wrote a witty response to a constant gripe heard today, yesterday and 100 years ago.About this time of year we hear the people of Aspen complaining of high prices, but we wonder how they could be otherwise than high at an altitude of 7,913 above sea level.The town donned its holiday regalia. The paper reported,The large display window of the L.H. Tomkins Hardware company has been decorated for the holiday season. The display consists of cut glass and silver novelties. This firm always has an attractive window, which is worth more than a passing glance.What’s an Aspen holiday without a sporting event? The following notice appeared a few days before Christmas:I hereby challenge any and all skaters to a race for a mile or more on Stillwater on Christmas day for $25.00. Will give party accepting this challenge the usual privileges in arranging for the match. – GEORGE SULLIVANMr. Sullivan has deposited his money and anyone accepting the above challenge can make all arrangements at the Democrat office.Mr. Sullivan is a swift skater and is making this offer simply to celebrate Xmas and have something doin’.
Come now, you sports, flash your dough and buckle on your skates.This report of a fire actually suggested it was too bad Major Louie’s house didn’t burn down.Yesterday afternoon about 3:30, old Major Louie came very near losing his palatial residence on Hopkins avenue.It appears that the major has started to cook his Christmas turkey and had left the house with a good fire burning in his stove. In some way the stovepipe became unjointed near the ceiling and the flames shot up to the roof and when noticed, a small blaze was coming through the shingles. This was extinguished before much damage was done and the major still had his home.It would have been too bad if this shack had burned down as it would not only have deprived the major of a place to eat and sleep but also the inhabitants of the red light district would have been compelled to have hunted up some other place to assemble for the purpose of rushing the growler and raising cain for the enjoyment of the peaceful citizens that happen to live in the neighborhood of the major’s shack. Never provincial, Aspen embraced the world and its calamities – in this case, the continuing fallout from the Potato Famine:Why can’t we raise a fund here in Aspen for the benefit of the starving people in Ireland? Come, come, let us be at the front in this as in everything else. It will be for a worthy cause and everybody will or should help a little.December 1954Just in time for Christmas, one of the legendary shops of Aspen opened its doors 50 years ago.Everybody, most everywhere know Elli and Fred Iselin, but do they know about the attractive new shop, “Elli of Aspen,” located on the corner across from the Hotel Jerome, where you can find Mrs. Iselin any day of the week, instead of with a private pupil up on the mountain.The old Assay Building has been completely remodeled. Mr. Herbert Bayer was color consultant and the Aspen Company did the outside work. The interior decorating was done by Elli.The policy of this new shop is to have the unusual in Ski apparel, though everything for the skier is stocked, starting with the boards on the feet and ending with the cap on the head. Both inside and outside, all are found at “Elli of Aspen.”
Another new business (where Boogie’s is today) offered an off-the-slope activity for holiday residents and tourists:Mayor of Aspen, A.E. Robinson, rolled the first ball down alley No. 1 Saturday in the Aspen Lanes to initiate the first bowling ever to be played in Aspen. Four prominent citizens played the first game: Mayor Robinson, Sheriff Herwick, City Marshall Barber and President of the Chamber of Commerce, Henry Stein. Mr. Barber had the high score of 180 points – thus a new sport has become a part of Aspen.`A large crowd kept the alleys occupied until 1 a.m.A traditional Christmas gift to the community was announced by the paper.The Aspen Lodge No. 224, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and James N. Parsons, owner of the Isis Theatre, are again cooperating to bring to the children of Aspen their Annual Christmas Day show to which all are invited. The ALL means those who still enjoy the spirit of Christmas, and are from 1 to 100 years of age. And it’s FREE.The show is scheduled to begin promptly at 2 o’clock, Christmas Day. Booked for this special event are several cartoons to give an enjoyable afternoon to all who attend.December 1979The man responsible for Mountain Rescue (see photograph) and the Braun mountain huts spoke about winter safety in the backcountry.[Fred] Braun says he is concerned that the popularity of cross country skiing is attracting people who are unprepared for backcountry travel. “In the summer, when it’s warm, people can wait to be rescued, but in the winter it’s altogether different. The trip to Crested Butte, which is getting so much attention, is strenuous and dangerous. People should be aware.”The presentation is the second in the Potbelly Stove Perspectives series being offered by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.The Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission was asked to consider new solutions to the desperate demand for employee housing.
Planner Karen Smith told PZ that commissioners are examining the ramifications of dampening demand and want PZ to consider, in particular, permitting caretaker, duplex and triplex units in various zones. …During the discussion of caretaker units, PZ members agreed that size should be restricted, price held within PMH guidelines, that there should be no condominiumization of such units allowed, that they should be attached, and that there should be six-month minimum leases.Smith said that allowing caretaker units “has the benefit of dispersing employee housing.”PZ member Dan Levinson said that it is not fair to people in existing single-family neighborhoods to allow duplexes. They may have bought their homes with the expectation that the neighborhood would remain single-family.Due to increasing traffic in the mountains, a second corridor through the Eisenhower tunnel was opened Dec. 21, 1979, only six years after the first bore.Opening ceremonies for the Edwin C. Johnson Bore of the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel will be held tomorrow at 2 p.m.The fanfare will be held inside the tunnel’s west portal on I-70 about 60 miles west of Denver. The public is invited. …The tunnel’s first bore was opened March 8, 1973 after more than five years of construction and has been used for two-way traffic.
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