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25/50/75

APRIL 1929

Editor’s Note: Copies of The Aspen Times from October 1903 until 1911 are missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives and the Pitkin County Library’s microfilm reels. We’ve decided to bring you the news from 75 years ago instead.

The Times reported on new development in Aspen, and it wasn’t another hotel or monster home.

A new cemetery is being planned at the base of East Smuggler mountain which will take in about 15 acres of Jack Williams’ ranch and a part of the Helen Bird entry. One attractive feature will be a miniature lake.

The editors of the Times, at the behest of the city marshall, warned citizens …

Notice is hereby given to all stock owners to keep their stock off the city streets. Anyone violating this order will be arraigned in police court and fined under the ordinance prohibiting the running of stock at large.

And yet another warning in the pages of the Times, this one from city scavenger John Simkins:

Now is the time to clean up and I will make it a point that all alleys are cleared of all rubbish. All property owners should get busy forthwith and clean up as soon as snowbanks permit.

The City Ordinances compels the City Scavenger to clean up where owners fail to do so, and I will follow the instructions of the Ordinance.

Will be at your command at all times to haul your rubbish to the dump. Just phone 106.

The financial situation of public institutions were much easier to understand 75 years ago, like this balanced budget from the city of Aspen:

Annual Financial Statement for the City of Aspen, State of Colorado, for the Fiscal Year Ending April Sixteenth …

Receipts Total: $15,584.02

Disbursements Total: $15,584.02

The local mining boom may have been but a memory in 1929, but that didn’t mean locals weren’t making it in the mining business. The Times reported,

It is always a pleasure for The Times when it can announce the success of any Aspen boys. This time we have the honor to state that Will Jessen, ex-carrier boy for The Times, and Dr. Richard Griffenhagen, both Aspen boys, who still love their old home town, have opened a rich gold mine five miles from Murphys, California. …

Jessen and Griffenhagen are the chief owners in the Twin Oaks Mining claims and are in a fair way to make millions for themselves and those interested with them.

APRIL 1954

Snowpack and worry about drought captured headlines in 1954.

The water content of the snow on the Roaring Fork River drainage above Aspen is 80% of the 18-year average, as of April 1, according to Forest Ranger Gary Weidenhaft.

Readings taken by Dave Stallard on April 2 show that Independence Pass Tunnel has a snow depth of 51.7 inches with a water content of 14.8 inches. This compares with the 1953 readings of 46.3 inches of snow and 15.6 inches of water. The 18-year average water content for this course is 18.6 inches of water on April 1.

Summer was just around the corner, as evidenced by this warning on the pages of the Times,

Almost time to start planning picnics again. While you’re about it, you might want to give some though to the ticks that sometimes picnic on picnickers.

The ticks have already started their picnicking season. It lasts from April until hot weather of July forces them into dormancy.

Before the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Skico dreamed up clever marketing schemes, Aspen relied on a more grassroots effort to get the word out. The Times reported,

Hotel Manager Col. Henry R. Dutton is busy promoting Aspen and the Hotel Jerome in a tour through the western part of the United States. He has been enthusiastically received as the following letter will testify:

“Having great success in selling the delights of Aspen to groups in California and Arizona. I spent ten days in La Jolla, San Diego, Delmar, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles ” and movies of Aspen were received enthusiastically.

I will be in Phoenix, Chandler and Tucson all this week and then will go back to the coast working up to San Francisco and Carmel.

It look as though we will have the biggest season in Aspen history.”

APRIL 1979

Now something many outdoor enthusiasts take for granted, the area’s wild spaces were just gaining federal protection in 1979.

Pitkin County environmentalists were happy Monday with President Carter’s recommendations that 15.4 million acres ” slightly more than 2 million of those in Colorado, will be added to the national wilderness system.

Joy Caudill of the Pitkin County Wilderness Workshop said Carter’s recommendations were for more acres in Pitkin County than the US Forest Service had recommended. …

Carter deleted a 5,600-acre portion of an area to the Forest Service wanted to add to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness in the Gunnison National Forest. The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness would still be expanded substantially, however, to the Continental Divide.

They thought the four-lane issue was “long-debated” 25 years ago … what would they call it today?

The long-debated question of a four-lane highway into Aspen may or may not be a dead issue, but it certainly does qualify as a “sleeping dog,” which the state highway department, following the accepted folk wisdom, is willing to “let lie.”

The highway department’s position, according to Vernon Leonard, assistant district engineer, is that “Pitkin County is not in favor of the four-lane, so we’re not going to push it.”

Leonard told the Aspen Times that he wouldn’t go so far as to characterize the four-lane as “dead,” but emphasized that “We’re not going to go ahead as long as Pitkin County is opposed.”

Much like today, many locals made headlines for their mountaineering adventures in 1979. The Times wrote,

“It’s going to be Fear and Loathing in Alaska,” says Chris Landry, “a real good adventure. It’s way, way out there. I just don’t know what to expect, which is partly why it’s so exciting. I don’t know if we’ll even be able to do it.”

What Landry is talking about is a “good adventure,” indeed. An expedition to Alaska to climb Mt McKinley (20,300 feet) … and then ski down.

“It’s a quantum leap in terms of skiing for me,” explains Landry, who already has a ski descent of Pyramid Peak to his credit.

Landry will make the climb of McKinley, North America’s highest peak along with Dick Jackson of Aspen …

The corporatization of area newspapers was under way …

Ken Johnson is selling the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel to Cox Enterprises of Atlanta, and as part of the transaction, Cox will also acquire the twice-weekly Delta County Indpendent. Acquistion of The Sentinel brings the number of daily newspapers published by Cox to 17. …

“Around Aspen” reported on Wednesday Night Fever at the popular disco-dance club, now home to Prada.

On Wednesday, the new Andre’s celebrated a big end of the season bash with over 200 guests attending a disco party and dinner. There was a beautiful lady flying high over the dance floor on a flower-decked swing …


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