Aspen History: Entrance to Aspen debate, 1889

Aspen Historical Society
One 5×8" glass plate negative depicting a work crew building coke ovens in Redstone, 1902. Each man is holding either a shovel or a trowel. Small boy at right is holding a dog. A man and a boy are standing on top of a completed oven in the center.

On September 10, 1889, The Aspen Chronicle called attention to “the necessity of completing the wagon road up the Crystal river valley, which would make a through road between Crested Butte and Carbondale, and also give this district a winter outlet in the natural direction down the valley. That the wagon road should be built cannot be questioned, and it appears to be a mystery why Pitkin county does not step forward and build the road which extends through the county, when they consider the portion of the county extending in this direction is of such value that they cannot afford to lose the revenue from the taxation levied upon the coal and ranch lands, and have taken extra precaution to secure all land possible by having the Gunnison and Pitkin county line re-surveyed. We consider it is the duty of the Pitkin county commissioners to make an appropriation to build the road, which, in all probability would cost about $2,000, to make through connection up to the county line and Crystal, instead of $500 or $600 as is estimated by The Chronicle. However, cost what little it may, the vast resources along this valley demands that there should be a road built at once, which would greatly benefit the county and Aspen, and if the matter was fully presented to the county commissioners they could not help but realize the importance of building the road immediately. Let the citizens of the county make a move in the matter.” The image above shows a work crew building coke ovens in Redstone, circa 1900.