Aspen History: In the news this week

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society
Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs looking towards the Hotel Colorado, circa 1900.
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

“Strawberry Day a winner,” declared the Avalanche-Echo on June 30, 1898.

“Strawberry Day has come and gone to join the list of other ‘days’ becoming so popular throughout the state. This is the first attempt of the people of Garfield County in the way of a ‘day,’ and that it was a success was manifest from the fact that about 2,000 visitors from all over the state were present. It is an assured thing that Strawberry Day will be a permanent thing and every year here, after the people of the state will be given an opportunity to enjoy the hospitality of Glenwood on Strawberry Day. There were fully 2,000 visitors present, and there was an abundance of free strawberries for all. The swimming pool was thrown open to the visitors and was very much enjoyed. There was no attempt at ‘holdup’ on the part of the Glenwood citizens; on the contrary, it was hard to find anything for which one had to pay. The members of the Glenwood press did themselves proud in the way of entertaining their visiting brethren, and if that unwashed Leadville editor who howled so about Strawberry Day being a holdup scheme, had come down and after taking a good soak in the pool, presented himself at press headquarters at the Glenwood Hotel, he would have changed his mind and felt like kicking himself all the way back to Leadville.”

Looking down Galena Street in the 1930s, the Elks Building is on the right, along with the Post Office. The businesses on the left side of the street include Brand’s Garage, the Conoco and Aspen Drug.
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

“’Stop signs mean STOP,’ say Courtesy Patrolmen,” proclaimed a headline in the Aspen Times on June 23, 1938.

“Courtesy Patrolmen who were in the city on several occasions during the past few days took much notice (of) the utter disregard some Aspen motorists have of the STOP signs standing at every street intersection along the main highway thru Aspen. The patrolmen asked The Times to inform its readers that these signs are placed along highway No. 82 in the interest of safety and that unless motorists driving off side streets observe the rules and regulations of motoring courtesy better, a serious and perhaps fatal accident will result. ‘Stop signs mean just one thing — STOP,’ says the Courtesy Patrolmen who, incidentally, will be in town within a few days to see that local motorists observe this traffic regulation.”

A crowd watches a rock drilling contest in Aspen in 1906.
Aspen Historical Society, Shaw Collection

“With the early approach of the Fourth of July many miners are in training for the inevitable rock drilling contest that forms usually such a prominent feature in the celebration of our annual festival in the mining districts,” noted the Aspen Daily Times on July 1, 1903. “It would be highly desirable if some uniform method could be adopted for keeping the records of such contests. To those who have charge of the contests, we would commend the procedure adopted at the rock drilling carnival held at Leadville, Colorado, about eighteen months ago. The rules adopted were: Time of drilling, fifteen minutes; steel used, seven-eighths inch, as many drills to be used as the contestants thought sufficient. A water pourer was allowed, as well as a time-keeper and coacher for each team. In order to keep track of the records of the men, there were three assistant time-keepers who kept a record of the turns, the blows struck and the time occupied by the blows of each man in the competing team. The time lost by changing was also noted. We have always thought that inasmuch as the success of the competing team depends so much upon the skill of the tool sharpener, that a prize should be given to the blacksmith who sharpens the best set of tools, those to be judged at the termination of the contest. Most of the men who compete in these contests are animated by the pride of the skilled workman, and the money feature is as a rule quite secondary, and we certainly think that the expert tool sharpener should receive whatever honor and glory may be rightfully coming him. We trust that the Fourth of July contests now shortly to be held, that the blacksmith will receive recognition for the excellence of his work.”

Devereaux Jennings, Mike Magnifico, Gene Gillis, Steve Knowlton and Barney McLean tune skis in the Magnifico Sport Shop circa 1947.
Aspen Historical Society, Litchfield Collection

“Oldest Sport Shop in Aspen changes hands this week,” noted the Aspen Times on July 3, 1958.

“Aspen’s oldest sport shop, Magnifico Sports, was sold this week. Located on Mill Street next to the Aspen Lumber and Supply Company, the store was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Sandy Sabbatini from Mr. and Mrs. Gene Mason. Mason acquired the establishment in 1956 from the Rowal Investment Corporation after having served as manager for six years. The first specialty ski shop in the area, Magnifico’s was started in the 1930s by Mike Magnifico, pioneer Aspen skier and ski club organizer.”

The Roaring Fork River below Aspen in the early 1900s, with the railroad tracks for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (now the Rio Grand Trail) on the right.
Aspen Historical Society

“Someone sure hard-up for trout to eat,” announced the Aspen Times on July 12, 1934. “If the world’s meanest human, for whom the search has gone on for years, hasn’t been found yet, this vicinity has a candidate, albeit an unknown one. Aspen anglers, fishing along the Roaring Fork the past few days, have located evidence that dynamite had been used by some unknown to kill trout in the deep pools that abound in the Forks. The favorite stunt, from all indications, seems to be to pick a nice deep pool that appears heavily populated with denizens of the finny tribe and then ‘give it the works’ with dynamite. Of course, the underwater detonation instantly kills every fish in the pool and then Mr. Dynamite gathers the few he wants for food and leaves the remainder of the dead fish to be swept along by the current until they lodge along the banks in the shallower portions of the river. One Aspen man, fishing down the Forks this week, found dozens of dead fish along the riverbanks just below where the Carbondale bridge crosses the stream. He estimated that from the number found, the total ‘kill’ must have reached into the hundreds. In but a short time, should dynamiting be allowed to continue, the famous trout streams of Colorado will be practically devoid of fish. Every true American sportsman is happily leagued against fish dynamiters and other varieties of poachers and the local situation will likely be cleared up shortly.”

Aspen Times Weekly

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