Aspen’s history: 25/50/100 years ago |

Aspen’s history: 25/50/100 years ago

August 1903

Forget organic foods. In 1903, folks were just looking for food without formaldehyde. The Times wrote,

The ice cream establishments of the city are having quite a time of it. Perhaps the discoveries recently made in Colorado Springs to the effect that the big dairies supplying the freezing establishments have been using formaldehyde for the purpose of keeping their milk from souring has had something to do with the cutting off of the supply.

Ask …

A little rain would not hurt us right at present. It would lay the dust which is getting too thick for comfort. …

… and ye shall receive

A sharp shower laid the Aspen dust yesterday. In the evening another rain came on and laid some more dust. If there are any more showers they will find more dust.

Reports from the Smuggler Mine fire continued to capture headlines, although things were looking better.

Reports from officials of the Smuggler on the progress of the fire fight are encouraging. It is stated that the gas is less in volume now than at any previous time and the heat has almost entirely disappeared. Formerly the water which came out was hot. Until yesterday it was so. But now it is hardly warm. This assuredly is a good sign and means that the fire is not burning very vigorously. It is expected that the fire will be wholly extinguished before long and that work may be resumed soon.

A bit of advice worth heeding today …

Did you ever get up at 6 o’clock in the morning and see how the sky looked? Try it once and you will be repaid for your trouble. Morning, early morning, in Aspen is worth while.

Redstone is now a gem of a town in the Crystal River Valley. Apparently the same couldn’t be said 100 years ago.

Mrs. Mullins came up from Carbondale yesterday. She was much pleased with Carbondale, but during her stay she visited Redstone and she thinks conditions there are not the most salubrious in the world.

Local bronco busters were under fire in 1903. The Times reported,

It is understood that a number of the local bronco busters have received cards from the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, located in Denver, notifying them that complaints have been made against them, and stating that the penalties prescribed by law for such similar offenses. The boys were somewhat surprised to be informed that they might be compelled to spend some time at Canon City and subjected to heavy fines for their alleged misdeeds to horseflesh.

As the writer has never seen the boys ride out there, it is impossible to say whether the charges of cruelty are justified. The riding in Aspen has never approached what might be termed cruelty to animals. The horses seemed to enter into the spirit of the thing and have engaged in the sport with considerable zest as any of the busters can testify.

August 1953

Rodeo lives on today, but the Rodeo Queen contest is a thing of the past.

Twenty entries have been received by Thursday morning for the Rodeo Queen contest sponsored by the Aspen Saddle and Bridle Club. The queen will reign over the two-day rodeo sponsored by the Club Saturday and Sunday, August 29th and 30th.

The queen will be selected next Sunday, August 23, at the third work day when all who want to come at 9:00 a.m. to the rodeo grounds to rake rocks, paint fences and generally clean up the grounds for the rodeo the next weekend.

As stated in last week’s Times the Aspen Saddle and Bridle Club has a team of three judges who will rate the candidates on horsemanship and this rating will be worth 75 percent on the final score.

Everyone in the audience will be allowed to vote for the candidate of their choice. This vote is worth 25 percent. …

It seems the Music Festival has always been an international affair.

Seventeen students from Colorado are studying at the Aspen Institute of Music this summer along with students from all over the United States, Canada and other countries.

Included in the international student body are persons from Japan, Holland, Pakistan, Israel, Switzerland and England.

Fish tale? Not according to local anglers Jack Stevens, Jacobus dePagter, P.E. (Army) Armstrong and Werner Kuster, who …

Altogether these four men caught 31 trout last week in the Roaring Fork below Basalt. The largest trout of the 31 was 15 inches long.

This “Businessman of the Week” and his family-operated business remain a part of the Aspen scene today,

This is Harold A. (Had) Deane, who, with his wife, Lou, own and operate the T Lazy 7 ranch four miles from Aspen on Maroon Creek. This ranch is the only operating ranch in the Aspen area equipped to entertain guests winter and summer.

In the summer guests luxuriously loaf, fish, hike, or make numerous pack trips using the ranch as headquarters. More than two miles of famous Maroon Creek runs through the ranch proper.

All guest apartments have been winterized so that skiers or others making a winter visit live in complete comfort while skiing in Aspen or making high country touring trips during the day.

Parts of the Roaring Fork Valley were on the map, literally, 50 years ago.

The 21 trailers belonging to the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey which where parked at Sparky’s have moved to Carbondale where the crew will climb Sopris and Chair Mountain and go on into the Crested Butte area for further survey.

August 1978

Everyone’s favorite amphibian was in the news again … this time as the subject of “What do you think?” Offering this politically correct answer was Aspen’s mayor,

Do you think that Sal A Mander should be allowed on the ballot for Governor of Colorado?

Stacy Standley, mayor of Aspen: Absolutely! He shows the highest integrity of any politician I’ve every know, present company excepted. But I have reservations about Turkey Murphy as Lt Governor.

Mayor Standley was also in the news for more serious – well, sort of – matters in 1978. Columnist Peggy Clifford wrote,

Several years ago, the Aspen Chamber of Commerce, in a rush of silliness, formed “a smile committee.”

Among other things, the committee wanted to command “good, smiling, courteous service,” to do whatever needed to be done “to maintain our No One stats” to offer a “monetary reward” to each business’s “most outstanding employee” …

This brief essay at regulated smiling collapsed on its own transcendent insensitivity, and the “smile committee” was laughed out of existence.

But two weeks ago, Mayor Stacy Standley, who once vigorously opposed excessive growth in Aspen and stood firm against greed, seemed ready to revive the “smile committee.”

It is clear now: Standley, in the best political tradition, has been overtaken by the notion that if only he could control the people, his kingdom would be perfect.

The never-ending debate over housing and real estate took a new turn 25 years ago as the city discussed condominium conversions.

There will be a moratorium on all condominium conversions in the City of Aspen for the next two and a half months, the City Council decided during its meeting Monday.

In a surprise move after a discussion, listed on the agenda as “housing policy status report,” the council voted to initiate an administrative delay on all condominium conversion subdivision requests until November 1.

In addition, the council has noted a need to amend Ordinance 53, series 1977, which set forth its condominium conversion policy last year, but has not decided on what amendments are needed or desired.

Ordinance 53 places three conditions on all condominium conversions. These are: existing tenants must be given 90-day exclusive right of first refusal to purchase their units; all units must be restricted to six-month minimum leases, and the applicant must demonstrate that approval will not reduce the supply of low- and moderate-income housing.

Still a topic of discussion today: John McBride and development at the Airport Business Center.

County commissioners delayed approval Monday of a request by John McBride to condominiumize 12 row houses he plans to build at the Airport Business Center.

Commissioners asked Mark Danielsen, county housing director, to give them several alternative proposals at their next meeting on criteria for qualifying and controls for resale.

McBride was told that he has the burden to suggest a manner in which his project will meet the 50% employee housing requirement.

McBride said the entire business center is zoned for employee housing and he felt additional controls are not needed. He pointed out that he has been willing all along to let the housing authority qualify buyers and review sales prices.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User