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

November 1903

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. In order to continue our journalistic history of Aspen, we will copy excerpts from The Aspen Democrat, the Times’ rival newspaper 100 years ago.

As winter weather settled into the valley, bad news was conveyed in an editorial Nov. 11, 1903.



There is a coal strike on in Colorado. Over ten thousand men have dropped their tools, mines are idle, and if the matter is not adjusted within a reasonable period the results are likely to be serious. …

[The] situation in brief is this: The coal lands of Colorado have passed into hands of large corporations. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company owns or leases a great portion of these lands so that the entire industrial machinery of the state is practically dependent on this and other large companies for its coal supplies. …




The trouble appears to be a disagreement between the coal companies and their employes, over wages, hours, methods of weighing coal, unhealthy conditions in the mines and other grievances.

Aspen would stay warm for the time being.

The heart of John Thorn was made quite jubilant yesterday over the fact that a car of coal reached town safely without the railroad officials nabbing it and as the railroad employes here didn’t take it, he had a whole car of coal to distribute among his customers. John said he had coal but it didn’t last longer than a snow ball in Pueblo.

Three days later, the news closer to home was good.

Under Sheriff Burch received the following message over the phone yesterday afternoon from his chief, Sheriff P.F. Irving.

“Everything all smooth. No strike. Miners are satisfied. They made on the average throughout the month of $4.25 per day. And as far as I can see, there is no talk of a strike in Coal Basin and the men do not want any strike. …”

The men mining the mines at Coal Basin and Redstone are conscientious gentlemen and the miners have the utmost confidence and there is no doubt in the world but what the strike subject will be forgotten in this district unless some outside agitator attempts to stir up a racket and if the such a one would show up Sheriff Irving is there to nail him and you bet he will do the nailing act in a very short time.

The news just kept getting better.

Today there is expected in the city the largest car of can goods which has been received in this city for several years. That is to say the local merchants have ordered more can goods at one time than for years. … This does not look as if the merchants of the city are afraid of hard times this winter, but rather proves their faith in Aspen as a coming stronghold.

A celebration was held for other riches mined from the earth that sustained the Roaring Fork Valley through the quiet years.

The ranchmen and their families from all over the valley no doubt enjoyed one of the times of their lives last evening as they gathered with the Potato Growers’ association at the El Jebel ranch to enjoy a potato show. There was to be potatoes of all sizes and shapes arranged on exhibition, while potatoes were to be served in every form known to the housewife … . A number of Aspenites went down to enjoy the potato feast and have a good time with the free hearted, jolly ranch folks.

November 1953

Fifty years ago, the ski racing calendar was filling up for the season.

The Aspen Ski Club will sponsor two major races in the Southern Rocky Mountain Division this season. The first race will be the much asked for Junior Team Race. This race will be considered in choosing boys and girls for the Nationals. The dates for this race are January 30 and 31 and will be part of the Winterskol week. …

The second race will be the Annual Roch Cup race … on March 12, 13 and 14. The race will consist of a giant slalom, downhill and slalom.

The Collegiate Invitational will be held in Aspen December 19 and 20, and this race is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association and the University of Denver.

Ski fever had infected Aspen by mid-November.

On Saturday last a small contingent from the Aspen Ski Club (namely Max Marolt and Jac Warner) journeyed to Independence Pass to pack out a ski run and slalom course. Snow conditions were reported excellent with four feet of fine powder.

On Sunday a caravan left Matthews Drug store to enjoy the invite of the club.

On the return trip from a great day of skiing, running slalom and getting the kinks out, the men skied cross country to try an inviting peak with six feet of virgin snow. Downhill from Independence most everyone ski jored the pass behind jeeps.

Another case of fever was reported,

Roy Reid, Dick Wright, Morrie Sheppard and Ginny Horne were skiing above the Little Corkscrew on Aspen Mountain last Sunday.

Before Warren Miller, there was …

Mr. Dick Durrance brings his latest “Olympic Winter” to the Isis Theater November 23rd in conjunction with the first general meeting of the Ski Club.

The film, taken exclusively at the last world’s Olympics, shows the training phase of the games, the hair raising bob sled runs and the ski and jump events. The second part, taken at Zurs, shows a ski chase, featuring Othmar Schneider, Christian Pravda and Dagmar Rom.

A photo caption described enhancements to what was already an Aspen icon.

An addition to the Golden Horn building is now under construction and will be completed well before the opening of the winter season about December 20. Shown in this pic is the basement room that will house the steam bath that will be available, come the skiing season with all of its aches and bruises. In the first floor will be the Aspen Sports to be run by Gale Spence and John Oakes. Below the sports shop will be storage space for the Golden Horn and the Sports Shop.

November 1978

Election Day was over, and if citizens are apathetic about the power of a single vote, well, read on.

By a slim 63-vote margin, Pitkin County voters Tuesday ratified the growth control and environmental stance of incumbent County Commissioner Michael Kinsley. …

With suspense heightened because of long delays in counting the ballots caused by broken voting machines at the county clerk’s office, [George] Parry held a lead of some 30 votes with only three precincts to go. …

The big shocker came with the announcement that Precinct 11, The Old-Snowmass-Lazy-Glen-Emma area, had given Kinsley a three-vote edge. Voters in this area have previously been strong critics of the growth control policies of the incumbent board. …

Well after midnight the news arrived: Kinsley had carried Precinct 10 and the election was his. … a disappointing 50% of the county electorate went to the polls.

Like Kinsley, Pitkin County’s easy-going sheriff, Dick Kienast, narrowly overcame a challenge from a more conservative opponent. …

Once the final votes were tallied, however, Kienast had prevailed by 2,010 to 1, 711. …

The voters overwhelmingly approved the referendum on night flights, while the question of whether to send the Little Annie Ski Area proposal on to site specific study passed by a narrow margin. …

In other contests, Aspen’s Nancy Dick was part of what she termed a “Lammslide” as she and Governor Dick Lamm topped challenger Ted Strickland and running mate Hank Brown [by] a 60% to 40% margin.

The former state representative from Aspen becomes the first woman lieutenant governor in Colorado history.

This month is the silver anniversary of a business pillar in lower downtown Aspen.

Gone are the days of running into everyone you know in the aisles of City Market. Now many of these people will be shopping at Clark’s Market when the store opens today after several construction delays.

Clark’s, in the lower Mill St. shopping complex, is independently owned by Tom Clark. This is his first grocery store … he and his family moved to Aspen in September.

“It is not a chain market,” he stressed. “I am all for the independent grocer. I would hate to see Tom’s Market hurt by another store. But Aspen needs variety.”

A caption under a photo of a snowy tundra read,

Ski Tourers crossing Mountain Boy Gulch near the top of Independence Pass. While there have been plenty of skiers on the pass this fall, there hasn’t been much snow lately, and a Thanksgiving opening of the lift mountains looks like a longshot.


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