| AspenTimes.com

March 1903

St. Patrick’s Day in Aspen a hundred years ago sounded similar to this past week’s holiday – people went out, the dance floor was crowded, and it snowed.

Last night the youth and beauty of Aspen gathered at Armory Hall to dance in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The crowd was so great that dancing was somewhat difficult, to say the least, but the people were good natured and they took the pushing and the shoving as a matter of course.

The storm of snow on the outside may have kept some people away, but on the inside the warmth and jollity was sufficient to drive not only dull care but also all thoughts of the walking home through the drifts, away from the minds of those present.

A group of young pranksters was apparently getting some laughs at the expense of the Aspen fire department; The Times voiced its strong disapproval in the following item.

The fire bell sounded on Sunday evening and the denizens of the town rushed forth to see where the blaze was. There was none to be seen anywhere but the signal was No. 13, an unlucky number. It was learned that the fire was supposed to be in the old Flynn barn and that it was after all, a false alarm. Some of the small boys of town have resumed their playful system of ringing in false alarms on the firemen. One of these days they will be caught in the act and their fate will be swift and terrible. They will deserve all they get.

Then, as now, election season was beginning. Unlike with today’s ever-growing slate of City Council candidates, however, few Aspenites seemed willing to enter the political fray.

Candidates for mayor are few and far between this spring. A number of names have been suggested, but most of the owners of those names have declined to serve or have expressed great reluctance to accepting the place on the various tickets. Among them are Doctor Mollin and E. L. Hunkins. Both gentlemen have stated that they did not want any mayorship in their pudding. It is not what may be called a soft snap, but a man who is fitted for it should be public spirited enough to serve the people.

The sewing circle seemed to be regaining popularity a hundred years ago (today’s version is known by some as a “stitch and bitch”). The Times opined that the local ladies, not apt to miss out on a trends, would soon be combining needlework and gossip.

The old way our mothers had of spending the afternoons is being renewed in the east, it is said. When they are invited out to spend the afternoon from 2 to 6, they are expected to bring their knitting and fancy work with them. Then they can sew and stitch and talk at the same time. Aspen ladies are always in fashion and The Times expects to hear that the fad has been taken up shortly.

March 1953

Fifty years ago, The Times was lucky enough to receive a real Irish shamrock on St. Pat’s Day; this year, the closest thing to a shamrock in the office is a dog named Clover.

Mrs. Henry Fitzpatrick, food specialist at the Pitkin County Hospital, says there’s nothing to the rumor that there wasn’t a shamrock in Aspen on St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March. She received a small box of the genuine thing direct from Ireland by air mail. She passed them out to people she met with the Times Editor receiving the last of the delicate leaves and the box they were shipped in. The label, addressed to Mrs. Fitzpatrick, bore the printed message: “May the Message of Erin’s Shamrock Bring Joy to Those Away.”

The sheriff’s office went high-tech, connecting Pitkin County with the “outside world.”

Pitkin County is at last connected by radio equipment to the network of the State Highway Patrol. Sheriff Lorain R. Herwick made a trip to Grand Junction Tuesday where a Motorola combination transmitter and receiver was installed in his car.

Last week the county received delivery of a receiver that will be installed in the Sheriff’s office. With this receiver the Sheriff can be contacted at any time by the operators of the state network. …

Now in case of serious accident on the highways or, any other place or emergencies, contact can be made with the patrol and other state agencies.

Aspen’s renown in several arenas was just beginning to flourish 50 years ago; ski-racing national championships, for example, were held on Aspen Mountain.

Ralph Miller of Dartmouth College won the combined title for the National downhill-slalom ski meet here last weekend by placing first in the downhill. …

Stein Ericksen of Norway, skiing for Sun Valley, and Sally Neidlinger were winners of the Andre Roch Trophy.

Awards were presented to winners of the Nationals and Roch Cup at the banquets held Sunday evening. Aspen skiers to receive awards were Miss Dorothy Helmkamp who received the third place medal for the woman’s national downhill, and Max Marolt who received the third place medal for the men’s national slalom.

Meanwhile the Aspen-Hollywood connection was also gaining strength, as a few local canines traveled west to shoot a movie.

Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Mace have taken two of their husky dog teams and one of Delbert Bowles’ teams to Hollywood to help finish completing filming of the movie “Sisters From Seattle.”

Location shots for the movie were shot recently in Montezuma Basin with local persons doubling for movie stars. The Mace’s will be gone about a month in Hollywood where the snow scenes will be shot with artificial snow.

And Aspen’s burgeoning program of summer education got the addition of a geology course.

Aspen has been assured a second summer school with the notice to John L. Herron by Professor K. S. Herness of the Colorado School of Mines that they are inaugurating a course in geology in Aspen this summer.

Prof. Herness writes that the School of Mines has planned a course entitled Advanced Field Mining Geology, to be given in Aspen by Mines Instructors from August 1 to September 12. Their intention is to carry on accumulative investigations this and succeeding summers until completion of a survey of the entire Aspen district.

March 1978

Heli skiing at Independence Pass? Twenty-five years ago, Aspenites considered it a possibility.

Pitkin County “doesn’t need to worry” about helicopter skiing this winter, according to District Forest Ranger Tom Bell.

Bell told the county commissioners Monday that although applicant Greg Williams apparently intends to make a formal helicopter skiing proposal to the Forest Service and county, he won’t be ready this ski season.

The proposed ski operation would center in the Green Mountain-Independence Bowl area above the Independence townsite, Bell said. …

Assistant Ranger JT Richer added that the Forest Service doesn’t want to waste time on a project “that will go belly up in a couple of years,” and that observers including the pilot of the old helicopter service that operated here have advised the Forest Service that the operation would be an economic bust.

The Aspen ski corp was about to embark on a new chapter in ownership.

The signing of a definitive merger agreement between the Aspen Skiing Corporation and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation was announced Monday by ski corp President DRC Brown and Fox Chairman Dennis C Stanfill. …

The merger agreement provides that the holder of each ski corp share may elect to receive $45 in cash, a share of Fox Convertible Preferred Stock or a combination of the two.

There is a stipulation, however, that at least 50 % of the ski corp shares must be exchanged for Fox Preferred.

Those who ventured over to west Buttermilk enjoyed far more than the typical base lodge burger and fries.

For almost ten years, a restaurant called “a la Crepe Suzette” has been a special treat for the few skiers who discover Buttermilk West.

There, in a secret, sunny corner at the bottom of the lift, two Frenchmen serve superb crepes, hot-spiced cider and other creations in an atmosphere of laughter, good music, and joie de vivre. …

The specialty of the house is a crepe grand marnier that is done to perfection.

Today the bike path to the music school is heavily used, but its proposed construction 25 years ago was, perhaps not surprisingly, a matter of discussion.

A proposed music school bike trail, from Aspen to the music school on the Castle Creek Rd., was discussed by county commissioners and affected landowners Monday. …

Commissioner Joe Edwards said he felt the latest proposed alignment avoiding impacting residences as much as possible and seemed to be an excellent resolution of the problems.

Commissioner Bob Child, however, had reservations. He said there were steep grades and expensive bridges and he questioned the high-maintenance cost for a one-season-use trail. (It would have to be closed in winter because of avalanche danger.)

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