This week in Aspen history

One photo of a potato field on the Cerise Ranch near Catherine Store, circa 1950.
Aspen Historical Society/Courtesy photo

“Spuds ready now for annual harvest,” declared The Aspen Times on Sept. 20, 1945. “The Roaring Fork Valley Spud Harvest will be in full swing next week, according to reports of ranchers who want to get the spuds out of the ground before the frosts come hard enough to freeze them. Hard frosts nearly every night have flattened the once dark-green vines and are giving advance notice of colder weather to come. Schoolboys are making arrangements with ranchers to pick up spuds. After the diggers root out the fruit of a summer’s work of cultivating and irrigating, men, boys, and girls pick them up and sack them ready to haul to the potato cellars. Raising spuds is a big business in the Roaring Fork Valley. Many carloads are shipped out of this valley during the course of the winter. Prices ranged up to $2.75 per cwt. last year. This year prices are expected to start in the early market at about $2.00 per cwt. Approximately 15 cars were billed out of Aspen last year on the Rio Grande and the remainder of the valley crop was billed out of the Carbondale office. Estimates on the total number of cars shipped run up to 1,500. This does not include shipments by truck.”

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