This Week in Aspen History |

This Week in Aspen History

One b/w glossy photograph of the Watson siding (a place in the train tracks where there are multiple tracks to allow for the loading and unloading of provisions) and the the Watson Alliance Hall, where meetings and dances were held. It is on the Colorado Midland Railroad, 1917-. The name of this siding was later changed to Gerbazdale, but this was only for a few months because the railroad stopped running.
Aspen Historical Society/Courtesy photo

Let’s buy the Colorado Midland right-of-way and make a splendid highway out of it,” suggested the Aspen Democrat-Times on November 17, 1920 (The railroad had gone bankrupt in 1918). “It can be done and we will have a road that is a road. We don’t want the Maroon creek bridge, we have no use for it. But from the Wack crossing down to Basalt could be used very nicely and very profitably by the county. It is up to our County Commissioners to get busy in the interests of good roads. Right now, we understand the Commissioners are considering the advisability of continuing the road from the west end of the highway bridge across Maroon creek on thru the bluff westward to the top of the Stapleton grade and then on down the present road to the ‘Rocky Road to Dublin’ stretch. These will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000, it is said by those who know the cost of building new roads. Now then, we could keep on using the road that swings to the left from the west end of the Maroon creek bridge, as now, and go on past Dwyers to where the road crosses the Midland tracks at the Wack dairy farm. Here we could swing to the right on the Midland right-of-way and have a dandy road all the way to Basalt. It is believed that the County could buy the Midland right-of-way and turn it into the ideal highway at an expense of say not to exceed $10,000, and the county would have a highway worth while; would have an outlet to the west that would be the talk of the users of highways all over the state. Look into the matter, Gentlemen Commissioners, and see what can be done. If this paper can help in any way, just tell us what to do and we will do it. But first, let’s see what can be done about getting the Midland right-of-way for a Pitkin County Highway.” The image above shows the Watson siding (Gerbazdale) on the Colorado Midland Railroad in the late 1910s. (Aspen Historical Society)