This week in Aspen history: Thanksgiving
“Last Thursday was Thanksgiving Day, and right royally was it celebrated in Aspen,” asserted the Rocky Mountain Sun on November 27, 1886. “It was the first sunshiny and perfect day that Aspen had enjoyed for nearly two weeks, and everybody seemed to take advantage of the happy circumstances to enjoy themselves to their hearts content. The sun rose in a cloudless sky, and all nature seemed to rejoice that we were spared to celebrate and enjoy another glorious Thanksgiving. The day throughout was mild, and at times quite pleasantly warm, inviting all to promenade and outdoor exercise. The invitation did not go unheeded, and all day long our streets and promenades were crowded with light hearts and sunny faces. At the hotels and restaurants extra preparations had been made to weigh down the groaning tables with everything eatable that money could procure. The old reliable Clarendon came to the front with a bill of fare never before equaled in Aspen, and mine host McLaughlin was all smiles and urbanity. In the evening the Hooper Hook and Ladder Company gave a grand ball at the Rink Opera House. A vast number of people were present who enjoyed themselves very thoroughly. The large ball room was lighted with fifty incandescent electric lights, and decorated in a most elaborate and artistic manner. Skating was indulged at Hallam Lakes, and sleighing seemed never to be more universally in favor. There were few drunken men on the streets, and the day passed as quietly as though Aspen were a town located in the heart of some New England State, where our Puritan forefathers proclaimed the day that was on Thursday celebrated throughout the Union.”
The image above shows Mill Street (taken from the Clarendon Hotel) in the mid-1880s. (Aspen Historical Society)
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.