Snowmass history: A brush with death

One b/w photograph looking toward Aspen from downvalley across the Maroon Creek Bridge, 1900-. This was the main road into Aspen from downvalley before the Maroon Creek Railroad trestle was turned into a car bridge in the 1920s.

Brush Creek “Husband, Wife and Child Narrowly Escape Death on Maroon Hill,” The Aspen Daily Times wrote on Nov. 20, 1900. In those days, the only way into Aspen from Brush Creek was to go over Owl Creek Road, then up the valley and cross Maroon Creek by crossing the bridge and going up Maroon Hill onto what we now call Cemetery Lane (back then, the Maroon Creek Trestle which later became Highway 82 was still in use by trains). “Sunday morning between 11 and 12 o clock Mr. and Mrs. Miles Carroll, with their little daughter Bessie, left Aspen for their home on Brush creek. They were riding in a single buggy and had what they considered their safest animal in the shafts. When at the first turn in the road on Maroon hill a couple of bicycles were observed lying on the ground. The mare being driven took fright at the bicycles, and as she got opposite them became frantic. She left the road and ran into the barb-wire fence of M. A. Christian, tearing out four or five posts in her mad efforts to get away from the bicycles. Luckily the barb-wire held her, else all would have been thrown over into the creek. As it was, Mrs. Carroll was thrown over the fence. Miles and the baby were thrown out under the horse’s feet. The mare in her efforts to get rid of the buggy, began kicking and Mr. Carroll was right under her feet. Every time the mare came down her hind feet struck Miles who was unable to get out of her way. It seemed he would certainly be tramped to death before he could be rescued. Finally the shafts broke and the animal got off the man and child. During her antics with the wires the mare only received one cut from the barbs, on the breast. Baby Bessie was bruised in some manner, over the left eye and on that side of the head Mrs. Carroll was bruised on the head and received other contusions. … Mr. and Mrs. Carroll’s friends rejoice with them that they were not instantly killed, or permanently injured, by this accident which had such a fortunate turn, though Miles will suffer considerably for some time from it.”


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