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Snowmass History: Opening The Leather Jug

Village business was modeled after English pubs

Aspen Historical Society
A sign for the Leather Jug at Snowmass Village, circa February 1968. The business was owned by Jack Caswell, and John Denver was known to play there.
Aspen Historical Society/Courtesy photo

The Feb. 8, 1968 Snowmass Villager introduced the owners of The Leather Jug, who were originally from Mankato, Minnesota.

“Jack and Nadine Caswell brought 21 years of experience with them when they came to Snowmass-at-Aspen to open The Leather Jug,” the Villager reported. “It shows. … When they decided to go in business for themselves they investigated many possibilities, Jack said. A friend of theirs and frequent Aspen visitor, attorney Mort Shapiro, told them about Snowmass-at-Aspen. Last July Jack visited the area for the first time and was sold on it. ‘I thought it would be a thrill to be part of a new complex,’ he said.”

Jack Caswell, Shapiro (who died in an automobile accident just before opening) and Jack’s brother, Keith, had decided the establishment should be based on English pubs.



“They couldn’t decide on one (name) and finally locked themselves up in a hotel room until they thought of Leather Bottle. This evolved to Leather Jug as being more appropriate,” the Villager reported.

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