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  • Aspen

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    Aspen, established in 1879 by Henry B. Gillespie, began as a silver-mining town and developed into a hub for culture and recreation on Colorado's Western Slope. Today Aspen is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Colorado.
  • 1892 View of Aspen

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    Aspen, Colorado at its height just before the Silver Panic of 1893 sent the town into sharp decline
    1892 View of Aspen
  • Aspen's First Chairlift

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    A view of Aspen from the first chairlift installed on Aspen Mountain in 1947. At the time, this was the longest chairlift in the world, aiding to Aspen's legendary status as a premier skiing location.
    Aspen's First Chairlift
  • Aspen railroads

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    Aspen dwellers celebrate the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad finally reaching the town on November 2, 1887. After the rail lines appeared, mining companies could economically export mineral ore to the smelters located in Leadville, Colorado and Aspen witnessed spectacular growth.
    Aspen railroads



Anne Gilbert, “Re-Creation Through Recreation: Aspen Skiing from 1870 to 1970,” Aspen Historical Society, May 1995.

Aspen Historical Society, “Aspen History,” n.d.

Nancy Keates, “The Most Expensive Town in America,” Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2011.

Barbara Norgren, “Historic Resources of Aspen,” National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form (July 31, 1986).

Outdoor Project, “Guide to Colorado’s Maroon Bells: the state’s most photographed wilderness scene,” The Denver Post, June 10, 2016.

Betsy Schiffman, “Full List: America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes 2015,” Forbes, November 10, 2015.

W. Clark Whitehorn, “Aspen and the Railroads,” Aspen Historical Society, January 1993.

Additional Information: 

Aspen Snowmass Resort

City of Aspen

Peter R. Decker “The Utes Must Go!” American Expansion and the Removal of a People (Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2004).

Malcolm J. Rohrbough, Aspen: The History of a Silver Mining Town, 1879–1893 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

The Aspen Institute

Franklin Wentworth, Aspen on the Roaring Fork, 3rd ed. (Denver: Sundance, 1976).