Sopris Sun

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Pages of the Past: When the potato was king

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal
(Available for public perusal at the Carbondale Branch Library)

Sept. 15, 1977

The Town hosted a public feedback session for its latest comprehensive plan, and townsfolk came out in droves to Gordon Cooper Library (then on Main Street) in an effort to understand the ins and outs of local land use. Plan objectives included “sound government with equal representation,” “growth that parallels capabilities” and “preservation of small town charm and character.”

In other news… Carbondale’s first female police officer, Elizabeth Bascom, reported for duty.

Sept. 17, 1987

Albert Cerise, former manager of the Carbondale Potato Growers Association, reflected on the days when potatoes were the area’s main cash crop. Literally tons of potatoes would go out every morning by rail, he told the Journal, particularly during World War II.

In other news… The very first Bareback Bonanza promised to pit English and Western riders against each other on Potato Day.

Sept. 18, 1997

Carbondale blacksmith Francis Whittaker had received an invitation to visit the White House as a National Heritage Fellow. Whittaker was already a master of his craft when he came to Aspen in 1960 and had been teaching at Colorado Rocky Mountain School since 1988. “Form follows function,” he observed. “Almost everything I do is functional.”

In other news… River Valley Ranch hosted its first golf tournament, with Vail Mountain School coming out on top.

Sept. 20, 2007

After numerous delays, construction began on the Keator Grove neighborhood with 52 deed-restricted units planned. “This is a project with the world’s longest pregnancy,” said Michael Hassig, who was mayor at the time but had been part of the planning and zoning commission when the proposal came through 10 years prior.

In other news… Concerns surfaced about the mineral rights under Jerome Park, where Pitkin County had obtained a conservation easement the previous month.