Willoughby: An ode to Galena Avenue

Tim Willoughby (left) and Ralph Johnson getting all set to sell rocks in entrance of Willoughby residence in the Cowenhoven Setting up around 1954. Willoughby collection/Courtesy photograph Most of Aspen’s streets were named soon after early pioneers and investors, other than for Galena Avenue. Many mining promises surrounding the town […]

Tim Willoughby (left) and Ralph Johnson getting all set to sell rocks in entrance of Willoughby residence in the Cowenhoven Setting up around 1954. Willoughby collection/Courtesy photograph

Most of Aspen’s streets were named soon after early pioneers and investors, other than for Galena Avenue. Many mining promises surrounding the town highlighted historic mining and mineral names like Ophir, but galena, a single of Aspen’s plethora of minerals, was not applied. While much less important than silver, considering the fact that galena is direct, it is the shiniest, a excellent choice for a significant Aspen road.

I lived in the Cowenhoven Building on Galena right until the conclusion of sixth grade, an odd spot for a family to live. My grandfather, with partners, purchased the setting up from the Brown spouse and children in the early 1940s. He moved the Midnight Mine business office from the Crystal Palace making to Galena Street. At the time my father was the manager at the mine and desired rapid obtain to the business, specifically mainly because he was performing spherical-the-clock producing strategic minerals for the war exertion. A part in the middle of the building was converted into a household home.

A great deal of Aspen’s daily small business took position on Galena Avenue. The lender, put up workplace and Aspen Drug were at the intersection of Galena and Hyman. City Corridor and the County Court docket Household ended up just a single or two blocks absent. You paid your utility charges at City Corridor or the Holy Cross Electric business.



There was a laundry, Jiffy Cleaners, and Tomkins Components for other requirements, and an income tax office. If you have been hungry you could stop in at Edies or Guido’s. M. Kalmes and Organization offered garments and shoes for all ages and all incomes.

Vacationer oriented present retailers with a huge variety of items lined the road. One particular of the major, the Golconda in the Aspen Block, had ‘decorative accessories’, and stitching supplies. That was a summary description of a large wide variety of goods. Residence and Backyard garden sold housewares as did the Aspen Woodshed that also sold toys and jewellery. Jim Hayes, for a though, had his silversmith shop on Galena. Alice Towne’s Indian jewelry and rug retailer in the Cowenhoven setting up was a longtime vacationer preferred in the 1950s.



I set up card tables in front of my home in the summer offering lemonade and rocks. In the 1950s there was not much pedestrian site visitors, but the idea of my retail store was much more exciting than the reality.

Galena Road was aspect of the freeway as a result of town, the fist streets to be paved. Auto requirements have been met with a gasoline station, Sinclair, at the Cooper Road intersection where by the freeway turned and at the other end another gas station, Aspen Conoco where by the highway turned on to Main Avenue. The Model Building housed motor vehicle gross sales and rentals, and an auto physique and mechanical repair shop. For a younger boy, they presented absolutely free bicycle tire air pumps.

The fraternal orders of Eagles and Elks experienced their lodges on Galena the place a multitude of civic exercise took position together with their local’s bars. The Chamber of Commerce had an office environment and assembly place in the Aspen Block.

At the leading of the avenue at the Aspen Mountain conclusion, was the Aspen Dairy. It was truly not on Galena Road given that at the time it was not in the metropolis boundaries and the town and county had to come to a decision which entity was dependable for the street maintenance. Since at that time they delivered milk to Aspen’s homes there was minor targeted visitors heading there.

For most of us small children, in spite of the polio scare, the public swimming pool on Galena Road was the main summer location. The Barbie’s Sweet and Snack Shop future door to me in the Covenhoven Setting up was an equivalent attract and a most important a person in the summer months as they bought ice cream cones, donuts and sweet. Mothers and fathers could purchase new eggs, and if you requested clean rabbits.

I only experienced to walk out my entrance door to observe Aspen’s two yearly parades, Fourth of July and Wintersköl. Visitors occasionally arrived by way of our front doorway wondering our dwelling was a shop or restaurant. All that and far more on just one limited Aspen avenue.

Tim Willoughby’s family members tale parallels Aspen’s. He commenced sharing folklore whilst instructing Aspen Region Working day School and Colorado Mountain Higher education. Now a vacationer in his indigenous city, he views it with historical standpoint. Get to him at [email protected].

Lan Kilian

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