The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


History of AHS

Courtesy of The Aspen Historical Society
A page from the 1961 issue of the Silver Queen yearbook

Tucked away in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Aspen High School isn’t just a place where we come to learn. It’s a part of our town’s story. As it is tradition for freshmen to be obsessed with the framed senior portraits lining the halls for the first semester of school, generational skier spirit has been alive throughout the town for over a hundred year.

Back in the late 1800s when Aspen was buzzing with silver mining, Aspen High School wasn’t just a building, it was a symbol of opportunity in a booming town. As miners dug deep into the mountains our school stood tall, offering education to the children of pioneers and dreamers, guiding us towards knowledge amidst the town’s prosperity.

The first Aspen High School was located within the Lincoln School that served all grades. Although the building was constructed on Bleeker Street in 1882, there were no high school students until 1887 and there was no graduating class until 1889. The increasing student population led to the construction of two additional grammar schools by 1890,according to The Aspen Historical Society. Since few students continued education beyond eighth grade, the high school continued to fit in the Lincoln School . Graduating classes never had more than 10 students from 1889 until 1900.

As the number of high school students increased in the early 1900s, Aspen High School moved to a West-End house, the Brown mansion (which is now the Red Brick Arts and Recreation Center). The community chipped in additional funds for a new heating plant, renovations, and furniture. A new high school was born without any general tax. Thinking back to when students commuted to school in old Aspen; before down valley traffic existed and large Victorian houses lined Aspen’s streets.

As documented by the Aspen Times, the building had space for 40 to 80 students. However, there were no athletic facilities, but Aspen still competed in numerous sports with their strong Skier Spirit. Community fields at other locations were used instead. For example, the building that now houses City Hall on Galena Street originally served as a basketball court.

One thing that sets us apart from every other high school in the country is our sports teams. Aspen High School’s identity is as unique as its location. According to an online article by Mike Swanson, SBLive Sports, Sports Illustrated, “Aspen is the only resort town in the state — and the only high school in the country— to call its athletic teams the Skiers”.

It makes sense, right? We’re surrounded by some of the best slopes in the world, so why not embrace that mountain vibe, it is a school of ski bums at heart.

As the town continued to develop, the central Brown property was used to build a new school housing all grades. The Yellow Brick was built on the Lincoln School lot for the elementary grades when the student population grew in the late 1950s.

As quaint as this sounds, the development of AHS hasn’t always been smooth sailing. The school has had its fair share of ups and downs. When the silver boom went bust in 1893 our town felt the sting,along with our school. But you know what? Our school system didn’t just survive, it thrived.

At AHS we have a skier legacy to be proud of. Roam through these halls, and you’ll feel the echoes of generations past. From state champs on the field to artists breaking boundaries in the studio, Aspen High has churned out some seriously impressive alumni: . The influence of AHS doesn’t stop at the city limits, our Skiers are scattered all over the globe, carrying with them the lessons they learned and the friendships they forged right here in our halls.

With every new school year comes a fresh wave of Skiers ready to take on the world. We’re not just here to memorize facts and pass tests—we’re here to make a difference. Whether it’s through our academics, sports teams, or theatrical productions, Aspen High School is where dreams take flight. It is important to remember the skier family who came before us as we look ahead to the years to come. Who knows what the future holds? One thing’s for sure, though: we’ll meet it head-on, with our skis strapped tight and our hearts full. Go Skiers!

AHS 1961 Yearbook
Photo courtesy of Aspen Historical Society

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Greta Holton, Staff Writer

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