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Steamboat Pilot & Today has been chronicling the history of Routt County since 1885, telling the stories of our community through words and images, and in the process, accumulating thousands of photos that were stored in boxes and filing cabinets in our old Curve Plaza location.

When we began making plans to move to our new offices in the 910 Yampa building, I quickly realized we needed to find a way to permanently preserve all of those negatives, black-and-white photos and old newspaper clippings.

Each folder contained images taken by a Pilot & Today photojournalist along with related newspaper articles and sometimes reporter’s notes — priceless information that offers a unique glimpse into our community’s history.

The sheer volume of these archives threatened to overwhelm me logistically, because I knew our more compact downtown offices would not have space to store them, so I turned to the Tread of Pioneers Museum for assistance.

Museum Executive Director Candice Bannister was immediately interested in perusing our photo collection, and together with the assistance of an archives consultant, we took a quick inventory, and soon after, the Steamboat Pilot Archives Project was born.

The bulk of the collection spans from 1970 to 2001, but there are some pre-1970 original photos that date back as far as 1881. The archive is still being quantified, but the number of printed images surpasses 5,000. The goal of the project is to merge the photos into the museum’s online photo database and make them available to the public.

Each Saturday, we’ll publish a photo from the Steamboat Pilot Archives collection with whatever information we have about the image. These photos are among those the museum is working to preserve, and we hope this new editorial focus will shine a light on Routt County’s rich history.

The Steamboat Pilot Archives Project is a partnership of the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Steamboat Pilot & Today. To support the project, contact Candice Bannister, the museum’s executive director, at 970-879-2214 or cbannister@treadofpioneers.org. Donations can be mailed to the museum at P.O. Box 772372, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

From the Pilot archives: Rafting in 1915 Steamboat

September 12, 2019

Photo of two boys standing on a raft, floating on a lake with the words “Steamboat Pilot” and “1915” handwritten on the back of the photo. This photo is part of the Steamboat Pilot Archives...


From the Pilot archives: 1916 Steamboat class play

September 6, 2019

Photo of the Steamboat Springs High School class play in 1916. The photo was published in the Steamboat Pilot on Nov. 17, 1977, with people identified, from left, as Elmer Combs, Irene Hallett, Maurice Leckenby,...


From the Pilot archives: August 1914

August 30, 2019

This photo of three boys with rifles standing with a horse outside a wooden building was labeled “Ready for the start: August 1914” and was part of the Steamboat Pilot & Today photo collection. This...


From the Pilot archives: Jumping at Howelsen in 1972

August 23, 2019

Photo of a skier competing in the North American Nordic Championships on the 90-meter Graham Jump at Howelsen Hill in February 1972. A similar photo was published in the Steamboat Pilot on Feb. 24, 1972....


From the Pilot archives: 1914 football rivalry

August 16, 2019

Photo of a high school football game in 1914 between Craig and Steamboat Springs. The team from Moffat County won the game 6-0. This photo is part of the Steamboat Pilot Archives Project, a partnership...


From the Pilot archives: The Temples in the 1950s

August 9, 2019

Photo of Lucy and Shorty Temple next to the Focus Ranch sign taken in the late 1950s. This photo is part of the Steamboat Pilot Archives Project, a partnership of the Tread of Pioneers Museum...



From the Pilot archives: 1912 Hahns Peak area

July 26, 2019

This photo published in the Steamboat Pilot on Feb. 14, 1974, with the caption, “Winter burial: This picture was taken at a funeral in February 1912 in the Hahns Peak area. The ‘man in the...



From the Pilot archives: 1900s Clark

July 12, 2019

Members of the Clark girls basketball team, circa 1914. No identification of the 10 girls was written on the back of the photo. This photo is part of the Steamboat Pilot Archives Project, a partnership...


From the Pilot archives: 1907 Steamboat Springs

July 5, 2019

Photo of 12 members of the Laughlin family, which ran in the Dec. 8, 1977, issue of the Steamboat Pilot with the caption, “The occasion of this July 31, 1907, Laughlin family portrait was Grandma’s...



From the Pilot archives: 1890 Steamboat Springs

June 21, 2019

Tom Morgan’s Livery Stable, original c. 1890, reproduction c. 1943; This copy of a black and white photo of two men on horseback and others standing in front of a two-story wooden building was taken...


From the Pilot archives: 1914 Steamboat Springs

June 14, 2019

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Photo, dated 1914, printed on cardstock with this information handwritten on the back, “Steamboat Springs — 1914/Ray Peck, forest supervisor, feeding elk for the U.S. Forest Service – the elk were eating...


From the Pilot archives: 1979 Steamboat Springs

June 7, 2019

Photo of Alex Estes in front of the original J.W. Hugus store sign, which was published in the Steamboat Pilot on Feb. 8 1979, with caption: “Handwriting on the wall: J.W. Hugus & Co., one...



From the Pilot archives: Steamboat business advertisements in 1972

May 24, 2019

A black-and-white polaroid photo of an old poster advertising early Steamboat Springs businesses, including Corner Drug, Pupke’s New York Store, Furlong, McWilliams, Chivington’s Livery and Central Feed Barn. The photo was published in the Steamboat...