Brown Bag Storytelling goes virtual as it looks to the past |

Brown Bag Storytelling goes virtual as it looks to the past

Bob Allen, the son of longtime Steamboat Springs businessman and former Mayor George Allen, was one of the speakers featured at a past Tread of Pioneers Museum’s Brown Bag Storytelling Series. Rather than have a live series during the summer of 2020, the museum is replaying videos of 10 lectures from the past 20 years.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Tread of the Pioneers Museum has been putting on the Brown Bag Storytelling Series since 1998, and rather than cancel a longstanding tradition, the museum is replaying 10 of the best lectures from the past 20 years on Facebook and YouTube

Every session was recorded, and those videos have been digitized. They will be replayed, transporting viewers back in time while learning about the history of Steamboat Springs, Routt County and the Yampa Valley. 

This is just the latest way the museum has taken its programming online, which makes it accessible to people in Steamboat and beyond. 

“What we’ve been able to do is curate a virtual museum of sorts. We’re still telling the story, we’re still sharing the history, we’re still interpreting, but we’re doing it online,” said Executive Director Candice Bannister. “What we’ve found is we’ve been able to reach a much wider audience. Now, you don’t have to be in Steamboat Springs to virtually tour our exhibits.”

The series will run at noon every Friday for 10 weeks, beginning June 26. 

Kicking off the carefully curated series is the most recent talk, which was originally presented in July 2019. Tying in with the museum’s newest exhibit, “The Springs of Steamboat” that opens June 24, Dagny McKinley shares stories about Steamboat’s mineral springs.

McKinley, who is the development director at Steamboat Creates, wrote a book, “The Springs of Steamboat: Healing waters, mysterious caves and sparkling soda,” in 2013. Her Brown Bag session taps into a small part of what she wrote in the book.

“I feel like our springs are kind of like your grandparents,” McKinley said. “You see pictures of your grandparents in their heyday, and you think, ‘wow, they were so vibrant and alive and amazing.’ Now, they’re older, what do they still have to offer? We know they have this rich history and secrets in our mineral springs. There’s still a lot we don’t know about them.”

On July 10, during the third installment of the series, the museum will feature Charles Leckenby’s 1998 talk on the history of the Steamboat Pilot. 

Bannister also is excited for people to relive Maxine Turner’s 2005 discussion on Trull, Colorado, a town that used to be in Routt County. 

Both Bannister and McKinley are most looking forward to the next-to-last Brown Bag story, scheduled for Aug. 21, in which Annabeth Lockhart, Gloria Gossard, Doris Gooding and Ann Rich will talk about growing up in Steamboat.

Upcoming Brown Bag events:

  • June 26: “The Springs of Steamboat” author Dagny McKinley shares fun facts and stories of the town’s unique and varied mineral springs. Originally presented on July 5, 2019.
  • July 3: “James H. Crawford: Military Man, Town Founder, Politician, and So Much More,” by Crawford family descendant, Jim Crawford. Originally presented on July 15, 2011. 
  • July 10: “The History of the Steamboat Pilot and the Leckenby Legacy” by Charles Leckenby. Originally presented on July 31, 1998.
  • July 17: “Tales From Egeria and Oak Hills” by Nita Naugle, Tracks & Trails Museum director, and Rita Herold, Yampa/Egeria historian and author, who take a look at the history of South Routt. Originally presented on Aug. 28, 2015.
  • July 24: In “Trull, Colorado — A Town Gone Extinct,” Maxine Turner reminds Routt County of a town that once existed but has since disappeared. Originally presented on Aug. 5, 2005.
  • July 31: “Sure! I Remember the 1960s” with locals Carl Vail, Lenore Neish Grace, Pat and Ruth McClelland and Jack Sprengle, who reminisce about a decade full of turbulence and change. Originally presented on Aug. 5, 2011.
  • Aug. 7: Local photographer and featured artist for the Tread of Pioneers Museum’s newest exhibit describes his artwork and inspiration in “John Lanterman: Lens to the Landscape.” This is a brand new talk for 2020.
  • Aug. 14: “Let the Women Vote: How Women Won the Right to Vote in Colorado” with Marsha Goldstein reviewing this important piece of history. Originally presented on March 19, 2002. 
  • Aug. 21: Annabeth Lockhart, Gloria Gossard, Doris Gooding and Ann Rich share their memories of Steamboat past in “Growing Up in Steamboat Springs.” Originally presented on July 17, 1998.
  • Aug. 28: In ‘The Miracle on Buffalo Pass” Search and Rescue responder Jerry Alsum retells the story of the infamous Rocky Mountain Airways 1978 plane crash and rescue on Buffalo Pass. Originally presented on Aug. 10, 2018.

To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.

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