Tales from the Tread: Brown Bag Storytelling Series returns

Candice Bannister
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
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.
John F. Russell

The Brown Bag Summer Storytelling Series at the Tread of Pioneers Museum combines the best of what makes Routt County so special — our valley’s rich history and fascinating stories told by the intriguing locals who lived them. The summer storytelling series, now in its 22nd year, has become a locals’ favorite summer event.

It also serves as an essential story-collecting tool for the museum and the community. Each program is recorded and digitally preserved by the museum to provide current public access as well as an archive and historical record for future generations.

All Brown Bag events are free and take place at noon to 1 p.m. Fridays all summer at the museum on 800 Oak St., unless otherwise noted. Don’t miss this summer’s series to learn more about our valley’s vibrant history and people who generously share their stories. The series runs Friday, July 5, through Sept. 6.

  • July 5: “The Springs of Steamboat” with local author Dagny McKinley.
    Discover what makes the area mineral springs so unique and why the Ute people and first settlers were attracted to them. “Without the mineral springs, Steamboat would never have become the town it is today. To visit the various springs now is at once to see the history of this town and the future,” wrote McKinley. 
  • July 12: “Dad’s Barn: The Crawford Family Barn & the Legacy of Crawford Hill” with Crawford family descendant and historian Jim Crawford.
    Learn about how Crawford, the current owner and steward of town founder James H. Crawford’s stone house on Crawford Avenue, is working to save, relocate and restore the family barn as well as the rich local history it represents. 
  • July 19: “What the Homesteaders Left Behind: Archeological Evidence & Stories of South Routt County” with local historian Paul Bonnifield.
    Bonnifield is known countywide for his extensive knowledge of Routt County history and speaks regularly for local museums. See photo examples of the equipment and structures used and made by the county’s first homesteaders which now have become part of our rural landscapes.
  • July 26: “Writers Who Put Steamboat on the Map & On the Page” with professor Jim Maguire.
    Retired professor and Steamboat native, Jim Maguire, will speak about the attributes of local authors and read excerpts from a never-before released John R. Burroughs short stories selected from the Tread of Pioneers Museum’s archive.
  • Aug. 2: “The Monger Family Ranch: Then & Now” with local ranchers Larry and Krista Monger.
    Find out what has changed and what has stayed the same over time in Routt County ranching and on the Monger ranch. 
  • Aug. 9:Rollins Pass Rewind: A Journey Through 10,000 Years of History A-top One of Colorado’s Great Gates” with authors Kate and B. Travis Wright.
    Rediscover Rollins Pass’ timeless and beloved history. First known as Boulder Pass, this comparatively low saddle on the Continental Divide in Colorado has been in continuous use for millennia, and its history is as varied and rocky as its terrain.
  • Aug. 16: “Building Steamboat: The Art Gumprecht & Eugene Sternberg Legacy” with historic preservation expert Arianthe’ Stettner.
    As a former Steamboat Springs City Council member, co-founder of Historic Routt County and local grassroots leader, Stettner’s commitment to local historic structures is unmatched. In this talk, Stettner unveils significant local architects and builders in our town’s history.
  • Aug. 23: “Researching in Routt: A How-to Guide for Locating Local Data, Facts & People” with John Major, reference librarian at the Bud Werner Memorial Library.
    Whether you are interested in diving deeper into a local history subject, thinking of starting a family genealogy project or just excited to hear examples of interesting local facts, Major and local author Sureva Towler will help you navigate the resources available.
  • Aug. 30: “A Wither Childhood & the Saga of Snow Sculpture in the Winter Carnival” with Steamboat native Tom Wither.
    Wither family history runs deeps in Routt County and Steamboat Springs. Tom Wither discusses what is was like to grow up as a pioneer family descendant, the experiences of living in Steamboat in the 1960s, as well as how he started one of the most popular Winter Carnival traditions today, the snow sculpture competition.
  • Sept. 6:Historical Postcards from Northwest Colorado” with Dan Davidson, Director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado.
    Davidson is one of the state’s premiere historians for Northwest Colorado photography. He will speak about the development of postcards and their role in recording the history of our area.

Candice Bannister is the executive director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

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