Tales from the Tread: Museum’s History Happy Hours return | SteamboatToday.com

Tales from the Tread: Museum’s History Happy Hours return

Candice Bannister
For Steamboat Pilot & Today


Portrait of two men drinking Louis Obert Gold Beer circa 1910.
Missouri History Museum Photograph and Print Collection/Courtesy

What can be better than craft beer? Fascinating local history and craft beer.

Join the Tread of Pioneers Museum the first Tuesday of each month, October through April, at 5:30 p.m. at Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill (the Feb. 1 event takes place at the Steamboat Springs Community Center) for the popular event series “History Happy Hours.” The events take the rowdy and raucous side of Routt County history to the community via beloved happy hour. Ages 21 and over are invited, and free craft beer will be provided by local breweries. Masks are required, and all attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless medically unable to receive the vaccine.

What do we mean by rowdy and raucous history? The focus of the talks are the mysteries, legends, lore, debauchery, conflicts, wars, crimes, lawlessness and wayward ways of the Wild West.

To kick off the series Oct. 5 author Randi Samuelson-Brown returns to present “Drinking, Dancing, and Debauchery in Colorado Mining Towns.” Colorado Mining towns were in a league of their own. Samuelson-Brown will tales about crooked foot races (involving booze and prostitutes), the failed attempts to keep Sunday respectable and a host of other wild stories that are bound to raise eyebrows. The tales are found in her book, “The Bad Old Days of Colorado,” and prove that the territory and state were never for the faint of heart.

On Nov. 2, author Jane Botkin unearths an extraordinary story that reveals a hidden world in “The Rebel Maids of Denver.” Botkin tells the tales of ahead-of-their-time labor unions of domestic workers in early 20th century Denver, following Colorado’s Coalfield Wars. Botkin is exceptionally well-researched and adds a new chapter to the histories of the American women’s movement and labor movement, as well as the American West.

On Dec. 7, Routt County native author Rita Herold preserves oral history and the nearly forgotten episodes of the county’s past in her talk and book by the same name: “The Hidden History of Routt County.” Herold reveals that settling Routt County was never easy or safe. While there are tales of fugitives using the undeveloped landscape as an “outlaw trail” to evade authorities, conversely, the county’s first families left entrepreneurial legacies that formed the foundations of our history.

On Jan. 4, 2022, Hayden Heritage Center Curator and author Laurel Watson presents, “Gunfights, Murder, and Mayhem in West Routt County.” Watson, author of the book “The Yampa Valley Sin Circuit: Historic Red-Light Districts of Routt and Moffat Counties,” shares how Routt County, located far from the rest of civilization but with plenty of money and booze on hand, was filled with shady characters with soiled pasts.

Popular local historian and author Paul Bonnifield returns Feb. 1, 2022, to discuss “Lawless Coal Miners in Northwest Colorado.” Bonnifield, a South Routt native, researched and shares the many nonlaw abiding stories of our county’s past.

If you go

What: Tread of Pioneers Museum’s History Happy Hours

When: 5:30 p.m. first Tuesday of the month from October through April 2022

Where: Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill, 845 Howelsen Parkway.; the Feb. 1 event will take place at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave.

Cost: Free; donations appreciated. Space is limited. Masks required, and all attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless medically unable to receive the vaccine.

More info: TreadOfPioneers.org

Historian and Colorado State University PhD student Ray Sumner provides a wealth of stories and history March 1, 2022, in “Reflections on Cultures, Conflict, and Comedy of Territorial Colorado.” Sumner is back to discuss his own family’s linkage to the Western Slope of Colorado, as well as his research on the Powell Expeditions and the Battle of Milk Creek/Meeker Massacre and his dissertation research on the 1865 period and battles between the U.S. government and settlers with the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Lakota tribes.

To close the series April 5, 2022, Routt County native Cheri Daschle presents “Mad Creek Discoveries.” Daschle conducted extensive research for the Tread of Pioneers Museum about the Mad Creek area. She leads historical tours of the area for the museum each summer.

The History Happy Hour events are just one example of the museum’s outreach efforts to bring unique history programs and events out into the community. All of these events will be recorded and posted on the museum’s Youtube Channel. We look forward to seeing you for these safe and celebratory events. Cheers.

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

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