Tales from the Tread: Museum’s History Happy Hours return
What can be better than craft beer? The perfect pairing of craft beer and fascinating local history. Join the Tread of Pioneers Museum at 5:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month, October through April, at the Butcherknife Brewing Co., 2875 Elk River Road, 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.
What: Tread of Pioneers Museum’s History Happy Hours
When: First Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. October through April; no event on New Year’s Day
Where: Butcherknife Brewing Co., 2875 Elk River Road
Cost: FREE event; donations appreciated. Space is limited.
More info: treadofpioneers.org
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.
Oct. 2: “The Adventures and Misadventures of the Powell Expeditions”
To kick off the series on Oct. 2, scholar Ray Sumner will present “The Adventures and Misadventures of the Powell Expeditions.” Hear about the expeditions of Major John Wesley Powell to Colorado in 1867 to 69 and the lesser known stories of how the college professors and students from Illinois learned to survive west of the Continental Divide. Discover the stories of failure, trial and error, booze and a clash of cultures that foreshadowed events a decade later that resulted in the removal of the Northern Utes from Colorado. Sumner’s second great grandfather was John Colton Sumner, aka Captain Jack, who served as Powell’s guide in Colorado and his lead boatmen during the 1869 river expedition through the Grand Canyon.
Nov. 6: “Brewed at Altitude: The History of Colorado Brewing”
On Nov. 6 American Brewing Historian and Left Hand Brewer, Carl Rose will serve up “Brewed at Altitude: The History of Colorado Brewing.” Rose will present the complete history of Colorado’s brewers beginning with the pioneer brewers of the 1860s through the growth of the industry in the late 19th to early 20th century and the fight against Prohibition, to the post-war development of Coors Brewing Co. as a national brand, and finally the rise of the modern day craft brewing movement.
Dec. 4: “Rowdy and Raucous Routt County”
On Dec. 4 Paul Bonnifield will share his rich knowledge of mischief, mayhem and misbehavior in our local history in “Rowdy and Raucous Routt County.” Bonnifield is well known locally for his in-depth research and outstanding presentations.
Feb. 5: Deadman’s Grave: A Tale of the Wild West and a Search for the Truth”
Since Jan. 1 is New Year’s Day, the next History Happy Hour will take place on Feb. 5 when archaeologist Amy Ackman will present “Deadman’s Grave: A Tale of the Wild West and a Search for the Truth.” In the year 1883, on a high bench 15 miles south of Jensen, Utah, a man is found dead near the side of the road. William Redman was found shot, his horse was loose and his belongings appeared to be intact. Deemed a suicide, Redman was buried where he lay. Was it a suicide? What led him to his tragic fate? Ackman takes you on a real Wild West journey to uncover the truth.
March 5: “Hell’s Swift Alley: Sex, Drugs and Questionable Whiskey in Old Colorado”
Author Randi Samuelson-Brown joins us on March 5 for “Hell’s Swift Alley: Sex, Drugs and Questionable Whiskey in Old Colorado.” Based on her acclaimed book, Samuelson-Brown will lead a discussion on the 1890s world of prostitution, licit and illicit drugs, bad whiskey recipes and the saloon and brothel culture that flourished in Colorado.
April 2: “Forgotten Women of Routt County”
Revered local historian and author Sureva Towler is back to delight audiences with her wit and wisdom on April 2 with “Forgotten Women of Routt County.” This time Towler unveils some of the marginalized, dismissed, overlooked, and otherwise forgotten women in Routt County history.
The History Happy Hours events are just one example of the museum’s outreach efforts to partner with local organizations to bring unique history programs and events out into the community — to bars, coffees shops, the Chief Theater, Bud Werner Memorial Library, churches, community centers, schools and more. Space is limited.
Candice Bannister is the executive director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum.
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