Tales from the Tread: Snowshoe through women’s history | SteamboatToday.com

Tales from the Tread: Snowshoe through women’s history

Candice Bannister
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Portia Mansfield, Charlotte Perry, and Marjorie Perry pose in their dance attire. The women will be featured March 18 for the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Yampatika’s “Snowshoe Through History” event that celebrates Women’s History Month in March.
Tread of Pioneers Museum/Courtesy

To know women’s history is to understand the American experience. Although often underrepresented in recorded histories, women helped build our nation and Routt County, and women continue to shape our future. 

To celebrate Women’s History Month in March, the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Yampatika are teaming up to host another Snowshoe Through History at the Legacy Ranch at 4 to 6 p.m. March 18. Space is limited, so sign up today at yampatika.org.

The evening begins with a snowshoe tour of the ranch with Yampatika guides to learn about winter ecology. Then, guests will go inside the historic ranch house for warm happy hour beverages and a presentation of local women’s history with the Tread of Pioneers Museum. The following significant women will be featured:

  • Elizabeth Hutchinson was the pioneer homesteader of the Legacy/Arnold Ranch, the location of the Snowshoe Through History event and Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center. Her life was marked by fortitude and industriousness as she earned a living and managed her various businesses on her own as a divorced woman in the early 20th century.
  • Charlotte Perry and Portia Mansfield are the founders of nationally renowned Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp. These Smith College graduates sought to merge the beauty of art and nature at the camp they built in Strawberry Park in 1914. Over a century later, the camp continues to provide performing arts excellence to students and artists from around the nation.
  • Eleanor Bliss is most associated with the Steamboat Springs Arts Council and saving the Depot Art Center from demolition in 1972. What is not well-known is her adventurous spirit and her long-distance ski and horseback treks up and over mountain ranges, often in treacherous conditions with her lifelong companion Marjorie Perry.
  • Though outlaws and lawlessness were in her bloodlines, Ida Younger thrived on the right side of the law. This former Routt County resident forged her unique path in law enforcement beginning in the 1950s. Her sharpshooting skills and service in the Denver Sheriff’s Department made her a trailblazer in the male-dominated field. 
  • Emma Hull Peck laid the foundations of Routt County’s education system. In the late 1800s, she took over the County School Superintendent job from her husband and traveled nearly 2,000 miles a year in her horse-drawn sleigh and wagon to serve Routt County youth. She enhanced the lives of thousands of children throughout her career as a teacher and administrator, while managing her own ranch and family of six. Her drive and leadership are commendable, especially in the earliest days of Routt County.

We hope you will join us to celebrate Women’s History Month where we will honor Routt County women who have shaped our county’s history and continue to inspire us all.

If you go

What: Snowshoe Through History
When: 4 to 6 p.m. March 18
Where: Legacy Ranch, 35435 U.S. Highway 40
Registration: For ages 21 and older. Space is limited; sign up at yampatika.org

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

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