Tales from the Tread: History Happy Hours return

Tread of Pioneers Museum
Tales from the Tread

The Tread of Pioneers Museum’s History Happy Hours are the perfect pairing of local craft beer and spirits and the rowdy and raucous side of Routt County and Colorado history.

People are welcome to join the museum at 5:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month from October through April — there will be no talk in March — at Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill for the popular event series that features free craft beer from Storm Peak Brewing and, new this year, whiskey tasting with Mythology Distillery. The free event is for adults 21 and over.

What do we mean by rowdy and raucous history? The talks focus on the mysteries, legends, lore, debauchery, conflicts, wars, crimes, lawlessness and wayward ways of the Wild West. Let’s take a look at these upcoming events:

  • On Oct. 3, acclaimed author Randi Samuelson-Brown is back by popular demand to present “Prostitution in the West and the Women of Hell’s Swift Alley.” She unveils the sordid truths from yesteryear surrounding Colorado’s “flesh trade,” the women and their seedy companions, and the influence of alcohol and drugs upon these lifestyles. Colorado wasn’t for the faint of heart in the 1800s, nor is this talk.
  • Denver journalist and author Alan Prendergast joins us on Nov. 7 to present “Con Men and Klansmen: Extremism 100 Years Ago and Today.” Prendergast is the author of “Gangbuster,” a narrative nonfiction account of the Ku Klux Klan’s rise to power in Colorado in the 1920s and a district attorney’s tactics to try to stop them. Prendergast will discuss archival research that went into the book, a “colorful real-life legal thriller,” and the parallels that can be drawn between extremist movements of a century ago and those we are facing today.
  • Renowned author and historian Flint Whitlock returns on Dec. 5 for “The Sand Creek Massacre.” In November 1864, Colorado militiamen attacked a peaceful encampment of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians at Sand Creek in eastern Colorado. Gov. John Evans thought this massacre, led by Colonel John Chivington, would end Native American raids. Instead, it set off 20 more years of bloody conflict.
  • Join History Colorado’s historian and Director of Publications, Sam Bock, for the story of the Centennial State on Jan. 2 in “Foam on the Range: Colorado History Over a Couple of Beers.” Bock has written and created museum exhibitions featuring Colorado’s beer industry that tell us about our state’s past and future. “In just the right light and at just the right angle, a Colorado beer can show you much about our state’s history, our present moment, and where we’re going together,” said Bock.
  • On Feb. 6, Megan Friedel presents “Flying Saucers or Off Their Rockers? Colorado’s Role in the 1966-1968 Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects.” Friedel is Assistant Professor and Lead Archivist for the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries’ Rare and Distinctive Collections. She will explain the story of University of Colorado physicist Edward Condon, who agreed to undertake a federally funded, two-year project in the mid-1960s to study UFO reports that the U.S. Air Force had collected since 1947, and the controversies and opinions surrounding this “out of this world” subject.
  • No March event
  • April 2 will conclude the series with beloved local historian Paul Bonnifield. Well-known around the county for his wit, charm, and unparalleled research, Bonnifield will share “Unconventional Women Who Made History in Colorado.” Sharpshooters, law enforcement, outlaws, and more will make this talk one of Bonnifield’s best.

Grab a beer or taste of whiskey, and take your seat in the history of our wild and woolly state.

If you go

What: Tread of Pioneers Museum’s History Happy Hours

When: First Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. (Oct.-April; no March event)

Where: Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill – 845 Howelsen Pkwy

Info: Event is free. Ages 21 and up only. No RSVP necessary. For more,

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