Your top destination to learn about Steamboat Springs history! Your top destination to learn about Steamboat Springs history!
Your top destination to learn about Steamboat Springs history! Your top destination to learn about Steamboat Springs history! Your top destination to learn about Steamboat Springs history!
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Hours: Tues - Sat: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
970-879-2214 - Hours & Admission
800 Oak St. Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

History Happy Hours

Location: Butcherknife Brewery, (2875 Elk River Rd.)
Cost: Free
Sponsors Special thanks to the Rabbit Ears Motel and Butcherknife Brewery for supporting this event!


Oct. 2: “The Adventures and Misadventures of the Powell Expeditions” with Ray Sumner

Hear about the expeditions of Major John Wesley Powell to Colorado in 1867-69 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 would result in the removal of the Northern Utes from Colorado.

The speaker, Ray Sumner, is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who returned to academia upon retiring in 2016. He completed two Master of Arts in history degrees this past May. One from Colorado State University where he focused on Public history with specialties in museum studies and public history. The second was from American Military University (AMU) where he focused on nineteenth century U.S. History and wrote his thesis on the Powell Expeditions. He is now working on his PhD in Anthropology an archaeology concentration. He plans to focus his dissertation on nineteenth century historic archaeology in Colorado. His interest in Colorado history and archaeology comes from his family’s long connection to Colorado. His second great grandfather was John Colton Sumner, Captain Jack, who served as Powell’s guide in Colorado and his lead boatmen during the 1869 river expedition through the Grand Canyon. Jack was an early resident of at the Hot Sulphur Springs which his brother-in-law, William Newton Byers, the founder of the Rocky Mountain News acquired in the early 1860s.

Nov. 6: “Brewed at Altitude: The History of Colorado Brewing” with American Brewing Historian and Left Hand Brewer, Carl Rose

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-early 20th century and the fight against Prohibition, to the Post-War development of Coors Brewing as a national brand, and finally the rise of the craft brewing movement.

Carl Rose is a Colorado native who took his passion for his home state, brewing and history and rolled it into one. His graduate research covered the pre-Prohibiton history of America's Brewing Industry with particular focus on Colorado. He has taught American and American West History at the Community College level and he is currently working with History Colorado on their upcoming brewing history exhibit, Beer Here!: A Hoppy History of Colorado's Brewers. (Opening Spring 2019.) He has also been a professional brewer in the Colorado craft beer scene for almost a decade.

Dec. 4: “Rowdy and Raucous Routt County” with local historian Paul Bonnifield

Renown local historian Paul Bonnifield returns with stories, characters, and crimes of mischief and misbehavior. Don’t miss your chance to “get more local” with Paul Bonnifield as your guide.

Jan. 1: No event due to New Year’s Day

Feb. 5: "Deadman's Grave: A Tale of the Wild West and a Search for the Truth" with Amy Ackman

In the year 1883, on a high bench, fifteen miles south of Jensen, Utah, a man is found dead near the side of the road. William Redman is found shot, his horse is loose, and his belongings appear to be intact. Deemed a suicide, Redman was buried where he lay. Was it a suicide? What led him to his tragic fate? Digging through local tales and historic gossip, we found he is actually a man on the run from the law and was part of a gunslinging fight over politics. A man who caused plenty of ruckus in his lifetime is still causing controversy today. What’s next for Deadman’s Grave?

March 5 : “Hell’s Swift Alley: Sex, Drugs and Questionable Whiskey in Old Colorado” with author Randi Samuelson-Brown

Randi Samuelson-Brown is a Colorado native from Golden. Her book, The Beaten Territory, has been a finalist for literary awards and is a Tattered Cover Staff Pick. She considers herself fortunate to be able to share some of Colorado’s murky history with others.

Denver was a wide-open town, living up to its Wild West reputation. Randi 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. Books available for sale and signing.

April 2: “Forgotten Women of Routt County” with Sureva Towler

Sureva Towler is back to delight audiences with her wit and local wisdom. This time, Towler unveils some of the marginalized, dismissed, overlooked and otherwise forgotten women in Routt County history.

Join the Tread of Pioneers Museum the first Tuesday of every month, October through April, at 5:30pm at the Butcherknife Brewery (2875 Elk River Road) for our most popular event series called “History Happy Hours.” The event takes the rowdy and raucous side of Routt County and Colorado history out to the community and into beloved happy hour.

“We're thrilled to extend the reach of both Butcherknife and the Tread of Pioneers Museum by offering the opportunity to bring together locals who want to learn more about this incredible place we call home,” said Mark Fitzgerald, owner of Butcherknife Brewery.

What do we mean by rowdy and raucous history? The focus of the talks will be the mysteries, legends, lore, debauchery, conflicts, wars, crimes, lawless, and lawmen of the Wild West. Topics have included: “Brooklyn: Steamboat’s Red Light District,” “Routt County’s Cattle and Sheep Range Wars,” “Outlaws and Lawmen of Routt County,” “Crimes and Conflicts in Routt County History,” and more.
Other planned topics include local murder mysteries and kidnappings, the White River War and the Meeker Incident, rowdy women, and more.

The event is just one example of the museum’s efforts to partner with local organizations and bring unique history programs and events out to the community—to bars, coffees shops, the Chief Theater, Bud Werner Library, churches, schools, and more. Programs take place at different times and days of the week to accommodate the schedules of locals, visitors, and varying age groups.

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