The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays 11am-5pm OR by appointment by calling 970.879.2214.

Summer hours after June 1- Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm

Connect with us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and on the Museum During the Pandemic page, for virtual exhibits, events and tours!

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!
Hours: Fri & Sat: 11-5
and by appointment by calling 970.879.2214
Hours & Admission
800 Oak St. Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Staking Their Claim: Pioneer Settlement in the Yampa Valley

Past Exhibit

Pioneers experienced extraordinary hardships and rewards making a life for themselves and their families in the Western frontier with no towns or amenities. In this exhibit, learn about the strength and courage of the early settlers who faced danger, starvation, privation, and loneliness in order to create a new life in the early West. Early pioneers showed amazing resourcefulness and ingenuity to create a new life out of nothing.

Explore the importance of community in the new frontier settlements. Pioneers had to rely on each other to survive which made the bond between them strong, thus making the community strong.

Who were the first settlers to come to the Yampa Valley? Where and how did they live? Discover stories of isolation, harsh winters, dangers, opportunity and freedom. What was life like for the first settlers and why did they make the journey west?

Why would you need to set up a tent inside your sod roof home in during the spring? The Woolery family did due to the snow melt. At first they all sat under the kitchen table, but that was too cramped so Mrs. Woolery set up a tent inside.

  • Why did people seeking relief from respiratory illness come here?
  • What were the first steps to securing a homestead under the Homestead Act?
  • How do you survive winter with small children, no general stores or supplies and the closest neighbor was a three to five mile walk/snowshoe away?
  • How dangerous was the high water in the spring without bridges?
  • What did it take to be a homesteader?
  • What were the requirements of the Homestead Act of 1862?
  • Who were the first to come and where did they come from?
  • What was life like for the first settlers and why did they make the journey west?
  • How did the railroad impact the settlement of the region?

Through pioneer stories, recollections, and historic photographs, the Tread of Pioneers Museum’s newest exhibit, “Staking Their Claim,” tells the story of pioneer settlement in the Yampa Valley. The exhibit features sound clips from oral history interviews with early settlers, film segments detailing the rules of the Homestead Act of 1862, and fascinating pioneer artifacts from the museum’s collection. The exhibit pieces together the stories of hardship and success of making a home and a living in one of the last regions settled in the rugged Rocky Mountain West. Come discover the stories of isolation, dangers, opportunity, and freedom.

The exhibit explores:

  • What did it take to be a homesteader?
  • What were the requirements of the Homestead Act of 1862?
  • Who were the first to come and where did they come from?
  • What was life like for the first settlers and why did they make the journey west?
  • How did the railroad impact the settlement of the region?

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The Covid-19 virus is a serious risk. Those visiting the Tread of Pioneers Museum voluntarily assume that risk and expressly waive any and all claims against the Tread of Pioneers Museum in any way related to any illnesses possibly contracted at this venue or any of our events.

Tribal Lands Acknowledgement
The Board and Staff of the Tread of Pioneers Museum respectfully acknowledge the Ute people, the original inhabitants of Northwest Colorado, and other Indigenous Nations of this area where we now reside. We recognize that the establishment of this region impacted the lifeways of Native peoples and their communities. In accepting this, we are called to utilize this educational institution to teach stewardship of the land and continuing commitment to the inclusion and respect of these Nations and their traditional values for their homelands.