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The Springs of Steamboat: Healing Waters, Sparkling Soda & Mysterious Caves
For centuries, the Ute Indian Tribe would soak their bodies and horses in the area’s mineral springs that they believed were healing and sacred. Later, Steamboat Springs’ town founder James Crawford saw great potential in the springs. Crawford built the first bathhouse over the Heart Spring where many weary travelers and settlers enjoyed a warm soak—a unique luxury in the frontier west.
Foundations of Steamboat: The Luekens Family
The Foundations of Steamboat exhibit honors families who have made a significant contribution to Northwest Colorado. For over 50 years, the Luekens family served the Steamboat Springs community as civic leaders, charter members, and volunteers. After his arrival to the valley in 1913, Claude Luekens was a force of progress and leadership through service in local government, town development and improvements, and business. “He considered it his job to make sure Steamboat was put on the map,” Claude’s son, Claude Luekens Jr. once said.
The Pleasant Collection of American Indian Art
Experience an exceptional collection of American Indian art from the Southwest including ceramics, basketry, weaving, and beadwork. Collected by Maybell, Colorado, natives Richard and his father Johnny Pleasant, the artifacts were gifted to the museum over sixty years ago. This stunning collection primarily comprises pieces from 1900-1940, created by Pueblo, Pima, Papago, Apache, and Navajo artists. Learn about these tribes and their traditions and craftsmanship in this exclusive exhibit from the Tread of Pioneers Museum.
Lens to the Landscape: The Photography of John Lanterman
This exhibit illustrates the history and settlement of Routt County through the lens of historic structures, landscapes, and other elements of the built environment. The history of Routt County and Northwest Colorado is explored through photographic images that tell a story of early ranch life, the evolution of towns, and the influence of the natural systems on the development of the Yampa Valley.
Howelsen Hill Audio Tour Answers History’s Call
The sounds of history will echo through the base of historic Howelsen Hill through a new audio tour post that shares the unmatched history of the 105-year-old ski area, Steamboat Springs’ Olympic heritage and the legacy of Norwegian Carl Howelsen.
Six unique stories share the history, character and spirit of this special location. Hear from Steamboat Springs’ first Olympian John Steele (1932) and six-time winter Olympian Todd Lodwick, as well as stories about Carl Howelsen, Howelsen Hill, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Winter Carnival and the sports of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined.
Olympian Tribute Display
Honoring all our local Olympians who represent Ski Town USA ® on the world stage. Located on the second floor of Thunderhead Lodge (upper gondola building) at the Steamobat Ski Area.
Pioneer Kids Bedroom Hands-On Discovery Exhibit
The Tread of Pioneers Museum has created a dedicated kid-friendly exhibit that represents a typical child’s bedroom in Steamboat Springs around 1900. Special exhibit features includes pioneer clothes to try on and historic and replica toys from the turn of the 19th century ready for touching and experimentation including books, blocks, china dolls, teddy bears, porcelain tea sets, stereoscope, and more—all ready for play and interaction. Framed portraits on the wall feature local families and children from the early 1900s.
Steamboat Springs: The Land, The People, The Town
Discover the inspiring landscapes, indigenous Utes, hardy settlers, and rugged ranchers who made this valley home. Learn about town founders and how the town of Steamboat Springs developed in this introductory exhibit. Don’t miss our “Hands On Fun!” elements throughout the exhibit.
Ski Town Exhibit
SOAR into the the history of skiing in Steamboat Springs in our new exhibit! "Ski Town USA" traces the evolution of skiing in our town from essential winter-time transportation to the wolrd reknown recreational sport of today. See the predecessor of the today's snowboard, a chair from the chairlift that once went to the top of Emerald Mountain, and memorabilia from Steamboat's Olympic athletes.
exhibits in the Victorian House
Western Heritage Exhibit
Our Western Heritage exhibit which is located in the Victorian house features an extensive firearms collection, a replica chuckwagon, an agricultural heritage display, and an audio exhibit and the artifacts from the capture of the infamous outlaw, Harry Tracy (ruthless member of Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang).
Victorian House - Period-Furnished Rooms
Tour the Zimmerman House and step back in time in our turn-of-the-century period-furnished rooms. A ranch-style kitchen, Victorian dining room, parlor, and bedroom await you.
Native American Exhibit
The Native American exhibit features a popular selection from our collection of Edward S. Curtis photogravures. These powerful Native American images have become famous around the world. As well, this exhibit displays our extensive collection of American Indian weaving, pottery, basketry, and beadwork.
Semotan - A Steamboat Legacy Since 1886
Whether it's locally homesteading in the 1800s, running a large cattle operation on the Elk River, Competitively skiing, becoming a major founder of today's American Quarter Horse, or being featured on the ski resort's iconic "Steamobat Barn" poster, you would be hard-pressed to find a family that embodies the Yampa Valley spirit more than the Semotans.
Cows, Coal and Commerce: 109 Years of the Moffat Railroad in Steamboat Springs
Catch the train! To help celebrate the Creative Caboose renovation project, the Tread of Pioneers Museum presents Cows, Coal, and Commerce: 109 Years of the Moffat Railroad in Steamboat Springs exhibit at the historic Depot Arts Center, home of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council. Utilizing historic photographs, personal accounts, and artifacts the exhibit outlines the various impacts of the railroad’s arrival in Steamboat Springs.
End of an Era: An exhibit honoring the Routt County men and women who served in World War II
Eight decades after the start of World War II, most people old enough to remember that time as an adult has passed, and the world that war created is rapidly disappearing before our eyes. And yet, World War II involved virtually every part of the world during the years 1939–1945. Although the U.S. entered WW II last, most historians agree that WW II was won as surely on the American home front as it was on the battlefield.
Portrayals of the American West
The Steamboat Art Museum is pleased to present “Portrayals of the American West,” showcasing the work of renowned historic Western photographers Roland Reed, Edward Curtis, A.G. and Augusta Wallihan and L.A. Huffman who all worked at the turn of the 19th century. Possibly the first time the works of these five photographers have been displayed together, the exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 3, and continues through Saturday, April 2, 2022.
Staking Their Claim: Pioneer Settlement in the Yampa Valley
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.
An Artist’s View: Cultural and Heritage Landscapes of Northwest Colorado
Honoring the deep connection between art and heritage in the Yampa Valley, the Tread of Pioneers Museum is proud to host seven local artists who through their artwork, pay tribute to the Yampa Valley and its remarkable history. This mixed media exhibit reveals their individual styles and responses to this tapestry of our local landscape and culture.
Postcards from the Past: Travel, Tourism & Scenic Places in Early Steamboat Springs
Discover the places and activities that shaped this wild western frontier town into a beloved Rocky Mountain destination and later, a world-class resort. Many of the scenic vistas, mineral springs, abundant wildlife, and trout-filled mountain streams that drew the Ute Indians and early settlers to this magnificent area also attracted the first tourists as well as the current visitors from around the world.
Journeys West: Pioneer Tales from the Wagon Trail
In 1873, the Crawford family loaded up their wagons in Sedalia, Missouri and headed to Colorado in search of a new life in the area that would eventually become Steamboat Springs. But how did they and other pioneer families do it? What were their routes? What did they eat? How did they survive sickness, inclement weather, wild animals, treacherous mountain passes with no roads and the grueling long hours? Drawing on diaries, personal memoirs, photographs and actual objects from Routt County’s first pioneer families, “Journeys West: Pioneer Tales from the Wagon Trail”
explores what life was really like for these brave frontier adventurers.
Once Upon a Town: The Building of Routt County’s Communities
Discover the people and events that shaped Routt County's once wild western frontier outposts into today's beloved Rocky Mountain destinations. The county's main towns, Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Yampa, and Oak Creek, emerged as trading centers for goods and services in support of burgeoning ranching, farming and mining activities. But in this vast rural region, many more small communities rose up around scattered post offices, stage stops and schoolhouses that connected isolated homesteads and ranches to the outside world.
Human Imprint: Structures, Artifacts & Women
Through this project, artist Sarah Gjertson explores historic mining sites around Colorado, many of which of are in precarious states due to long term exposure, neglect and other human impacts. Gjertson has documented and researched a variety of these sites and uncovered some of the lesser known histories of women and their contributions to this highly mythologized time in the American West.
A photographic exhibition from the Tread of Pioneers Museum collection of significant buildings lost over the years.
River rock, logs and quarry stone: the practical builders and architects of Routt County used locally available material to build Steamboat Springs’ early stores, schools and churches. As a result, those buildings reflected history, geology, talent and Northwest Colorado style.
Foundations of Steamboat exhibit: The Hudspeth Family
Respected, hard-working, giving--those words are often associated with the Hudspeth family of Steamboat Springs. As ranchers, teachers, and community club members, the family has been a staple of the community since 1913. Today, Katherine Hudspeth Gourley and her children carry on her family’s one-hundred-year valley history. The Tread of Pioneers Museum is proud to honor the Hudspeth family in the Foundations of Steamboat exhibit series.
Honor Roll of Routt County in the Great World War
An exhibit honoring the American Legion and the courageous citizens from Routt County who served in World War I. OPENS OCT. 2!
One hundred years ago, the war to end all wars concluded and shortly after, the national American Legion and local Post in Steamboat Springs was formed. The Tread of Pioneers Museum honors the individuals from Routt County who served our country in World War I and highlights local American Legion history.
Muse of Marble: The Works of Artist Gutzon Borglum
Exhibit featuring 39 antique photogravure prints of sculptures by famed sculptor and creator of Mt. Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum.
At the apex of his career as the preeminent American sculptor of the early 20th century, Gutzon Borglum, who was commissioned to sculpt Mt. Rushmore, created a collection of select images to record his work. This was accomplished by etching images of the pieces onto photogravure copper plates, which were inked and printed on thin paper, designed to be shown together as a suite.
Snowflakes - Nature’s Dazzling Design Photograph Exhibition
Discover nature’s dazzling designs through this photographic exhibition of enlarged microscopic images of snowflakes from photographer Kenneth Libbrecht and world famous weather and snow crystal photomicrography expert Wilson A. Bentley.
The relationship between horses and humans in Northwest Colorado developed out of interdependence, necessity, hard work, and love. We have shaped horses to suit our evolving needs. From working on farms, to pulling stagecoaches, to recreational activities, horses have remained a valued and sometimes critical member of our economy and family. While our dependence on horses for work and transportation has declined, people continue to rely on horses as their spirited, dedicated, much adored companions.
Inspiration – Four Seasons at Perry-Mansfield
“Inspiration – Four Seasons at Perry-Mansfield” is a collaborative exhibit showcasing the artwork of Chula Beauregard and the history of the renowned, century-old performing arts camp in Steamboat Springs.
Edward S. Curtis Exhibit
It’s such a big dream, I can’t see it all. - Edward S. Curtis was a driven, charismatic, pioneer artist and photographer who set out at the turn of the last century to document traditional American Indian life before it disappeared. He rose from obscurity to become the most famous photographer of his time. Curtis abandoned his career as a successful portrait photographer and spent 30 years creating an astonishing body of work capturing Native American culture: 10,000 audio recordings, 20 volumes of text, a full length motion picture, and 40,000 photographs.
Two Friends Meet
These limited edition fine art prints created by Gary Hawk, a renowned Western and wildlife watercolor artist, capture the mood, quality and simplistic lifestyle that is uniquely our local heritage. The prints were bequeathed to the Tread of Pioneers Museum by the Vernon Summer estate and feature Vernon Summer, the quintessential cowboy, working on his ranch in Sidney, just south of Steamboat Springs.
Creativity in Motion: Celebrating 100 Years of Perry-Mansfield : June 2013-May 2014
Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp began in 1913. Located in a charming, rustic camp setting in Steamboat Springs’ Strawberry Park, the camp is the longest continuously operating camp of its kind in the United States. Creative and educational programs in dance, theatre, art, music, writing, equestrian, and more make it a unique haven for diverse artistic expression for students ages eight through college. Camp founders Charlotte Perry and Portia Mansfield had a tenacious and innovative vision. Their vision and camp are thriving today in its 100th year.
Foundations of Steamboat Exhibit: The Squire/Hogue Family
The Foundations of Steamboat exhibit honors families who have made a significant contribution to Northwest Colorado. With roots in Routt County since 1884, the Squire/ Hogue family has successfully run a 100-year- old ranch and an iconic historic downtown building. The exhibit is told through the words of Margaret Squire Hogue, a light-hearted and hard-working rancher and mother. Highlighted are family keepsakes and a 10th Mountain Division soldier’s love letters sent from the front lines of World War II.
Ski Patrol in Steamboat Springs: Celebrating 75 Years
When Norwegian ski jumper Carl Howelsen introduced recreational and competitive skiing and ski jumping to Steamboat Springs in 1913, he could have never imagined the skiing legacy that would follow. Known as the “Father of Skiing in Colorado,” in Steamboat Springs, Howelsen started the first ski club and Winter Carnival (both now over 100 years old) and built the first ski jump on a steep hill in downtown Steamboat Springs, now known as the Howelsen Hill Ski Area. Howelsen’s influence would later transform Steamboat Springs into “Ski Town USA®,” a town now boasting more Olympic athletes than any other town in the nation.
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.