Treading through time

From mining to skiing to ranching, Routt County has a rich heritage.

To get the full Routt County experience, visitors should take a rest from the area's outdoors activities and visit Tread of Pioneers Museum, where much of that history is easy to access and fun to experience.

"Summertime is one of the most exciting times at the museum because there are lots of fun events and our rotating exhibits turn over," said Candice Lombardo, the museum's executive director. "We'd like to invite everyone to come down and see what's new."
The museum itself is an artifact -- a 1908 Victorian home with pioneer and turn-of-the-century furnishings. Just by walking through the front door, museum visitors can step back in time and experience life in the early days of Steamboat Springs.

Exhibits throughout the museum include:

- Until the end of June, "Crafting the Earth: Masterpieces from the Richard Pleasant Collection of Native American Art." This exhibit showcases the museum's permanent collection of basketry, pottery and textiles from Southwestern U.S. Native American tribes.

- At the end of June, "Crafting the Earth" will change to "Steamboat Businesses," a new exhibit examining historic Steamboat businesses and their impact on Routt County's growth, economy and development.

- The "Foundations of Steamboat" series is a changing exhibit, highlighting a different family each year that has made significant contributions to the culture and heritage of the Yampa Valley. Until August, the exhibit celebrates the Light Family, owners of the famous F.M. Light & Sons store that has operated in downtown Steamboat for more than 100 years.

- The Wild, Wild West Room reminds visitors that Routt County's heritage is sometimes wild and wooly. Don't miss the Harry Tracy Outlaw Audio Exhibit, replica chuck wagon and our extensive firearm collection. Other permanent exhibits include a skiing exhibit and a history of Steamboat exhibit.

- Visitors and residents who are in Steamboat for the Fourth of July should not miss the annual Pioneer Day Block Party at the museum, immediately following the July 4th parade down Lincoln Avenue. Visitors will enjoy live brass music, children's activities, food, "Routt Beer" Floats, community displays and free admission to the museum.

- The Brown Bag Lecture Series is a popular summer program that runs every Friday in July and August from noon to 1 p.m. Speakers cover local history topics such as ranching, mining, pioneers, ski history and more. Call for a listing of the summer 2006 speakers and keep an eye on the "Happenings" section on Page 5 of the Steamboat Today.

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