CLASSic History

Complimentary History Education Programs for Regional Schools

Aspen Historical Society offers history programs with a focus on the upper Roaring Fork Valley’s exciting past shared through character presentations, interactive lessons, and artifact demonstrations. Field trips, site visits, and in-classroom history education programs are provided free of charge for all grade levels. Transportation stipends are available. A general menu of programs is outlined below (advance booking is required and based on availability.)

To schedule a program or learn about transportation stipends, contact Amy Honey.


Phone : 970.925.3721 x 110
Email :


Field trips

Ashcroft Ghost Town

11 miles up Castle Creek Road outside Aspen
1-1.5 hours depending on class size

Explore what remains of the once-booming mining settlement nestled at the headwaters of Castle Creek in the rugged Colorado high country.

Includes rotating stations around the site that explore various aspects of the area’s history:

  • Ute History
  • Different aspects of life and commerce in a mining camp
  • Stuart Mace and the Toklat conservation legacy

To schedule a program or learn about transportation stipends, contact Amy Honey at 970.925.3721 or outreach @

Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum

Marolt Open Space, Aspen
1 hour to 1½  hours, depending on class size

Explore the Roaring Fork Valley’s mining industry through multiple exhibits and large machinery. Also on the property, the restored timecapsule McMurchy/Zupancis barn helps tell the story of ranching, farming, and the hard-working families of Aspen’s ‘Quiet Years’. The residents of the barn include life-sized farm animals and a demonstration ‘milk’ cow, Mautzie, who is very popular with students!


  • Tour of the site, museum, and machinery
  • Tour of the McMurchy/Zupancis barn
Image of the Living Room wallpaper in the Wheeler Stallard House completed in 2021.

Wheeler/Stallard Museum

620 W. Bleeker St., Aspen
1 hour to 1½  hour tour, depending on class size
Different versions are adaptable to different age students

Step back in time and explore life in the 1880s in the Victorian mansion built by iconic figure Jerome B. Wheeler.


  • Tour – Could You Live in 1890?
  • Exhibition – Decade by Decade: Aspen Revealed

Optional activities:

  • Native storytelling and history program with an AHS Educator following by a conversation with Skyler Lomahaftewa, Northern Ute Tribal Member, discussing life as a modern-day Ute.
  • Butter making
  • Candle making
  • Photographic display Aspen Illustrated News in the AHS Archives Building

Specialty Tours

Can accommodate 20 people per AHS Educator.

Hotel Jerome Tour – Hotel Jerome, Aspen

(1 hour tour)
Explore the lobby and first floor of the Hotel Jerome, which has been at the center of community life since its doors opened in 1889.

Victorian West End Walking Tour – West End neighborhood, Aspen

(1½ hour tour)
A stroll through Aspen’s Victorian West End residential neighborhood, with a focus on history and architecture. Learn little-known facts about the neighborhood’s homes and the people who lived in them.

Historical Downtown Walking Tour – Downtown core, Aspen

(1½ hour tour)
Explore the historical buildings and streetscape in downtown Aspen, with interesting stories around every corner.

Red Butte Cemetery Tour – Cemetery Lane, Aspen

(1 hour tour)
A walk through one of Aspen’s historical cemeteries, including insight into the lives of the locals who are buried there.


Interested students are invited to work one on one with AHS staff and community volunteers. Please contact AHS if you have a student specifically interested in history.

In Classroom Programs

Native Peoples/Ute Program

(1 hour program)
In the tradition of oral history, hear Ute stories, and learn what it was like for the native people of Colorado hundreds of years ago prior to their removal from the area, followed by a conversation with Skyler Lomahaftewa, Northern Ute Tribal Member, discussing life as a modern-day Ute.


Native storytelling and Ute history with AHS Educator
Visit with Northern Ute Tribal Member

“History on Stage” Museum Theatre Character Presentations

(45-minute programs, option for different characters to visit each month throughout the school year)
Step back in time with first-person, costumed presentations of former Aspenites in their own words.

Character options include:

Native: John Duncan (Ute tribal officer)
Mining Era: Sarah M. Gillespie, Jerome Wheeler, Ashcroft school teacher Emma Perry
Quiet Years Era: Ella Stallard, Hildur Anderson, Dorothy Shaw, Ella Elisha
Renaissance/Ski Era: T-Lazy 7’s Lou Deane, Toklat’s Isabel and/or Stuart Mace, Gretl Uhl, Billy Fiske, Fred Iselin, Elizabeth Paepcke, Fritz Benedict
1970’s – To Now Era: Former Mayor Eve Homeyer, Joan Metcalf, Betty Pfister

Storytelling Series

(30 minute program, monthly visit throughout the school year)
Partnership with Roaring Fork Valley Storytellers to share native and stories of the area.

A Briefly Complete History of Aspen

(50 minute program)
A very funny, fast paced play covering nearly 150 years of history in 45 minutes featuring three actors, song, dance, and a whole lot of history.
Performed by: Mike Monroney, Nina Gabianelli, and Travis McDiffett

A Briefly Complete History of Modern Aspen

(15 minute program)
An abridged version of the full-length play, covering 1936 to present day.
Performed by: Mike Monroney, Nina Gabianelli, and Travis McDiffett

Color image looking into the tunnel of the the smuggler ming with cables along the right side for powering lights that light the tunnel, ore cart tracks lead into the tunnel as well.

Smuggler Mine Tour

Smuggler Mountain, Aspen
Partnership with Smuggler Mine ($10/student)

  • Tour of the mine
Color image of a Snow White wooden framed tin washboard used for washing and scrubbing clothes before machine washing machines.

History Traveling Trunks

(Trunks can be “checked out” and used in your classroom for a two or three week period.)

Bringing a hands-on interactive museum experience to your classroom, trunks offers teachers a creative and fun teaching tool for local history education. Trunks contain interactive artifacts and a teacher’s guide to help direct lessons.
Trunk options include:

  • Native Peoples Trunk
  • Mining Trunk
  • Ranching Trunk
  • Skiing Trunk

Current Schools

A list of schools we currently serve is below. Wouldn’t you like to adds yours?

  • Aspen Elementary School
  • Aspen Middle School
  • Aspen Country Day School
  • Aspen Community School
  • Marble Charter School
  • Miss Dawn’s Pre School
  • Wildwood Pre School
  • Red Hill Elementary in Eagle County
  • Sopris Elementary
  • Glenwood Springs Elementary School
  • Glenwood Springs  Middle School
  • Basalt Elementary
  • Carbondale Community School
  • Crystal River Elementary School
  • Ross Montessori
  • Waldorf School
  • Blue Lake Pre School

Education Trunks

Aspen Historical Society’s trunks are filled with reproduction artifacts to touch, hold and use. Each trunk includes a teacher’s guide to help direct activities and bring depth to the materials within the trunk.

Fee: Free to schools and non profits with a $50 refundable security deposit

Each trunk can be used as a “show and tell,” as a self-contained unit, or as a jumping off point for more extensive avenues of study. Although the kit is devised to be self-contained and is meant for children from 9 – 13 years of age in a classroom setting, it can also be used for adult groups with an accompanying speaker and for younger children with extra supervision. (Ages 8+)

Color image of minerals and mining commonly found in local mines with a magnifying glass and labels for each type of rock.

Mining Trunk

This trunk focuses on mining in Colorado and, more specifically, silver mining in the Aspen area. A variety of related topics are introduced so that the student is exposed to mining from different perspectives, and a variety of projects are included that promote learning in subject areas such as math and science.

A color image of a four prehistoric replica arrowhead points (corner notched obsidian, two tanged points- one chert and one obsidian, and one red chert side notched point) ranging in dates from 950 AD to 1300 AD

Prehistoric Peoples Discovery Kit (Anasazi)

The Aspen Historical Society’s first traveling educational history trunk. The kit explores the prehistoric peoples of Colorado with a major emphasis on the Anasazi people from the southwestern part of the state. Users of the kit are able to touch the reproduced artifacts in the kit for a “hands-on” learning experience. The kit also offers a glimpse at the ways of prehistoric people, including their means of survival, their home life and social structure, their religious practices and beliefs, and their interaction with other peoples.

Color image of a Snow White wooden framed tin washboard used for washing and scrubbing clothes before machine washing machines.

Ranching Trunk

Focuses on ranching in the Roaring Fork Valley and Colorado and the “Quiet Years” period of Aspen’s history. Ranching is an important part of our history as Americans, Coloradoans and inhabitants of the Roaring Fork Valley. Our identity and character have been shaped by the greater westward movement and the men and women who ranched in this particular valley. Our belief is that it is important to explore this aspect of our background in order to better understand ourselves and our place in the world.

Along with mining and skiing, ranching and farming shaped our valley, its character and its people. During the “Quiet Years” between 1900 and 1945, farming and ranching were the economic backbone of the Roaring Fork Valley. Without these industries, Aspen might well have become another Colorado ghost town.

The Ranching Trunk was designed to help teachers reach as many of the Colorado Model Content Standards in history, geography, and reading and writing as possible. The recent emphasis placed on literacy has also been taken into account, and reading and writing activities have been incorporated wherever possible and appropriate. The Ranching Trunk covers many areas including general history, people of the ranching community, ranching work, community and life.

eColoring Book

Scroll through the coloring pages below (see arrows on either side of image), choose your favorite, right click to save it, print it out and have fun coloring these historical scenes!