Programs & Events

There are plenty of opportunities to safely explore and experience area history this summer, including outdoor guided tours, the Wheeler/Stallard Museum,  the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, Independence Ghost Town, and Ashcroft Ghost Town.

Advance registration is required for all programs and events (with the exception of the Ice Cream Social). Current public health protocols are observed. More information at aspenhistory.org or 970.925.3721.

Highlands Sky Ride in 1980
Aspen Historical Society, Aspen Times Collection

Free Admission Day featuring extended hours for Decade by Decade: Aspen Revealed exhibition
Tuesday, June 22 | 11 am – 8 pm
Wheeler/Stallard Museum
FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION ALL DAY
AHS welcomes the public to the Wheeler/Stallard Museum for a special celebration of the exhibition in the second floor galleries and the unveiling of the extensive Victorian wallpaper restoration project on the first floor. While you’re visiting, be sure to pop into the Archives Building Community Gallery to view the Maps through the Decades display.

Decade by Decade: Aspen Revealed explores the stories that shaped the community’s distinct identity. From mining boom to dilapidated ranching town to today’s international recreational and cultural resort, Aspen forged a unique path. Featuring photographs and artifacts that represent Aspen’s connection to national events and trends, the exhibition reflects on the community’s place within the larger historical landscape of the nation – sometimes congruent, sometimes divergent, but always exciting. Decade by Decade: Aspen Revealed will appeal to visitors and locals of all ages, showcasing the depth of the AHS Collection.

Maps through the Decades, on display in the Archives Building Community Gallery, features historical maps of many varieties from the AHS Archives. From mining claims to trail maps, the new display presents a curated selection of the extensive AHS map collection. The display features maps as functional works of art from 1870 through 1970, celebrating the creation process of maps such as the Hayden Geological Survey and illustrating how maps shaped the evolution of the area from wildlands to mining camp to modern mountain town.

History Hike (Aspen Mountain)
Saturday, July 10 | 9 am– 12 pm
Meet at Koch Lumber Park
Advance reservations required, purchase online beginning June 1
limit 10 hikers
$10/Free for AHS Lixiviator level and above members
Explore the once-rich silver deposits and the tailings that remain on Aspen’s eponymous hill—a maze of tunnels, mines, and mining remnants—on this hike that ascends 3,200 feet.

History on Tap: A Briefly Complete History of Aspen 2.0 Live Performance
Friday, July 23 | 5:30 – 7 pm
Willoughby Park
advance registration required, purchase online beginning June 1
$15 (ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer)
Newly updated to include the past decade—three professionally trained actors perform a 45-minute crash course in Aspen history featuring song, dance, and character presentations that will leave you laughing and breathless.
Part of the History on Tap series, where history meets beer!

Water in the Age of Silver: Touring Aspen’s “Holden Works”
A program of Roaring Fork Conservancy offered in partnership with City of Aspen Parks & Open Space
Wednesday, July 28th | 5:30 pm
Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum
Free, advance registration with Roaring Fork Conservancy is required, register online beginning July 7
Discover the largest industrial site in the history of Pitkin County: a then-state-of-the-art silver processing plant known as the Holden Lixiviation Works. Built on the banks of Castle Creek in 1891 by Edward Royal Holden, the plant led to innovative and sometimes destructive uses of water resources for hydropower and waste disposal. Explore the history, the museum, and the remnants of the “Works” (including the newly reconstructed cable derrick) to learn how one of our most precious resources, freshwater, was utilized in a different era.

Annual Ice Cream Social
Saturday, August 7th | 2 pm– 4 pm
Wheeler/Stallard Museum
Free event admission / $3 ice cream bowls / $5 spiked “Aspen Crud” milkshakes
Guests of all ages are invited to celebrate the longstanding tradition of a community ice cream social in Aspen! The free event features music, a presentation of “A Briefly Complete History of Aspen” (a 45-minute crash course in Aspen history featuring song, dance, and character presentations), and most importantly, ice cream bowls replete with toppings! Boozy milkshakes for adults are available for a small fee. Since the mining era in Aspen, ice cream socials have been a popular summer gathering in the community.

History Hike (Green Mountain)
Saturday, August 14 | 9 am – 12 pm
Meet at the Farwell Mill turnout on Hwy 82
Advance reservations required at aspenhistory.org, purchase online beginning June 1
limit 10 hikers
$10/Free for Lixiviator level and above members
Adventure over the streams and through the woods to Independence’s lesser-known and secluded sister ghost town, home to several old miners’ cabins and the leftovers of a once-bustling mining operation. Meet at the Farwell Mill parking lot, mile marker 56.5 on Highway 82 up Independence Pass.

Twilight Cemetery Tour
Monday, August 23 | Red Butte Cemetery
Sign up for your preferred time slot, limit 10 per tour: 6 pm, 6:15 pm, 6:30 pm, 6:45 pm, 7 pm, 7:15 pm and 7:30 pm (1 ½  hour tours)
$15, advance registration required, purchase online beginning June 1
As the full moon rises, you’ll hear stories from some of the cemetery’s most notable “residents” through museum theatre-style character performances. Learn about these former citizens of Aspen and their marks on history on a stroll through the town’s storied Red Butte Cemetery at twilight.

History on Tap: Walls CAN Talk, Zupancis Cabin Restoration
Thursday, September 16th | 5:30 – 7 pm
Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum

$15 (ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer), advance registration required, purchase online beginning June 1
Join AHS for a panel discussion about the extensive Zupancis homestead buildings restoration project that is ongoing at the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum property. From preserved runs of Victorian wallpaper to asbestos-laden walls, conservation projects are always an adventure! Moderated by AHS Curator Lisa Hancock, panelists include expert architectural conservator Natalie Feinberg Lopez, former City of Aspen Historic Preservation Officer Amy Simon, and project architect and AHS trustee Charles Cunniffe. The program will include insight into historical restoration best practices, as well as details about the work accomplished thus far on the miner’s-cabin-turned-Victorian-era-home, shed, and barn.
Part of the History on Tap series, where history meets beer!