Aspen trees in the snow, circa 1980. Aspen Historical Society, Durrance Collection
Click here for the winter tour schedule, beginning December 6, 2019. Select tours are offered by appointment during the fall, dependent on guide availability.
“A Briefly Complete History of Aspen” Live Performance
Wednesday, January 8 5:30pm Aspen Art Museum, 637 E. Hyman Ave. Free in partnership with Aspen Art Museum 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.
Aspen History 101 and Aspen Extreme at Wintersköl™
Thursday, January 9 Aspen History 101, 5:30 p.m. Aspen Extreme, 7:30 p.m. Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave. Free in partnership with ACRA and the Wheeler Opera House for Wintersköl™ 2020 TICKET REQUIRED – advance reservations recommended, to secure your seat clickhere for Aspen History 101 and here for Aspen Extreme or call the Wheeler Box Office at 970.920.5770 Kick off the Wintersköl™ weekend with Aspen History 101 and a screening of Aspen Extreme. Aspen History 101, a theatrical crash course in local lore, was born from the no-credit, all-fun college of the Rockies, also known as the Aspen State Teachers College. The performance features actors, actresses, song, dance, resurrecting the party-loving atmosphere of Aspen State Teachers College, arguably one of the more entertaining aspects of area history! Attendees will receive an Aspen State Teacher’s College “student ID” which is good for one free beer at the bar following the “course.” The evening ends with a screening of the iconic 1993 film Aspen Extreme, which tells the well-known and oft-repeated story of two ski bums who ditch everything to live the ski instructor dream in Aspen. Get out your “onsies” and come in costume for just Aspen History 101, the film screening, or both!
Book Signing with Tim Willoughby
Wednesday, January 15 4:30 p.m. Community Gallery, AHS Archive Building, 620 W. Bleeker St. Free Join author, historian and native Aspenite Tim Willoughby for a book signing and discussion of his new work Backside of Aspen Mountain How Five Men Forged a Community. The recently published book tells the story of Aspen’s origins as a silver mining community through the lens of five who helped guide the future of the mining town. Interweaving stories over three generations, the book explores Aspen’s progression to a world-renowned ski resort. Willoughby has been writing a weekly Aspen history column for the Aspen Times for over ten years, sourcing oral history, documents, and photos that belonged to his family who, came to Aspen in the 1880s. Tim will discuss the book, answer questions and sign copies, which will be available for purchase at the event with a portion of proceeds benefiting Aspen Historical Society.
History Lessons with Larry
Third Thursday of each month, January – March 3 – 4 p.m. Community Gallery, AHS Archive Building, 620 W. Bleeker St. Free Longtime Aspen Historical Society volunteer Larry Fredrick will share in-depth but timely lessons in specific areas of Aspen history. A mining expert, Larry’s breadth of knowledge and enthusiasm for stories from the past will entertain budding historians of all ages and interest!
January 16th – Unraveling the Real Silver Queen Story
February 20th – Recreation in the Early Years
March 19th – Durant Avenue: Then & Now
Sundays LIVE in Snowmass | History “On Stage” Aspen’s Ski Pioneers
Third Sunday of each month, January – March 7 – 8 p.m. The Collective, Snowmass Base Village $10 suggested donation at the door – limited seating – first come first serve Join history scholars and actors from Aspen Historical Society for first-person accounts of area ski pioneers in LIVE museum theatre character performances on Sundays at The Collective in Snowmass. Hear from legendary Aspenites “in their own words” during these special programs presented in partnership with the Town of Snowmass.
January 19th – Billy Fiske performed by Mike Monroney
February 16th – Fred Iselin performed by Alexander Hunter
March 15th – Gretl Uhl performed by Nina Gabianelli
Time Travel Tuesdays | Aspen in Focus: A Look at the AHS Photo Collections
Tuesday, February 4 5:30 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave. $10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members Click HERE to purchase tickets or call the Wheeler Box Office at 970.920.5770 Join AHS staff for the inside scoop on the Society’s most robust historical photo collections. From mining era photographer Col. John Bowman and prolific early-Aspen photographer Horsethief Kelly to the Aspen Illustrated News to the Durrance, Berko and Mary Eshbaugh Hayes collections, you’ll learn about collection’s origins and plans for one of the largest public photo archives in the region in this first Time Travel Tuesdays program in The Vault at the Wheeler Opera House.
Time Travel Tuesdays | History “On Stage” Fred Iselin & Gretl Uhl
Tuesday, February 11 5:30 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave. $10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members Click HERE to purchase tickets, or call the Wheeler Box Office at 970.920.5770 History scholars and actors Alexander Hunter and Nina Gabianelli will present first-person accounts of ski pioneers Fred Iselin and Gretl Uhl in two Chautauqua-style character performances. Iselin, a successful European ski racer, moved to Aspen from Switzerland (via Sun Valley) in 1947. Iselin became the ski resort’s iconic instructor, pioneering a unique style of skiing and a fresh approach to instructing. Uhl, a Germon-born skier and the “Queen of Strudel” arrived in Aspen in 1953. After working as an instructor, Gretl took over a newly built ski-in restaurant in Tourtelotte Park on Aspen Mountain that quickly grew famous among local and visiting skiers. Hear from these legendary Aspenites “in their own words” during the conversation-style museum theatre performances for Time Travel Tuesdays in The Vault at the Wheeler Opera House.
Retro Film Series
Partnership with Limelight Hotel Aspen Second Thursday of each month, February – April 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Limelight Hotel, 355 S Monarch St. (Screenings in the Monarch room off the lobby) $10 suggested donation at the door – limited seating – first come first serve Join Aspen Historical Society at the Limelight Hotel to explore skiing’s illustrious past in the Aspen/Snowmass area. This community series features a wide range of vintage films from the Aspen Historical Society collection. Spanning several decades, the visual histories bring retro skiing to life on the big screen! Food and beverage specials offered at the Limelight bar may be enjoyed during the screenings.
Thursday, February 13th Film #1 – Yoo Hoo I’m a Bird – (1955) (26 minutes) Film by Fred Iselin Film #2 – ski footage from Taos, Vail & Aspen (~1965) (23 minutes) Footage by John Jay
Thursday, March 12th Film #1 – Big Week in Aspen (1964) (23 minutes) Film by Jack Douglas Film #2 – ski footage from Aspen (late 1960s) (22 minutes) Footage by Dick Barrymore
Thursday, April 9th Film #1 – 10th Mountain Division footage from Camp Hale (1940s) (15 minutes) Film #2 – tbd
Time Travel Tuesdays | History “On Stage” Davis Hanson Waite & Eve Homeyer
Tuesday, February 18 5:30 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave. $10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members Click HERE to purchase tickets, or call the Wheeler Box Office at 970.920.5770 In honor of the centennial anniversary of woman’s suffrage in 2020, history scholars and actors Mike Monroney and Lynn Aliya will present first-person accounts of Aspenites Davis Hanson Waite and Eve Homeyer in conversation style museum theatre performances. Waite, the Populist eighth Governor of Colorado, was an instrumental champion of the suffrage journey in CO. A lawyer who moved to Leadville and then Aspen around 1880, Waite also started the newspaper that is now the Aspen Times. Eve Homeyer was Aspen’s first female mayor, serving for two terms from 1970 – 1973. A Nebraska native, Eve moved to Aspen in 1959 to “ski bum.” Ten year’s later, she ran for mayor on a platform that prioritized preserving open space through strategic community development, the public transportation, and many other causes that define modern Aspen. Get inspired during this election year with stories from impactful local politicians “in their own words” during Time Travel Tuesdays in The Vault at the Wheeler Opera House.
Time Travel Tuesdays | Selections from “The Mother of Us All,” Susan B. Anthony Opera presented by University of Northern Colorado
Tuesday, March 3 5:30 – 7 p.m. Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave. $10 / free for AHS Lixiviator members Click HERE to purchase tickets, or call the Wheeler Box Office at 970.920.5770 Aspen Historical Society brings the University of Northern Colorado Theatre Department to Aspen this March to present selections from “The Mother of Us All” in honor of the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote in the United States. The fanciful historical opera, written by Virgil Thomson to a libretto by Gertrude Stein, chronicles the life of Susan B. Anthony, a force in the fight for woman’s suffrage. Thanks to statewide grassroots efforts, Colorado passed a popular referendum in 1893, becoming the first state to grant woman the right to vote. Throughout the 2020 election year, AHS will honor the state’s progressive suffrage journey and nation’s largest expansion of voting rights in history, beginning with this special performance that celebrates inclusive democracy.
History on Tap | Skiing in Colorado with Dr. Duane Vandenbusche
Thursday, March 19th 5:30 – 7 p.m. Downstairs at The Little Nell, 675 E Durant Ave Click HERE to purchase tickets online in advance (advance ticketing closes 3/18) $10 in advance / $15 at the door if available Ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer History on Tap is generously sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company Join Aspen Historical Society and the incoming CO State Historian Dr. Duane Vandenbusche for an Aspen Brewing Company beer and the history of skiing in Aspen.
The Aspen Historical Society actively preserves and passionately presents our local history in an inspired and provocative manner that will continue to anchor our community and its evolving character. We enhance the lives of those with whom we work and live. We offer a compelling reason to live in and to visit Aspen/Snowmass.