Programs & Events

Live performance of “A Briefly Complete History of Aspen” at the Wheeler/Stallard Museum

Click here for the menu of daily tours.

Holden/Marolt Hoedown & Barn-Raising

Tuesday, June 11
4:30pm
Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum

$20/adult in advance, $25/adult day of, $10/kid (ticket includes dinner and a beer for adults, additional beer $5, $15 adult admission with a beer, no dinner)

The community is invited to kick-off summer at this beloved annual event featuring machine demonstrations, farm animals, mining and ranching games, and museum tours. Guests will enjoy Hickory House barbecue and a beer garden sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company. Back for a second year, kick up your heels with live music and square dancing with Buffalo Joe Bluegrass Band as well as a photo booth and chicken poop bingo.

New this year, proceeds from the event will support the restoration of the Zupancis barn! Step into the past with guided tours of the historic Zupanics homestead, which AHS is restoring and interpreting in partnership with the City of Aspen who relocated the buildings to the museum property in 2018.

The Hoedown is generously sponsored by Alpine Bank with support from Aspen Brewing Company, Alpine Party Rentals, Aspen Public Radio, Farm Collaborative Aspen, Smiling Goat Ranch, and Jim Snyder of Snowmass Rodeo.

History on Tap | Our Backcountry, Back in the Day

Friday, June 21
5:30pm
Willoughby Park

$10 in advance, $15 day of (ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS IN ADVANCE AND SAVE!
The Roaring Fork Valley communities are uniquely surrounded by protected lands, from National Forest to Wilderness to BLM. With this access comes great adventure, and great responsibility. Join Aspen Historical Society and guests for a look at how the backcountry has been enjoyed and protected over the decades! Admission includes one beer, additional beers $5.
The History on Tap series is generously sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company

Summer Exhibit Celebration & Free Museum Admission Day

Tuesday, July 2
4 – 6pm
Wheeler/Stallard Museum

Free
The community is invited to a summer splash for the exhibit “bayer & bauhaus: how design shaped aspen” in the Wheeler/Stallard Museum as well as an opening of the new photographic display in the Archive Building Community Gallery featuring images by Margaret and Dick Durrance that were recently donated to the AHS Collection. This free event will include tours of the exhibit and display and light refreshments.

The Quiet Years Were Not Quiet: An Oral History with Tim Willoughby

Tuesday, July 9
4:30pm
Wheeler/Stallard Museum
Free
A conversation with Aspen native and historian Tim Willoughby, taped live for an archival oral history. From mayors to miners, the Willoughby family has been a pillar of the Aspen community for decades. The Willoughby’s and extended family operated mines, ran businesses, and helped transition Aspen from mining to skiing. In conversation with Mike Monroney, Tim will share stories of his family’s deep roots in Aspen during the not-so-quiet “Quiet Years”

“A Briefly Complete History of Aspen” Live Performance

Saturday, July 13
10:30pm
Wheeler/Stallard Museum Grounds

Free

Professionally trained actors and historians Nina Gabianelli, Mike Monroney and Travis Lane McDiffett perform a 45-minute crash course in Aspen history featuring song, dance, and character presentations that will leave you laughing and breathless.

History Hikes Series

Saturdays, specific dates, hikes and meeting places below.
9AM (duration varies depending on the trail)
$10 / Free for AHS Lixiviator Members and above with reservation. Click links below to reserve individual hikes
Discover the hidden history within the area’s classic hikes! From downtown to high above Independence Pass to Castle Creek, the series allows hikers of all levels to choose their adventure through time. Choose your favorite trail, or perhaps one you’ve never explored. Can’t decide? Join for them all!

  • July 20 – Aspen Mountain (Black/Difficult)
    CLICK HERE TO RESERVE
    Explore the once-rich silver deposits and the tailings that remain on Aspen’s eponymous hill, a maze of tunnels, mines and mining remnants under your feet. This hike is strenuous, ascending close to 1,000ft to mid-mountain! Meet at Koch Lumber Park.
  • July 27 – Ashcroft Ghost Town (Blue/Moderate)
    CLICK HERE TO RESERVE
    Hear about the unique history of this once-thriving mining camp on a stroll through the ghost town’s many conserved buildings, situated among spectacular high alpine meadows. Meet at the Ashcroft parking lot.
  • August 10 – Green Mountain (Black/Difficult)
    CLICK HERE TO RESERVE
    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 56.5 on Highway 82 up Independence Pass.
  • August 17 – Independence Ghost Town (Blue/Moderate)
    Check back to reserve.
    Experience what remains of the first mining settlement in the Roaring Fork Valley and the 1880s gold rush of Independence on a walk through the ghost town, located at the base of the Continental Divide on Independence Pass. Meet at Independence Ghost Town parking lot.

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 and AHS
Wednesday, July 24
5:30pm
Holden-Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum

Free, reservation required with Roaring Fork Conservancy (opens July 3)

Discover the largest industrial site in the history of Pitkin County: a state of the art silver processing plant known as the Holden Lixiviation Works. This silver processing plant was built on the banks of Castle Creek in 1891 by Edward Royal Holden, leading 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.

Ice Cream Social

Saturday, August 3
2pm – 4pm
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 live 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 and boozy milkshakes are available for a small fee. Since the mining era in Aspen, ice cream socials have been a popular summer gathering in the community.

Bauhaus Evenings: Aspen’s Characters | Herbert Bayer

a Bauhaus 100: Aspen program in partnership with the Limelight Hotel Aspen
Tuesday, August 13
5:30pm
Limelight Hotel Aspen

Free

Aspen Historical Society’s “History Coach” (and professional actor) Mike Monroney will present a Chautauqua-style character performance of Bauhaus artist Hebert Bayer, who came to Aspen in 1946 with his wife Joella and helped guide the community’s cultural and philosophic values. In honor of the AHS exhibit “bayer & bauhaus: how design shaped aspen,” the researched museum theatre performance will explore Bayer’s fascination with and relationship to Aspen, “in his own words.” This special free program is part of Bauhaus 100: Aspen, the community-wide centennial celebrations of the Bauhaus school.

Twilight Cemetery Tour

Friday, August 23
Choose your tour time: 7pm, 7:15pm, 7:30pm, 7:45pm, 8pm, 8:15pm
Red Butte Cemetery

Check back to purchase tickets and sign up for your preferred start time: $10 in advance, $15 graveside
Learn about former citizens of Aspen and their marks on history on a stroll through the town’s storied Red Butte Cemetery at twilight. As the moon rises, we’ll hear about the lives of some of the cemetery’s most notable residents through researched museum theatre-style character presentations performed by local actors and historians.

History on Tap | Special Tour of Smuggler Mine

Friday, September 20
5:30 – 7pm
Smuggler Mine
Check back to purchase tickets: $30 in advance, $35 day of (ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer)

“Where history meets beer…”
Grab your friends and head to Smuggler Mine to experience the underground world of the area’s mining history. History buff and mine guides will offer hard-hat tours of the mine paired with a local craft beer.
Aspen Historical Society’s “History on Tap” programs are generously sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company.