Winter Programs & Events

Wintersköl™ performance of “Aspen History 101” at the Wheeler Opera House

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Exhibit Grand Opening & Holiday Cookie Exchange
Thursday, December 20 | 4 – 6PM | Wheeler/Stallard Museum
The community is invited to the public opening for the new exhibit in the Wheeler/Stallard Museum, “bayer & bauhaus: how design shaped aspen” as well as the annual AHS holiday celebration. This free community event features the annual cookie exchange, holiday caroling led by pianist David Dyer, hot chocolate and mulled wine, and remarks by Curator Lisa Hancock and tours of the new exhibit. Families of all ages are invited to join us for a celebration of the season and to kick off the Bauhaus100Aspen celebrations with AHS! Guests are encouraged to bring a dozen cookies or more to exchange.
Information or 970.925.3721

Teddy Bear Story Hour
Partnership with Spellbinders
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, December 20th, 21st & 22nd
Wheeler/Stallard Museum, 620 W. Bleeker St.
Part of ACRA’s 12 Days of Aspen events
Celebrate the holiday season with classic tales from around the world, shared by AHS and Spellbinders storytellers. Kids are invited to bring their teddy bears or stuffed animals for this beloved holiday tradition.
Information or 970.925.3721

Aspen History 101 and Aspen Extreme at Wintersköl™
Thursday, January 10
Aspen History 101, 5:30 p.m. – click to reserve your seat
Aspen Extreme, 7:30 p.m. – click to reserve your seat
Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
FREE in partnership with ACRA and the Wheeler Opera House for Wintersköl™ 2019
Advance reservations recommended, to secure your seat click the links above, call the Wheeler Box Office at 970.920.5770, or reserve at the Box Office
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, featuring actors and actresses and song and dance, resurrects 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 from Detroit who ditch everything to live the ski instructor dream in Aspen. Come for just Aspen History 101, Aspen Extreme, or both! Get out your “onsies” and come in costume!

History on Tap | Highest, Fastest, Longest: Lift One
Tuesday, January 15 | 5:30 PM | Hotel Jerome Antler Bar/Ballroom
price TBD
The site of continuous discussion, Lift One was Aspen’s first true chair lift and the world’s “highest, fastest and longest” lift when it unofficially opened in 1946. The lift, a single chair, took 45 minutes to ride, accessing what would become a world-class ski resort across a mine-riddled peak. Enjoy an Aspen Brewing Company beer while learning the history behind Aspen Mountain and its landmark lift through a film screening of “Aspen Before Lifts,” a character performances, recollections from people who experienced the lift and Aspen mountain personnel, and historical photos in the first History on Tap of the winter season.
History on Tap is generously sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company

History Lessons with Larry
Third Thursday of each month, January – March
3:00pm – 4:00pm
AHS Archive Building, 620 W. Bleeker St. (In the Community Gallery)
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 17th – Fires & Firemen

February 21st –  Technology, Invention & Innovation in a Late-19th Century Mining Town

March 21st –  Then & Now: Familiar Sites, Buildings & Scenes in Aspen

Time Travel Tuesdays | Paint “Bayer” Number
Tuesday, February 5
5:30pm – 7pm
Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10/free for AHS Lixiviator members
Click here to purchase tickets at
Herbert Bayer a Bauhaus artist in many mediums, created prolific works during his time in Aspen, CO. In honor of the new “bayer & bauhaus” exhibit at the Wheeler/Stallard Museum and the bauhaus100aspen celebrations, this special Time Travel Tuesday program will allow you to discover the history of Bayer’s Bauhaus-influenced style by re-creating one of his works of art. AHS will provide everything participants need to paint their own “Bayer,” and the Wheeler bar will be open for an animated evening in the Bauhaus tradition. The best part? You don’t have to be an artist to enjoy this special program pairing history, cocktails and creativity.

Time Travel Tuesdays | Aspen’s Characters: Conversations with Herbert Bayer & Fabi Benedict
Tuesday, February 12
5:30pm – 7pm
Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10/free for AHS Lixiviator members
A “Bauhaus Evenings” event
Click here to purchase tickets at
History scholars and performers Mike Monroney and Jane Click will present Chautauqua-style character performances of siblings in-law, Herbert Bayer and Fabi Benedict. Bauhaus artist Hebert Bayer came to Aspen in 1945 with his wife Joella. Joella’s sister Fabi soon followed and married Fritz Benedict. In honor of the new AHS “bayer & bauhaus” exhibit, the conversation-style museum theatre performance will explore Bayer’s fascination with and relationship in Aspen. Fabi, a force in her own right, displays the spirit of individualism and creativity that are the very essence of the Bauhaus. The special program is part of Bauhaus100Aspen, the community-wide centennial celebrations of the Bauhaus school.

Time Travel Tuesdays | Aspen’s Characters: Stories from Strong and “Scandalous” Women
Tuesday, February 19
5:30pm – 7pm
Wheeler Opera House Lobby, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10/free for AHS Lixiviator members
Click here to purchase tickets at
Meet two of Aspen’s noteworthy former citizens in Chautauqua-style character presentations performed by Kimberly Rehfuss and Nina Gabianelli. Molly Ross, one of the area’s finest mining-era Madames, will share her trade secrets about the oldest profession in the world (and Aspen’s first “tax-paying” industry). Ellen E. “Captain” Jack, either insane or a shrewd entrepreneur, will offer a window into the vivid imagination and great exaggerations of arguably the most unusual woman of her day. These researched museum theatre presentations will shed light on two women who survived and thrived independently in the masculine world of early Colorado.

Time Travel Tuesdays | Aspen Dogs
Tuesday, March 5
5:30pm – 7pm
Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave.
$10/free for AHS Lixiviator members
Click here to purchase tickets at
Across Aspen’s history, its people have both relied on and treasured dogs. A fascination that originated with the Native Ute tribe, hounds have supported the mines, 10th mountain military trainings, ski resorts, and beyond for over a century in the Roaring Fork Valley. Join Aspen Historical Society and friends to celebrate the storied history of Aspen’s love affair with dogs in a multi-dimensional program at the Wheeler Opera House. Opening with clips from the 1970s film “Dog Days in Aspen” and photos of Aspen’s historic four-legged friends, the program will share stories of some of the courageous canines that have made Aspen the dog-friendly community we know today. History scholar and performer Ed Foran will portray Stuart Mace, owner of a dog sled operation at Toklat near Ashcroft in a Chautauqua-style character performance. To close, we’ll meet rescue dogs from Aspen Animal Shelter and other “famous” pups. All humans are welcome, but please leave your pooches at home.

History on Tap | Skiing Hayden, 1937 (Buckhorn Cabin Party)
Saturday, April 6th | 2-4 PM | Buckhorn Cabin
$10 in advance, $15 day of (ticket includes one beer, $5 extra beer)
Join Aspen Historical Society for an Aspen Brewing Company beer and the story of the first “ski resort” in the Roaring Fork Valley. Historian and actor Mike Monroney will perform a Chautauqua-style character presentation of Billy Fiske, telling the tale of his partnership with Ted Ryan and Tom Flynn to bring commercial skiing to the area. The trio’s plan for a European lift system for the Mount Hayden Massive came to a halt shortly after they built a lodge in the old town of Highland at the convergence of Castle and Conundrum Creeks. Fiske, the portray visionary, was a US Bobsled champion at the 1928 and 1932 Olympics whose dreams of skiing in the American West were tragically lost at the hands of World War II. We’ll welcome spring from Buckhorn Cabin and celebrate Fiske’s lasting impact on Aspen, perched high above its first “ski resort.”
History on Tap is generously sponsored by Aspen Brewing Company

Retro Film Series: Decades of Skiing Aspen/Snowmass
Partnership with Limelight Hotel Aspen
Second Friday of each month, January – April
5:30pm – 6:45pm
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 four 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.

Friday, January 11th – The 40’s
Film #1 – Aspen Before Lifts – (1945/46) (18 minutes) Promotional film of early skiing featuring Friedel Pfeiffer, Johnny Litchfield, and Percy Rideout among others.
Film #2 – Until We Meet in Aspen – (1949) (24 minutes) Promotional film made by Dick Durrance

Friday, February 8th – The 50’s
Film #1 – Little Skiers Big Day – (1955) (25 minutes) Film by Fred Iselin featuring Susie Wirth
Film #2 – Ski Time in Aspen – (1955) (27 minutes) Promotional film by Dick Durrance

Friday, March 8th – The 60’s
Film #1 – Aspen Winter Mood (1963) (28 minutes) Aspen Ski Corporation promo film by Dick Durrance
Film #2 – It Happens in Aspen (1966) (26 minutes) Time Life TV Broadcast

Friday, April 12th – The 70’s
Film #1 – Snowmass in 1967 (1967) (6 minutes) Aspen Ski Corporation, before lifts, by Dick Durrance
Film #2 – Grand Opening of Snowmass (1967) (23 minutes) Film by NBC News
Film #3 – Highlands Fling (1975) (20 minutes) film by Dick Barrymore