Colorado Preservation Inc. has named the historic bridges of Colorado as one of its Endangered Places for 2021. Included is our favorite bridge, the green bridge at Red Cliff which has been an iconic landmark since 1941. Click on the link below to see CBS coverage of the historic bridges.
Our Gift to You:
A virtual visit to the NYC Tenement Museum
Thursday, Dec. 17, 4 p.m. via Zoom
In appreciation for your interest in local history, the Eagle County Historical Society and the Eagle Valley Library District Local History Department invite you on a virtual visit to New York City’s Tenement Museum. Visit the tenement home of Italian immigrants Aldolpho and Rosaria Baldizzi in the 1930s. Learn about their life experiences during the Great Depression, and how we draw from their story for our lives today.
Please RSVP on or before Wednesday, Dec. 16 by sending us a note at ECHS@eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com. We will send you the Zoom link for this one-hour, interactive program.
(Photos courtesy of ECHS, EVLD and the Tenement Museum)
Colorado Gives Day 2020, Tuesday, December 8
In 1980, when a local rancher offered a dilapidated, 1898 barn to the fledgling Eagle County Historical Society for use as a museum, it seemed like an impossible idea. But the very determined Historical Society directors, including Frank Doll, Laurene Knupp, Jim Nimon, Rae Benton, Roy Robinson, Ross Bolt, and others worked for a decade to make it happen. In 1990, the museum opened and has been serving the public ever since.
In 2020, the current ECHS Board realized that some significant improvements to the building were needed in order to keep the building functioning.
With hard work from the Board, and terrific support from the loyal donors, local businesses, and local government, the ECHS re-roofed the aging building with a metal roof, made some small structural repairs, and repainted the barn. It feels like a new building. If the corona virus situation allows, the museum will be open in the spring for the 2021 season.
Meanwhile, the ECHS continues to fulfill its mission of sharing local history with educational programs, website blogs about early day pioneers, history hikes, cemetery tours, book publication, and a treasure trove of historic photographs and digitized manuscripts offered online via our partnership with the Eagle Valley Library District. We love local history, and we love sharing it with you.
The ECHS is run primarily by volunteers, and is financed through book sales, memberships and donations. The Historical Society is a small-scale non-profit with large-scale dedication to preserving local history. Your support on Colorado Gives Day, Tuesday, Dec. 8, is appreciated.
Donations can be scheduled at any time at https://www.coloradogives.org/.
What happens when a pandemic makes it impossible to open your museum?
The exhibits pack up their bags and go travelling.
The Eagle County Historical Society has developed several new exhibits which are now on display in public spaces throughout the county. If you are out and about, stop by and take in a little local history. Here’s where you’ll find it:
Eagle Town Hall – Photo exhibit reveals Brush Creek’s history, including the story of the short-lived Lady Belle silver mine on Horse Mountain.
Eagle County Administration Building – Head upstairs to the hallway outside of the commissioner’s meeting room for a look at historic clothing from the pioneering Nottingham family. Myrtle Nottingham had some engineering talent hiding behind those beautiful dresses.
Eagle Public Library – Two stories are told in exhibits on the second floor, in the Local History Department. Learn about the impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic in Eagle County. Then take a look at the county’s first ballot box and learn how it put trust into elections.
These exhibits were made possible with funding provided by Colorado Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security [CARES] Act economic stabilization plan of 2020.
If you have suggestions for future exhibits, please contact us at
Newcomer Cemetery Tour
Monday, Oct. 26, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Many historic ranches in Eagle County maintained their own small cemeteries. People were buried on the same land that they lived on.
Join the Eagle County Historical Society and Eagle County Open Space for a brief history tour of the Newcomer Cemetery, located on the Brush Creek Ranch and Open Space land south of Eagle. The cemetery is tiny, but the history is significant.
The tour involves a half-mile hike across a hayfield. Meet at the main parking lot for the Brush Creek Valley Ranch and Open Space.
The event is free, but due to COVID restrictions, participation will be limited and advance registration is required. Face masks will be required.
Sign-up at the following link:
Horn Ranch Hike
Friday, May 29, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m
at the Horn Ranch
The Eagle Valley Land Trust and Eagle County Historical Society will lead a hike to the historic stone quarry at the Horn Ranch on Friday, May 29, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Learn about the Horn Ranch conservation project, and Historical Society President Kathy Heicher will share the history of the early ranch and the colorful characters that lived there.
These popular tours have limited space, and fill up quickly. Early reservations are recommended. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to reserve your spot.
History Take-Out: Ute STEM program
We are now practicing social distancing in an effort to slow the impact of the coronavirus. However, before that became an issue, we were able to test our new “hands on” educational program which focuses on Colorado’s Ute history.
Created by historians at History Colorado, this program utilizes STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) to teach students about the Utes. The kids used their STEM skills to build teepees, evaluate “basket” water holders, identify plants, create beading designs, construct a moccasin, and calculate horseback travel times.
Our first outing with the program was in early February at Vail Mountain School. A half-dozen Historical Society volunteers, along with VMS teachers and experts from History Colorado, spent an entire school day sharing the program with a total of 156 students, grades kindergarten through fifth. We loved their enthusiasm and gained some valuable experience in presenting the Ute STEM program. We look forward to a return to the time when we can take this program to more Eagle County schools.
Meanwhile, we urge those who are homeschooling these days to take a look at History Colorado’s wonderful digital learning programs. https://www.historycolorado.org/digital-learning
History of Eagle County + a Walking Tour of Gypsum
First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 400 2nd St., Gypsum
Tuesday March 10, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Special Offer for Eagle County Historical Society members
And the First Evangelical Lutheran Congregation
Local historian Kathy Heicher will present a slide show and talk that will reveal Eagle County history stretching from the Ute occupation in the early 1800s to the development of the county’s ski resort economy in the 1960s. The lecture will be followed by a walking tour of Gypsum’s Historic downtown.
To reserve a spot in the class, RSVP to: ECHS@eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com by March 8. Cost of the class is $10 for ECHS members. (Pay cash at the door or via the “Donation” button on our website, eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.)
*** Note: Local realtors seeking “Vail Pro” education credit for the class must register through the Vail Board of Realtors (http://www.vbr.net)
History Snowshoe Hike: The Ranger Brown Trail
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join the Eagle County Historical Society and Walking Mountain Science Center for a snowshoe history trek on East Brush Creek. Local historian Kathy Heicher will share stories about Ranger Brown, who tended the forest from 1920-1935. Working primarily by himself, Ranger Brown handled tasks including managing grazing allotments for local ranchers, building key trails and roads, building Forest Service cabins and offices throughout Eagle County, and handling predator control issues involving wolves! Brown also managed the Civilian Conservation Corps camp established in 1940. Come enjoy a half day snowshoe hike while learning about this fascinating character who helped shape many of the trails and forest resources in our valley.
Sign up at:
This hike will be a moderate 2.5 mile snowshoe. Snowshoes & poles are provided. Bring a lunch for a post tour picnic at Yeoman Park Campground. The program meets at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon at 9am. If you would like to be picked up in Eagle, please reach out to email@example.com.
Historical Society members are offered a 30 percent discount. Please contact us at ECHS@eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com for the discount code.
January 26, 2020 4:30-6:00 pm Bonfire Brewing
Eagle County’s early day miners and homesteaders were ambitious, daring, and hardworking. They also were not above being involved in a little mischief.
Join us for some beer and history at a special History Happy Hour at the Bonfire Brewery. Free event, but we will also be accepting donations for our “Raise the Roof” capital campaign to put a new roof on the Eagle County History Museum. Our friends at Bonfire are helping us out by donating $1 for every beer sold during this special event.
So come on out and join your friends for a beer and a good cause.