Education and Events

The Museum hosts educational activities throughout the year. Tours of the Museum and the Historic Fall River Hydroplant may be arranged for groups of 10 or more people by contacting the Curator of Education. All programs take place at the Museum unless otherwise noted.


Saturday, February 13 at 3 p.m.
Friends in High Places: Ted and Lois Matthews
Longtime Estes Park residents Ted and Lois Matthews devoted their spare time to hiking, climbing, skiing and photographing Rocky Mountain National Park—as well as the rest of Colorado and the West. Many of their photos live on today, still available on postcards and calendars. Join their grand-nephew Jeff Dunning for a tour of Ted and Lois’s adventures, showcasing their love of the Colorado Rockies and their wonderfully dry sense of humor. Free program, no reservations are necessary.
Friday, February 19 at 2 p.m.
Legendary Locals (Part II of V): The Dannels Family and Estes Park
Drive by the Dannels Fire Station and you may ask—who is Dannels and why is his name on the Fire Station? The quality of the workmanship and stonework is apparent in the hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses built by H.D. Dannels and Sons. Henry Dannels ran an Allenspark saw mill and later helped build the Crags and Stanley Hotels. Henry and Josephine Dannels moved to Estes Park in 1936 where Henry served 20 years on the Town Board (1952-72). For their son Bernie Dannels high school graduation present, his parents gave him a carpenter starter kit and made him a business partner. Once Henry stepped off the Board, Bernie stepped on,serving 12 years on the Board and 12 years as the “Plaid Mayor.”
Bernie’s wife Glenna was also an important figure in Estes Park. After starting the art program in Estes Park schools, Glenna Dannels opened the Spectrum in July 1969 with 14 artists. It was a gallery, studio and school wrapped into one. Not only was it a creative center in Estes Park, but it was a welcome place to grab a mug of coffee and chat about art. At its peak the shop featured more than 400 Colorado artists, many of whom became family to Glenna, who often offered a lodging in her home for teachers and students. “The kids called it a commune, with me paying the bills,” Glenna said.
The Dannels Family comprises just two of the 126 profiles in Steve Mitchell’s local history book "Legendary Locals of Estes Park" scheduled to be published April 25, 2016.
Saturday, February 20 at 2 p.m.
Single Women Homesteaders in Estes Park
Tourists were not the only people attracted to the Estes Park area in the early years of the 20th century. Drawn by the beauty of the mountains as well as by their hopes of a better life, numerous single women took advantage of The Homestead Act as a way to become owners of mountain property.  Challenged by the climate and scarcity of suitable farming land, they found creative ways to support themselves and to prove up their homestead claims.  This presentation will discuss why approximately 12 percent of homesteaders at the turn of the century were single women, focusing on the colorful stories of four independent women who wrote about their homesteading experiences near Estes Park:  Anna Wolfram, Katherine Garetson, Esther Burnell, and Amanda Blocker Byrd. Presenter Marcia Hensley who lives in Westminster, CO, is the author of "Staking Her Claim: Women Homesteading the West."
Sunday, February 22 at 2:30 p.m.
Bingo for Kids!
Gather with family, neighbors and friends to play "Estes Park Bingo" a game for all ages. This activity is free of charge and participants and no prior knowledge of Estes Park history is necessary. The Museum will provide light snacks and refreshments. Great for children ages 5 and up!
Sunday, February 28 at 3 p.m.

A Snapshot History of Skiing in Estes Park: Past and Present

Curator of Education Alicia Rochambeau will describe the history of Hidden Valley when it was a modest ski area in the 1930s, a resort that opened in 1955, and describe the popularity of backcountry skiing that has risen since the resort closed in 1991. Today, Hidden Valley is a bustling winter recreation area. Rochambeau will explain why and how Hidden Valley has become a choice location for skiers attracted to the backcountry experience. The presentation will include artifacts from the collection, as well as current gear, to aid in demonstrating how the winter time activity evolved over the years. Free program, no reservations are required to attend.'

Monday, March 7 at 1:30 p.m.
Meet Me @ The Museum
Meet Me @ The Museum encourages all of us to be curious about the history of sites, events, and those who came before us in Estes Park. Museum staff includes the community in their local history findings and current projects on the first Monday of every month. 
Friday, March 18 at 2 p.m.
Legendary Locals (Part III of V): Lennie Bemis, Harriet Burgess and Estes Park History
In celebration of Women's History Month
In 1972, Lennie Bemiss walked into the Estes Park Library and asked director Ruth Deffenbaugh, “Do you need any volunteers?” From that day forward Lennie and Ruth developed one of the finest small town libraries in the state. They attended Colorado Library Association workshops to learn what “the big kids did.” One of their success stories was developing the extensive Colorado Collection, which was uncatalogued and hidden on two tiny shelves.
If one wanted to know about local Estes Park history it was best to check with Harriet Burgess. Harriet met her husband Bill Burgess in 1949 and was bookkeeper at the Old Plantation Restaurant. She immersed herself in local history, becoming MacGregor Ranch volunteer coordinator for two decades. Harriet wrote Then the Women Took Over: The 100 Year History of the Woman’s Club.
Lennie and Harriet are just two of the 126 profiles in Steve Mitchell’s local history book "Legendary Locals of Estes Park" scheduled to be published April 25, 2016.
Saturday, March 19 at 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Genealogy and Legacy:  Women Writing Themselves into History
In celebration of Women's History Month
Jill Tietjen, co-author of the bestselling and award-winning book "Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America" will lead the audience through exercises and a highly visual PowerPoint presentation that focus on women throughout U.S. history and how we are influenced by their legacy. This interactive workshop enables the audience to focus on:
  • Their family tree, particularly the matriarchal lines
  • A timeline of their family history
  • Women in U.S. history and how their legacy impacts our lives today
  • Leadership styles for women of the 21st century
  • How the leadership style of each audience member influences her legacy
Registration for the workshop opens February 1 by calling the Curator of Education at 970-577-3762. The class is $10 payable in cash or check. Participants should bring either a notepad or laptop, whichever they are most comfortable using to write notes.
Friday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
Legendary Locals (Part IV of V): A Pair of Tims
This program will take place in the Tebow Room at the Estes Park Senior Center, located next door to the Museum.
Editor Tim Asbury was the heart and soul of the Estes Park Trail-Gazette from 1972 to 1999. Tim tackled Estes Park’s sacred cows with his incisive editorials and as managing editor led his newspaper to dozens of awards in photography, reporting, editorial writing, design and distinctive headlines. In Estes Park there are always connections. Tim and Nancy’s daughter Jill married Jeff Black, son of Perry Black, well-known football coach at the high school.

Family and hunting were the most important things in Tim Mayhew’s life, but he wasn’t afraid to “work hard, work smart” as grounds superintendent for the Estes Park Fairgrounds. Tim was a devoted hunter who always filled his tag. Once while hunting bear, Tim positioned himself with his back to a cliff so the bear wouldn’t sneak up on him from behind. Suddenly, a bear rushed Tim, who threw down his bow and leapt off the cliff for the top of a nearby tree, where he stayed for hours until the bear wandered off.

Tim Asbury and Tim Mayhew are just two of the 126 profiles in Steve Mitchell’s local history book "Legendary Locals of Estes Park" scheduled to be published April 25, 2016.

Friday, May 20 at 2 p.m.
Legendary Locals (Part V of V): Book Signing
"Legendary Locals of Estes Park" explores the history of the unique individuals and groups, both past and present, who have made a memorable impact on Estes Park throughout its history. The 128-page book features nearly 160 photographs, with many rarely-seen photos from archives and personal collections.
The book is organized into eight chapters: Settling of the Estes Valley, A Warm Welcome, the Park Experience, Inspired by Rocky, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Making a Difference, Larger than Life and Mountain Strong. Most importantly, the book is about people—those you read about in the history books and those you meet on the street. Former reference librarian and freelance writer Steve Mitchell researched newspaper archives, interviewed family members to compile 126 profiles in this compelling local history.
Monday, June 13 through September 16 from 8:15 - 10 a.m.


Downtown History Walking Tours
Discover the hidden past on a guided walking tour of downtown with docents from the Estes Park Museum. During the tour, participants will explore historical photographs from the Museum's collection to aid in comparing the past to the present.  
Identical tours will be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from June 13 through September 16, 2016.  At 8:15 a.m. meet at the Enos Mills sculpture in Bond Park (corner of MacGregor Avenue and Park Lane), tour begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and returns to the same site by 10 a.m. Cost is $8, payable by cash or check on the day of the tour. First come, first served. Space limited to about 12 people. There will not be a tour on Monday, July 4, 2016.

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