For a small mountain town, Aspen has a rich and varied history, going back to 1879, in silver mining, ranching, and eventually, skiing. Anyone can see this by strolling down Main Street past Victorian-era buildings such as the Sardy House and the Hotel Jerome, and while gazing at the now-sealed mine shaft entrances on Aspen Mountain’s Richmond Ridge. In fact, Aspen Mountain and Smuggler Mountain to the east are honey-combed with long-abandoned silver mines. The Aspen Historical Society is a local nonprofit whose noble mission is to enrich the community “through preserving and communicating [Aspen’s] remarkable history”.
The Historical Society achieves this through exhibitions at their two museums, the Wheeler-Stallard House and the Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum, tours of historic sites, and an extensive schedule of educational and informational events throughout the year that bring Aspen’s past to life.
Below are some highlights. Get ready to explore the many sides of Aspen!
Wheeler Stallard Museum
Visit the Wheeler Stallard Museum, on Bleeker in the historic West End of Aspen, a beautiful brick Queen Anne Victorian home built in 1888 by one of Aspen’s most influential founding fathers, Jerome B. Wheeler. Visitors begin with a home tour and a short video about Aspen’s history. Afterwards, you can head upstairs to see the current exhibition.
Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum
Located near Aspen Valley Hospital off of Castle Creek Road, the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum transports you back to Aspen’s early life as a silver mining town in the late 1800s. The museum also tells the story of Aspen’s ranching families, specifically the Marolt family, long before Aspen gained popularity as a ski destination in the late 1940s.
The Aspen Historical Society offers informational tours throughout the year, conducted by knowledgeable and lively hosts. Guests can take tours on foot, via the Historical Society’s electric open-air “History Coach,” and during the winter, on skis. Tour historic sites, like the Hotel Jerome, Aspen’s West End, the Wheeler Opera House and Red Butte Cemetery. Hop in the History Coach to visit the Wheeler Stallard Museum, and then, zip over to the Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum. In the winter, the Historical Society offers tours on skis on Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands Mountain.
Interested in what Aspen Historical Society events will be held during your stay with us?
Guests staying at Aspen Square should contact the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel concierge at 1-800-862-7736 EXT. 3515, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-guests can contact the Aspen Historical Society by calling (970) 925-3721.