[click "Play" to hear Beth Roberts talk about the Telluride museum's Winter program]
Once upon a time, the doctor on duty performed an appendectomy – on himself. At the Telluride Historical Museum. But it was not a museum then. The building, built in 1896, was a community hospital back in the days the likes of Butch Cassidy hung out on Main Street.
Today the Telluride Historical Museum contains a collection of about 9,000 artifacts and 1,500 historic photographs. Exhibits focus on hard rock mining (displays of equipment, models of mines and mills), the Ute Indian heritage, the development of AC electric to honor the fact Nikola Tesla built the world’s first AC-generating plant in town. There is a replica of the mining cabin that once belonged to the “Tomboy Bride,” Harriet Backus, and tributes to Victorian architecture and fashion, including fancy dresses worn by Big Billie, Telluride’s top madam at the turn of the century, when red lights had nothing to do with Christmas.
Telluride’s Museum mirrors Telluride over time, a place one can always expect the unexpected. It is not dusty old. It is a hip and happening place.
New this winter, for example, “History & Hamburgers.” Visit any Thursday, Locals Day, and in addition to FREE admission, receive a sweet deal with a restaurant partner. The Museum is open late, until 7 p.m. ( And in this context, “hamburger” twins with “good eats.” The Museum has hooked up with some of the best food purveyors in town, who serve a wide range of dishes, including, yes, hamburgers.)
December is Noel Month. Visit the store, play Savings Roulette and get 10 – 50% off historical images, stocking stuffers, great books, mugs and other great gifts.
To learn more about what’s up at the Telluride Historical Museum throughout the winter, click the “play” button and listen to assistant director Beth Roberts’ interview.