Then & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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Then & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Series Title:
Then & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Collison, Linda
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Then & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, Colorado | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 1:00:28 PM] Home Then & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, ColoradoThen & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, ColoradoSubmitted by jainlayconley on 2-19-2010 01:58 PMAuthor: Harriet Freiberger and Ken Proper Publishing: Steamboat Springs, CO: The Bud Werner Memorial Library, 2009. 112 pages. Color photos, black and white photos, bibliography, index. 9 x 11-1/2. $25.00 hardcover. Reviewer: Linda Collison Steamboat Springs, a town of about ten thousand inhabitants in northwestern Colorado, is known primarily as a world-class ski resort. Branded as Ski Town USA, over half a century ago, Steamboat has been home to more winter Olympians than any other town in the United States. Steamboat also claims Colorados oldest ski area in continuous use: Howelsen Hill opened in 1915 and today is a favorite of recreational skiers and Olympic-bound athletes alike. While skiing plays a significant role in Steamboats past and present, the sport is by no means the only activity of economic and cultural importance. Farming, ranching, commerce, mining, construction, manufacturing, and the arts have also been vital to the community throughout its history. In Then & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Harriet Freiberger and Ken Proper have produced a slim but ambitious book that surveys the history of Steamboat Springs. Beginning in the latter part of thenineteenth century when the environs was known as the medicine springs by Yampatika Utes who frequented the area, the book touches on more than 125 years of recorded history, from 1875 when the Crawford family became the first white settlers to homestead in the valley to early 2008, just before the town felt the effects of the recent global economic recession. The authors incorporate photographs from a variety of sources, including private collections, the Steamboat Pilot newspaper, Tread of Pioneers Museum, Colorado Historical Society, and photographer Ken Propers own extensive portfolio. Freiberger and Proper have not limited their photographic collection to architecture and landscape but have included photos documenting social and cultural changes as well. Most chilling are the photos of the Ku Klux Klan marching through Steamboat in the 1920s, juxtaposed with a Halloween parade on Lincoln Avenue in 2008 (39). Freibergers insightful commentary does far more than hold the photographs together. She varies her literary lens from micro to macro, continually reminding the reader what was happening in the rest of the region, the nation, and the world as Steamboat Springs continued to grow as a community. Brief summaries of presidential elections, economic depressions, riots, world wars, Apollo 11 s moon landing, the tragedy of 9/11these and other historic milestones are interwoven with the events and concerns of this remote mountain town. The authors use of detail shows her extensive underlying research, which includes the works of wellknown historians as well as an impressive number of interviews with old-timers. The particulars that EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanThe Ute people have lived in Colorado longer than anyone else.


Then & Now: A History of Steamboat Springs, Colorado | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 1:00:28 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations Freiberger has chosen to relate lend poignancy and serve as counterpoints to the momentous events taking place simultaneously on the larger stage. For instance, in writing about the years of the Great Depression, Freiberger says: They had good times, too. Dances and rollerskating at the American Legions spacious building, known as the Legionnaire, brought young and old alike. Silent movies at the two-story theater included westerns featuring Tom Mix and comedies with Charlie Chaplin; then the new Chief Theater began using talking machines. Tickets cost 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. When Gone with the Wind appeared, school let out early so students could see the movie. Children delighted in family picnics, at the Hot Springs where they could boil eggs in the water, or at the stone quarry where they roasted marshmallows over simmering coals left from the flaming bonfires. On Howelsen Hill, slalom racing was the newest thing, and night skiing. Winter Carnival brought ranchers into town with their horses for races and 4-H members to show their animals at the Winter Steer Show. (45) Such well-chosen detail makes this book more than a coffee table showpiece of then and now, like so many other books of that ilk. Unfortunately, the book feels cramped. Like the people whose stories fill its pages, it seems to want more elbow room. The typeface is small and delicate. Many interesting photographs are reproduced shoulder-toshoulder and need more space to be better appreciated. I would love to see a more expansive production. All of Ken Propers excellent photographs are properly dated, but many of the other photographs are not (although the decade can be guessed by the chapter). For the readers convenience the date, or an approximation, might have been included alongside the credit. In general, professional editing might have addressed these issues and caught some of the inconsistencies in style found throughout. These minor criticisms aside, this book is a delight I highly recommend it to both the general reader and the student of history alike. Today Steamboat Springs is a community of ranchers, merchants, artists, professionals, retirees, tradesmen, vacationing skiers and second-home snowbirds, recent immigrants and guest workers. After reading this book I felt more connected with my neighbors, both my contemporaries and the ghosts of those who lived in my adopted mountain home long before I arrived. Then & Now successfully chronicles the history of Steamboat Springs and connects it with the larger world. Reviewer Info: Linda Collison is a freelance writer whose articles, essays and short fiction have appeared in a variety of publications, including Ladies Home Journal, RN, Rocky Mountain Sports and Fitness, Sailing, Owen Wister Review and others. Linda and her husband Bob Russell are the authors of Rocky Mountain Wineries: A Travel Guide to the Wayside Vineyards and Colorado Kids: A Statewide Family Outdoor Adventure Guide (Pruett Publishing, Boulder.) In 2007 the New York Public Library chose Lindas historical novel StarCrossed (Knopf, 2006) for inclusion in its annual Books for the Teen Age, which recognizes the best in young adult literature. She is a history major at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Add new comment