Leadville’s History Spotlighted in Month of April
by Brennan Ruegg, Leadville Today contributor
April is Leadville History Month and several upcoming and ongoing events will highlight achievements and turning points in the Cloud City’s past. Mining, mountaineering, and migration are cornerstones to a history that is as inseparable from the town of Leadville as the weather, a history that steps into the lives of present-day citizens just as they have stepped into it.
This Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, a Leadville History Month Celebration will be held as the grand re-opening the Brass Ass Saloon of the Golden Burro Cafe, located at 710 Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville.
Stories about such Leadville legends as Texas Jack and Marshal Martin Duggan will be related by Judge Neil V. Reynolds (serving as master of ceremonies), Javan Ridge as Buffalo Bill, and Keith Hundley, among others.
Opportunities to learn saloon games, take old timey photos, and get exposed to local art and live music will make for a special two-day event. Interested in staying for dinner? Be sure to e-mail reservations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other opportunities to learn more about Leadville’s history include a new exhibit at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, Eat, Sleep, Mine, a collection of 59 black-and-white photographs from 1948, taken by George Pickow, illustrating details of the daily lives of Appalachian miners. The Hall of Fame and Museum are located at 120 W. 9th St.
The East Side Epic, final race of the Winter Mountain Bike Series (WMBS), will tour the historic east side. For more on the East Side Epic and WMBS (exposition of local Cloud City Wheelers) read the Leadville Today story here. The east side mining district, downtown, and a National Historic Landmark District of Victorian Architecture can all be experienced on foot (with perhaps a pair of snow-shoes), via the Mineral Belt Trail and various self-guided walking tours. Maps and more are available at the Visitor Center at 809 Harrison Ave.
Keep the ears open throughout this month for interesting stories, as the oral tradition is alive and preferred in Leadville. Perhaps the most perennial item of Leadville’s history is the snow, which is easily experienced just outside the front door.
Brennan Ruegg lives with his brother on W. 6th Street