Guide for relocation to Steamboat Springs, CO

Historic Steamboat

While Steamboat Springs is an incredible place to visit and live from its scenery, Olympic skiing tradition and outdoor recreation to its western charm, world-class ski resort, friendliness and vibrant arts scene move here, and youll also be settling down in a region rife with history.

Nowhere is that better on display than at the Tread of Pioneers Museum downtown. We collect, preserve and share the unique history and heritage that makes Steamboat so special,says Executive Director Candice Bannister. Some of the same special qualities that drew the Ute Indians and early settlers here, like the hot springs and Yampa River, are what beckon people from around the world today.

From once-wild western frontier outpost into beloved Rocky Mountain destination resort town, Steamboat has it all on display at the museum, letting you explore the ways of the Native Americans, settlers, miners, ranchers, skiers, outlaws and lawmen who have all called the region home.

Learning about Steamboats unique history is sure to grow your love of the town,says Bannister.

Steamboat panorama Nov. 1910 (Photo courtesy Tread of Pioneers Museum)

Steamboat panorama Nov. 1910 (Photo courtesy Tread of Pioneers Museum)

 Steamboat Springs timeline

1776: Spanish explorers Francisco Atanasio Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante explore northwestern Colorado, camping on the White River 65 miles southwest of Steamboat Springs.

1820: Steamboat Springs name originates when three French Trappers, traveling along Yampa River, hear a chug-chugsound. 

1843-45: John C. Fremont expeditions travel through area.

1862: Gold discovered at Hahns Peak.

1866: First settlement established at Hahns Peak.

1875: Regions first permanent settler, James Crawford, brings his family to the area, living among the Ute Indians. Builds first bath houseat hot springs.

1879: Last Native American uprising in U.S. history occurs at White River Indian Agency, spawning two-year-long confrontation.

1881: Northwestern Colorado Utes relocated to Utah reservation. Ute leader reportedly places a curse on Yampa Valley, saying those who come will never be able to leave.

1884: Crawford organizes Steamboat Springs Townsite Company. 

1885: James Hoyle brings printing press to town; Steamboat Pilot begins publication (has appeared weekly ever since).

Late 1800s: Legendary cowboys and outlaws pass through town, including Butch Cassidy, Kit Carson and Jeff Bridger.

1900: Town of Steamboat Springs officially incorporates.

1908: Namesake springs cease to chugwhen railroad bed gets laid above it.

1909: First passenger train arrives to replace stage lines.

1909: Official rodeo grounds built (in earlier days, spectators formed a circle).

1912: Strawberries marketed throughout country from Strawberry Park.

1913: Town ships more cattle that anywhere else in U.S.

1913: Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp established in Strawberry Park, continuing as the oldest performing arts center in the nation.

1913: Norwegian and Barnum and Bailey Circus star Carl Howelsen (the “Flying Norseman”) arrives and introduces ski jumping.

1914: Winter Carnival established.

1915: Howelsen Hill opens (oldest continuously running ski area in Colorado).

1932: Steamboat Springs sends first skier to the Olympics.

1947: Associated Press calls Steamboat Springs Ski Town USA.

1958: Term “Champagne Powder” coined by Kremmling rancher Joe McElroy.

1961: First Poma lift opens at Storm Mountain Ski Area.

1964: Ski area renamed Mount Werner after death of local Olympic skier Buddy Werner.

1965: Local Sherman Poppen invents snowboard predecessor by joining two 36-inch skis and calling it the “Snurfer.”

1970: Billy Kidd, first U.S. mens skier to win an Olympic medal in skiing, moves to town.

1973: Mountain Village, at the base of the ski area, annexed to town, doubling its size.

1992: Local Nelson Carmichael wins Olympic bronze medal in moguls.

2010: Local Nordic combined skiers Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick and Billy DeMong bring home six Olympic medals from Vancouver Games.

2013: Steamboat Ski Area celebrates 50th anniversary; Winter Carnival, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp celebrate 100th anniversaries.

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