The Telluride Historical Museum’s (THM) summer season is winding down, and a look at the numbers indicates it was a success. You could even say he went to the dogs. More on that in a moment. The museum, perched atop North Fir Street and housed in the former miners’ hospital, closes for the season on October 15, but there are still programs and events to add even more color in the fall, including Halloween events.
THM chief executive Kiernan Lannon said the season’s admission numbers were respectable and the museum’s many programs were busy. Overall, he said, a success.
“While we’ve certainly had more successful summer seasons, it would be hard to classify this summer as anything other than successful,” Lannon said. “We have maintained our admissions numbers at pre-pandemic levels for the second year in a row. Our programs such as our historical walking tours, cemetery tours and hikes were very well attended and enthusiastic. We saw the return of our summer fundraiser, the Telluride Dinner Party, which went well. On the other hand, we certainly missed our annual screening of the film Evening with Ken Burns, but we look forward to its return next year. So it was something of a mixed bag, but there was definitely more to be excited about than not.
With just a handful of days left to peruse THM’s many exhibits, Lannon said 4,456 history buffs have visited so far.
“While that number is down a bit from last year and 2019, it lines up nicely with our 2016-18 numbers, so it was a solid or decent year for visitation,” Lannon explained.
Lannon said the museum’s new exhibit, “The Long Run: 50 Years of the Telluride Ski Area,” which opened in June, was a personal highlight of the summer.
“To see Director of Programs and Exhibitions Molly Daniel’s vision for the exhibition come together into something quite fantastic was amazing,” he said. “To see how well it resonated with visitors and locals was great too. It was definitely a highlight day in and day out.
It should come as no surprise that dog-crazed Telluride adopted a new interactive exhibit created especially for our canine companions in July. Lannon said museum staff recorded 100 paid visits by our four-legged friends.
“Watching the dogs interact with the ‘scent stations’, exhibits and most importantly mining the gold, well, tennis balls, in our dog lock, was a definite daily dopamine hit for the two weeks the exhibit was up and running,” Lannon said.
Tonight (Wednesday) is the final fireside chat of the season and features local historian Rudy Davison. Rich in knowledge of Telluride’s historic past, Davison’s talk tonight will focus on the near past when visionaries from local ski resorts traveled to Zermatt, Switzerland in 1979 to glean insight into what was would take to design and run a successful business. ski station. The conference is at 6 p.m. at the Madeline Hotel and is free. Lannon is pleased with the attendance of the Fireside Chats this summer.
“I was delighted with how our fireside chats went,” he said. “Attendance was extraordinary for the first two (with) Johnnie Stevens, then Annie and Robert Savath who delivered exceptional programs. It was a joy to hear about their stories lived through their incredible stories and memories.
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m., Ashley Boling—another veritable treasure trove of local knowledge—leads a historic walking tour. The final march is October 13. Come to the museum to participate.
With Halloween just around the corner, THM is getting into the spooky spirit. What better way to learn about local history and get goosebumps than by taking a tour of Lamplight Cemetery on October 14, 21, or 28 at 7 p.m. Register by calling 970-728-3344. Meet at 7 p.m. at the west entrance of the cemetery. Dues for members and non-members.
Lannon said he didn’t have time to think about his Halloween costume, but the museum will be hosting two events on Oct. 31, Halloween on the Hill and The Haunted Hospital. From 5-7pm there will be candy and carnival games on the hill for the little ones, however, all ages are welcome to come say hello for this free event.
After darkness falls, the haunted hospital comes to life. This event is suggested for ages 12 and up, with groups limited to five or fewer for safety reasons. Tickets are $10 and are available the night of the event, which runs from 7-9 p.m.
Volunteers are always welcome. Interested persons should contact Museum Assistant Kaity Swick at [email protected]