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Summit Historical Society targets Keystone

Daily Staff Writer

KEYSTONE – Local historians have attracted thousands of people to museums and neighboring shops in Breckenridge and Silverthorne. Now, they’re setting their sights on Keystone.The Summit Historical Society wants to establish another history museum for tourists and locals to learn about the early days of Summit County. “There’s an awful lot of history in Keystone. You just don’t hear about it because no one’s portraying it,” said Rick Hague, president of Summit Historical Society. “We’d like to do that.”Hague has been talking with some property owners near River Run in Keystone. “Everywhere you go in Summit County, there’s evidence of the people who pioneered a life here,” Hague said. “I find it satisfying to learn about all the old buildings and the history of mining. It’s particularly valuable for children to learn where we’ve come from.”Apparently Hague isn’t the only one who is interested in the lifestyles of Colorado mountain pioneers.More than 11,000 people visited the Silverthorne History Museum since it opened in December at the Silverthorne Factory Stores on Rainbow Drive.About 43,000 people visited the local history exhibit “Booze, Brothels and Baptism” at the Breckenridge Main Street Museum during nine months last year.Because negotiations are under way, Hague did not publicly announce who might lease space for a small museum. He did say the location is near River Run in Keystone. Summit towns each contribute between $2,000 and $30,000 per year to the Summit Historical Society, accounting for one-third of the society’s funding, most of which has gone into Breckenridge. Hague wants to expand its focus across Summit County.Keystone has a rich history. A hundred years before the Dercums had visions of a ski resort, Keystone was a major hub for miners and pioneers.Accordingly, the first exhibit historians want to set up in Keystone is an expanded version of the old-fashioned transportation system. Long before Interstate 70 or Highway 6 were planned, two railroads ran through Keystone. In an otherwise isolated environment, the trains transported mining materials away from the area and brought in crucial supplies. -Christine McManusVisitors in Breckenridge saw an earlier version of the transportation exhibit in 2001.The society’s Boarding House Bash fundraising event was Wednesday night at the Gold Pan Saloon in Breckenridge. It took $11,000 and two months to open the Breckenridge Main Street Museum exhibit Child’s World – Turn of the Century. The Summit Historical Society hopes to open a Keystone museum by the end of summer.


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