History Live! Events

2023 Calendar of Events

Wednesday September 6, 2023
7-8:15 p.m.

Downtown Durango Design Perspective

Presented by the Durango Herald
Location: Durango Public Library
Contact: Greg Hoch, [email protected]

Greg Hoch, Durango City Planner for 35 years from 1981-2016, presents the “Downtown Durango Design Perspective.” This presentation of before-and-after photos reveals the story of how the overall Durango community embraced the use of Design Guidelines to restore and keep its historic Main Avenue character viable without imitating its legacy buildings.

Thursday September  7, 2023
7 – 8:30 p.m.

First Ladies of the San Juan Country

Presented by Fort Lewis College Lifelong Learning and the Animas Museum
Location: 130 Noble Hall, Fort Lewis College
Contact: Gary Rottman, 303.562.4501, [email protected]

Join Gay Kiene and Susan Jones of the Animas Museum as they present six women who were ‘firsts’ in their field in the history of the Durango/Silverton area. Learn about the first newspaper editor, county assessor, jackpacker, woman president of a railroad, and the first madam.

Saturday September 9, 2023
1-2 p.m.

The Mosquito: A Human History of our Deadliest Predator

Presented by the Ignacio Community Library
Location: Ignacio Community Library
Contact:  Marcia Vining, 970.563.9287, [email protected]

Dr. Timothy Winegard will share a lively, humorous, and informative discussion on how the mosquito has changed the course of human history.

Sunday September 10, 2023
4 – 5:30 p.m.

Prehistoric Talks

Presented by The Powerhouse
Location: The Powerhouse
Contact: Sydnie Golden, 720.414.1605

Please join us at The Powerhouse for a conversation about the prehistoric creatures that roamed this planet before we did. The expert host will immerse you in the lives of these reptiles while you check out the Powerhouse’s Pterosaur exhibit, filled with fossil replicas. During the speech, young learners are invited to do a hands-on, dinosaur themed project led by a Powerhouse educator.

Monday September 11, 2023
6 – 8 p.m.

An Evening with Dan Schultz,
author of Dead Run: The Murder
of a Lawman and the Greatest
Manhunt of the Modern American West

Presented by Maria’s Bookshop
Location: Maria’s Bookshop
Contact: Mary Schwartz, 970.247.1438, [email protected]

Twenty-five years ago, inhabitants of the Four Corners region were shocked by this desperate scheme that resulted in the brutal murder of a Cortez police officer, Dale Claxton. More than a crime story, Dead Run is the extraordinary true story of three desperado survivalists, a dangerous plot, a brutal murder, and a treacherous manhunt that brought national attention to our Southwest region. The pursuit that ensued pitted the most sophisticated law enforcement technology on the planet against three self-trained survivalists. Seventy-five local, state, and federal police agencies; dozens of SWAT teams; U.S. Army Special Forces, tribal police and more than five hundred officers from across the country followed the fugitives into a landscape only they could survive. Journalist and author Dan Schultz chronicles the events in Dead Run and ponders the allure of outlaw culture in the West and how it continues to inform national attitudes toward guns, authority, and unfettered freedom.

Tuesday September 12, 2023
6 – 7:30 p.m.



Presented by Pine River Library
Location: Pine River Library
Contact: Darcy Poletti, 970.884.2222 ext. 522, [email protected]

Midge Kirk and Terri Helm will be getting in character and telling the stories of local historical women from our area at the Library. Teri and Midge have been working together in HerStory for over ten years. In that time, Terri and Midge have shone a light on many forgotten women through their passion for the stories of our Foremothers.

Wednesday September 13, 2023
7 – 8:30 p.m.

The Virgin Branch Culture of Southern Nevada, with Professor Karen Harry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Presented by San Juan Basin Archaeological Society
Location: Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies Lyceum or via Zoom (link at SJBAS.org)
Contact: Janice C. Sheftel, [email protected]

Professor Harry specializes in the study of ceramic technology, production, and distribution and the archaeology of the North American southwest. An area of ongoing research deals with understanding ceramic technology and use among sedentary hunter-gathers. For more than a thousand years, the Moapa Valley of southern Nevada was home to people participating in the westernmost expression of Puebloan lifeways. Appearing in the archaeological record at about AD 200, these individuals were members of what archaeologists refer to as the Virgin Branch Puebloan culture. This culture did not appear and progress in a vacuum, however, but developed and changed in response to changing environmental and social conditions. This talk covers the origin, development, and decline of the Lowland Virgin Branch culture while also exploring how the local cultural context affected how this trajectory unfolded.

Since joining the UNLV faculty in 2001, Karen has obtained more than $1.6 million in external funding, which has provided stipends and research opportunities for numerous graduate and undergraduate students. She has authored and co-authored two books and regularly publishes in peer-reviewed books and journals, including American Anthropologist, American Antiquity, Journal of Archaeological Science, and Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. Karen received her Ph.D, from the University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology.

Thursday September 14, 2023
7 – 8:30 p.m.

“Treason in the Textbooks:” Harold Rugg, Visual Culture, & The American Way

Presented by Fort Lewis College Lifelong Learning and the Fort Lewis College Center for Southwest Studies
Location: 130 Noble Hall, Fort Lewis College
Contact: Gary Rottman, 303.562.4501, [email protected]

Cory Pillen, director of the FLC Center of Southwest Studies, will discuss American author and educator Harold Rugg and his controversial social studies textbooks titled Man and His Changing Society. Once seen as socialist propaganda, Rugg’s mid-20th century understanding of the links between art and education offer important insights into current debates concerning national identity and the perceived power of artistic practice.

Saturday September 16, 2023
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Buffalo Soldiers Return to Animas City

Presented by the La Plata County Historical Society
Location: Animas Museum
Contact: Animas Museum, 970.259.2402 or [email protected]

A unit of Buffalo Soldiers from the military outpost in Pagosa Springs, the original Fort Lewis, was bivouacked in the Animas Valley just north of Animas City in 1879. Learn more about the history of these African American soldiers who served on the frontier as members of the Buffalo Soldiers of the American West as they set up an encampment on the Museum grounds. This dedicated organization’s mission is to educate the public about the existence of the Ninth and Tenth United States Cavalry, all Black regiments, including the story of Cathay Williams, the only female Buffalo Soldier. There will be formal presentations at 11:30 a.m. and at 1 p.m., otherwise reenactors will be available all day to share stories of the Buffalo Soldiers and show visitors their equipment, uniforms, and supplies.

Sunday September 17, 2023
9:45 a.m. – 6:45 p.m.

Buffalo Soldiers Ride the Rails

Presented by the La Plata County Historical Society
Location: The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Contact: Animas Museum, 970.259.2402 or [email protected]

The La Plata County Historical Society has reserved a dedicated coach on the 9:45 a.m. train to Silverton where the Buffalo Soldiers of the American West will be on board to talk about the history and stories of the Buffalo Soldiers. Contact the Museum for more information and reservations on the train excursion as seating will be limited. Cost is $120 per coach seat.

Tuesday September 19, 2023
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The History of Hula with Ka Pa Hula I Na Mauna

Presented by the Durango Public Library
Location: Durango Public Library
Contact: Daisy Grice, [email protected], 970.375.3387

Hula: a means of perpetuating and preserving the culture of the Hawaiian people throughout history.  Join the library staff for a fun family craft starting at 4:00 p.m. which will be followed at 5:00 p.m. by a demonstration of this unique form of storytelling through song and dance by local group, Ka Pa Hula I Na Mauna.  An afternoon of history, living culture, and a celebration of music and movement for all ages. 

Wednesday September 20, 2023
3:00-4:30 p.m.

“History Writing” Book Discussion

Presented by the Durango Public Library
Location: The Animas Museum
Contact: Daisy Grice, 970.375.3387, [email protected]

Join library staff for a discussion of all types of historical writings — fiction, nonfiction, speculative, biographies. No pre-reading required! Come to share reviews of your favorite historic reads and book recommendations. Discover new titles and meet other book lovers in the community! Registration required.

Wednesday September 20, 2023
5:30-7 p.m.

Yellow Nose: Ute Dog Soldier

Presented by Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum
Location: Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum
Contact: Raelynn Torres, 970.563.2998, [email protected]

Yellow Nose was a warrior who fought many battles against the US military, including at Little Big Horn, where he is credited with killing General George C. Custer. Yellow Nose was also an artist who recorded the history he was living through ledger art. This program, which will explore the life and art of Yellow Nose, will be led by Oreland Joe, Sr., a Southern Ute artist and the founder of the Yellow Nose Warrior Ute Historical Society.

Thursday September 21, 2023
7 – 8:30 p.m.

Removing the Hood: Memory, Forgetting, and White Supremacy in America’s Past

Presented by Fort Lewis College Lifelong Learning
Location: 130 Noble Hall, Fort Lewis College
Contact: Gary Rottman, 303.562.4501, [email protected]

Fort Lewis College History Professor Paul Kuenker will explore various ways Americans have remembered, misremembered, and willfully distorted our nation’s shared history with white supremacy and racial violence. Kuenker will also survey the current memorial landscape including the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama.

Friday September 22, 2023
7 – 9 p.m.

Overshoot and Collapse of the Ancient Four Corners, A Film by Cloudy Ridge Production

Presenter: San Juan Basin Archaeological Society (SJBAS)
Location: The Ballroom at Fort Lewis College
Contact: Janice Sheftel, [email protected] or check SJBAS.org

Population Overshoot and Collapse in the Ancient Four Corners, addresses issues of sedentism, aggregation, depopulation, and climatic concerns of the pre-contact indigenous peoples of the Four Corners region of the United States. The film transports the viewer on a new and intimate journey from how did these ancient people live? What were their migrational patterns essentially about? How did they affect the environment and climate? And are we presently experiencing similar patterns of the hardship and violence that these ancient ones suffered? Co-sponsored by San Juan Basin Archaeological Society & FLC Center of  SW Studies and Dept of Anthropology.

Saturday, September 23, 2023
4-7 p.m.

Fox Fire Farms: Celebrating the Rich History of the Centennial Farm

Hosted by the Ignacio Creative District
Location: 5513 Co Rd 321, Ignacio CO 81137
Contact: Eva Lewis, 970.442.0943, [email protected]

Join us for an artful event celebrating a centennial farm and incredible asset to our community, Fox Fire Farms! Come enjoy the amazing wines, local artists, food and music at the beautiful winery on these historic grounds!

Tuesday September 26, 2023
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
& Wednesday 27, 2023
5 – 6:30 p.m.

Book Club Discussion of Salone Italiano: The True Story of an
Italian Immigrant Family’s Struggles in Southwestern Colorado
by Kay Niemann

Presented by the Durango Public Library
Location: Durango Public Library
Contact: Daisy Grice, 970.375.3387, [email protected]

Explore a slice of local history through literature. Salone Italiano is the story of an immigrant family living in Silverton during its mining heyday at the beginning of the 20th century. Based almost entirely on letters written by the Sartore family to relatives back in Italy and illustrated with the family’s historic photographs. Free copies of the book will be available for registrants beginning on August 1. Registration required.

Tuesday September 26, 2023
6 – 7:30 p.m.

How the West Was Clothed

Presented by Pine River Library
Location: Pine River Library
Contact: Darcy Poletti, 970.884.2222 ext. 522, [email protected]

Local weaver and spinner Sherry Hawkins will give a talk on the history of clothing in the American West at Pine River Library. Before store bought clothing, making garments included many tasks involving the entire family, until the introduction of modern machinery changed the availability of ready-to-wear fashion. Hawkins’s talk will touch on how the different characteristics of flax fibers, cotton fibers, and wool fibers made all the difference in household goods, and the presentation will also include a show and tell of materials and methods.

Thursday September 28, 2023
9-10 a.m.

Birding with Audubon

Presented by Southwest Colorado Humanities Roundtable
Location: Meet at Oxbow Park & Preserve in Durango
Contact: Shelley Walchak, 303.941.4012, [email protected]

Join John James Audubon (portrayed by Brian  on a unique bird watching adventure as he regales listeners with his in-depth observations of the species we happen to see along the Animas River Trail. Long before Stokes and Sibley, Audubon published several pages of field notes for all 435 species of birds that he painted, an “Ornithological Biography,” that totals several thousand pages.

Thursday September 28, 2023
7-8 p.m.

Adventures with
John James Audubon

Presented by Fort Lewis College Lifelong Learning
Location: 130 Noble Hall, Fort Lewis College
Contact: Shelley Walchak, 303.941.4012, [email protected]

Storyteller and Chautauquan Brian “Fox” Ellis portrays Audubon in a dynamic performance that engages listeners in scientific inquiry and natural history, art appreciation and ornithology. Come spend an hour in the studio of one of America’s greatest naturalists and wildlife artists. Listen to tales of his adventures in the wilds of America!

Friday September 29, 2023
7-8 p.m.

Charles Darwin and His Revolutionary Idea

Presented by Southwest Colorado Humanities Roundtable
Location: The Powerhouse Museum
Contact: Shelley Walchak, 303.941.4012, [email protected]

Imagine an evening with the affable, young Charles Darwin, among friends, telling amazing stories of his adventure sailing around the world on HMS Beagle. Darwin shares humorous tales of his training as a naturalist, his insights into South American geology, his discovery of strange creatures on the Galapagos Archipelago and most importantly, the scientific evidence that led to his revolutionary theory. Storyteller and science teacher, Brian “Fox” Ellis steps into Darwin’s shoes to engage the audience in a discussion of the facts so they can draw their own conclusions.

 Equal parts dramatic storytelling, stand-up comedy and show and tell, listeners are immersed in the intellectual world of one of history’s greatest scientific minds. He brings a wide array of fossils, insects, plants, and study skins so the audience can experience the discoveries of Darwin with hands-on analysis.