View All News

In the News:

Telluride Historical Museum: The True Spirit of Christmas

 Beth Roberts, Assistant Director

Telluride Historical Museum

(970) 7283344

Ext. 2




For Immediate Release


The Telluride Historical Museum celebrates the holiday the old fashioned way, at Schmid Ranch.

Telluride, Colorado (November 15, 2012) – On Christmas Day, 1908, Harriet Fish Backus, the

“Tomboy Bride,” awoke to a gift that would certainly turn the most modern San Juan citizen


with envy: “sparkling diamonds,” from the surface of tenfoot

deep snow.

Meanwhile, outside her cabin at Tomboy, equipped with snow shoes, a fleecelined

jacket, fur hat, and,

of best of all, a sack of toys slung over her back, “The Spirit of Christmas,” labored from shack to

shack without discrimination; the annual ritual of Beth Batchellor, Harriet’s best friend.

On December 8, the Telluride Historical Museum will honor the Spirit of Christmas at the annual

celebration at Schmid Ranch from 124p.


There, at the ranch—a centennial farm that has remained in the Schmid family since the 1880’s—the

celebration will include horsedrawn

carriage rides, a bonfire, hot chocolate, cowboy coffee, wreath

making, Santa Claus and gifts for children. Guests can even cut down their own Blue Spruce tree.

The fourth annual Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration at Schmid Ranch feels like a Norman

Rockwell painting. “It’s truly a sincere celebration of the holiday spirit,” said Erica Kinias, executive

director of the museum.

The event is free, thanks to donations at the event and sponsors like Hotel Telluride, New Sheridan

Chop House and Hotel, Peaks Resort and Spa, the Schmid family and Wilkinson Public Library.

Kinias encourages warm clothes, rope to get your tree home and your own mug for the hot beverages.

The museum isn’t completely ignoring the commercial side of the season. During the entire month of

December the museum store will host Noel Month, where shoppers can play old fashioned games to

win 10 – 50% discounts.

Gifts exchanged amongst the first Telluriders were likely “gloves, warms stockings hats; home baked

breads and treats; paper dolls; balls; and simple games like jacks and marbles,” said Kinias.

Today, the museum offers shoppers contemporary items—like beer steins, belt buckles, travel mugs,

ceramic tiles and Lisa Issenberg pendants and knobs—that display images from the past, in addition to

matted and framed images from museum archives.

P. O. Box 1597 . W. Gregory Avenue . Telluride, Colorado 81435 . Tel. 9707283344

Fax 9707286757

. .

The museum also carries great books including local titles: Tomboy Bride, One Man’s West and Rudy’s

View, and DVDs documenting Telluride’s past: We Skied It! and YX Factor and fictional past:


For more information about the Old Fashioned Christmas event or about Noel Month, visit the

museum online or at the top of Fir St.

As for “sparkling diamonds,” this Christmas, museum can’t make any promises, although historically

speaking; at least we know chances are good.


Image Caption: Beth Batcheller, circa 1910, pictured here on the roof of her Tomboy home.

Batcheller was known to deliver holiday gifts to all the children who lived at Tomboy. (Photo courtesy

of the Telluride Historical Museum. All rights reserved).

Image Caption: “Elks Club Christmas1910.”

(Photo courtesy of the Telluride Historical Museum.

All rights reserved).