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Tread of Pioneers Museum

Common Folk in the Boat Podcast: Guest Katie Adams of Tread of Pioneers Museum

In this episode of Common Folk in the Boat podcast, we caught up with Katie Adams, Curator for the Tread of Pioneers Museum. Katie admittedly likes to work behind the scenes at the museum, working on the exhibits, and does an incredible job with it.

In Katie’s words…

Our museum series rotates once a year and it’s called the Foundations of Steamboat series. It’s a way for us to honor local families who have contributed significantly to the history of our area, either generationally or through major impacts. It’s been going on since the late 1990s we’ve featured a lot of families that you’ve probably heard of like the Light family from F.M. Lights. It has also included a lot of ranching families like the Stankos and other Steamboat ranching families like the Rocking C Ranch.

We’re currently working in an exhibit about a family and a man named George Tolles. George and his wife, Marion came to Steamboat Springs in 1957 and were some of the first faculty at what we call the Steamboat Mountain School, formerly the Lowell Whiteman School, which was and is a kind of “adventure boarding school.” George arrived with a long teaching background and taught biology, science, history, German, Dutch, and Spanish.

He had his hands in a lot of different things, but what he was able to establish there was a sort of international relations type of curriculum and facilitated students traveling to Mexico to learn there during the school’s off season. So he really built what the mission continues to be at that school.

I think it’s really fitting to be featuring the Tolles because we’ve heard the names F.M. Light, Daughenbaugh, the Lockharts, Crawfords, and other names that you see on street signs around Steamboat Springs. Tolles was not a name that most people don’t know and that’s kind of what this podcast series is about. It’s about the common folk of Steamboat have been doing extraordinary things. But if you met them at a coffee shop or on the gondola, you would have no idea.