Winter Survival Class with Aaron “Hutch” Hutchings @ Golden History Park
Dec 16 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Instructor Hutch makes fireLooking to learns some winter survival skills? Join Hutch, expert survivalist and instructor to learn some basic winter survival skills at the Golden History Park. As the majority of this class will take place outside, make sure to dress accordingly for the weather. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited, so don’t wait to sign up! 

Aaron “Hutch” Hutchings is a Colorado native, veteran, and father of four. He was raised in the Rocky Mountains by a real mountain man and hunting guide he called Grandpa. His love for adventure was first sparked by his grandfather’s teaching and stories. This spark was blown into flame in the Boy Scouts and fanned to a full-on bonfire in the Marine Corps. Read more about Hutch in his instructor bio or on his website. You can also find him on Instagram.

Dancing in the Schoolhouse @ Golden History Park
Dec 16 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Learn the polka and country dancing in the Guy Hill Schoolhouse in the Golden History Park from dance teacher Mary Eiberger. Just like the pioneers and ranchers of the 1800s, we’ll be using the schoolhouse as a dance hall for the holidays! Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited so don’t wait to sign up!

Mary has been a high school math and science teacher and tutor for 33 years. She also loves to teach others to country and West Coast Swing dance. She started competing in Polka dancing at the age of five, and she has competed for many years in West Coast Swing dancing.

Photo by Povy Kendal Atchison.

Native American Uses of Plants of the Rocky Mountain Region @ Golden History Museum
Jan 18 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Native American Uses of Plants of the Rocky Mountain Region

photograph of pine seedsWith a little bit of knowledge and a good digging stick a resourceful person can find plenty to eat among the wild plants of Colorado. This virtual cornucopia of seeds, berries, and roots provided a year-around supply of nutrients and calories to sustain the native populations for thousands of years. Some of these plants, such as wild plums and pinion nuts, require only a slight stretch of the modern imagination to be considered for tonight’s dinner. Others, such as the slime covered cattail root, stinking gourds, nauseous rabbit brush, and the aptly named pincushion cactus, take a bit more thought.

Thankfully, the collection and preparation of these plants is often described in ethnographic accounts from the late 1800s and early 1900s. These accounts provide great reading and valuable analogies for the interpretation of plant remains from archaeological contexts.

This 45-minute PowerPoint presentation will cover the excavation and extraction of botanical remains from archaeological sites, the interpretation of the remains, and a review of some of the plants and their uses. Many of the plants discussed are common in the yards and wilderness areas of Colorado, either as our treasured flowers or as one of those pesky weeds.

About the Presenter

Meg Van Ness has been an archaeologist for over 50 years with most of the time spent in the middle of the continent: the Midwest, Northern Plains, Rocky Mountains, and Southwest.  She has a BA in anthropology from the University of Missouri and an MA from Northern Arizona University – both in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology.  The first 16 years were spent working on various projects through universities and archaeological consulting companies, followed by 15 years at the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation within the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office.  Beginning in 2005, and until her retirement May 2023, she was an archaeologist for Mountain-Prairie Zone of the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – National Wildlife Refuge System. Her primary interests are the archaeological remains of prehistoric plant use, Depression-era buildings and structures, and new discoveries.

Colorado Purveyors of Vice @ Golden History Museum
Feb 6 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Looking to learn the history of bad whiskey recipes, shady ladies, gambling and con men of Colorado? Author Randi Samuelson-Brown will be presenting on vice in old west Colorado and the people that helped make it wild.  

Randi Samuelson-Brown is originally from Golden, Colorado but now lives in Denver. A passion for Colorado history was instilled by her father from early on, and she certainly latched on to the more notorious aspects of live in Colorado and the West. She was a finalist in the 2021 Colorado Book Awards for the Bad Old Days of Colorado. Her newest book is Brand Chaser – Book #1 of the Dark Range Series.

When not writing in her free time, Randi is often riding horses and traveling around Colorado and the West, finding inspiration from people, places, and open spaces. She loves speaking at museums and organizations, and especially loves to meet readers.

Books: Brand Chaser, The Bad Old Days of Colorado: Untold Stories of the Wild West, Market Street Madam and The Beaten Territory.


History of Indigenous Psychedelic Medicine Use in Colorado @ Golden History Museum
Mar 5 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Psilocybin or magic mushroomsThis lecture dives into the history of Indigenous psychedelic medicine use in Colorado.

When did it become illegal in the United States to use the active ingredients in some of the plants/fungi in the region? How did healers and medicine people who carried the traditional knowledge work with the substances after criminalization?  What active ingredients/compounds are now legal again nationally or at the state level? This lecture covers historical uses from an anthropological discipline.

Dr. Otañez: Chair and Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department, University of Colorado Denver. One of his research areas is psilocybin use among people of color in Colorado and building corporate accountability in the global psychedelic sector. In fall 2023, Dr. Otañez and his co-author Aaraón Díaz (Mexico City) are publishing the first volume in a four-volume book Art-Based Narratives as Resources to End Cannabis Stigmatization in North America.  

Tea-Time on the Frontier @ Golden History Museum
Apr 2 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

image of tea cupsHow did pioneers make tea without tea leaves? Join us at the museum to learn about tea and tisanes on the frontier and make your own herbal tea blend. Herbs and tea bags will be provided.