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Partnering with Telluride Historical Museum: Community Service at "An Olde Fashioned Christmas

For our third year in a row, True North teens will volunteer at Schmid Ranch! Read about this Telluride Tradition in the Telluride Daily Planet at this link.

Telluride Daily Planet: Friday, December 9, 2016

By VIVIAN RUSSELL, Planet Contributor

Starting at noon Saturday, Dec. 10, The Telluride Historical Museum will present a local Christmas tradition: “An Olde Fashioned Christmas at Schmid Ranch.”

For the eighth year running, the Schmid Family will open up its historic 900-plus-acre working ranch to the public for a day of free Christmas festivities. Young and old alike are invited to celebrate the spirit of the season with friends and neighbors amid the breathtaking scenery of Mount Wilson serving as the backdrop.

Complimentary hot cocoa will be served around a bonfire, and activities include wreath making, ornament decorating, sleigh rides and Christmas tree procurement, the old fashioned way: cut down by hand.

At 1:30 p.m., The UkaLadies (local all-girl Ukulele troubadours) will be strumming and singing Christmas songs to add to the cheer.

Santa Claus has sent word that he will make a special stop during his busy holiday schedule, meeting with children between 1-3 p.m.

“What we are hoping to do with the Olde Fashioned Christmas event is just bring people together in the spirit of the season,” said Kiernan Lannon, executive director of the Telluride Historical Museum. “We wanted to have a community gathering where people can do fun and interesting things, meet with their friends and neighbors, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Wilson Mesa. And Marvin Schmid and the Schmid family are taking that same approach — just bringing the community together in a traditional and fun way.”

Participants are able to scout, select and cut a Christmas tree from a stand of evergreens, planted by Marvin Schmid’s father in the 1960s.

“It has been nothing short of amazing to partner with Marv and his family on this event,” Lannon said. “The setting could not be more awe inspiring, and to find collaborators who have the same sort of passion for bringing people together in a sense of community as we do has been absolutely fantastic.

“Just the generosity of the Schmid family in opening up their gorgeous property for the enjoyment of the people of Telluride and the surrounding areas, it’s just incredible and we couldn’t be more grateful to Marv for working with us on this. It’s such a unique and historic place, which is perfect for a museum event.”

Teens from the True North Youth Program will be on hand to assist in cutting and carrying trees. True North also will be serving up homemade bison chili, apple cider, organic candy-canes and creme brulee.

“We are excited to be partnering with the museum on this event for our third year in a row” said Lanier Nelson, executive director of True North. “This event provides our teens a way to celebrate the season, spend time outdoors, as well as engage in service learning for the community.”

The event is free and open to the public; however, bring along some petty cash as there is a suggested donation of $40 for Christmas trees and $5 for sleigh rides.


The Schmid Family Ranch is a Centennial farm on Wilson Mesa, about 10 miles west of Telluride. The ranch has been in operation since the family homesteaded in 1882. The family worked with the Nature Conservancy to preserve the entire ranch through a conservation easement now held by the San Miguel Conservation Foundation. Today the family’s wish is to share this unique property with the community while maintaining a way of life that honors the land.

To achieve a Centennial designation, a property must be a working ranch for more than 100 years. The Schmid ranch originally provided hay for Telluride-area livestock. The Schmids still raise cattle and other livestock, and more recently the Schmid Ranch played an important short-term role in the regional economy: In 2015, Quentin Tarantino brought his cast and crew to Telluride for the winter season to film “The Hateful Eight” on location.


The ranch is located at 4553 County Road 60M. From Telluride, take Highway 145 out of Telluride toward Sawpit. Drive about nine miles and then take a left on Silver Pick Road. Drive about 10 minutes up Silver Pick Road. There will be signs pointing the way to the celebration along Silver Pick Road. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended, as it can get muddy if the ground hasn’t frozen.

The museum will post signs at each turn. Parking is free and warm clothes are recommended; the event is entirely outdoors.

“A lot of people love this time of the year, but it can often be so hectic and somewhat stressful. The Olde Fashioned Christmas event is the perfect way for people to remind themselves of the many great things about this season — the good cheer, coming together, being with your friends and families — just having a really good time in a historic and beautiful setting.

“If this event can’t get you in the cheerful spirit of the season, I’m not sure anything can.” Lannon added.

For more information, call 970-728-3344.

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