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History of Snowmass

History of Snowmass

Snowmass' Brush Valley was originally inhabited by the Ute Indians. They referred to the mountain as “Cold Women” due to the fact that it was often hidden behind clouds and they believed it was the source of bad weather. When settlers started to arrive in the 1880s, the Utes were thrown out of the valley. There is still a discrepancy over a fire that was started on Mt. Baldy known as the Big Burn area. Some say it was simply lightening, ranchers trying to clear the land, or Ute Indians trying to discourage settlers from moving in.

Eventually the Brush Creek Valley was inhabited by a small number of ranches raising cattle and sheep. One of the most prominent of these ranchers was Charles Hoaglund. Hoaglund and his family immigrated from Sweden and arrived upon the silver crash. He was hired to help close down Aspen's silver mines and after his job was done in 1910, he obtained land in the Brush Creek Valley and moved his family there. Hoaglund built a house and outbuildings on his new property, where he and his family raised cattle, sheep, wheat, and hay. The main house has become a part of the distinguished Anderson Ranch Arts Center blending history with cutting-edge art studios. Hildur, Hoaglund's daughter, even attended the Brush Creek Frontier School, which today is now an early childhood learning center known as The Little Red  Schoolhouse. Hildur later married Bill Anderson, leading to the current name of the art center.

In 1958 Bill Janss, an olympic skier and land developer, began buying ranches in the valley with the idea of starting a ski area. In hopes to mirror the success of Aspen's ski slopes, by 1961 Janss owned six ranches at the base of Baldy and Burnt Mountains. He envisioned creating a European-style ski area on 3,300 acres. In December of 1967, right after the U.S. Forest Service had granted permits so that a ski resort could be developed, Snowmass-At-Aspen opened. They started off with a lift ticket cost of $6.50, fifty miles of ski trails, five chairlifts, seven hotels, and six restaurants. The town of Snowmass was then incorporated about a decade later.

Today Snowmass is a great place to find recreational activities and many other things to do. Hit the slopes in the winter or hike, bike, and golf in the summer. Enjoy shopping and concerts all year long.

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