Telluride Museum: "An Old Fashioned Christmas at Schmid Ranch," 12/11

Telluride Museum: "An Old Fashioned Christmas at Schmid Ranch," 12/11

[click “Play” to hear Clarice Schmid talk about her life on Wilson Mesa]

Nov 2010 clarice Saturday, December 11, 1 – 5 p.m,  the Telluride Historical Museum and the Schmid Ranch co-host “An Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration,” featuring sleigh rides, wreaths, tree cutting from Clarice Schmid’s tree farm, cowboy coffee, Santa Claus, and more.

The same family has owned and operated the Schmid Ranch on Wilson Mesa since it was homesteaded in 1882. Five generations of Wellses, Camplins, and Schmids have worked the land through the Telluride mining boom and bust, the Great Depression, and a century of droughts and storms from the time James Wells migrated from Kansas in a covered wagon.

Clarice Campbell Schmid’s family moved up to the Mesa during the Great Depression, after grandpa left seven head of milk cows. Her uncles leased the Swenford place, which became The Faraway Ranch. On the Mesa, the Welleses joined 62 other families, who farmed, ranched, and worked the Silverpick Mines. They even had their very own school house across from the ranch, where Miss Ford taught for years.

According to Clarice, she and her sister kept everything together, milking cows and fetching wood. Back in the days, they did not own fancy equipment like chainsaws. They had to pull logs with the help of a saddle hose and then saw by hand. One day, a young man named Paul Schmid came over to help. That winter, he began calling on Clarice. He asked her to marry him in Spring 1935. As she once told Telluride Inside… and Out:

“Happiness began with Paul.”

Now Paul is gone and Clarice, who is nearly 92, lives in Hesperus, where she spends her days sketching and gardening. But her heart remains on Wilson Mesa, where the Schmid Ranch is designated a Centennial Farm (Colorado Historical Society).

For directions to the Schmid Ranch, go to For further information, call Beth Roberts, 970-728-3344, x 2.

Click the “play’ button and listen to Clarice Schmid recalling Christmas.

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