Telluride Museum: Old-Fashioned Xmas at Schmid Ranch

Telluride Museum: Old-Fashioned Xmas at Schmid Ranch

On Saturday, December 9, noon- 4 p.m., the Telluride Historical Museum and Schmid Family (on Wilson Mesa) co-host an “Olde Fashioned Christmas at Schmid Ranch.” Celebrate the season with this FREE Telluride tradition. Find your Christmas tree and enjoy festive crafts, hot cocoa, warm chili, Christmas carols, sleigh rides and visit with Santa  from 1- 3 p.m. (There is a suggested donation of $40 for Christmas trees.) Scroll down for directions to the ranch.

Volunteers here. To apply, go here or call 970-728-3344.


The Schmid Family Ranch is a Centennial farm on Wilson Mesa, about 10 miles West of Telluride, Colorado. 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.

In an interview several years ago, Clarice explained that it was 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.”

In the end, the Schmid 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.

In addition, the Schmid Ranch is designated a Centennial Fram through the Colorado Historical Society.

Directions: Take 145 North out of Telluride towards Sawpit. Drive about 9 miles and then take a left on Silver Pick Road. Drive about 10 minutes up Silver Pick Road. There will be signs along Silver Pick Road. 4WD vehicles are recommended, as it can get muddy if the ground hasn’t frozen.


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