Aspen’s ranching history is highlighted in a new display at the Pitkin County Airport developed by the Aspen Historical Society. Travelers can see historic images of valley ranch life and ranches, including the former ranch where the airport now sits.
“We wanted to remind visitors and locals alike that Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley used to be all about ranching,” says AHS board member, Tony Vagneur. “Mining and skiing get more attention but this valley subsisted on ranching for decades.”
The thirteen featured images show scenes from ranching in the area with a focus on the Airport Ranch, homesteaded by the Stapleton family in 1882 and then owned by Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke. AHS board member Tony Vagneur, fourth-generation valley rancher, helped curate the display.
“The display is a pictorial overview of ranching in the area, showing the men and women of the valley earning their keep when ranching was king,” says Curator Lisa Hancock.
The exhibit is made possible by the McBride Family Foundation with the assistance of Tony Vagneur and the Pitkin County Airport.