March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate the women who made a significant impact on the history of the West, the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Bud Werner Memorial Library are pairing up to host a one-of-a-kind, live performance, “Legendary Ladies of the West.” This not-to-be-missed event takes place at 4 p.m. March 6 in Library Hall at Bud Werner Memorial Library. This is a free event for the whole family and is best suited for adults and children age 6 and older.
Tales from the Tread
Tales from the Tread columns publish the first and third Wednesdays in the Steamboat Today.
If you go
What: Legendary Ladies of the West
When: 4 p.m., Sunday, March 6
Where: Bud Werner Memorial Library, Library Hall, 1289 Lincoln Ave.
Meet the fascinating women whose lives became a part of the lore of the West. Learn how these legendary women affect our lives today and the hardships and barriers they endured to forge their paths.
Following is a sneak peak of the cast of performers.
• Rosamond Underwood Carpenter: socialite school teacher — A cultured, educated and restless society girl, Miss Underwood left her comfortable life back east in 1916 to “rough it” and teach school in the wilds of Elkhead, Colorado, a remote homesteading community near Hayden. Moving to one of the last frontiers with her friend Dorothy Woodruff, the two introduced their students to a world outside of Elkhead, merging East and West and changing students’ lives and their own.
Underwood and Woodruff’s story is the subject of the New York Times bestselling book, “Nothing Daunted,” by Dorothy Wickenden, Woodruff’s granddaughter. Nearly 100 years after the teachers’ adventures, Wickenden found their captivating letters, which reflected the voices of the pioneer women, students and other unforgettable people the women encountered, including the influential Ferry Carpenter, who Underwood would eventually marry.
• Mother Jones: labor activist — The feisty and fiery Mother Jones rallied the labor movement for miners around the United States. For this event, the charismatic actress will concentrate on Jones’ fearless efforts in Colorado, fighting for workers’ rights.
• Maud Nelson: American baseball player — The baseball barnstormer Maud Nelson was a world-renowned Bloomer Girl pitcher, third baseman, scout, manager and owner of the best baseball team of her era. Passionate about the sport, this professional was touted as “the greatest all-around female ball player in existence.”
• Anne Ellis: author — An extraordinary woman of perseverance and razor-sharp perceptions, Anne Ellis created powerful imagery through her writing about life in the Colorado mining communities and other areas. Her memoirs intertwine colorful memories of 19th century western history.
The show’s performers are The Legendary Ladies, Inc., who travel all over Colorado to share their talents. They are a volunteer, educational, non-profit organization that promotes the history of women who made unique contributions to the West. Each actress in Legendary Ladies researches the character she portrays, writes her own script and creates an authentic costume for a professional, historically-accurate performance. The Legendary Ladies truly makes history come alive.
Reviews of The Legendary Ladies performances are stellar:
“We loved The Legendary Ladies. Each and every performer was perfect and gave an incredible ‘in character’ performance. Mesmerizing.” — Old Colorado City Historical Society
“The show was wonderful. Each character was well-researched and presented in an informative and entertaining way. Learned a lot in a short time about some very interesting Colorado women.” — Colorado Women in Government
For more information, visit treadofpioneers.org or legendaryladies.org.
Candice Bannister is executive director of Tread of Pioneers Museum. Special thanks to Joyce Nelson, program coordinator for the Legendary Ladies for providing some of the content for this article.