Tales from the Tread: Historic houses of the Tread of Pioneers Museum
April 14, 2015
The Zimmerman House
In 1908, Earnest Campbell built the Queen Anne style house with unique half-timbered gables on 5th and Oak streets. In 1914, Campbell sold the house to Edward H. Zimmerman, manager of the local Mutual Telephone Exchange and later the Yampa Valley Mill and Elevator Company. Edward and Mary Zimmerman had four children: Herman, Mary, Zelma, and Muriel. The family lived in the house until 1956, when the county purchased it.
In 1959, the Tread of Pioneers Museum first opened to the public in the Zimmerman house at its original location on 5th and Oak. Tread of Pioneers Museum leadership moved the house to its present site, 8th and Oak, in 1988 and renovated it. Today, the Zimmerman house serves as the heart of the Tread of Pioneers Museum, where period-furnished rooms take visitors back in time to imagine the daily life of the hardy pioneers who first settled Northwest Colorado.
The Utterback House
In 1900, C.A. Seymour, manager of the J.W. Hugus & Co. mercantile, built this rectangular wood-framed building with intersecting gables and topped by a widow's walk. In 1944, the John A. Utterback family purchased the house on 404 Oak Street as a town residence for winter months. Utterback family members lived in the house for more than 50 years.
In 1997, Karin Utterback-Normann, daughter of John "Doc" Utterback, the well-known local veterinarian, rancher and Routt County commissioner, donated the house to Tread of Pioneers Museum. The museum moved the house to its current site and renovated it to better serve the public. The house provides staff offices, a community meeting room and the Lufkin Library Research Center and Archive. The "Utterback Annex" is a tribute to rural pioneer families whose work and leadership have been significant in the development of Routt County.
Candice Bannister is executive director of Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs.