When French fur trappers entered the Yampa Valley in the late 1820’s, they thought they heard the chugging sound of a Steamboat’s engine. It was actually a natural mineral spring making the noise, but the name “Steamboat” stuck. As more settlers moved westward, a man by the name of James Harvey Crawford arrived in the area in 1874 who later became the founder of Steamboat Springs in 1900.
Before Steamboat became the world famous Ski town, it was a ranching and mining community, both of which continue to play a considerable role in the local economy. Skiing was actually just a method of transportation in the harsh Colorado winters, until a Norwegian by the name of Carl Howelsen came to town in 1913. Howelsen introduced ski jumping, turning it into a major sport that would become synonymous with Steamboat Springs.
If you’re interested in the History of Steamboat Springs, click here to visit the Tread of Pioneers website.