Once a bonanza silver mine of the 1880s, the Matchless Mine has remained an important historic landmark, telling of the boom/bust days that put Leadville, Colo., on the map. This mine staked its claim in history by changing the lives of notable people involved — for better or worse. While Horace Tabor, Augusta Tabor and eventually Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor are often the stars of the quintessential rags-to-riches-to-rags story, this exhibition shines a spotlight, for once, on the Matchless Mine itself. Highlighting and discussing the unique geology of the Fryer Hill area with archives and minerals from the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) collection, this exhibition explains why this mine was successful, dissects some of its myths with facts, and displays historic photographs that depict the fascinating changes of the entire Matchless Mine site’s structures and surrounding landscape from the 1920s to the present. Today, this National Historic Site (owned and operated by the NMHFM) is open for surface tours late May through September. Join us for a range of public programs that coincide with this exhibition:
-March 1 at 7 p.m. — Free, public presentation about Victorian women’s fashion by local business owner and costume historian Judith Mulder.
-June 30 from 2-6:30 p.m. — Periodic Brewing will give a free beer-making demonstration of their Matchless IPA.
-Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. — Local “Baby Doe” enthusiast Brenda Lacy Miller will debunk the myths surrounding Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor. A free video presentation of the “Ballad of Baby Doe” opera will set the stage before Miller’s “myth busting” begins.
-Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. — Free presentation by Fred Mark, a geologist, historian and Tabor enthusiast, as he discusses the fascinating story of Horace Tabor and his two wives, Augusta and Elizabeth.
-Dec. 6 from 3-5 p.m. — Celebrate Miner’s Day with a family-friendly craft activity. Visitors can make a faux-stained glass window using templates provided by the NMHFM or by creating their own design (included with the cost of regular admission to the NMHFM). Keep checking www.mininghalloffame.org and its Facebook page for more programs as they are added.