This weekend, visiting academics discuss how the geology of Marble and the Crystal River Valley shaped the area’s history at the Marble Museum Winter Open House. Five professors and authors will lead talks on everything from the Ute Indian and Redstone coal eras, to the geology of the West Elk Mountains.
The museum’s Alex Menard says the event will give some context to anyone who wants to know more about the area’s natural history.
"I mean, geology is like a book," he said. "All the layers are just sitting there, like in a book, and every day, you’re looking out there at the book, and you’re seeing those pages, but you don’t really know what they mean."
The keynote speaker is Duane Vandenbusche, a professor of history at Western Colorado University for 55 years and Colorado’s incoming state historian. Vandenbusche co-authored the book "Marble Colorado: City of Stone," which details the history of Marble's famous quarry.
Other speakers include Larry Meredith, author of "This Cursed Valley," Darrell Munsell, a professor at West Texas A&M University and author of multiple books about the Crystal Valley, as well as Tom Prather and Bruce Bartleson, professors of geology at Western Colorado University.
Menard says the lineup of speakers is meant to give attendees an idea of how the area’s geology shaped its history.
"There’s nature and there’s culture. Nature is just what’s out there, and we all know it’s so beautiful," he said. "But culture is what people have done with nature; it’s how they organize it through the arts and the sciences."
The open house begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Marble Museum.