Historic Sites
Learn through history by visiting interesting historic sites around the state of Colorado. Historic sites let you put a real face on the history that you've read about, making it more exciting for you and your children.
Historic Sites in Colorado
Argo Gold Mine and Mill
In 1893 construction of the Argo Tunnel Began. It would be 17 years before it would reach Central City , over 4.5 miles away. The tunnel would provide water drainage, ventilation and economical transportation of the gold bearing ore from the many mines it would intersect along the way. The Argo Mill was constructed to process the gold bearing ore from these mines. When completed, the Argo would be the largest mill of its type in the world. The mill processed over 100 million dollars of gold ore at the old time prices of $18.00 to $35.00 per ounce and stands today as a memorial to the hard rock miners of the day when gold was king! The Argo Mill, Mine and Museum tour is educational and fun.
McAllister House Museum
Tour one of the oldest homes in Colorado Springs with knowledgeable guides and staff who recreate the atmosphere of the early history of the family and city, making the house and its occupants live again. Restored to its original Victorian elegance by the National Society of Colonial Dames.
Estes Park Area Historical Museum
The Estes Park Museum, in Estes Park, Colorado, was founded by volunteers in 1962. As a department of the Town of Estes Park, its purpose is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit local history for visitors and residents.
Hiwan Homestead Museum
Located in Evergreen, this 17-room log lodge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its unique construction. Hiwan’s restored 1890–1930 era rooms illustrate a comfortable style of early mountain summer home living. As a local history museum, it maintains active craft and interpretive school programs as well as changing exhibitions, which are sponsored by the Jefferson County Historical Society.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
The mission of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is to collect, preserve, research and interpret the history and culture of the Pikes Peak Region. The Museum is housed in the beautifully restored 1903 El Paso County Courthouse.
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde, Spanish for "green table", offers an unparalleled opportunity to see and experience a unique cultural and physical landscape. The culture represented at Mesa Verde reflects more than 700 years of history. From approximately A.D. 600 through A.D. 1300 people lived and flourished in communities throughout the area, eventually building elaborate stone villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Today most people call these sheltered villages "cliff dwellings". The cliff dwellings represent the last 75 to 100 years of occupation at Mesa Verde. The archeological sites found in Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. Mesa Verde National Park offers visitors a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people.
State Capitol Building
The Colorado State Capitol is available for tours. Visit the historical Capitol Building, Attic, and take a legislative tour. You can visit the House and Senate Galleries and meet a lawmaker. The Colorado State Capitol welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year. Tours allow you to enjoy the beauty of the building while learning about the work of the General Assembly and Colorado's unique heritage. Tours are free of charge. Note that student group tours during the legislative session running January through May are extremely popular and space is limited. It is recommended that reservation requests are made early.
Burlington Old Town Museum
Tour an old town circa 1880-1921, including a depot, shops, jail cells, saloon, barn, school house, and more.
Pony Express National Historic Trail
The Pony Express National Historic Trail was used by young men on fast paced horses to carry the nation's mail across the country, from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, in the unprecedented time of only ten days. Organized by private entrepreneurs, the horse-and-rider relay system became the nation's most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph. Though only in operation for 18 months, between April 1860 and October 1861, the trail proved the feasibility of a central overland transportation route, and played a vital role in aligning California with the Union in the years just before the Civil War. Most of the original trail has been obliterated either by time or human activities. Along many segments, the trail's actual route and exact length are matters of conjecture. However, approximately 120 historic sites may eventually be available to the public, including 50 existing Pony Express stations or station ruins.
Lula W. Dorsey Museum
Whether you’re an old-timer or first-timer, the Dorsey Museum in Estes Park has something for you. Housed in a 1924 guest lodge, the museum features several period room settings and display galleries. There is also a 1905 log tourist cabin and two-bedroom cabin depicting accommodations from 1949. Admission is free.
Miners Museum
In the "school room" of the museum, Lafayette's educational heritage has been well preserved. Pictures, trophies and memorabilia are available for viewing. A small bedroom also contains vintage clothing and accessories from the turn of the century. The museum is open to the public all year long.
Ghost Town Wild West Museum
As a true preservation of Colorado’s western past, Ghost Town Museum is a fun and historic look back at kind of old west town that used to dot this region during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Located in Colorado Springs.
Meeker Home
The 1870 home of Greeley's founding family, Nathan Meeker and his family. It is built of adobe bricks in keeping with the ecology of the region. It is filled with many Meeker family belongings and furnishings of the 19th century and is open for touring from May through September.
Four Mile Historic Park
On the banks of Cherry Creek, just four miles from downtown Denver, Four Mile Historic Park is a 12 acre oasis featuring Denver’s oldest standing structure, pioneer exhibits, special events for all ages, and guided tours that transport visitors to Colorado’s frontier past. Four Mile House was once a wayside inn and stage stop.
Steelworks Museum and the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) Museum of Industry and Culture
The Steelworks and CF&I Museum of Industry and Culture features exhibits related to all facets of the CF&I, including the history of mining, labor history, history of steel production, railroad history, and history of Pueblo and Colorado and the CF&I's impact on the region.
Historic Georgetown
Historic Georgetown was created to initiate, encourage and integrate efforts to preserve the rich heritage of the Georgetown/Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District. It purchased the Hamill House, the home of Englishman William Hamill, a successful mine owner, banker and politician of 19th century Colorado, to restore this elegant home as a museum. Over the years, Historic Georgetown, Inc. has acquired other properties - a miner's cottage, a professional man's house, a merchant's home and a log cabin - to guarantee that the history we preserve includes a variety of lifestyles.
Overland Trail Museum
The Overland Trail Museum in Sterling commemorates the historic westward migration of gold seekers and early pioneers. The “village” behind the main structure has several buildings from pre-1915: a one-room schoolhouse, church, store, blacksmith shop, farm machinery, and the granary barn, which has branding irons, saddles, and other farm and ranch equipment.
Fort Uncompahgre Living History Museum
Fort Uncompahgre was first established as a fur trading post around 1826, by Antione Robidoux near the present sight of Delta , Colorado. Fort Uncompahgre today recreates the sights, sounds, the feelings and the experience of visiting the original post, offering guided tours by interpreters clothed in period attire.
Hotel de Paris Museum
Tour an elegant restored hotel from Georgetown's affluent mining days.
Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum
Come learn about the life and times of William F. Cody, also known as "Buffalo Bill." Located on Lookout Mountain overlooking Golden, explore exhibits featuring Sitting Bull's bow and arrows, Buffalo Bill's show outfits, and more. Also visit the grave of Buffalo Bill.
Fort Vasquez Museum
Fort Vasquez Museum, 35 miles northeast of downtown Denver on U.S. Highway 85, features displays that interpret the fur-trade era. Annual educational events offered by the museum include the Kids' Fur Trade Rendezvous in September and May, and the Rendezvous Workshop Series in October and April. Visit the site of an 1835 fur-trading fort, and follow the paths of founders Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette.
Hammond's Candy Factory
Hammond's complimentary candy factory tours are fun and educational for candy lovers of all ages. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe have seen how their famous, handcrafted candy canes, ribbon candy, and lollipops are pulled, twisted, and shaped by hand – just like they were in 1920. This factory tour will give you a bit of Colorado-proud history, some tidbits about nostalgic candy, a little science, and a lot of fun. With large video screens installed throughout the factory and the tour, you’ll get an up close and personal experience with their delicious candies and the people who make them. This free tour showcases how Hammond's Candies makes their candy in small batches, with most being hand-pulled and hand-twisted. Hammond's makes homemade candy canes, ribbon candy, lollipops, traditional hard candies, and chocolates. You'll enjoy a free sample of candy at the end of the tour and the opportunity to shop in their gift shop. Located just north of downtown Denver. Tours are available Monday through Saturday.
United States Mint Tour
Touring the United States Mint is a fascinating experience for those of all ages and one that will be remembered for a lifetime. Tours cover both the present state of coin manufacturing as well as the history of the Mint. Learn about the craftsmanship required at all stages of the minting process, from the original designs and sculptures to the actual striking of the coins. There is a also a gift shop at this location selling commemorative coins, books, games, and other souvenirs. There are some security procedures associated with your visit. Be sure to check their website for their current security status. The U.S. Mint at Denver offers free tours of its production facilities.
Stanley Museum at the Stanley Hotel
In 1997, the Stanley Museum was invited to The Stanley Hotel to set up museum exhibits and to manage the historic tours of the Hotel and has become an important extension of the original Stanley Museum. Over the years the Museum has attracted a worldwide membership while fulfilling its mission to tell the Stanley story.
Astor House Museum
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Astor House Museum in Golden has been restored to its original glory as a late Victorian western hotel/boarding house. It offers a look into the life of Ida Goetze, boarding house residents, Golden founders and pioneers, as well as Victorian material culture. The Astor House was built in 1867 and stayed in continuous operation as a boarding and rooming house until 1971. It rented rooms and served hot meals to lawmakers, laborers, miners, students and families, some of whom stayed for weeks or even months. Although it may not appear grandiose by modern standards, the Astor House was considered quite fancy in 1867. The first stone building in Golden, it helped to establish a sense of prosperity and permanency in a growing city.
Bent's Old Fort
Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events.
Anasazi Heritage Center
Located in Dolores, Colorado, the Anasazi Heritage Center is a museum of the Ancestral Puebloan (or Anasazi) culture and other Native cultures in the Four Corners region. It is also the starting point for visits to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. The museum features exhibits on archaeology, local history, and Native American cultures, interpretive programs, archaeological sites, and a research library.
Grand County Museum Complex
Housed in the old Hot Sulphur Springs School, exhibits include a display detailing the beginning of the ski industry in Colorado, 8,500 year old artifacts of Windy Gap, and a Pioneer Woman exhibit.
Yucca House National Monument
Yucca House National Monument is a large, unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan surface site. Yucca House is located in Southwest Colorado between the towns of Towaoc and Cortez.
Log Cabin Heritage Museum
This two-story log cabin homestead was moved in 1994 from the site of the Wolford Mountain Reservoir into Kremmling and was preserved as a historic site.
Aspen Historical Society
Includes information on the Wheeler/Stallard Museum, Ashcroft and Independence Ghost Towns, and the Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum.
Boulder History Museum
The Boulder Historical Society and Museum was founded in 1944 Now called the Boulder History Museum, it exhibits artifacts from a collection of over 30,000 objects of historical significance.
Phoenix Gold Mine
The Phoenix mine is operated by the oldest continuous gold mining family in Colorado, Al and Dave Mosch. It is a working gold mine where miners actually do the work. Take a guided tour of the mine and then do some actual panning for gold in the stream. There is also an area to picnic. This tour has a fee associated with it. Panning is included in the cost of the tour and you may keep any gold that you find in the stream while panning.
Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
The spirited history of the Pikes Peak Region comes to life at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site. Discover the American Indian Area, visit the 1860s Galloway Homestead, the 1880s Chambers Farm and the 1907 Orchard House. Knowledgeable interpreters present the true-to-life history of the people of the Pikes Peak Region.
Molly Brown House Museum
The Molly Brown House stands as an enduring symbol of the Victorian era and the city of Denver. Using educational programs and artifact acquisition, the Museum interprets Margaret "Molly" Tobin Brown's life - primarily between the years 1894 and 1912 - in order that a broad public and future generations may understand and appreciate the social, economic, and political aspects of Victorian life in Denver. The museum preserves Margaret Brown's historically significant home through continued restoration.
Simpich Character Doll Museum
Simpich Character Doll Museum is located in Colorado Springs. Simpich creates unique dolls, hand-crafted by skilled artisans. They are cast, hand-painted, and clothed at their workshops in Old Colorado City. The extraordinary Simpich Character Doll enterprise operated from this Old Colorado City building for nearly thirty years. Beautiful handmade figures were created here and shipped to points across the globe; and visitors were welcomed to tour the workshop areas where each character was painstakingly crafted. The Simpich Doll Museum features over fifty diorama exhibits from the early 1950s where the dolls were made in a tiny cottage in Manitou Springs through the mid 2000’s where the Simpich Doll operation peaked in artistry and complexity. Many exceptionally rare and one-of-a-kind figures are displayed, as well as creation processes, unusual memorabilia and family heirlooms. Many displays are scheduled to rotate to accommodate appropriate space for the nearly 500 distinct characters in the Simpich family’s collection, which remains the largest and most comprehensive in existence. The tour of the museum is free.
Baldpate Inn Key Collection
Visit The Baldpate Inn in Estes Park, home of the world's largest key collection. The collection boasts over 20,000 keys including examples from the Pentagon, Westminster Abby, Mozart's wine cellar, and even Frankenstein's castle.
Georgetown Energy Museum
Georgetown Energy Museum is located in a fully functioning and operational Hydroelectric generating plant in Georgetown, Colorado. The plant is owned and operated by Xcel Energy. It has been in operation since 1900. The museum includes exhibits and photographs and also household / consumer appliances relating the the early use of electricity.
Museum of Colorado Prisons
Cañon City, in southern Colorado, is the home of the Museum of Colorado Prisons, a showcase of the atmosphere and exhibits of days, staff, and inmates gone by. The remodeled facility now welcomes visitors to explore the history of Colorado Corrections. Audio tours guide visitors through 32 cells filled with exciting exhibits and life sized models that link the past to the present in dramatic presentation. Other artifacts and exhibits include: The hangman's noose used for the last execution by hanging in Colorado; confiscated inmate weapons and contraband; the gas chamber; rare, historic photographs depicting life in prison facilities; displays of disciplinary paraphernalia used from 1871 to the present; Federal Bureau of Prisons display; Inmate Arts and Crafts; and a Gift Shop.
Curecanti National Recreation Area
Three reservoirs, named for corresponding dams on the Gunnison River, form the heart of Curecanti National Recreation Area. Panoramic mesas, fjord-like reservoirs, and deep, steep and narrow canyons abound. Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado's largest body of water, and is the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the United States. Morrow Point Reservoir is the beginning of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and below, Crystal Reservoir is the site of the Gunnison Diversion Tunnel, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Recently discovered dinosaur fossils, a 5,000 acre archeological district, a narrow gauge train, and traces of 6000 year old dwellings further enhance the offerings of Curecanti.
Miramont Castle
Miramont Castle was constructed in 1895 as a private home for Father Jean Baptist Francolon, a French born Catholic priest. The castle features nine styles of architecture ranging from English Tudor to Byzantine and all crafted from locally quarried greenstone and yellow pine framing. Today Miramont is a museum dedicated to preserving the Victorian heritage of Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak region. Experience life as it would have been in Victorian times, from the Castle itself where you can view 30 rooms resplendent in authentic Victorian furnishings, to the Queen's Parlour Tea Room where you can feast on Victorian (and modern day) fare made fresh daily.
Enos Mills Cabin Museum and Gallery
The Enos Mills Cabin in Estes Park is an unconventional Museum that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 3, 1973. Enos Mills is best known for being the "Father of Rocky Mountain National Park", after his six year struggle to educate the public and Congress of the importance of setting aside large land areas for preservation of scenery and the wild life inhabitants. He was also an author, photographer, nature guide, innkeeper, lecturer, and adventurer.
Beecher's Island Battlefield Monument
Located in Beecher Island, Yuma County, the Beecher's Island Battlefield Monument is a joint Colorado - Kansas historical site established in 1905 to commemorate the 17-19 September 1868 battle fought there between Colonel George A. Forsyth's Scouts and a group of about 750 Indians from several Plains Indian tribes.
Elbert County Historical Society and Museum
The Elbert County Museum, housed in the old Kiowa High School, offers exhibits that explore the history of Elbert County.
Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center
Explore Colorado Springs' paradise in one magical stop. Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300' towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This world-class Visitor & Nature Center and museum is the most visited attraction in the region with all new interactive exhibits. Learn how the amazing red rocks got there with the NEW Geo-Trekker movie experience, shown every 20 minutes. Delight in one of Colorado's most photographed views while eating in our glass-enclosed café or from our terrace overlooking Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods. Admission into the Park and Visitor Center is free.
Coors Brewery Tours
Located in Golden, Colorado, and Memphis, Tennessee, Coors Brewery offers free tours of its facilities. Since 1873 the Coors brewery has thrived on a legacy of quality, innovation and customer service. The tour showcases the company’s history and passion for brewing.The brewery experience includes a 30-minute self-paced tour highlighting their malting, brewing and packaging processes. Cool off in the “fresh beer room," where visitors can sip a cold sample and rest on ice-cube benches in a refrigerated room. At the end of the tour, view old photos, neons, historical beer cans, bottles and memorabilia, and have the opportunity to sample our refreshing products. Be sure to shop in the Coors & Co. gift shop.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour
The Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins Brewery Tour and Clydesdale Hamlet offers a look at the Brew Hall viewing area overlooking the brewing control room, the packaging lines in action and the lager cellar, where the beer undergoes natural fermentation. At tour's end, there is a complimentary tastings of the company's beers. With a panoramic view of the scenic foothills of Fort Collins, Colorado, the brewery tour is an immersive experience where you can hear, smell, touch and taste the components that go into some of the world’s most popular beers. In addition to any of the brewery tours and signature attractions, Fort Collins is the home to the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales West Coast Team. When the hitch is back from one of their many public appearances, you can get an up-close and personal encounter and have your picture taken with these iconic horses right here in Fort Collins. Guests visit the Budweiser Clydesdales in their beautiful Rocky Mountain home. The tour is free.
Littleton Historical Museum
The Littleton Historical Museum is located on 14 acres and features two living history farms. The 1860s homestead farm and the 1890s turn-of-the-century farm show how people lived and worked during the early years in Littleton and the South Platte Valley. There is a working, early 1900s blacksmith shop, an ice house and Littleton's first one room school house. Interpreters work the farm sites, run the blacksmith shop and teach in the school house, offering a "living history" perspective to the museum visitor.
Lakewood's Heritage Center
A historic and social center park, Lakewood's Heritage Center features a look at 20th century lifestyles. Located in Belmar Park, the museum currently has over 10 historic structures and 30,000 artifacts. Tours allow you to learn about life in the 1920s and 1930s.
Gilpin Historical Society
Includes information on the Thomas House Museum, Gilpin History Museum, and the Coeur d' Alene Mine Shaft House.
Cross Orchards Historic Farm
Costumed interpreters at the Museum’s Cross Orchards Historic Farm offer you opportunity to step back in time and imagine what it was like to live as a Grand Valley pioneer in the early 1900s.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
More than 30 years ago, Crow Canyon was founded on the idea that members of the public could play an important role in archaeology. Each year, they welcome people of all ages to their campus near Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado. Their volunteers support their mission of archaeological research, education programs, and partnership with American Indians.
Cañon City Municipal Museum and Rudd House
Tour the Anson and Harriet Rudd Cabin, built in 1860, preserved as part of the Cañon City Municipal Museum, and numerous displays of artifacts from Cañon City’s history. The two galleries contain game trophies, fossils, minerals, weaponry, tools, household objects and American Indian artifacts from the 1860s to the 1950s.
Montrose County Historical Museum
The Museum focuses on early-day pioneer life, with a walk-through of a Homesteader's Cabin, equipped with furnishings and memorabilia. Also offers one of the most extensive collections of Farm Machinery in the state, including horse-drawn reapers, planters, plows, and a hay baler. The "County Store" exhibits wares, household objects, and tools. The Children's Corner contains dolls, toys, and baby furniture. The Museum's Library contains a complete set of Montrose newspapers from 1896-1940, a photo collection of the Montrose area, historical publications, and oral histories.
Aurora History Museum
The museum collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits artifacts and documents that tell the story of Aurora, Colorado, from prehistoric times to the present. Admission is free.
Cozens Ranch Museum
Cozens Ranch House is one of the oldest homesteads in the Fraser Valley. Throughout the house now you will find photographs of the Cozens family and early life in the Fraser valley. Original wallpaper and carpet pieces in the mainhouse are combined with family and antique items to help history come alive.
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