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Jefferson County Attractions: History Museums

Arvada History Museum, Arvada Center for Arts and Humanities

6901 Wadsworth Blvd.  •  www.arvadacenter.org  •  720-898-7255

Native Americans, farmers, and hard-working people established Arvada in 1864. The exhibit of clothing, household items, musical instruments and toys provide a vision of yesteryear. A log cabin is within the exhibit. Free admission.

 

Astor House Museum

822 12th Street, Golden 80401  •  www.astorhousemuseum.org  •  303-278-3557

Built in 1867 as a hotel to lodge the Colorado Territorial legislators and served as a boarding house for more 100 years. Golden citizens voted in 1972 for the city to acquire, preserve and maintain the historic hotel. Inside, you will experience stories of legislators discussing statehood, miners seeking their fortune and immigrants adapting to a new life. Victorian gift shop. $3 adult, $2 Youth.

 

Boettcher Mansion Event Center

900 Colorow Road, Lookout Mountain 80401  •  303-526-0855

Exquisite summer home built in 1917 with carriage house of native stone and timber, decor of American Arts and Crafts. Gifted to JeffCo by Boettcher family in 1970, National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Free admission.

 

Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave

987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Road, Lookout Mountain  •   www.buffalobill.org  •  303-526-0744

A Denver-owned museum offering a retrospective of William Buffalo Bill Cody’s life as hero and visionary of the American West and founder of Wild West show. Exhibits of historic artifacts of Cody, Chief Sitting Bull, and interactive cowboy activities with spectacular views of the Front Range. Extensive gift shop and snack bar at historic Pahaska Lodge listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1990. Admission charge.

 

Buffalo Herd at Genesee Park

Northwest Pasture at I-70 exit 254, in Genesee Park

Denver’s first “Mountain Park,” Genesee, acquired in 1914. The first 160 acres were enclosed for endangered species of Colorado elk and 14 of the last bison, transported from Yellowstone. Genesee Park was first split by Hwy 40 in 1937. A tunnel under I-70 allows the bison to enjoy the pasture south of I-70, adjacent to the oldest ranch house of continuous occupation in Jefferson County known as the Patrick House built in 1860, east of Chief Hosa Lodge built in 1918.

 

Clear Creek History Park

1020 11th Street, Golden 80401  •  www.clearcreekhistorypark.org   •  303-278-3557

Golden citizens voluntarily moved historic buildings from Coal Creek and Golden Gate Canyons to establish the history park on city-owned 3.5-acres during the 1990s. The site includes 1870s homestead cabins, an 1876 one-room school house, a replicated blacksmith shop, a root cellar, heirloom gardens and live chickens. Volunteers demonstrate daily life on a frontier homestead. Visit anytime, or feed the chickens, sew a quilt square, watch the blacksmith, etc. on July 30-31.

 

Colorado Railroad Museum

17155 West 44th Ave, Golden 80403  •  www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org •  303-279-4591

Lose track of time year-round at this Depot Museum and 15-acre railyard featuring over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, and a garden railway, renowned library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable. Special events and train rides behind a vintage steam locomotive throughout the year. Train rides each Saturday. Visit their website for group rates, events and information.

 

Golden History Center

923 10th Street  •  303-278-7151

Stroll through exhibits of Golden history, from Paleo Indians to present, displaying hundreds of artifacts including Native American dolls, mining implements, firearms, clothing, and furniture. Museum also offers extensive genealogy and history library. Have lunch on the patio facing Clear Creek. Admission charge. Gift shop.

 

Hiwan Homestead Museum

4208 Timbervale Drive, Evergreen  •  303-674-6262

The 17-room log mansion, built from 1890s through the 1920s, served as host for Episcopal ministers for over 50 years. JeffCo Open Space acquired it in 1975 and fund operations. Today’s large collection of Indian arts and Crafts, pioneer workshop with antique tools and printing press, and outbuildings are a unique campus of preservation. Free admission. Book shop.

 

Humphrey Memorial Park & Museum

320 Soda Creek Rd (west at Bergen Pkwy in Evergreen)  •  www.hmpm.org •  303-674-5429

The frontier Kinnikinnick Ranch of the 1870s was preserved by the Humphreys and has since been restored. Family collections from travels fill the pioneer log home that hugs the ground next to traditional gardens, outbuildings and crochet court. By appointment.

 

Spirit of Lakewood History Exhibit

Visitor Center at Lakewood Heritage Center, 810 Yarrow  •  303-987-7850

Lakewood’s development from the late 19th Century agriculture to incorporation in 1969 features the most famous citizens. Frank and Amanda Peterson raised turkeys along Bear Creek, opened a dairy and raised cattle. Jacob Lederman established a motel. Musicians Billy Wilson and Joel Barron established the Tally Ho restaurant. Wealthy heiress May Bonfils-Stanton generously funded many worthy causes. The Heritage Center one block further south offers many preserved buildings and artifacts.

 

Red Rocks “Underground” Museum

top of Amphitheatre, Hwy 93 between I-70 and Morrison. www.redrocksonline.com

The magic of rock and roll concerts is relived in photos and interactive searches. The “legendary stage carved in stone” is surrounded by geology, paleontology and musicology and a restaurant with magnificent scenery.

 

Westernaires History Museum

Westernaires complex (west of JeffCo Fairgrounds, 6th & Indiana)  •  www.westernaires.org  •  303-279-3767

A tangible history of Western horsemanship with an extensive collection of saddles, tack and costumes. Exhibits include a carriage ridden by President Lincoln and one featured in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Shared by appointment.

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