In 1970, the Museum of the West was incorporated as a private non-profit with a mission to preserve and interpret the rich mining history of Colorado and the American West. The nucleus of the collection was a group of mining artifacts contributed to the museum by Mr. Frederick McMenemy Farrar and Mrs. Katherine Thatcher Farrar. In 1972 the name was changed to the Western Museum of Mining & Industry to better define the museum focus. The museum received its full accreditation by the American Association of Museum in 1979 and, in acknowledgment of its high standards and successes, was re-accredited in 1980 and 2000. Over 4,000 artifacts are on display at the 27-acre indoor/outdoor exhibit site; which includes a ten-stamp ore mill, a multi-purpose center with exhibits, a theater and a 5,000-volume research library. The entire exhibit complex is an exciting and exceptional tool for learning about Colorado history, mining and industrial technology, geology, and the environment.
Mine Reclamation Exhibit Mine reclamation is the process of restoring mined lands back to productive use after mining has occurred. Today, reclamation is an essential part of the mining process. From wildlife habitat to water quality, environmental science is integral to mine reclamation. This exhibit provides an interdisciplinary learning experience by exploring environmental issues of mine reclamation such as preventing water contamination, the relationships between soil, slope, and vegetation; and how the Preble’s mouse is linked to the ecosystem of the Front Range.
Reynolds Ranch House Included in the State Register of Historic Properties in 1997, the Reynolds Ranch House has two distinctive characteristics. First, it is a Queen Anne Farmhouse in a rural setting. Second, it is the last vestige of the once-thriving community of Husted, a former Denver & Rio Grande railroad supply town and depot. Prior to the museum’s ownership, nine different families owned the house. The Previous owners have made minor modification over the years. The museum intends to restore the home as an 1894 Queen Anne farmhouse before providing tours and other interpretive activities.
Stamp Mill This 10-stamp mill was carefully reproduced in 1978 by the museum’s staff using 19th century construction methods. Many of the machines on display are from the Yellow Jacket Mill that was located in Montezuma, Colorado. From the jaw crusher to the amalgamating tables, the machinery on display is typical of the Western mills from 1890 –1920.