Montrose is such an interesting little town where you can always find something going on. There are many attractions to visit in town and surrounding areas, and something I really enjoy about this town is the amazing museums. There are many great museums on the western slope, but I wanted to share with you some of the unique ones Montrose has to offer.
1. Museum of the Mountain West
The Museum of the Mountain West was founded in 1977 and incorporated in 2005. The museum is designated as a non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service. All the artifacts, buildings, and grounds have been donated by the owners for the education and enjoyment of visitors. A tour of the museum typically takes about 2 hours, and allows you to experience what it was like to live in western Colorado during the time period of the 1880’s-1940’s. You can tour the museum for $10 dollars a person ($5 children under 18) Monday-Saturday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm. The museum has so many neat artifacts, and really does allow you to get a feel of what is was like to live back then. Something really cool about this museum is you can rent it. The museum has a beautiful 1913 German Lutheran Church building available for special events such as; weddings, banquets, holiday parties, or seminars & meetings, although the church is not the only option or setting for your special event. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop after your tour of this amazing museum.
2. Ute Indian Museum
The Ute Indian Museum was built in 1956 and just recently underwent renovation and expansion. The museum expanded from 4,650 sq ft to 8,500 sq ft, adding new exhibits, a patio space with views of the beautiful San Juan Mountains, and expanding rental spaces for the community to use as a gathering place. The new exhibits added allow visitors to make connections between past and contemporary Ute life and culture. The museum allows you to understand the Ute peoples’ history and their adaption over time. The museum highlights significant geographical locations in Ute history and Ute cultural survival. While learning about Ute culture at the museum you can also take time to visit and learn about the Chief Ouray memorial. The museum has many unique tepees on the grounds that you can explore to get a feel of what the Ute’s lived in. You can learn about the Ute history and lifestyle for just $6 a person, seniors and students are given a discount, and children 6 and under are free. The museum is open Monday-Saturday 9 am- 4:30 pm and Sunday 11 am – 4 pm. As a bonus you can check out the newly expanded gift shop that offers authentic Native American jewelry, pottery, and gifts or books for children.
3. Montrose County Historical Museum
This museum is located in the original 1912 Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Depot right here in downtown Montrose. This historical museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A decline in railroad usage began in the 1020’s and this depot ended its use as a train station in the 1950’s. In 1972 the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Company donated the depot and land to the city of Montrose, and The Montrose Historical Society has operated the Montrose County Historical Museum in this location since then. The museum includes many collections that pertain to the historical story of Montrose, they were donated by the region’s pioneer families. When you visit the museum you are able to explore all facets of the Montrose area history, this includes; Native American, homesteaders, farmers, ranchers, railroaders, and miners. The museum really gives you a feel of what life was like in the early days of Montrose. The museum as many historic artifacts, 90% of them being from Montrose, and the other 10% being from outlying areas. Take a tour of this historic museum to really get a feel for some Montrose history.
I would love to hear about your museum experience, leave a comment or send me an email. Please feel free to share about any another museums in Montrose or the surrounding area.