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Ghost Town Museum History

 

Ghost Town Museum was created in 1954 to preserve a piece of Colorado’s Wild West heritage.

Ghost Town Museum History

 

Ghost Town Museum was created in 1954 to preserve a piece of Colorado’s Wild West heritage.

Pikes Peak or Bust!

In 1858, the cry “Pikes Peak or bust!” opened the Colorado territory to the gold prospector. As miners quickly populated the western frontier of the United States, they needed transportation. Before long the twin steel ribbons of the railroad pushed into the Colorado mountains.

Towns sprang up overnight and by the 1860s and 1870s people filled the West. Small encampments became small towns, and small cities along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains provided a central location for supplies and services. It was a rough and tumble time.

The age of the ghost town

Once mines were emptied of their treasures, many towns were abandoned to become “ghost towns.” By the time gold was discovered in Cripple Creek in 1891, the spirit of the frontier was almost gone.

Ghost Town Museum was created in 1954 to preserve a piece of Colorado’s Wild West heritage.”

Today almost nothing remains of those exciting days of the old west – a scattered pile of lumber, a tumbled pile of rocks, an occasional wagon wheel, or a piece of equipment. The rip-roaring camps of 100 years ago have faded into memories. The term ghost town is somewhat of a misnomer as there’s nothing haunted or scary about these striking ruins of a bygone era.

Ghost Town Museum is born

Ghost Town Museum evolved from a desire to preserve this era for generations to come. Our “town” is an indoor collection of the very structures that were left to decay around the Pikes Peak region, all looking much as they would have 100 years ago. An impressive array of everyday artifacts is displayed in each building.

The museum is housed inside a historic stone structure. In 1899, the Colorado Midland Railroad constructed it as a maintenance building for the steam locomotives that hauled gold ore to the Golden Cycle Mill, once located across the street from the museum. The Roundhouse next door and the Ghost Town Museum are all that remain of the operations of the Golden Cycle Company, which closed the facilities in 1949.

The Wild West preserved

Ghost Town Museum serves as a permanent example of Colorado’s Wild West towns. There are many hands-on activities for the young and old: Crank a butter churn. Operate an old-time arcade or nickelodeon. See a short film on the gold mining era. Pan for real gold in the seasonal panning areas! Shop for Colorado gifts, have a picnic, or sip an old-fashioned sarsaparilla. The museum is handicap accessible.

Mosey on over

Mosey on over