Category Archives: History

2018 Heritage Awards

It is with great pleasure that the Museums of Western Colorado recognizes outstanding individuals and groups for their contributions toward preserving our community’s heritage at the Sixth Annual Heritage Awards, hosted at the Museum of the West. We are pleased to announce winners in the following categories: Archeological Award Glade V. Hadden George Callison Paleontological Award Dr. Rodney Scheetz Historian Award Dr. Steve Schulte Steve and Denise Hight Preservation Award Leslie “Bill” Ellicott Heritage Enterprise … Read More

Original Placerville Post Office Exhibition

Museums of Western Colorado employees are in the process of installing the original Placerville, Colorado Post Office, used in San Miguel County from 1934 to 1986. The museum acquired the post office in 1986, and the installation will complete the early town exhibition in the Museum of the West which includes the Park Opera house, a rural one-room school house, and the Pastime saloon from the same era. Visitors can enjoy the newly installed façade … Read More

Museum and BLM Partnership

Since 2014, the Museums of Western Colorado and the Bureau of Land Management have been working on developing a joint website to showcase digital exhibitions and to share information about collections with the public. The BLM grant funding the project provided resources to build a professional website and a children’s website, offer a series of educational camps for children, and design an educational kit to be used by the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center. The … Read More

Boy on a Bike, a Snapshot in Time

Shown is a photograph, a window in time, at 5th and Rood Street. A boy rides by the camera lens of local photographer, Frank Dean, in the distant past of Grand Junction, Colorado. A study of the undated picture inclines one to wonder of that boy and the people caught in time of days long gone. We see the day is clear for the photographer to set up his camera and catch the boy as … Read More

Freak Accident in Grand Junction

Alfred Read Gallupe, Grandson of General George S. Gallupe of the 5th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery during the Civil War and later of the Plains Wars with General George A. Custer, was injured September 22, 1913 during a freak windstorm in front of the local YMCA Building and passed away four days later on Sept 26, 1913. Alfred, the 12 year old son of the late John H. Gallupe and Ella Gallupe of Grand Junction died … Read More

Museum of the West — Curator’s Corner

New Discovery About the Use of Flint in Early Spanish Colonial Wheellock Pistols By Director of the Western Investigations Team/Curator of History David P. Bailey Copyright© 2016 All Rights Reserved Please click images for full-size. It has been assumed by historians and archaeologists that wheellock pistols used in the New World by Spanish Colonial adventurers and explorers used pyrite, not a flint ignition system. The earliest wheellock pistols were invented in the early 1500s. The pistols had … Read More

Loyd Files Research Library and Archives News

Many exciting projects are underway with the collections at the Museum of the West, the Loyd Files Research Library and Archives, and Cross Orchards. Erin Johnson Schmitz, Curator of Collections and Archives, has been working to get our collections ready for reaccreditation, as well as to make them more available to researchers and the public. The Museum of the West houses artifacts that help to tell the story of Grand Junction and Mesa County. It … Read More

From Our Collections – Placerville Post Office

One of the largest artifacts in the Museum of the West’s history collections is the Placerville Post Office. The post office was acquired by the museum from the town of Placerville, Colorado, in 1986. The first Placerville post office opened in 1878, and Elizabeth Benson was the first postmaster. Postmasters in those days often opened up post offices in their own homes. In 1934, the new post office opened in a separate building in Placerville. … Read More