Category Archives: Museum of the West

Hidden Photographic Treasures From our Past: Museum to Host Historic Photo Contest

To coincide with National Historic Preservation Month, the Museum of the West and the Loyd Files Research Library are asking the community to dust off your scrapbooks and show us your best local photographs from the past for our historic photo contest, May 4 through August 3. Participants’ photos will be used as part of an exhibit at the Museum of the West between October – December, and winners will be chosen in August with … Read More

New Spring Exhibits and Free Day for National Museum Month

On May 12, we will officially open the historic Placerville Post Office. The post office 1930s façade has been carefully restored and has a special viewing window where you can peer into the past and see the postmistress hard at work in the 1930s period postal room. The new Western Investigations Team exhibit, Western Colorado Mysteries: Case Files from the Western Investigations Team (WIT), will include how the WIT team found Grand Junction town founder … Read More

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 in the home of Elizabeth Benson, the first postmaster. Postmasters in those days often opened up post offices in their own homes. In 1933, Grace Estep became the postmaster of the post office … 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

MWC For Free!

MWC For FREE at Dinosaur Journey Museum Come to Fruita and re-discover the ancient world of the dinosaurs for FREE on Wednesday nights! Dinosaur Journey is proud to announce that we will begin staying open late on Wednesday evenings, starting March 15. We will be open until 7 pm on Wednesdays. Each night will feature special activities that are FREE and open to the public. In addition, all admissions after our normal closing time (4 … Read More

Museum Education Class Review

Museums of Western Colorado Education Department Day one of the museum class went overwhelming well. We had more educationeers than had originally signed up for the class. The excitement level was high, and everyone was eager to learn about everything that the Museums of Western Colorado has to offer our community. Our Executive Director Dr. Peter Booth talked to us a bit about his background, shared with us a few historical artifacts, and even let … Read More

Museum Education Class

When most people in the Grand Valley think about their local heritage, what do they think of? Do they think of the Museums of Western Colorado? Or do they think of one of our sites, such as Cross Orchards Historic Site or the Museum of the West? Many people who walk through the door of Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita are not aware that it, too, is under the umbrella of the Museums of Western … 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

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