Art News

Ten Medal-Worthy Colorado Museums to Visit

Will the Medal of Honor Museum come to Denver? It's a Colorado coin toss.
Will the Medal of Honor Museum come to Denver? It's a Colorado coin toss. History Colorado Center
Denver is one of two finalists for the National Medal of Honor Museum, which will commemorate recipients of the highest award given for bravery in combat. In September, the museum board will decide between locating in the Mile High City or Arlington, Texas; to help that group make the right decision, we're highlighting ten of Colorado's most unusual, medal-worthy museums.

click to enlarge KOSHARE INDIAN MUSEUM
Koshare Indian Museum
Koshare Indian Museum & Trading Post
115 West 18th Street, La Junta
719-384-4411
During the Depression, a group of Boy Scouts interested in Native American lore began performing as the Koshare Dancers. They used money from their performances to build a great round room inspired by the kivas of the Ancestral Puebloans; they used cash in their donation basket to purchase art from Taos and Santa Fe as well as Native American artifacts from around the country. In 1949, the Koshare Indian Museum opened, sharing with the public the incredible collection amassed by these Scouts. The museum is open from noon to 5 p.m. seven days a week in summer (with extended hours until 10 p.m. on Saturdays). Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students (seventeen and under).

Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum
35901 Weld County Road 31, Eaton
970-454-1856

Lee Maxwell has collected over 1,408 antique washers on his property in Eaton; he started the collection because he needed a hobby and didn't golf, he explains. The museum also houses over 23,000 patents related to washing machines, files of advertisements for vintage machines, and other old household appliances. Guided tours are available at $75 for ten people, but must be scheduled.

BLACK AMERICAN WEST MUSEUM
Black American West Museum
Black American West Museum & Heritage Center
3091 California Street
720-242-7428
The Black American West Museum was founded in 1971 by the late Paul Stewart (seen above); today it's housed in the home of Dr. Justina Ford, the first African-American female doctor in Colorado. Located in Five Points, the museum is dedicated to preserving and honoring the history of black pioneers in the West. Watch this video to get an idea of what's inside, then head to the museum, which is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students.


The May Natural History Museum
710 Rock Creek Canyon Road, Colorado Springs
719-576-0450
This Colorado Springs museum holds one of the world’s largest private collections of tropical bugs, making it a great place to take the kids if they like giant spiders and colorful butterflies.The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from May to the end of September. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for kids ages six to twelve, and free for children five and under. To get even more up close and personal with living bugs, you can camp outside the museum.

click to enlarge HISTORY COLORADO
History Colorado
Center for Colorado Women’s History at Byers-Evans House
1310 Bannock Street
303-620-4933
The Byers-Evans House dates back to the 1880s, but has been restored to evoke the early 1900s. Part of History Colorado, last year the structure was dedicated to sharing the history of women in Colorado, the first state to allow women the right to vote. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m on Sunday; admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and $4 for kids.

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