Museums and Historic Sites
American Numismatic Association Money Museum
Located at 818 N. Cascade Ave. this museum offers displays and exhibits showcasing the history of currency. Additional information can be found at www.money.org.
Carnegie Library/Special Collections
Now part of the Pikes Peak Library District, the library building located at 21 West Kiowa Street opened in 1905 having been constructed with funds donated by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie on land granted by General William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs. The library’s Regional History collection includes books, maps, manuscripts and archives, photographs, oral histories, films and videos, government documents, pamphlets, periodicals, and other materials related to the history of the Pikes Peak region. The Genealogy collection contains extensive family history research materials covering the entire United States from Colonial times to the present, including books, periodicals, and access to major genealogical databases. Additional information can be found at www.ppld.org/regional-history-and-genealogy.
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
This museum features art exhibits, theater presentations, special events, educational tours, films and lectures in a historic art deco building. The Bemis School of Art provides a variety of classes for all ages and skill levels. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has one of the finest collections of Southwest Native American and Hispanic art in Colorado. Additional information can be found at www.csfineartscenter.org.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (CSPM) is located at 215 S. Tejon Street. Formerly the El Paso County Courthouse, this beautiful museum offers exhibits on the history of Colorado Springs, lectures and other programs. Self-guided packets are available for families and teachers. Special Collections and archives of the CSPM are in the Starsmore Center for Local History. Research at the Center is available by special appointment. More information may be found on the CSPM website.
Dr. Lester L. Williams Fire Museum
Dr. Williams came to Colorado Springs after serving in WWII and became a staff member at Penrose, Memorial, and St. Francis hospitals. His interest in the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) and the safety of its fire fighters was legendary. In 1953 he was appointed Fire Department Physician by Colorado Springs City Council. Over the years Dr. Williams collected fire-fighting equipment, both historic and modern, and wrote many articles and papers about the history of the department. His collection is housed in this fascinating museum located in the headquarters building of the CSFD at 375 Printers Parkway.
General William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs, built his estate north of the Garden of the Gods. The Navigators now own and operate the property as a religious retreat and conference center. Teas, tours, and overnight accommodations are open to the public. Prior arrangements are necessary for all visits. The main house and grounds are spectacular and a good place for hiking and walking. Additional information can be found online at www.GlenEyrie.org.
Henry McAllister House
Teas, tours and other events are available at one of the most interesting house museums in Colorado Springs. One of the earliest structurally sound houses built in the city, this English-style cottage was constructed in 1873 for Major Henry McAllister and his wife Elizabeth. Major McAllister came to Colorado Springs, where he worked with General W.J. Palmer, with whom he had fought during the Civil War. Both Quakers and opposed to war, they nevertheless fought as abolitionists. This house and its stories are fascinating. It is located a few blocks south of the Old North End Neighborhood at 423 N. Cascade Avenue. Additional information can be found at www.McAllisterHouse.org.
Manitou Springs Heritage Center
This museum offers exhibits, events, and walking tours centered around the history of Manitou Springs, its culture and preservation. Additional information can be found at www.manitouspringsheritagecenter.org.
May Natural History Museum
Children love the May Natural History Museum located nine miles southwest of Colorado Springs and one mile west of Highway 115. This museum has a collection of 100,000 invertebrates, 8,000 of which are shown at one time. Contact the museum at 719 576-0450 or 800- 666-3841. More information can also be found on their website at www.maymuseum-camp-rvpark.com
In 1895 the construction of Miramont Castle was begun. Formerly the private home of Fr. Jean Baptiste Francolon, the museum’s exhibits depict Victorian times. Teas and other special events are scheduled throughout the year. Miramont Castle is located at 9 Capitol Hill Avenue just off of Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs. More information may be found at www.miramontcastle.org
Old Colorado City Historical Society
Housed in a former historic church at 1 S. 24th St., the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) was founded in order to “recognize the historical significance and unique culture of the original Old Colorado City and early El Paso County history.” The Historical Society offers exhibits of artifacts and photographs, tours, lectures and other special events that educate both adults and children. Visitors will find a historical reference library and excellent bookstore at this museum. Visit their website at www.OCCHS.org.
Edward J. Peterson Air and Space Museum
Learn about the aviation and space history of Colorado Springs and Peterson Air Force Base at the oldest aviation museum in Colorado. This museum features World War II memorabilia. Aircraft and missiles are on display at its Air Park. Additional information can be found at www.PeteMuseum.org.
Pikes Peak Trolley Museum and Restoration Shop
The Pikes Peak Trolley Museum offers tours of a restored trolley, the opportunity to view ongoing trolley restoration as well as exhibits and events that highlight the history of trolley transportation in Colorado Springs. The museum is located in the former Rock Island Railroad Roundhouse at 2333 Steel Drive. Additional information can be found at www.coloradospringstrolleys.com.
Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
Rock Ledge Ranch is a living history museum where interpreters depict life in the Pikes Peak region in four time periods and in four households: the American Indian in 1775; the Galloway homestead in the 1860s; the Chambers’ farm in the 1870s; and the Orchard House designed by local Colorado Springs architect Thomas MacLaren in 1907 for relatives of General W.J. Palmer. Each residence (teepee, log cabin, farm house, modern country home) reflects the construction and contents of homes of those periods. This living history farm and museum is located at the east entrance to the Garden of the Gods, just off N. 30th St. Additional information is available at www.RockLedgeRanch.com
U. S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Voted Best New Attraction of 2020 by USA Today, this museum honors the Olympic and Paralympic ideals. By means of artifacts, multi-media presentations, interactive exhibits and a variety of fascinating displays, visitors learn about the history of the Olympic movement and the experiences of those becoming U.S. Olympic or Paralympic athletes. For more information, visit the museum’s website.
Western Museum of Mining and Industry
Through interactive experiences, key exhibits and special events, this museum brings the history of mining in Colorado to life. The museum is located just off of the North Gate Boulevard Exit (Exit 156B) at 225 N. Gate Blvd. Additional information can be found at www.wmmi.org.
Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun
This monument was named in part because of views seen from the tower at sunrise and sunset. It is also a photographic commemoration of the life of American humorist Will Rogers as well as a memorial to the lives of Julie Penrose and her husband, Spencer Penrose, who built the Broadmoor Hotel and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Access to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is free with paid admission to the Zoo. Additional information can be found here.