Museums of the San Luis Valley

Saguache Museum
Homelake Museum
Luther Bean Museum
San Luis Museum and Cultural Center

The San Luis Valley boasts 20 museums located throughout the San Luis Valley including the towns of Alamosa, Antonito, Creede, Crestone, Del Norte, Fort Garland, Homelake, Manassa, Monte Vista, Saguache, San Luis, and the "outdoor museum" the Old Spanish Trail.

Conejos County Museum - The Conejos County Museum has a full assortment of historical items including an original steam-driven printing press, a full size wildlife exhibit with mounts, and a painting of Jose Celedon Valdez with a copy of the original land grant.  In 1833 Valdez, along with others, petitioned the Mexican government for land along the Conejos River for settlement.

Creede Underground Mining Museum - The Creede Museum, located in the historic railroad depot, features memorabilia from Creede's boomtown heyday.  The museum library houses a large collection of historic photos and documents. The museum, located in a man-made cavern, has life-like exhibits that demonstrate historic silver mining techniques and mining equipment. 

Cretone Historical Museum - The Museum is devoted to the history of the Crestone-Baca area on the eastern margin of the San Luis Valley, at the base of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This area includes the Town of Crestone (current population 125), the mining districts in the foothills to the east, and the 100,000-acre Baca Grant (a Spanish land grant) to the south.

Fort Garland Museum - Established in 1858, Fort Garland's primary purpose was as a base against attacks by the Indians in an effort to protect the new settlers.  It was once under the command of the legendary Kit Carson, and has an excellent exhibit of his career and family life. 

Hazard House Museum - Though not large, the Hazard House is graced with many fine pieces of furniture, a Steinway piano, lush oriental rugs, silver flatware, tea sets, candelabra and serving sets of all kinds, bone China dinnerware and crystal serving dishes, Fostoria glasses, and fine linen.

Homelake Veterans History Museum - At the present time the Museum is located in the old Dining Hall and work is being done on the old Administration Building for the Museum’s future home. The goal of the Homelake Veterans History Museum is to provide a venue to curate and display the artifacts and memorabilia of the residents of Homelake and veterans of the San Luis Valley.

Jack Dempsey Museum - Manassa's most famous figure was heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey.  A museum was dedicated in his honor in 1966, and is located in the cabin where Dempsey was born. It includes a pair of Dempsey's gloves and numerous black-and-white photographs which line the walls. 

Luther E Bean Museum - The museum's permanent collections represent largely regional and local arts and historical objects. On view are Native American Pottery, Rio Grande Weavings, paintings, and bronzes.  View a display on Major Lafayette Head, Colorado's first lieutenant governor, U.S. Indian agent and early settler of Conejos County. 

Monte Vista Historical Society Museum - The Society was organized in 1987 as a non-profit volunteer group committed to the preservation of historical documents, photographs, and buildings in Monte Vista and surrounding areas.  Fifteen Monte Vista buildings have been placed on the National and State Registry of Historic Places through its efforts.  A collection of over 4,000+ photographs (indexed) and articles, history reference books, and memorabilia are available to the public.

Rio Grande County Museum - The Rio Grande County Museum was first opened in 1959 in a room in the county courthouse. The museum offers visitors a glimpse into the cultural and natural history of the area from the Indians and Hispanic settlers, the mountain men fur trappers and traders, to the later settlers who came in search of land, freedom, gold, and silver.

Ryan Geological Museum - In 2004, Mr. Edward M. Ryan donated his collection of more than 5,000 fossils and minerals to Adams State for academic and public use. After exploring several possible homes for his collection, He determined Adams State was "the most perfect place."

San Luis Museum and Cultural Center - Currently closed while under renovations

San Luis Valley Museum - The San Luis Valley Museum features displays of costumes worn in the 1860's by frontiersman Tom Tobin, and artifacts and clothing of the late 19th Century.  Display rooms of an old school room and trading post as well as collections of railroading memorabilia, cultural artifacts of early settlers, and a display of arrowheads and exotic insects are all featured.

Sanford Museum - Visiting this museum is by appointment only, so be sure and call ahead! 719-274-4382

Transportation of the West Museum - Items on display include those of the horse and buggy days, the 1880s-1900s railroad, farming, sports, and numerous photographs. Travel through the years of change in transportation by viewing the many captioned photographs provided by the Monte Vista Historical Society.