Ouray County Ranch History Museum

Exhibits

Museum exhibits tell the story of ranch and farm life in Ouray County from the 1880s through the present time. Many exhibits feature individual ranch families and include donations made by those families. Included are tools, equipment, journals, photographs, clothing, furniture, and more.


exhibit-tools

Tools, equipment, bronze sculpture (foreground).

exhibit-kitchen

Kitchen, cooking, household items.

exhibit-Lewis

Lewis family clothing, other items.

exhibit-parade-marshals

Exhibit of parade marshalls.

Ranch families formed a close-knit community, helping each other out during fall roundup and branding and spring calving. Small schools educated ranch children, and families gathered for social events when time and work permitted.

The museum features exhibits on ranching life. Included are tools, furniture, cooking and homemaking items, clothing, linens, photographs, books, maps, and western art. Exhibits portray life without digital devices and before electric stoves and refrigerators. Food was fresh from the farm or from winter storage in the cellar and prepared from old family recipes where ingenuity was a main ingredient!

The collection is impressive. One photographic exhibit tells the story of historic Labor Day Parades and their Grand Marshals and parade participants. Another tells of women in ranching and rodeo, including several who became internationally famous.

The museum store sells books, cards, coffee mugs, clothing and other merchandise with a donation to the museum. Visit our Online Museum Store to learn more or to order online. A special commemorative Henry Rifle is available through the museum, in a limited, numbered edition. Contact Museum Director, Joan Chismire, for more information. An interactive children’s exhibit keeps the kids busy while parents browse.

Throughout the year the museum and the grange offer special events, including music and storytelling, often serving potluck. As it did in years past, the old school serves as a community center as well as a grange and museum, and has a long history of opening its doors to local folks.

The museum store sells books, cards, coffee mugs, clothing and other merchandise with a donation to the museum. Visit our Online Museum Store to learn more or to order online.

The Museum is open Saturday and Sunday, May through mid-September and by appointment. The museum is also open throughout the year to groups and individuals by appointment. Admission to the Museum is free, but donations are requested. For more information on Ranch Museum programs, membership, how to make donations, information about events, displays, and space availability, please contact the museum.

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All photography by Kathryn R. Burke, unless otherwise noted.