On our family spring break trip to Granby, CO and Sol Vista Basin, a gem was discovered in the hills of the town of Hot Sulphur Springs: Granby’s Grand County Museum.
Full disclosure: I love museums and given the choice my ideal family vacation would consist of a road trip across the country stopping at every museum along the way. History to me is what brings our world and generations together over the spectrum of time.
After sitting in front of the Granby Camber of Commerce for 20 minutes waiting for the dear person who posted the designated time they would return on their front door, alas to no avail. I informed my two youngest children, who were venturing out with me that day from the confines of our rented condo, that we would see where “George W. Bush” could take us that day. (That is what we call our GPS system in our car because it uses a George Bush voice to give directions, complete with made up words and pronunciations – its hilarious!)
I was delighted to discover that there were a hand full of museums within 20 minutes from our location . Luckily for us I randomly chose the correct one. Correct by meaning that until May most museums in the area are closed for the winter months.
When we arrived at our destination, about a 12 minute beautiful drive, we were all very excited at what we found. Not only was there a nice size building housing the museum, but also a persevered town square from the founding of Hot Sulphur Springs as well. We were greeted right away by the gentleman who obviously has a love for this place and his appointment to care for it. We were given a quick directional on where to go on our own self guided tour. Seeing that I was with my young children and not knowing to what length we would be enjoying the museum, he informed me that I could pay the entrance fee at the end of the tour. By the end I would have gladly paid twice the posted rate because it was such a delightful experience.
The museum was well laid out and had such a trove of items that you wouldn’t expect in a small town museum, rivaling the Museum of History in our capital of Denver. With every turn into another area, I was met with surprise. There was not only the rich history of the area itself, but also on the history of the country and world events that were happening at the same time. An impressive collection of uniforms and paraphernalia from the Civil War through the present day Iraq conflict. Money used from each era and countries involved along with hand held infantry used. Before that time of war through the decades they have preserved the history of the Ute Indians that were native to the land and how those first Indian trails became our own mapping for future pioneer wagon trails and railroads.
A highlight and no doubt bragging rights for the town folks is the fact that the hill top behind the museum was the birth place of down hill skiing in the U.S. west of the Mississippi. There are skis on display that look more like my fence planks and boots than twin figure skates. Even an Olympic title and winners cups that hosted the U.S. team on that same hill top.
There is so much more that I could fill this article with that we saw, I will leave it to you to venture for yourself a visit to this timeless gem of Granby County Museum.