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Our Story

What happens to history if there is no one to record, preserve and share it?  
From 1982-1993 there was no historical museum in the north end of the Gunnison Valley. Without a museum, there was no place to preserve and share historical artifacts and stories that define, educate and enrich our community. To address this urgent need, local citizens created the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum in 1993.
The museum operated in a few different locations over the next decade, before finding its forever home at Tony’s Conoco in 2003, a beloved local landmark and gathering place. Since that time, both the community and the museum have flourished and become beautifully interconnected.  
Today, the museum is a town hub where history, ideas and stories are shared in a thoughtful, inclusive and respectful environment. Our ongoing narrative incorporates the influence and contributions of all who left a mark on our community’s rich cultural history. 
Our story, much like the story of the Gunnison Valley, is a living breathing narrative. History is continuous, so thankfully our work is never finished. 

Total Catalogued Records to date

Every year the Museum receives new artifacts into its collection. Each item takes an average of 30 min to catalogue and house.

Photograph Records

Photographs are a glimpse into the past, making them one of the most significant collections within the Museum.

Archival records

Archives are made up of personal documents, memoirs, books, newspapers an more! These are integral in understanding the past.

Object Records

From fire hose carts to checker pieces, the Museum stewards a diverse collection of historic objects.

Volunteer Hours in 2022

The Museum relies on dedicated volunteers to catalogue, assist events and maintain our largest historic artifact, our building.

Visitors in 2022

Visitors from around the world are transported through time as they walk our historic floors and explore local history.

2022 Exhibit Visitors

Our exhibits aim to put the present in context, providing history on the stories that matter most to you.

Years of Collection Stewardship

We seek out meaningful and diverse historic artifacts and stories, safeguarding all collections.

Awards & Achievements

COSHARP Colorado Humanities Grant 

On October 19th, 2021, the Crested Butte Museum was awarded a grant from the Colorado Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (COSHARP).  Grant funds were provided by Colorado Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 to support the response and recovery of the cultural sector from the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus.  The museum submitted a proposal to upgrade our technology, and help support a new oral history project and coordinating exhibit.  

2020 – Stephen H. Hart Award

The previous Crested Butte Museum executive director Shelley Popke, Form + Works Design Group architect Jessica Reske, and MB Builders general contractor Kevin Donovan were awarded the 2020 Stephen H. Hart Award for Historic Preservation at the Saving Places Conference in Denver on January 31, 2020. They were recognized for their work preserving the Museum’s home, affectionately known as Tony’s Conoco. The Hart Awards, named after Colorado’s first State Historic  Officer, are History Colorado’s premier celebration of archaeology and preservation projects worthy of statewide recognition.

Stephen H. Hart Award

Collections Assessment for Preservation Award

In 2019, the CBM was awarded a grant for the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) offered by the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC). CAP provides small museum funds towards general conservation assessment that studies our institution’s collections and building. By completing this program, the Crested Butte Museum has updated our strategic goals to focus on collections care.

Museum Assessment Program Award

In 2017, the Crested Butte Museum completed the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) and awarded a follow-up visit by peer reviewers in 2018.   MAP is awarded by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) for the purposes of providing professional support to small museums in improving collections stewardship practices. Through the award, the CBM has been able to set higher standards of collections care and implement standard policies held by museums across the country.

Your Donations Make a HUGE Impact

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