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People used to hang out at Tony's Conoco, and that hasn’t changed. To this day, you'll see people occupying our front benches.
Tony’s, or "The Hardware," was the longest running business in Crested Butte, beginning as a blacksmith shop in 1883 and later becoming a garage and hardware store before closing in 1996. Items on display in the front portion of the Museum are the exact items that were for sale throughout the years of Tony’s Conoco, serving as a memorial to a beloved local hangout.
TONY’S BECOMES THE MUSEUM
In 2001, the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum had outgrown its space. Board members with a love for Crested Butte’s past and a vision for the Museum’s future developed a plan to purchase and preserve Tony’s Conoco, a beloved local landmark, while also getting the Museum the space it needed. Museum fans rallied around the idea and raised $1.2 Million in 11 months to buy the building and turn it into a museum.
On July 2, 2003, the Museum opened its new doors in the historic Tony’s Conoco building. Now every year, Museum fans and supporters alike gather on July 2 to celebrate the “graduation” of the Museum into its new space at the Black and White Ball. We're changing things up a bit this year and the celebration will be on June 30th. Get your tickets HERE!
PRESERVING TONY’S FUTURE
Much like when Tony’s became the home to the Museum in 2003, we’re at a crossroads once again for the future of the Museum. Time and Crested Butte’s harsh climate have taken their toll on Tony’s. Last fall, the Museum completed Phase I of a two phase rehabilitation project thanks to a grant from the History Colorado-State Historical Fund and a great group of donors.
Phase I included energy efficiency improvements, a new roof and paint job, and a safer entryway. Phase II will help make the building structurally sound and safe and include the creation of a building maintenance plan to further help preserve our home in the future. To complete Phase II we’re asking you, friends of the Museum and guardians of Tony’s legacy, to ensure that Tony’s is preserved for many decades to come.
Our exhibits are always evolving and capturing forgotten pieces of local history, even though the themes remain the same. Each season when you visit, you'll see new items in every exhibit. We like to keep things fresh and pride ourselves for being a trusted repository for material culture.
The mission of the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum is to preserve and share the uniquely diverse cultural history of the Gunnison Valley. We make the past a living part of the future.
Great memories of walking up Elk Avenue and watching Tony chip away at the ice in front of his ole gas pumps.Susie SD