Located at the head of Bennett Avenue, the Cripple Creek District Museum complex contains five historic buildings with mining memorabilia, maps, paintings, glass and china, children's items, furnishings, an assay office, a photograph gallery, Indian artifacts, mineral displays and excellent examples of how people lived over a century ago.
Since 1953, millions of people have visited the museum.
$5.00 for adults
$4.00 for Colorado residents
$3.00 for children under 12, military personnel (active or not) and senior citizens.
Children under age 6 are free.
Groups of 10 or more are $3.00 per person (please make group reservations in advance). We
welcome history groups, families and school groups – call or email to make your reservation!
The Museum is Open Year-Round
May 15 – October 15
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
7 Days A Week
Oct. 16 – May 14
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Or By Special Appointment ~ Groups and Schools Welcome!
Lowell Thomas Museum
Who was Lowell Thomas?
Thomas was born in Woodington, Ohio, in Darke County, the son of Harry and Harriet (Wagner) Thomas. His father was a doctor and his mother a school teacher. In 1900, the family moved to the mining town of Victor, Colorado. There he worked as a gold miner, a cook, and a reporter on the newspaper.
In 1910, Thomas graduated from Victor High School, where one of his teachers was Mabel Barbee Lee. The following year, he graduated from Valparaiso University with bachelor's degrees in education and science. The next year he received both a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Denver and began work for the Chicago Journal, writing for it until 1914. While in Chicago, he was a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, teaching oratory. He then went to New Jersey, where he studied for a master's at Princeton University (he received the degree in 1916) and again taught oratory at the university.
A relentless self-promoter, Thomas persuaded railroads to give him free passage in exchange for articles extolling rail travel. When he visited Alaska, he hit upon the novel idea of the travelogue, movies about faraway places. When the United States entered World War I, he was part of an official party sent by President Wilson, former president of Princeton, to "compile a history of the conflict." In reality the mission was not academic. The war was not popular in the United States, and Thomas was sent to find material that would encourage the American people to support it. Thomas did not want to merely write about the war, he wanted to film it. He estimated that $75,000 would be needed for filming, which the U.S. government thought too expensive, and so he turned to a group of 18 Chicago meat packers. (He had done them a favor by exposing someone who was blackmailing them, without the damaging material becoming public.)
Lawrence of Arabia
Thomas and a cameraman, Harry Chase, first went to the Western Front, but the trenches had little to inspire the American public. They then went to Italy, where he heard of General Allenby's campaign against the Ottoman Empire in Palestine. With the permission of the British Foreign Office, as an accredited war correspondent, Thomas met T. E. Lawrence, a captain in the British Army in Jerusalem. Lawrence was spending £200,000 a month encouraging the inhabitants of Palestine to revolt against the Turks. Thomas and Chase spent several weeks with Lawrence in the desert, though Lawrence said "several days." Lawrence agreed to provide Thomas with material on the condition that Thomas also photograph and interview Arab leaders such as Emir Feisal. Thomas shot dramatic footage of Lawrence and, after the war, toured the world, narrating his film, With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia, making Lawrence and himself household names. The performances were highly dramatic. At the opening of Thomas's six-month London
run, there were incense braziers, exotically dressed women danced before images of the Pyramids, and the band of the Welsh Guards played to provide the accompaniment. Lawrence saw the show several times, and though he later claimed to dislike it, it generated valuable publicity for his own book. However, to strengthen the emphasis on Lawrence in the show, Thomas needed more photographs of him than Chase had taken in 1918. Lawrence therefore agreed to a series of posed portraits in Arab dress in London, though he claimed to be shy of publicity. Thomas later said of Lawrence, "He had a genius for backing into the limelight." Thomas and Lawrence's initially friendly relations grew colder as Thomas's show grew in popularity, with Thomas ignoring several personal
requests from Lawrence to stop the show.
The shows gave Lawrence a degree of publicity that he had never previously experienced. Newspapers became keen to print his attacks on Government policy, and politicians began to pay attention to his views. At the end of 1920, he was invited to join the British Colonial Office, under Winston Churchill, as an adviser on Arab affairs. However, Lawrence said that he never forgave Thomas for exploiting his image, and called him a "vulgar man." For his part, Thomas genuinely admired Lawrence and continued to defend him against attacks on his reputation. Lawrence's brother, Arnold, extended Thomas an olive branch and allowed him to contribute to T.E. Lawrence by his Friends (1937), a collection of essays and reminiscences published after Lawrence's death. About four million people saw the show around the world, and it made Thomas $1.5 million. Thomas would also later write a book, With Lawrence in Arabia (1924), about his time in the desert and Lawrence's exploits during the war. It would be the first of fifty-six volumes.
Victor Lowell Thomas Museum
The Victor Lowell Thomas Museum houses two floors of artifacts, books, exhibits and photographs depicting the life in Victor from its beginnings to the heyday of gold mining. The museum also displays memorabilia once owned by famous journalist, author and world traveler, Lowell Thomas.
The gift shop offers books, historic maps and postcards, prints, posters and gold ore rocks, as well as videos of Lowell Thomas's life.
Pan for real gold and gems open daily outside the museum and take a tour of the real, working gold mine.
The museum, located at the corner of 3rd St. and Victor Ave. is housed in an 1899 brick structure that once was a hardware store, hotel and furniture store.
The museum is open Memorial Day thru Labor Day and by appointment at other times.
Call 719-689-5509 for hours and group tours.
Expanded Summer Hours
Open 7 days a week 9:30-5:30 until Sept. 6 and then weekends through Oct. 10.
This summer we will be expanding our mine tours and our hours, thanks to the Cripple Creek &
Victor Mining Company. Tours will be held at 10 am. and 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday,
Saturday from June 1 to 30, and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday July 1 – Sept. 4.
See giant trucks hauling ore, boulders mashed into pebbles in the crusher, the depths of the largest gold mine in Colorado.
Reservations are suggested for tours.
Outlaws and Lawmen Jail Museum
Housed in a red-brick building that served as the Teller County Jail for nearly 90 years, this historic Cripple Creek museum gives visitors an authentic taste of the shadier side of life in the World's Greatest Gold Camp, along with a glimpse into the lives of the lawmen charged with keeping the peace. The jail was never short of occupants. Besides holding local burglars, robbers, highwaymen and other minor criminals, in its original incarnation this Colorado jail museum was also used to hold more serious offenders, including Robert Curry (aka Bob Lee), a member of the "Wild Bunch" gang who was captured after lawmen found him hiding in town.
The curators of our Cripple Creek jail museum have kept the original cells intact, so visitors can experience for themselves what life was like for those on the wrong side of the law. There are also displays highlighting the laws and the lawless, with samples of police logs from the 1890s, copies of early city ordinances and newspaper accounts of crimes both big and small.
Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum
The Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum is open year round and admission is free.
During the summer, the Museum is open daily, except Sunday and Tuesday, from 10am to 4pm.
Our winter hours are Friday, Saturday and Monday from 10am to 4pm.
For more information, call (719) 748-8259.
In August, 2005, the Pikes Peak Historical Society opened its new 2600 square foot Museum in Florissant. The Museum offers visitors an entertaining and educational tour of the Pikes Peak region, from early explorers to Ute Indians and Mountain Men to the early pioneers, railroads, and gold rush. Unique rocks, minerals, and fossils from the Florissant Lineament provide one of the richest geological exhibits in the Pikes Peak region. The Museum Gift Shop features beadwork and other crafts from the Northern Ute Indians, in addition to books on Colorado history and handmade crafts and goods. This new historic Museum
is located at 18033 Teller County Road #1, across from the Florissant Post Office.
The Old Homestead House
The Homestead House was once the most famous brothel in Cripple Creek. Owned and operated by Pearl DeVere, the opulent parlor bustled with activity and became known for its impeccable service, high-powered customers and its glamorous madams. At a time when $3 a day was considered a good wage for a miner, Pearl charged $250 a night, and got it.
Today, the Homestead House is a museum that has been lovingly restored with velvet bedspreads and handmade furniture.
Old Homestead House Museum
353 Myers Ave
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
$4.00 for adults
$1.50 for kids 10-13
Group rates available
Info Phone: (719)689-9090
Open: Year Round
Times: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week.
Ute Pass Historical Society
The Ute Pass Historical Society is a volunteer, non-profit organization. We appreciate your donations to support our museum. For adult groups of ten people or more we request a donation of $2.00 per person. For youth groups of ten or more we ask for $3.00 per child. This includes a museum tour and the activity book & People of Ute Pass. Chaperones are free. For a youth tour without the activity book, we ask for $1.00 per child.
The Pikes Peak Museum is a collection of exhibits in several locations around Woodland Park. Groups of any size or age are welcome, including school field trips, family and church groups, and scout troops. If you would like to bring a large group, please give us as much advance notice as possible so we can schedule our volunteer docents to help you. Please contact us at our office to schedule your visit. Small groups and individuals are welcome to stop by our office to request an impromptu tour at any time.
Ute Pass History Park holds most of our collection. It is a group of five historic buildings located behind the Woodland Park Library near the intersection of Laurel and Henrietta streets. The Immer Cabin has displays on the history of public life in Ute Pass communities, including exhibits about churches and
schools, rodeo and dude ranches, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and more. The Museum Center houses our historic photographs and archives, which are available for research, and our meeting space for events. The Brockhurst Cabin is set up as a family home to show what life was like during the settlement of Ute Pass in the late 1800's. The Calaboose was Woodland Park's original jail and is currently being restored. The Carroll Den has exhibits on the Colorado Midland Railway and its impact on the lives of people in Ute Pass. Ute Pass History Park is open on the second Saturdays of May through September from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment any time of the year. Please contact us at our office to schedule a visit.
The Ute Pass Historical Society office is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 2:30pm. We are closed for most federal holidays, the last week of November, and the last two weeks of December.
Office phone is (719)686-7512
Victor City Hall and Museum
Victor City Government and museum operates out of the historic City Hall on Victor Avenue. Meetings are the second and fourth Thursday at 7pm. To contact City Hall, call (719)689-2284 Monday thru Friday from 7am – 4pm. The mailing address is PO Box 86, Victor, CO 80860.
Victor was founded in 1891, shortly after Winfield Scott Stratton discovered gold nearby. The town boomed as the surrounding Cripple Creek mining district quickly became the most productive gold mining district in the United States. Although Victor's fame was overshadowed by that of its neighbor, Cripple Creek, many of the best gold mines of the Cripple Creek district were located at Victor, including Stratton's Independence Mine and Mill and the Portland mine.
The workforce became heavily unionized after the militant Western Federation of Miners (WFM) conducted a significant strike in 1894. A subsequent strike in 1903 had such an impact that it came to be called the Colorado Labor Wars. The WFM's union hall in Victor still stands, with telltale bullet holes left intact. The building has structural problems and needs renovation.
Many of the historic buildings date to 1899 (having been rebuilt then, after a fire in August of that year destroyed much of the community). Included among these are the St. Victor Roman Catholic church (now used only rarely), the First Baptist Church of Victor (once owned by the Woods brothers, Victor's founders), the Victor Hotel (which contains the oldest commercially operating elevator in the state), and several others.