The Gunnison Pioneer Museum is located at 803 East Tomichi Avenue in Gunnison, Colorado. In 1880 the Gunnison County Pioneer and Historical Society was founded in an effort to preserve the county's history; in 1930 it was reorganized and became a non-profit organization. The goal of preserving the Gunnison County pioneers history through exhibits and artifacts was what the society started out to achieve; the current Gunnison Pioneer Museum was actually formed during 1964.
The Society's board oversees the senior volunteers that make up the museum's staff and take care of the facilities. There are twelve buildings on the six acre site of the Gunnison Pioneer Museum. The displays in the museum consists of artifacts and memorabilia that friends and members of the Society donated to the facility and represent the history and cultural heritage in Gunnison County. Most of the exhibits are antique artifacts.
The Aberdeen Quarry which is a granite quarry found on Beaver Creek a few miles away from Gunnison is owned by the Pioneer Society as well. The state capitol of Colorado was built using the granite found in Aberdeen. There are a number of exhibits at the Gunnison Pioneer Museum chronically the history of the county.
Among the exhibits are the first Post Office of Gunnison, the water tank and depot and the D&RG Narrow Gauge Train. The museum grounds also have two rural schoolhouses to show the pioneer experience with education, a home with furnishings from the early part of the century to show how people lived during the first part of the century and an Antique Car Museum. The car museum was set up to display classic cars and tools from the turn of the century.
The collection of the Andy Mallet Antique Car Museum has a collection of sixty-three vehicles that include a Caterpillar bulldozer and farm tractors. There are also antique jacks, tools and stands among other things from repair shops and old fashioned gas stations. The facility has one of Colorado's largest collections of cars and related memorabilia.
Gunnison Pioneer Museum also has a log cabin chapel and an authentic barn with ranch displays. There is also a late 1800's telephone display, mineral and arrowhead collection. The buildings include a print shop, carpenter shop and blacksmith shop. There are also toys, dolls and a number of other things on display at the museum. There are a total of sixteen buildings on the Gunnison Pioneer Museum's grounds.
Gunnison Pioneer Museum is open from Memorial Day until the middle of September. Monday through Saturday the facility opens at 9am and closes at 5pm. On Sunday the museum opens at 11am and closes at 5pm. The cost of admission to the museum is $7 for adults and $1.00 for children ages six to twelve. Group rates are available for admission to the museum as well.
Anyone interested in the history and cultural diversity of Gunnison County should make it a point to visit the Gunnison Pioneer Museum in Gunnison, Colorado. Additional information about group rates, displays and services at the museum can be obtained by contacting the facility directly.