1914 Rio Grande Booklet

Salida and Mt Ouray. “Cuddled in one of the innumerable valleys is Salida, a beautiful little city of 5,000 souls, surround by lofty mountains, which shield it from the cold blasts of winter and render it a delightful place in the summer time. Salida is an important divisional headquarters of the Denver & Rio Grande, which has four lines radiating from this point. The tourist will find Salida a most delightful place to stop over.” – from the 1914 “Rocky Mountain Views, on the Rio Grande” booklet.

Preserving the Mulvany Lithograph

Part of any museum’s mission is preservation of artifacts that have been donated. This photo shows Bob Inge, of Inge Preservations, examining our lithograph of Custer’s Last Rally, which was created from an original oil painting by Jon Mulvany, depicting the Battle of Little Big Horn. Inge will be cleaning the print and restoring the color. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know when it’s back on the wall so you can drop by and see the results!

A look back – October, 1909

And you think the deer raiding your flower gardens are bad. Imagine your surprise in October of 1909…

Museum will be open July 23-27 – UPDATE!


We will be open July 23-27! The Museum will NOT be closed for the engine sandblasting. We’ve hit a little scheduling snafu, so stay tuned for information about the new closure dates, sometime in August. And sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused.

But if you’d still like to donate to the cause, head over to our donation page and click the “Donate” button. We’re only about $800 short of our goal of $5000 to repaint the engine!

Porter Engine Preservation Work

In 1953, the Koppers Company of Pittsburgh donated a Porter Engine to the Salida Museum following the closure of its railroad tie-treating, creosote plant in Smeltertown near Salida. Built in 1926, the engine moved trams loaded with railroad ties to and from the treating shed. It is a two-foot gauge engine, with saddle tank and 0-4-0 wheel arrangement. This “dinky” was also known as the “Yard Goat” by local workers.

According to records, only 130 of the 24-inch gauge tank engines were made by Porter, compared to a larger number of 36-inch models, a fact, which if true, makes the Salida Museum’s engine quite rare. (From The Porter Locomotive, in Steam Locomotive—April, 1960—Starrucca Valley Publications William S. Young, Editor & Publisher.)

This summer we will be doing preservation work on the engine (primarily painting and replacing some missing parts) to preserve it on static display for future generations because of its historical significance to the area. If you’d like to help out, please visit our donation page

Fun at the Open House

Great turn out for the Open House! Over 150 people stopped by to say hello, hear Melanie’s talk and check out the new exhibits. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, we’re now open daily from 11-5:00, so stop by!

2018 Open House on May 12


Our annual Open House will be Saturday, May 12 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

At 1:00, Melanie Roth, president of Historic St. Elmo & Chalk Creek Canyon, will be our featured speaker, talking about the St. Elmo mining district and some of the preservation work they have been doing. St. Elmo and the mines were such an important component in Chaffee County and Salida’s economy. Along with the talk, you’ll have a chance to look through our new explorer, mining and railroad exhibits, and other updates throughout the museum.

From noon to 3:00, Wallace Ewing and James Barnett will be signing their new book, Focus on Salida. This pocket-sized guide combines photography and narrative to help you find more information about the fascinating architecture and history around Salida.

As usual, the Open House is free! And we’ll have cookies for the kids (and adults, too).

Moonlight Monday, May 7

The Salida Museum is the Moonlight Monday non-profit on May 7, so we will benefit from their generous donation of 10% of sales.

Get a pizza, get a calzone, enjoy a brew, buy extras to freeze, but make sure you get to Moonlight Pizza to help our cause.

This year’s project is painting the Porter Engine, so help us get ‘er done!

Judy Micklich


We are sad to report that the Museum has lost another long-time volunteer. Judy Micklich passed away on March 16. Judy started volunteering at the Museum in the late 1960s, working for our founder, Harriet Alexander and served as president from 1975 – 2014. Through Judy’s tireless dedication to the Museum and preservation of area history, Salidans and history buffs from all over can still explore the museum and learn about the area’s long and colorful history. As Earle Kittleman, our Board Secretary wrote, “She personified the importance of hometown preservation.”

This photo shows Judy at the Smokestack in 2004 with the 2nd grade class for their local history module. Judy and her historical knowledge of Salida will be greatly missed.


Reopening February 3

Woohoo! We’re reopening this coming weekend and back to our regular Winter hours of Saturday and Sunday from 1-5:00 pm. This week we’re busy putting the final touches on the exhibit changes, dusting and cleaning, but we’ll be ready if you want to come by to see the changes. Hope to see you soon!