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!


Closed for the next few weeks!

Happy New Year!

And that means some new exhibits are being developed at the Museum. So, just a heads up that we will be closed for the next few weeks in order to do some major exhibit moves, painting and patching. We will announce our reopening once all the work is done and we’ve had a chance to tidy up the place.

John Skinner

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of former board member and fellow volunteer, John Skinner. What a wonderful man, who always had a story, a poem, or a joke to tell! He loved talking with visitors and most enjoyed talking about Sheriff Baxter Stingley.
He was always willing to help with anything that needed to be done, from painting the walls, moving exhibits, to raking the leaves out front. We will miss his smile, his laugh and great service to the Museum. Rest in peace, John.
For more, see http://www.lewisandglenn.com/obits/obituary.php?id=656400

Pints for a Purpose

50 Burger is donating 30% of their beer sales on Thursday, November 9 to the Museum. Funds will be used to help refurbish the Porter Engine, which just moved to the front of the Museum. 

50 Burger is located at 445 E. Hwy 50. Hope to see you there!

2017 Second Grade Visit

We get many visitors from all over the world, but few are as fun as when the local second grade classes from Longfellow Elementary visit on Halloween. We tell a few stories about local history, and continue to be amazed at how sharp these kids are, through their questions and answers. Here are a few photos from October 31.

Porter Engine Gets a New Home

September 11 was a big morning for the Museum, with the move of the Porter Engine from the west side to the front of our building. We’re tickled to have it out front to showcase such a great piece of Salida History. This little guy (or “goat” as it was called) was used at the Koppers creosote plant located at the old smelter.

Check out the video if you want to see the whole process. Very impressive given the size of this engine!

Smokestack Celebration, August 26, 2017

Author and historian, Robert Autobee provided an entertaining and informative talk about the smokestack’s history. We have uploaded Robert’s talk (click the link) if you want to check some facts or were unable to attend. And we have a video available on Facebook.

We’d like to thank the Chaffee County Heritage Area Advisory Board for engaging and supporting Mr. Autobee, along with Elevation Beer, for hosting our fundraiser following the talk.

A special thanks to the Columbine Gem and Mineral Society for bringing their informative displays about the minerals of Chaffee County. Thanks also to Settings Event Rental for the tents and chairs, Yummy Cake Creations and CP’s Portables.We’d also like to thank The Mountain Mail for their advertising support and pre- and post-coverage of the event. And last, to our Smokestack neighbor, Lex Johnson, who helped with cleanup preps.

A great day, and thanks to everyone who attended!

And you can see more photos in the smokestack photo gallery.                                                                           

Birthday CakeListening to the speech