Meet Leadville’s National Museum to MiningNovember 6, 2020
Did you know that Leadville, Colorado, is home to a national museum? The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is perched in North America’s highest-elevation town. Visitors often say they are surprised by the depth of this unsung museum, which tells the past, present, and future of the nation’s mining.
There, you can learn about mining through geology, science, historic preservation, and even art. You can also find fascinating facts about Leadville’s mining history. Plan to spend at least one and one-half hours touring the museum. Its expansive collections enrich 25,000 square feet of space. And it’s well worth your time.
Museum in Top 10% of Tripadvisor Attractions Worldwide
“Went into museum without any particular interest in mining … but all that changed once I got inside.”
What to See
Get a sense of the underworld by walking through life-sized mine replicas. See raw metals and sparkling gems. Learn about the minerals in your toothpaste and smartphone. Learn about the safety and environmental measures in modern mines. Glimpse the future by exploring mining in space and discover how precious metals make green energy possible.
Browse the Hall of Fame, which showcases information on nearly 250 mining luminaries. There you can meet the people who dug into the earth and brought out treasures that made our society what it is today.
Together, the exhibits and artifacts tell the story of mining, its people, its importance to the American public, and to society’s sustainability. Learn how mining has changed over the centuries—and what to expect in the future. Discover the many ways that today’s lifestyle depends on minerals.
“Highly recommend for families and people of all ages!”
The museum’s Matchless Mine offers both guided and self-guided surface tours from late May through September. You can enter the cabin where the legendary and star-crossed Baby Doe Tabor, second wife of mining magnate Horace Tabor, lived out her days penniless and alone. Then peer down the shaft of the Matchless Mine, which in the late 1800s was one of the era’s richest silver mines.
The mining town of Leadville, Colorado, is the perfect setting for such a museum. One of the first big Colorado gold camps, Leadville became famous during the Silver Rush for its vast deposits of silver ore. Manganese, lead, iron, and zinc have also been mined at Leadville, and an active molybdenum mine is still producing just 12 miles from town.
“The interactive displays, the history, the mineral collections and the personal histories are wonderful, while teaching so much.”
How to Visit
Museum funding has been provided by Colorado Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan of 2020.