Rocky Ford Museum

Rocky Ford Museum Colorado
The museum is a product of community-wide scavenging for mementos of the town’s history. Photo courtesy of Rocky Ford Museum

Staff writer

The Rocky Ford Museum is a testament to community, displaying items donated and dug up (literally) by residents, and showing off the collection since 1941 in a series of locations donated, spruced up and maintained by members of the community.

In 1940, Rocky Ford volunteers formed an Explorers League to encourage members to keep their eyes open for bits of the history and culture of the town and the area. In 1941, the group reformed as a branch of the Colorado Archeological Society.

The amateur archaeologists pooled their finds and donations from founding families and began displaying the artifacts in increasingly larger donated spaces, including the basement of the town library and an empty gas station.

Today the museum is in the 1909 Carnegie town library building, named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Its collections include: Native American arrowheads; photos and other memorabilia from the Arkansas Valley Fair and Watermelon Day dating back to 1878; documentation of the history of the town’s honey and sugar industries; and reflections of everyday life in the Arkansas Valley. Also included are displays on the geology, anthropology and ethnicity of the area’s citizens, past and present.

The museum is open mid-May through August, and local experts are invited in for a Thursday lecture series. Admission to the museum is free but donations are welcomed.

Rocky Ford Museum
1005 Sycamore Ave.
Rocky Ford, CO 81067
(719) 254-6737