Visit the Ouray County Historical Museum ay 420 Sixth Avenue in Ouray and experience the incredible history of this intimate mountain community. The museum building was originally St. Joseph's Miners' Hospital, built in 1886 through contributions from mine owners and businessmen. In the building's early days the Sisters of Mercy operated the hospital with staff coming from Durango, Colorado and Omaha, Nebraska. It was a hospital until 1964. In 1971 the Ouray County Historical Society began exhibiting in the building and in 1976 purchased the building for a museum. There are three floors containing exhibits in twenty-nine rooms. Many additional displays are located in hall cases, alcoves and the original hospital dumb waiters. The Museum staff are continually updating and expanding the displays.
The museum houses an impressive mineral collection, Ute Indian displays, mine exhibits, railroading and ranching exhibits, hospital operating rooms from the 1890s and the 1940s and a patient room just for starters. Also included are Victorian era displays, WWI and WWII military memorabilia from Ouray residents who served in those wars, historical exhibits of all kinds, photographs, and books! The museum is child-friendly with an activity finder book and exhibits for little visitors.
Special summer exhibits include the annual Quilt Show, The Dressing Room: Ouray Fashion Trhough 1945, and Ouray's Hot Springs, 90th Anniversary of the Hot Springs Pool in Photos and Text. In addition we have guided tours of Ouray's Main Street, the Cedar Hill Cemetery, and the Silverton Railroad grade on Red Mountain. See our web site calendar for details.
The mission of the Ouray County Historical Society (OCHS) is to preserve, protect, procure, exhibit and interpret whatever may relate to the natural, social and cultural history of Ouray County and the adjacent San Juan Mountain region of Colorado. Most of the collection spans the time period from 1875 through the World War II era.
The Smithsonian Institution calls it one of the best little museums in the West! Arthur Frommer's Idiots Guide to the Rockies says: "If you visit one county museum in Colorado make it the Ouray Museum."
In 2006 the Museum received eight fireproof filing cabinets containing the historical notes and photographs of noted author and historian Doris Gregory. In 2002 and 2006 the Museum received a large collection of valuable minerals from John H. Marshall. These beautiful specimen