Spend some time familiarizing (or re-familiarizing) yourself with The Mile High City’s fascinating history. Below, you’ll find some of the best attractions and tours to check out when it comes to learning about Denver’s past.
HISTORY COLORADO CENTER
The History Colorado Center, one of Denver's newest cultural attractions, is designed to ignite imaginations of all ages about Colorado history through high-tech and hands-on exhibits, programs for children and adults, and special events. Exhibits share the stories and the spirit of Colorado's people over the past 10,000 years.
MOLLY BROWN HOUSE
1340 Pennsylvania St.
The Molly Brown House Museum was the former home of the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, one of Denver's most famous residents. Titanic heroine, restored to its original Victorian splendor. Margaret "Molly" Brown gained wealth during Denver's gold rush days and fame as a Titanic survivor, earning her the nickname "Unsinkable Molly." This historic turn-of-the-century mansion contains original furnishings and mementos including furniture, china, silver, artwork, photographs and textiles. Her adventurous travels often overshadowed her philanthropic and political contributions and the Molly Brown House is a great place to learn about all facets of the woman and the times in which she lived.
1310 Bannock St.
Newspaperman William Byers was instrumental in turning Denver from a hardscrabble settlement into a truly world-class metropolis. The Byers-Evans House, built in 1883 and sold in 1889 to the family of William Gray Evans, an officer of the Denver Tramway Company is a lovely slice of The Mile High City in the 19th century. A short film features the careers of these two pioneer Denver families and the city they built. Guided tours take visitors through the elegant residence, richly filled with original Evans family furnishings.
On the fifth level of the Denver Public Library's central branch (10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.) you'll find the Western History and Genealogy Collection, a celebrated collection of Western Americana officially opened to the public in 1935, The collection continues to grow and presently includes 200,000 cataloged books, pamphlets, atlases, maps, and microfilm titles. In addition, it offers 600,000 photographs, 3,700 manuscript archives, and a remarkable collection of Western fine art and prints to researchers across the world.
Meanwhile at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library (2401 Welton St.), you can learn all about Denver's rich African American heritage. The only library of its kind between Detroit and Oakland, Blair-Caldwell serves as an educational and cultural resource, focusing on the history, literature, art, music, religion, and politics of African Americans in Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain West. Exhibits highlight areas such as the historic Five Points neighborhood, African Americans in early Denver (including the city's earliest arrivals), the Black West, and African American leadership (the Mayor's Office and other distinguished mayors of Denver).
BLACK AMERICAN WEST MUSEUM
3091 California St.
For decades, Hollywood westerns depicted a Wild West that was populated almost entirely by white people. The Black American West Museum puts this myth to rest permanently by highlighting the prominent role Blacks played in the settlement of Colorado as miners, soldiers, homesteaders, schoolteachers, ranchers, blacksmiths, cowboys, lawmen and more. This fascinating museum, located in the former home of Colorado's first Black woman doctor, hosts countless photographs, artifacts and interactive exhibits that tell the story of the Wild West through a different lens.
DENVER STORY TREK
The Denver Story Trek allows locals and visitors to get the inside story on Mile High City history while exploring all modern day Denver has to offer. The Trek leads you through a rich variety of Denver neighborhoods, capturing the essence of Denver's heritage and showcasing the vibrant city that it is today.