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CRAIG — The Museum of Northwest Colorado began as the Moffat County Museum in 1964. Until 1990, it was housed in the Moffat County Courthouse.
In 1991, it opened at its new location at 590 Yampa Ave. in the former Colorado State Armory.
At present, our building has been almost totally renovated and restored. This was made possible with excellent support from Moffat County.
Also, from 1990 to 1996 grants received towards this project have totaled $155,400 from the following: Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Historical Society, and the Gates Foundation.
In 1992 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum’s operational budget is approximately $150,000 per year, which is currently funded by Moffat County. The building plus the museum’s permanent collection is now valued at more than $1.1 million.
Moffat County is the second largest county in Colorado but 55 percent of the land is public domain (BLM, Forest Service, state, county or city). The county exceeds the classification of frontier (per federal definition of six persons per square mile). Moffat County actually has only 2.56 persons per square mile.
“Frontier” accurately reflects our ranching, farming and homesteading background plus the fact that some of the “Wild Bunch’s” stomping grounds are located in Moffat County.
Craig is located approximately 90 miles north of I-70 and 100 miles south of I-80. It is west of Denver about 200 miles and Steamboat Springs about 40 miles and east of Salt Lake City, Utah about 300 miles.
The Cowboy and Gunfighter Museum housed within the Museum of Northwest Colorado showcases Bill Mackin’s collection of nearly 1,000 “working cowboys” artifacts. This collection is a world renown accumulation of practically 50 years of effort and enjoyment by Bill.
Memorabilia from Edward Johnson, Colorado governor and senator, is on display at the museum as well.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig functions as a repository for various aspects of the history of Northwest Colorado and the West. Until several years ago, we collected only artifacts and information to help teach people about the history of this very interesting area, while preserving it’s history. However, since 1998 we have begun to accept mineral interests from individuals or families.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado is located in downtown Craig on Yampa Avenue, and is open year round, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. Donations are gladly accepted. The museum is wheelchair accessible. Call (970) 824-6360 for information or visit the museum’s Web site at www.museumnwco.org.