In 1970, the Museum of the West was incorporated as a private non-profit with a mission to preserve and interpret the rich mining history of Colorado and the American West. The nucleus of the collection was a group of mining artifacts contributed to the museum by Mr. Frederick McMenemy Farrar and Mrs. Katherine Thatcher Farrar.
In 1972 the name was changed to the Western Museum of Mining & Industry to better define the museum focus.
Over 4,000 artifacts are on display at the 27-acre indoor/outdoor exhibit site; which includes a ten-stamp ore mill, a multi-purpose center with exhibits, a theater, and a 5,000-volume research library. The entire exhibit complex is an exciting and exceptional tool for learning about Colorado history, mining and industrial technology, geology, and the environment.