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The museum is located in this old Victorian era school and an extension of the school that was built in the 60s or 70s.
National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum
Closest available address
120 West 9th Street Leadville, Colorado 80461
Summer hours are 9-5, rest of the year are 11-6.
Best time to visit
The National Mining Hall of Fame is a historical museum focused on mining, minerals and those involved with the mining industry. Museum displays include reproductions of men working in mine shafts, minerals and gems, displays of mineral use in common products, models of mines and trains and a hall of fame section with profiles of important mining individuals. The museum is in a former school building from 1899, and has over 70,000 square feet and four floors.
With an elevation of over 10,000 feet, Leadville has a scenic location in the Rocky Mountains. From the town’s founding in 1877 and for about 100 years thereafter, silver, gold, lead and zinc mining played an important role in the economy. The museum was established in 1977 and moved here in 1987, partly because of Leadville’s mining history and partly for cost savings.
The museum building has the look and feel of a Victorian era high school with a more modern wing from the 1970s. Climate control was spotty, and some of the rooms got stuffy. Also, noisy roof repairs were going on at the time. As for the exhibits, the recreated mining tunnels were the most interesting. These are darkened walk through displays with men and animals and had an authentic look and feel. An exhibit of wood carved models progressing from simple panning to working in at a full mine site was also somewhat interesting. If you are into gems and minerals, there are over 1,000 such displays here. More colorful and impressive ones were located in an art gallery near the gift shop. The mining hall of fame on the top floor consisted of profile plaques of mining individuals and was completely uninteresting. The museum can be seen fairly well in an hour, but if you want to read everything, plan on spending a couple hours. While some of the displays were reasonably engaging, overall it was a dull place and topic. A visit is not advised unless you are already in the area and have extra time on your hands.
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6/17/2014 10:47:29 AM
How dare you disrespect the grizzled prospectors to which the great town of Leadville is indebted! They were giants of their era, and your ignorance and insensitivity is an insult to the Blitzquest creed. Do us a favor and return to your dull flatlanding existence.
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