Sunday, November 13, 2011

Heritage Museum, Leadville CO

Our tour of Leadville's main street continues with this view of the Heritage Museum which was home to Leadville's first library.  It was named for Andrew Carnegie who donated the funds to establish the library and it opened in January, 1904.  It served as a library until 1971.  A local person related to us that some of the librarians refused to allow youngsters to check out books as they felt the books wouldn't receive proper care.

In 1971 the building was purchased by the local historical society who now operates a museum in the building.  It houses a variety of memorabilia, including items from the 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale which was nearby.  One of the more interesting exhibits is a scale model of the world's largest palace of ice built in Leadville in 1896.  The purpose of the palace was to bring tourists from Denver and other large cities to Leadville.  The project was proposed by E.W. Senior and it was built of blocks of ice estimated to weigh a total of 5,000 tons.  The ice blocks were cut from theArkansas River and the project was complete in 30 days.  No detail was spared and the palace was a sight to behold.  If you have an interest, I'm confident you can get more information online.  It sounded truly amazing, especially for the time.

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