PUEBLO — In our exclusive new series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
This week, our adventures take us to Pueblo as we pop in for a visit at the Steelworks Center of the West.
The museum is located in the old medical dispensary building for the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, or CF&I, and serves as the historical archive of the now defunct steel company.
Museum Curator Victoria Miller tells us that CF&I traces it roots back to the 1870s, and that the steel mill was built here to produce railroad tracks.
"Pueblo was chosen because of our geographic location to resources needed to make the steel," said Miller.
These materials include coal, iron ore, limestone and water.
For nearly a century, CF&I was the largest employer in the state of Colorado.
In the early 1990s, CF&I filed for bankruptcy.
The Steelworks Museum was created to preserve those historical photos, articles and artifacts.
"We actually have over 100,000 photographs in our collection and about 400 of them are on exhibit," said Miller.
The museum currently houses a poster exhibit that's on loan from the Smithsonian Institution. It's expected to remain on display for the next couple of years.
To compliment the Smithsonian exhibit called "H2O Today", another section in the center is all about the local history of water in Southern Colorado.
"We right now have an exhibit called 'Water is Life' and that highlights water use within the steel making history in our town," said Miller.
There's more to this center than just photographs and exhibits.
They serve as a cornerstone for the historic Bessemer neighborhood connecting the people of Pueblo to their past.
"We have museum exhibits, education programs, we show historic films that were created by CF&I, as well as school tours and children's education," said Miller.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. For more information and to purchase tickets, you can visit their website - steelworks.us.