COLORADO SPRINGS — 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 the Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs.
The museum has been opened to the public since 1954, and is now in its third generation of family operations.
It can be found inside the old Colorado Midland Railway Train Workshop, which dates back to 1899 and once served as a maintenance building for steam locomotives.
The museum famously portrays the Pikes Peak Gold Rush Era, a period of time from the late 1800s to early 1900s.
General Manager Dave Harris tells News 5 that the museum gives visitors the chance to see an authentic Colorado old west town from more than a century ago.
Towns like this thrived before the turn of the century, but were largely abandoned once mines were emptied of their treasures.
Today, remaining ghost towns and the Ghost Town Museum serve as a reminder of Colorado's wild, wild west.
In the museum, you'll find a collection of shops and businesses filled with authentic artifacts.
According to Harris, the buildings in the museum actually came from abandoned ghost towns in the Pikes Peak Region.
"All these buildings were basically reduced and taken down back in the 1950s and brought here and rebuilt, and each one of them is a small business as if it were in operation today," said Harris.
Along the wooden boardwalk, you'll find a general store, a blacksmith shop, a print shop, a fire house, and other businesses from that time.
Some you can walk into, like the old west saloon, which contains a rare player's piano.
From the saloon back to the boardwalk, we find a different surprise around every corner.
One of my favorites is an old-timer phone. If you pick it up, you'll hear Lois Acres on the party line. She and her husband founded the museum back in 1954.
There's a wide range of artifacts and memorabilia here. Some like the concord stagecoach date back to the mid 1800s.
"There's not many of these left in existence. By far the Conestoga Stagecoach is probably our prized possession. It's an actual Abbot and Downing 1865 classic old west coach."
The museum is also home to several old-time cars and carriages.
There's even a carriage from the late 1800s that came from Colorado College. It's believed to have belonged to the former college president.
With so much to do and see, the museum is a big hit with people of all ages.
There's a shooting range arcade and gold panning, along with other interactive exhibits.
"We have lots of hands-on activities for kids. During the summer, we do gold panning. This past year we had to basically suppress that because of the whole thing. We don't know what our timing will be on that," said Harris.
Harris plans to bring gold panning back to the museum this summer, but that all depends on the state of the pandemic.
The museum is open daily, and more information can be found on their website - Ghost Town Museum