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How one man spent over sixty years collecting items for the Colorado State Fair Museum

Posted at 7:50 AM, Aug 30, 2022

The Colorado State Fair goes back 150 years, four years before Colorado even became a state. Needless to say, there’s a lot of history tied to the fair.

And one man has been collecting state fair items for over 60 years.

Every item in the Colorado State Fair Museum has been discovered by Jim Cook, a Pueblo native who has been collecting western heritage items for most of his life.

At 82 years old, Jim tells me seeing a museum of his work is rather special. He spends the entire year searching for items that showcase the history of the west, and the state fair. Cook is a historian with flair who will find some of these artifacts in the most random places and through word of mouth. He says it’s not just a hobby. It’s a way to honor his father.

“I’ve known it since the time I was a little kid. My dad broke houses on a ranch in New Mexico and I was around it all the time and then he passed away when I was really young and I think that increased my interest,” said Cook.

Cook says he admires cowboys because they represent hard work, adventure, and a love for the west. It’s important to him that their legacy lives on in this museum.

Cook says come pay him a visit this week if you can, you might be surprised at what you find.
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