Holden Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, Aspen

#65 of 69 in Things to do in Aspen
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum is located on the former Holden Mining and Smelting Company facility on the western edge of the city of Aspen, Colorado, United States. It consists of one remaining building and the remains of some others. In 1990 it was recognized as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the only district in the city to be so recognized.
It was built in 1891 to process ore mined from the mountains around the city into silver through lixiviation. Within two years it had to be shut down when a change in U.S. government policy led to a huge drop in silver production and drove it into bankruptcy. The buildings remained standing and were eventually bought by a local rancher to expand. His family later donated them to the Aspen Historical Society, which restored them and reopened the property as a museum of its early days as a mining boomtown.
The museum occupies a 2½-acre tract on the south side of State Highway 82 just west of the residential neighborhoods in Aspen's West End. A mile to the west along the highway are the two Maroon Creek Bridges, the older of which is also listed on the Register. Aspen Valley Hospital is a thousand feet to the southwest.
The land is generally clear and open, reflecting its past agricultural use. The mature trees that shade many of the West End's houses end abruptly to the east, and there is a small grove of similar trees, all aspens, to the west of the museum. To the southeast is one of the ridges of Aspen Mountain, with the houses of South 7th Street near its foot. Across Highway 82 is Aspen's streets department, some dwellings of more modern construction, and a golf course.
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  • Good luck finding this place! Our GPS was useless, but it did get us to the general vicinity where I was able to see the mill building off in a field. It is just outside the entrance to town near the....  more »

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