Western Museum of Mining and Industry

Our nephew Tyler, that’s him up yonder, has a deep knowledge of and fascination with mines and mining, well at least of the hard rock underground variety. An open pit or the environmental calamity of blasting a mountain top off are definitely not his jam. If I recall correctly, it all started with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their underground lair. Pretty cool, when you think about it – there’s a whole world under there.

So, logic follows that we would some day visit the Western Museum of Mining and Industry here in Colorado Springs together. It’s located a short distance from I-25, with excellent signage, but it still took us eight years to get there! But, hey, we did it. It was a next level experience to wander about in the presence of an expert and to watch Tyler’s face light up. Like when he saw a diorama of the Comstock in California and named it before even looking at the signage. Or his astonishment at having equipment he’d only previously read about or seen rusted and decaying in some out of the way mining town in the high country looking quite regal and fully operational.

If you have any interest in mining, and especially if you know someone who does, I highly recommend a visit. You might even spy a hawk in the parking lot! The museum does an exceptional job of creating experiences that mimic the look and feel of going underground, which offered an excellent connection to my Grandpa George, who was a coal miner in Springfield, Illinois, from the late 1800s until his death (from Black Lung) in 1945. They also have some really cool displays and videos of past and present mining technology. The rocks, like the fluorescents above, were a nice surprise, too. What a meaningful day for us!