Located in Littleton, Colorado, the Littleton Museum offers a unique look at Colorado’s past and present. This 40-acre site allows visitors to walk in the footsteps of 19th-century farmers, discover how they lived and worked, and learn about Colorado’s South Platte Valley in its early years. It’s located just a few minutes’ drive from the scenic Hudson Gardens and Event Center near Ketring Lake, Littleton. You can discover the lake, where nature attracts both visitors and wildlife, then visit the three exhibition galleries, the research center, and the kids’ interactive play area. At Littleton Museum, everyone will find something to enjoy.
Undoubtedly, the farms are the museum’s crowning glory. These historic farms enable visitors to connect with their past in a way that is worthy of being recognized as an affiliate of the Smithsonian. Each of them has the same breeds of livestock and kinds of plants found in the original fields and gardens, including beehives and an orchard. The farmhouse itself was originally located less than a mile away from where it stands now, while the barn, tool shed, and privy are modern replicas. There’s also a reconstructed smithy dating from 1903, the year that electricity came to Littleton. Volunteer blacksmiths use tools and equipment from the museum’s collection to do demonstrations. Travel back and forth between a homestead farm from the 1860s and an urban farm from the 1890s. Learn the differences and similarities, and watch the farmers perform daily chores. It may even be possible to join them, for those who would like to experience farm life on the ground.
You can also visit the blacksmith shop and see how fire-forged necessary farming tools as well as everyday items. Take a seat in the one-room schoolhouse and learn from an actual 1800s schoolbook. See real farm animals such as oxen, mules, chickens, turkeys, sheep, and more. The 1860s farm represents a time before train travel and includes an original pioneer log cabin, a log barn, a sheep pen, and Littleton’s original schoolhouse, built-in 1865. The 1890s farm is particularly interesting to visit second because it depicts the significant advancements in technology and transportation that occurred in just thirty years. The grounds include original and restored buildings such as the cabin, barn, sheep pen, and schoolhouse from the 1860s as well as the farmhouse, barn, tool shed from 1890s, and the blacksmith shop from the 1800s.
Visit the research center after you’ve walked the grounds. There, you’ll find a collection of manuscripts, photographs, and maps. In the Kids’ Connection gallery, children are encouraged to move, play, and have fun while exploring the exhibits which can be a great experience for children. They will have fun with the farm animals as well. Hands-on activities are specially designed for children younger than twelve years old. There’s also an indoor exhibit center that focuses on the history of Denver, particularly in Littleton. One part of the center hosts a permanent exhibit. The other two areas contain rotating exhibits, such as photography and artwork. There’s also a collection of historic maps of the early Colorado Territory.
The Littleton Museum boasts three galleries featuring both permanent and changing displays. Inside the Permanent Gallery, you will discover photographs and artifacts that lead you from Littleton’s pre-history through the present. The Fine Arts Gallery, on the other hand, showcases original art from local artists. These exhibits are sponsored by the Littleton Fine Arts Board and change regularly to allow new artists the opportunity to put their work on display. While the Changing Gallery is popular with locals and tourists alike. Here you will find traveling exhibits from other museums such as the Smithsonian. These displays are temporary and made to highlight work not otherwise accessible to Littleton residents. It also holds the Littleton Museum Collections.
General admission to the museum is always free. The Littleton Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed Mondays and all major holidays. This fantastic experience is free to visitors.
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