The Museum of Northwest Colorado is a fine starting point to uncover the history of Moffat County.
Located on Yampa Avenue in Craig, the museum's most popular exhibit is the cowboy and gunfighter collection, the product of a 50-year preservation effort by collector Bill Mackin.
The exhibit of nearly 1,000 "working cowboy" artifacts includes guns, gun leather, chaps, spurs, saddles and other cowboy memorabilia and takes up about half the museum's second floor.
The museum's other displays include a rundown of Moffat County's history, an old schoolroom, exhibits on coal mining, farm implements, and rock and fossil displays.
Memorabilia from Edward Johnson, a Colorado governor and senator is on display at the museum as well.
Be sure to check out the railroad display, featuring artifacts from the turn of the 20th century.
In 1903, David Moffat, founder of the Denver Northwestern and Pacific Railroad, intended to build a railroad from Denver through Craig and to Salt Lake City. But Moffat and his investors ran out of money, and the rail line never made it farther than Craig.
After viewing the railroad display, stop by the Marcia Car, Moffat's private business car, which is named for his daughter. Moffat rode in the car while inspecting his construction projects.
Keep an eye out for the Marcia Car while driving into town from the east. It's near Craig City Park.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado began as the Moffat County Museum in 1964. Until 1990, it was housed in the Moffat County Courthouse.
In 1991 the museum opened at its new location at 590 Yampa Ave. in the former Colorado State Armory.
In 1992 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building and the museum's permanent collection are now valued at more than $1.1 million.
The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturday until Labor Day. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for students, $5 for families, and $10 for an annual pass. n