mission of the Ouray County Historical Society (OCHS) is dedicated to
preserve, protect, procure, exhibit and interpret whatever relates to
the natural, social and cultural history of Ouray County and the
adjoining San Juan Mountain region of Colorado.
Museum is housed in the original St. Joseph's Miners' Hospital that was
built in 1886 and finished in 1887. In its early days it was operated
by the Sisters of Mercy, all of whom came to Ouray from Durango,
Colorado and Omaha, Nebraska. It was a hospital until 1964. In 1971 the
Ouray County Historical Society began exhibiting in the building. In
1976 the historical society purchased the building for a museum. There
are three floors containing 38 exhibits in twenty-seven rooms. Smaller
displays are located in hall cases, alcoves and the original hospital
The Museum features
mining, ranching and railroading, the three main means of employment in
Ouray's early history. It houses many artifacts dating back to Ouray's
earliest days which began in 1875. There are large displays of minerals
and Indian artifacts in the building. Plan to visit this fascinating
museum. You'll want to set aside a minimum of one hour for your visit.
Many tourists and residents of Ouray spend several hours touring the
Museum. Staff and volunteers are always on hand to answer your
questions and assist you with research and sales.
OCHS also features a Research Center at 722 Main Street
in Ouray containing over 25,000 documents, over 5,000 photographs
and a 9,000 book library titled "The W. Ross Moore Mining History Library of
the American West." The Research Center can be visitd by appointment only. Call 970-3250931 to schedule an appointment.