Serving as the living legacy of our local life.
Much to the surprise of James M. Landis when he came across from Leadville to the Roaring Fork River he discovered a jewel in Grand Springs, the former name of Glenwood Springs. He was in search of meadow hay to help supply feed for Leadville horses. This was the real gold mine. The valley was sheltered from the harshness of the Continental Divide providing warmth from the sun, protection for the trees following the streams and lush meadows of hay. I addition, he discovered a large hot spring on an island in the Grand River where the nomadic Ute Indians came regularly to heal. This area was heavenly. That was 1878.
Landis was not the first white man to experience the hot springs. In 1860 Captain Richard Sopris and his party explored, surveyed, and prospected the Eagle River Valley on the way to Mt. Sopris. Have fallen ill, he was brought down the Roaring Fork River to the healing waters of Yamapha. He was accredited with naming the area Grand Springs which remained until 1885.
Since incorporation, Glenwood Springs has changed from a frontier outpost to a progressive and active tourist center providing the townspeople and visitors with numerous and interesting amenities and activities.
Several other visionaries discovered Grand Springs. Issac Cooper, lacking health, promoted his dream of a world famous spa and Walter Devereux, an engineer, promoted mining. After the Meeker Massacre in 1879, the Utes were relocated to other areas thus leaving Grand Springs entirely to white man's progress. It remain Grand Springs except for a brief period it was called Defiance, until Alice Cooper, Issac's wife renamed it Glenwood after her home town in Iowa. Glenwood Springs was incorporated in 1885.
Since incorporation Glenwood Springs, has changed from a frontier outpost to a progressive and active tourist center providing the townspeople and visitors with numerous and interesting amenities and activities.
In August 1935 Glenwood Springs celebrated its 50th birthday. Citizens wanted to celebrate the past actions of the pioneers by displaying artifacts of those who founded the town. This encouraged talk of creating a museum for the children, grandchildren and future residents to be informed. In 1940 Senator Edward T. Taylor offered his home on Bennett Avenue as a museum to house these items of the past. Due to finances , the offer was declined.
It wasn't until 1963, encouraged by the Chamber of Commerce, that prominent history-minded citizens organized the formation of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society. On January 8, 1964 it was officially named the Frontier Historical Society. For reasons of clarity, the museum was renamed The Glenwood Springs Historical Society and Frontier Museum in 2016.
The first museum was small, located in the Hotel Colorado. It moved to a larger building on School Street which today house s Youth Zone. With the generous gift from Churchill and Stella Schumate of their home on 1001 Colorado Avenue in 1971, the home has been dedicated for over 40 years to the preservation, display and interpretation of Glenwood Springs' history.