108 E. Simpson St.
Lafayette, CO 80026
The Museum is open to the public year round. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to explore Lafayette’s past. Request additional hours by appointment.
The mission of the Lafayette Miners Museum is to showcase the history of Lafayette, Colorado, especially as it relates to coal mining and miners’ lifestyles. The Museum will serve and educate the interested public through the collection, preservation, and interpretation of artifacts and materials that represent the history of the Lafayette area.
Become a Member or Renew Your Membership
Would you like to become a member of the Lafayette Historical Society and receive our quarterly newsletter? Complete the membership form and return it to the museum. Don’t want to be billed annually for your membership? Consider a Lifetime Membership! Find out more about the Lafayette Historic Society and the Miners Museum.
Individual ................... $20
Family ......................... $35
Business ................... $125
Life (Individual)......... $250
Do you shop on Amazon? Have you heard of AmazonSmile? It may be a different url, but it’s the same as visiting Amazon.com with one important difference. AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice!
In order to participate, you must check-out at smile.amazon.com. Amazon will ask you which non-profit you would like to donate to and that’s it; they take care of the rest! The donation comes from the purchase price, so there are no additional fees or cost to you. It’s a completely free way for you to contribute to the museum while you’re shopping online. Just make sure you select the Lafayette Historical Society Inc. in Colorado!
The Museum’s History
The Lewis Home, located at 108 E. Simpson St., became the Lafayette Miners Museum in August 1976. Built in the 1890s, the house was occupied by miners at the Gladstone Mine northeast of Lafayette. After the mine closed, the house was moved into town.
In December 1913, coal miner William E. Lewis and his family purchased the home from Oscar Padfield. (Padfield’s father had owned the Gladstone Mine.) The Lewis Home served as a meeting place for miners during a lengthy strike, which lasted until 1915. During that turbulent period, frequent gun fire would often force the Lewis family to sleep in a nearby cellar for safety.
William Lewis died in 1914, leaving his wife, Hannah, to rear their three children. Hannah Lewis continued to live in the house until her death in 1975 at the age of 95. In 1976, with the generous help of Elmo Lewis, the youngest of the children, the Lafayette Historical Society acquired the Lewis Home for the sole purpose of housing the museum.
What the Museum Contains
The museum contains a wealth of Lafayette history, from the early days of pioneer heritage, through the coal mining years and into the present. Visitors will view a broad collection of artifacts which includes a kitchen full of unusual household items used by Lafayette’s founding families, plus a tremendous collection of mining tools and equipment. In the "schoolroom" of the museum, the town’s educational heritage has been well preserved in pictures, trophies, and memorabilia. Current residents often enjoy searching for a "school days" picture of their parents or grandparents.
The Miners Museum received a Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museum (CWAM) grant in Summer 2019 to transform our porch into an early-learning space for children. The porch now includes a sensory table, where kids can "mine for coal," a mining train set, as well as other interactives. We also have a play table for coloring or storytime, complete with a few picture books about the history of Colorado and coal mining.
Online Collections Database
The museum is dedicated to getting artifact, photograph, archival, and library collections online so you can view them at home. Please follow this link to search the current online collection.
Do you have an object you would like to donate to the museum? Here is all you need to know about making a donation to the Miners Museum.