Much of Limon's history is preserved at the Limon Heritage Museum and Railroad Park. Here visitors can learn about traditional farm equipment or wander through a historic train depot, one-room schoolhouse, vintage dining rail car and Native American teepee. From railroads to ranches, the heritage museum memorializes a bygone era on the High Plains.
Limon features landscaped streets with gift boutiques, antique shops, a city park, and an urban fishing pond. A walking path also meanders from downtown to a wetlands area, a popular spot for bird watching.
P.O. Box 341 Limon, Colorado 80828
The displays in the Exhibit Building present a fascinating chronicle of Limon's development and provide the visitor with a "you are there" sense of Limon's growth depicting a small town's changes. See historic photos and stories of Main Street, the town movers and shakers, Gates Merchantile, the 1930's prairie home, legendary ranches, and innovative wheat farmers. See the popular Changing Exhibits Gallery which has new exhibits professionally displayed. See award-winning photos of the "Shortgrass Prairie", displays of growing wheat, and the area ranches.
The Depot is one of three remaining Rock Island depots in Colorado in it's original location and the only one restored. It is a lively testament to the importance of the Iron Horse in Limon's development. For visitors who come from all over the world, it offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience a way of life almost forgotten when seven passenger trains a day stopped in Limon. Up to eight freight trains still use the Union Pacific track south of the depot. Several times a week history comes alive as freight trains from Kyle Railway cross the track in front of the depot to connect with the Union Pacific Railroad. The Union Pacific, formerly the Kansas Pacific, came to Colorado in 1870. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad completed it's track from Chicago to Limon in 1889. Limon was famous as the site of the "Limon Shuffle" where the popular Rock Island Rocky Mountain Rocket would split into two trains. One would go on to Colorado Springs and the other to Denver.
Limon Museum School House
Limon's Pioneer Schoolhouse is a favorite place for families to visit in the Railroad Park. Providing a realistic view of education on the prairie and outfitted as it was when last used by one-room school teachers, this is a revealing look for today's youngsters of a totally different time when schooling often meant a great deal of sacrifice for the entire family. Photos and stories bring to life this important aspect of the pioneer.
Sculpture and Memorial Gardens Plaza
The Museum Complex contains a number of lovely gardens including Rose, Prairie, Sculpture and Pioneer areas tended by volunteers, youth groups and retired gardeners. Visitors will enjoy the colorful variety of plantings, restful seated areas, memorial bricks and striking sculptures chronicling Limon's past and demonstrating what can be grown on the sometimes harsh Colorado plains.
Saddle Boxcar Collection
The museum's 1890 Western Saddle Boxcar is an introduction to a time when almost every town had a saddlemaker and a cowboy's saddle was an important part of his livelihood. Many of the saddles on display belonged to well-known area ranchers and provide an unusual view of Limon's storied ranching heritage and renown saddlemakers of Colorado.
Located in Limon's two block Railroad Park are eight vintage windmills, each one a historic reminder of the early settler's harnessing of the wind to bring water to the plains. This important reminder of pioneer ingenuity, still in operation on ranches today, gives visitors of all ages a dramatic introduction to Limon's heritage and highlights the antique farm machinery also on display.
515 Comanche Street (Highway 86)
Kiowa, CO 80117
Open Memorial Day Sunday through Labor Day Sunday
Thursday-Sunday 1-4 p.m. or by appointment 303-621-2229
The Elbert County Historical Society evolved from an early “Pioneer's Picnic” in 1956. This group of men and women, many the descendants of early settlers, had a vision of preserving the history of Elbert County. Through the years, photographs and artifacts were collected and stored in barns and garages across the county, waiting for the museum that would be established.
The Historical Society acquired the original Kiowa High School building in 1991. Designed by the Denver architect team of Gardner & Parry, the Spanish colonial revival style structure was built in 1921 with all the modern conveniences…electricity, steam heat, indoor plumbing, and even a gymaniusm included in the basement! The school saw the consolidation of the one-room school houses in the Kiowa area, and was used until the mid-1980s.
This town also has deep roots in the railroads. In 1888, Limon got its start as a work camp for the new Chicago and Rock Island Railroad planned to run from Kansas to Colorado Springs. Limon was named after one of the railroad's original construction foreman. The centrally located city grew quickly and today remains true to its nickname, Hub City.