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Experience Noco History + Culture at These Popular Museums in Greeley

Todd Sledge July 25, 2023

Situated on the western edge of Colorado’s high plains, Greeley is a city steeped in history and culture, as the community was built on farming and agriculture back when it was founded in the late 1800s. And today, the city boasts a treasure trove of captivating museums that offer a glimpse into the region’s rich heritage.
Embark on a fascinating journey through time as we explore some of the most popular museums in Greeley, each showcasing the vibrant tapestry of Northern Colorado’s history and diverse cultural background. From interactive exhibits to thought-provoking artifacts, each museum promises an unforgettable experience, delving deep into the roots that have shaped this unique community and Northern Colorado as a whole. Learn all about the area — both past and present — at these must-visit museums and historic sites in Greeley!

Colorado Model Railroad Museum

The Colorado Model Railroad Museum began in 2002 as a small passion project driven by big dreams. Today, it’s one of the finest, miniature accomplishments in the world, encompassing 5,500 square feet of up-close-and-personal, intricate exhibits. The one-of-a-kind museum showcases hundreds of railroad scenes, more than 500 scale locomotives, 80 scale miles of train track, about 28,000 handmade trees, and thousands of other handmade artifacts. In addition to the miniature railroad, guests can also see artifacts like a 1919 Colorado and Southern Caboose that are open for tours. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sunday from 12–4 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for kids 12 and under, $10 for those 65+, and free for kids 3 and under.

Greeley History Museum

Housed in the historic 1929 building that was originally built for the Greeley Tribune, the Greeley History Museum showcases and preserves Greeley and Weld County’s history through permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational programs, research and collections. Any time you stop by, you can check out the permanent exhibit “Utopia: Adaptation on the Plains.” Then, be sure to keep exploring other galleries to find new, rotating exhibits, too! Plus, the lower level of the museum contains the Hazel E. Johnson Research Center, which houses an impressive collection of photographic and documentary resources for students, researchers and genealogists. The Greeley History Museum is open Thursday–Sunday only from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and by appointment for groups on Wednesdays. Admission to the Greeley History Museum is just $5 for youth and seniors, $8 for adults, $25 for a family (with a max of two adults and four kids), and free for members.

Centennial Village Museum

Part of Island Grove Regional Park just north of downtown Greeley, the Centennial Village Museum is a living history experience the whole family will love. This seasonal museum features costumed interpreters, heritage farm animals, 8 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, and more than 35 historical buildings, including some of the oldest structures in Weld County.
When you stop by, you may get the chance to see printing at the High Plains Post historic print shop, blacksmithing at the forge, rope-making, chuckwagon-style cooking, scrub board laundry techniques, corn shucking and grinding, food preparation on cast iron stoves, and adobe horno cooking! This interactive living history museum is only open from the end of May through early September, but they open for a few special off-season events, including Howl-O-Ween Trick-or-Treat, Homesteader’s Holiday, Baby Animal Days, and more!

White-Plumb Farm Learning Center

White-Plumb Farm Learning Center is a unique and historically significant property in the heart of Greeley. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the farm had been run by the same family for over 100 years before it was donated to the City of Greeley Museums. The property was established in 1881 by Civil War Veteran Charles White as a tree claim, utilizing a flood irrigation system to support the agriculture fields. The family raised various farm animals and crops such as alfalfa, sugar beets, seed potatoes, beans, and vegetables. White-Plumb Farm is a Colorado Centennial Farm, and the original family home was designed by Bessie Smith, Greeley’s first female architect. In 1983, the descendants of Charles White donated 2.5 acres of the original tree claim to the City of Greeley for historical, cultural, and museum use. Today, the property is used as a public park and for rentals, and visitors can learn about the history and legacy of the White family and their farm. The grounds are open daily from sunrise to sunset!

Meeker Home Museum

Established in 1929, the Meeker Home Museum was the very first museum in Greeley. The museum is housed in the 1870 home of Greeley’s founding family, Nathan Cook Meeker, his wife Arvilla, and their daughters Mary, Rozene, and Josephine. This two-story adobe brick home has been meticulously restored to its original state, and visitors can explore the rooms and see original furnishings used by the Meeker family. Some of the prized historical treasures within the museum include a 10-foot tall diamond dust mirror, a tall case clock, and Meeker’s cherrywood desk. Visitors can also walk the grounds of the museum, where interpretive panels portray historical facts, maps, and images about the town’s history, Horace Greeley, and the Meeker family. The Meeker Home Museum is a testament to the vision and determination of Nathan Cook Meeker, whose dream of a Utopian farming community came to fruition with the establishment of Greeley in 1870. You can visit the museum on the second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for kids ages 3–17, and $25 for a family with up to two adults and four kids.

Linn Grove Cemetery

As one of the oldest cemeteries in the state, Linn Grove Cemetery welcomes visitors to experience a place of tranquility, heritage, and community. Established in 1874, this timeless sanctuary boasts meticulously maintained grounds adorned with enchanting gardens, serene ponds, and majestic trees. Beyond its serene ambiance, Linn Grove offers captivating events that celebrate the spirit of remembrance. On Memorial Day, the Avenue of Flags unfurls a magnificent display, accompanied by a revered ceremony featuring esteemed speakers drawing crowds from across the state. As a designated Wreaths Across America™ site, Linn Grove participates in an annual honorary ceremony that unites volunteers at over 1,000 locations nationwide. Additionally, the cemetery presents a chance to give back through volunteer opportunities, such as posting flags at veterans’ graves. For those seeking to delve deeper into the region’s history, historical and educational tours offer an insightful overview of Greeley and Weld County’s diverse cultural backgrounds. Whether seeking solace among the serene landscape or engaging in community-driven events, Linn Grove Cemetery warmly invites you to connect with its enduring spirit. The grounds are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Houston Gardens

While it’s not necessarily a museum, this hidden gem is definitely worth mentioning. Houston Gardens is an outdoor educational resource center, ideal for anyone interested in the natural environment. And the history of this land is fascinating. It was once part of the short grass prairie and most recently, a portion of a large hayfield owned by George Meredith Houston, who moved to Greeley in 1890 to enroll in the newly founded Normal School. He later served as a teacher, state senator and mayor, but also enjoyed gardening and had a special interest in irrigation. He married Gladys Sanborn in 1907, and they had their only child, Phylabe, in 1910. Phylabe shared a vision with her father of one day turning the family’s farmland into a botanic garden. And many years later, she did just that — donating the property to the Assistance League of Greeley, who transformed it into a beautiful botanic garden and nature center. Today, the Houston Gardens serves as a tribute to George Houston and others who brought irrigated water to the semi-arid climate of Colorado. The gardens open in early April and close at the end of October, and they are closed on major holidays. Hours vary by season — click here for more details.

Knowledge is Power!

What Greeley museum will you visit first? Let us know in the comments below!

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