The museum building, a small log cabin with a shingle roof, was built in 1899. The Redstone Museum originally served as the “lamp house” for two hundred miners living in Coal Town and working in the steep tunnel mines.
Not to be confused with the Lyons Redstone Museum in Lyons, CO, the Redstone Museum in Redstone, is located in southeast Pitkin County, about sixteen miles south of Carbondale. The town of Redstone was established by John Cleveland Osgood, one of the elite nineteenth-century industrialists known as the Robber Barons. His personal title was “The King of Coal in the West.”
Redstone had a castle for Osgood and his wives (three of them in succession) to live in. The Redstone Inn was for bachelor cokers to reside in (cokers meaning coke oven workers). There were eighty-eight cottages for the cokers’ families, and a Club House with amenities like a theater, school, library, community garden, stables, and the only bar serving alcohol around.
The community was for the people who refined the coal, while the coal miners lived eight miles away in Coal Town.
In addition to visiting the museum and trekking the historic Coke Oven Trail, the Redstone Inn has been converted into a resort and is open to the public three-hundred and sixty-five days a year. Redstone Castle is also available for guided tours and offers a tantalizing glimpse into the style and culture of the American elite at the turn of the twentieth century.
Avid history buffs can go one step further and book a room in the castle for a stay.
The entire area is well-preserved and rife with history—Teddy Roosevelt himself came to stay and hunt in 1903—and hikers will enjoy exploring the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area. Hosted by the Redstone Historical Society, the museum is open daily between May and October.
Address: 295 Redstone Blvd, Redstone, CO 81623
Season: May – October