The Santa Fe Trail Museum and Scenic Byway Visitors Center is located and donated by the Trinidad History Museum (A Colorado Historical Society Property) 312 East Main Street, P.O. Box 377, Trinidad, CO 81082, Phone 719-846-7217, www.coloradohistory.org/
The museum features exhibits depicting local history from Trail days through the 1920s. There are displays with Kit Carsons buckskin coat, a chuck box from the Bloom Cattle Company, and other objects ranging from beer bottles to a brougham. Other attractions on the site include the Baca House and Bloom Mansion. The museum also contains a bookstore, research archives, and Scenic Byway Visitors Center. The two landmark homes are available by reservation for groups.
Schedule subject to change ~ Call 719-846-7217
History Colorado’s Trinidad History Museum, 312 E. Main Street, Trinidad Colorado
Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
The Santa Fe Trail Museum, gardens and grounds are open year round and self guided. Free to all!
Baca House tours are $5. Tours of the Baca/Bloom to groups of 6+ people with a minimum of 1 weeks advance notification.
719-846-7217 - Office
719-846-2361 - Gift Shop
Located on 300 E. Main Street, U.S. Highway 350 in Trinidad. Step back in time at the Trinidad History museum, a unique complex overlooking the Santa Fe Trail. The Museum consists of four attractions occupying an entire city block. The Baca House and Santa Fe Trail Museum are part of the Trinidad History Museum, a unique historic site which also includes the Bloom Mansion. Historic Gardens contain native plants, century-old trees, and a Victorian flower, herb and vegetable garden, complete the picture of perfection. Historic photographs, family possessions, and commercial goods on display evoke the life ways of early inhabitants of southeastern Colorado in the Santa Fe Trail Museum, which extends behind two distinguished hilltop residences. Learn more about some of the characters from Trinidad's past (Kit Carson, Bat Masterson, Billy the Kid, and Mother Jones) and about the people who built the kingdoms of ranching and of coal, the wealth on which Trinidad was built.
The Hough- Baca House was built near the end of the Santa Fe Trail era by John Hough. John Hough moved to Trinidad with his wife Mary and their two daughters from the Trail town of Boggsville. His mercantile firm in Trinidad, Prowers & Hough, boasted that it carried the "Largest and best selected Stock of Dry Goods, Groceries, Tobaccos, and Liquors in Colorado Territory." The Santa Fe Trail passed near the house and several of its present furnishings were brought west on the trail.
In 1870, workers constructed a two-story adobe house for the Hough family. The impressive structure was built using Hispanic construction techniques and English design. John Hough called it "a fine residence for them days." The Hough family lived in the house until 1873, when they moved to West Las Animas, Colorado, where Prowers & Hough set up a forwarding and commission business at the new railhead. Hough worried about selling his expensive house, but Felipe and Dolores Baca were interested. They negotiated a price of $7,000 worth of wool for the property. For an additional $1,500 in wool, the Houghs sold their furniture to the Bacas.
Felipe Baca was one of Trinidad's founders and most prominent businessmen. The Bacas were farmers, ranchers, merchants and civic leaders. Felipe Baca lived in the hacienda with his wife Dolores and their children. The two-story adobe Baca House, evokes the lifestyle of a prominent period. The adobe blends Hispanic folk art with the Victorian opulence of it's furnishings. The Historic Baca House displays a bed and piano from the original Hough-Baca trade, period furnishings from the region, Hispanic folk art, and Baca family possessions.
The Santa Fe Trail Museum, located in the same block as the other museum. This is where the Bacas' workers lived and is filled with local artifacts. Exhibits feature life and times from trail days through 1920, people and episodes from the Santa Fe Trail period and Trinidad's heyday as a commercial cattle ranching and coal mining center.
See Kit Carson's fringed buckskin coat on display. This historic adobe building served as living quarters for employees and here you will find historic photographs, family heirlooms, commercial goods, and other local artifacts. Take part in the museum activities each June during Santa Fe Trail Days.
Next door to the Baca House stands the Bloom Mansion, a Victorian home built in 1882. Flower, herb and vegetable gardens, a gift shop and bookstore are located at the complex. The Bloom Mansion was home of merchant, banker, and cattle baron Frank Bloom and his wife Sarah. The house is French in design and is complemented with ornate furnishings. The restoration of the Bloom Mansion formal parlor and dining room is complete and the house is fully open to the public. Hand-printed wall papers are reproduced from President James Garfield's Ohio estate and historic homes in Denver, California and North Dakota.
Free for the Colorado & Trinidad Historical Societies, Friends of Historical Trinidad, Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway.