by Heather Lusk
While not necessarily recognized for its history, Denver is a city filled with museums that set it apart. The vast number of Denver art museums usually get all of the attention, but many other lesser known options are just as interesting and not something you can find anywhere else.
The U.S. Mint and the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank
Two locations in Denver open their doors to the public to educate them about coins and bills. The U.S. Mint building, on the National Register of Historic Places, offers free tours to show how coins are produced and marked with a “D.” It’s one of only two places in the country to witness the process. Just ten blocks away at the Money Museum (also free) visitors can learn the history of bills, see what $30,000,000 looks like and put their own face on a $10,000 note.
The National Ballpark Museum
Even for non-fans, the experience of visiting the National Ballpark Museum is worth the price of admission. The volume of history and memorabilia is overwhelming but fascinating. While there are plenty of turnstiles and elements from old ballparks, the collection doesn’t stop there. Bats with a history, autographed balls and jerseys from many players convey the sport’s spectacular stories, including those of females and minorities in baseball.
The Forney Museum of Transportation
Starting with an 1817 wooden bicycle, the Forney Museum of Transportation takes visitors on a journey from buggies to streetcars to motorcycles to trains. See Amelia Earhart’s Gold Bug, a luxury train car and several unique and rare vehicles like Hispano-Suiza and Nyberg, plus more than 600 other artifacts.
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Wander through a hanger of historic aircraft, rockets, jets and more. The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, built on the former Lowry Air Force Base, lets visitors get a close-up view to all forms of aviation. Interactive exhibits add to the experience, whether it’s a virtual reality ride in a helicopter or trying to fly a Boeing 737 in a MaxFlight simulator.
The Molly Brown House Museum
In 1894 the Brown family purchased a home in Denver with the modern conveniences of electricity, a telephone, an indoor bathroom and running water. These innovations were remarkable for the era but that’s not the only historic significance of the home; the owner was eventually known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown after surviving the Titanic. Her former house is now a museum painstakingly restored to its former glory.
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