Take a virtual visit to the Nederland Mining Museum to learn about Boulder County mining history and see some of the tools miners used.
These field trips are primarily intended for third and fourth grades, but they are flexible and can be adjusted for the group and time available. It is important that the group read the introduction to the field trip. This could be read aloud to students or by students on their own. That way students will know a bit about the place they are virtually visiting!
Introducing the Nederland Mining Museum
By the late 20th century, mining families in the Nederland area wanted a place to collect and exhibit artifacts from their storied past. Led by two local people with backgrounds and an interest in mining, they began to identify and locate machines, tools, pictures, documents, and ore samples that could form a museum collection. The building that now houses the museum used to be the county highway maintenance garage. Lots of huge vehicles, like snowplows and dump trucks, were worked on in this building many years ago. It is in the traffic circle in downtown Nederland.
The museum opened in 2003 and was run by a volunteer organization, the Nederland Area Historical Society. It was difficult and expensive for volunteers to run the museum in just their free time, without pay, and with jobs and many other things in their lives. In 2012, Boulder County Parks & Open Space bought the museum’s collection of artifacts—the tools and things used in mining long ago that were inside and outside just next to the museum. Starting in 2013 Boulder County’s Cultural History group began managing the museum.
People from all over the world visit the museum when it is open from June-October and Nederland’s weather is at its best. The steam shovel behind the museum is part of mining history, as well as world history, because it dug the Panama Canal. However, the shovel still belongs to the historical society.