Palmer Lake Historical Society
Serving the Tri-Lakes/Palmer Divide Since 1956
P.O. Box 662, Palmer Lake, CO 80133


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Previous Museum Exhibits

The Museum is home to many historic photographs, documents and artifacts from late 19th century to early 20th century life in the West.

In addition to the permanent displays, archives, and photographs the Museum presents special exhibits which are changed every 4/6 months.

"Die-cast Model Aircraft "

B25 Mitchell & P47 ThunderboltThe museum was pleased to have on display a fine collection of metal die-cast model aircraft with designs from the 1930's and on.  Sleek racers from the 1930's are included along with models of WWI and WWII airplanes.  Some notables are the B-24 Liberator and B-25 Mitchell.  The B-25 was used in the famous Doolittle Tokyo raid early in WWII, on April 18, 1942, where the bombers took off from the Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet and carried out a bombing raid on Tokyo and other targets.  Although little damage was done, the raid proved to be a huge moral booster for the American people.  Read more about the raid here:  Click here: Doolittle Raid

Travel Air, 1930sThe following is from the Wikipedia and a link to the full article is included at the end.  "Diecast (or die cast, or die-cast) toys were first produced early in the 20th century by manufacturers such as Meccano (Dinky Toys) in the United Kingdom and Dowst Brothers (Tootsietoys) in the United States. The first models on the market were basic, consisting of a small car or van body with no interior. In the early days it was common for impurities in the Zamak alloy to result in metal fatigue; the casting would crack or decompose for no apparent reason. As a result, diecast toys made before World War II are difficult to find in good condition."    Click here: Die-cast toy

"The Monument Ice Harvest"

Blocks of ice being loaded into a boxcarBefore refrigerators and freezers most everyone with a lake or pond would harvest the ice that formed and store it into July.  Produce and meats were shipped across the country in railroad boxcars that used ice to keep the contents fresh.  During the winter, working the Ice Harvest was a way to earn wages for two or three months in what otherwise would be a hard time in a farm and ranch economy.  The Doyle Ice Company of Monument was built from scratch and had ice storage houses that would hold 4,000 tons of ice for use in warmer weather.  Annually, about 36,000 tons of ice was shipped for a wide variety of uses.  The man delivering an ice-block to the home ice-box was very popular as he often had to chip ice from the block so that it would fit into the ice-box.  Ice chips were a treat in the hot summer months to any kid lucky enough to get some.

Read this Monument story..

"Birds of a Feather"

Hand carved birdsThe Museum presents an exhibit of hand carved & painted birds.  These Birds of a Feather are meticulously detailed, life-size and presented in a natural setting and pose.  Many are seen in the local Tri-Lakes area.  Master Carver,  Howard Miller has given us the opportunity to get up-close to these avian friends.  So, come and flock to the Museum to see this never before presented exhibit.


" Fashionable Style "

1910Dress The Vaile Museum, in honor of the 25th anniversary of our being located in the Vaile Library/Museum building, has presented the community with a fashion show comprised of period clothing from the 1880's up through the 1960's.  The show took place on June 25th.  Over forty fully accessorized outfits were presented with historical narration and musical accompaniment.  The current museum exhibit features vintage lingerie and clothing from our permanent collection.  Please visit this site again as photos of the fashion show and the exhibit are now being prepared for your viewing.


"Yule Log Festivities"

Jeremiah Mouse and the Yule LogAn old English custom, The Yule Log Celebration was brought to Palmer Lake by Lucretia Vaile and Miss Evalena Macy in 1934. They sent for a splinter of the Lake Placid, NY yule log and the first event was held in a local home. Fifty persons went on the hunt for the hidden log resplendent in red or green capes. The first yule log was discovered by C. R. Hays. He was rewarded with a ride astride the log, pulled by the other searchers. They were greeted by 200 cheering residents and visitors. Half of the log was burned with the other half being saved for the next year. A spicy cider drink called Wassail was drunk in great quantities while watching the ceremonies by candle light. Hundreds of yule log splinters have been sent all over the world to those wishing to start their own holiday tradition.


"Patches From The Past"

Patches from the PastA wide variety of needlecraft artworks including quilts, embroidery, and tatting. Our pioneer homemakers spent a great deal of time creating these works of art for the entire families use and enjoyment. The items on exhibit are truly heirlooms, made in the past for all of us to now enjoy.


"Antique Hand Tools"

A wide variety of tools used by men and women during the 19th and 20th centuries. Come see if you can identify the purpose of some of these "artistically crafted" everyday tools.

"The Good Old Days"

The Good Old DaysA variety of clothing and items from our permanent collection illustrates the clothing, utensils, and items used in the everyday life of those people of a century or so ago.


"The Games People Play"

Before television, computers, and the X-Box people passed the time playing card and board games. We entertained ourselves by playing against each other in a friendly way. Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, Bridge and Canasta were among the many "Trivial Pursuits" we enjoyed. Come see the games you played as a kid, then go home and open the closet. The game boxes are there, just waiting to be rediscovered.

"Tools From The Ice Age"

Doyle Ice HouseOur current display concerns the time when every home had an "ice box" and ice was harvested from lakes. We show photographs and some of the tools used to move the ice from the lakes to the railroad for further shipment to the consumer. Ice was harvested from the local lakes up until 1943.

[Photos & Text]

"All Things Harley"

All Things HarleyIn 1903 two guys, W. S. Harley and A. Davidson, had an idea for a motor-driven bicycle. The Rest Is History. A great exhibit of Harley Davidson memorabilia including a 71' Electra Glide.


"A Railroad Retrospective"

A Railroad Retrospective"A Railroad Retrospective" displays many fine artifacts and memorabilia from the days when rail was the king of transportation. Many photographs, tools, and documents are on display. Come and find out what a 30 lb rail is and what it is used for then and now. Marvel at the Georgetown Loop. Now showing through November 30th.


"Vintage Cameras"

Vintage CamerasOur display of "Vintage Cameras" highlights the exquisite craftsmanship that went into the making of these beautiful old cameras. Early cameras, some dating to 1875 are on view. The display is from the collection of Mr. Bob Smith, professional commercial photographer. The museum patron is invited to hold, examine, and operate some of these cameras and view many items used by early photographers. Now showing through July 31st.

[Photos & Text]

"We've Got You Covered!"

Gendarme HatA display of Police and Women's hats from around the world. Everything from the Italian Gendarmes plumed head warmer to the highest in ladies fashion (1950s and earlier.) We are sure you will enjoy this eclectic display of men's and women's head plumage!


"Where's The Fire?"

Where's the fire?A salute to our local area firefighters.

This display is a hands-on experience where a firefighter's outfit and helmet can be tried on and worn. Hoses, nozzles, axes, tools and oxygen tanks can be lifted to feel just how much weight the firefighter must bear in doing their work. Photographs show actual fires being fought, training exercises, and the many community services performed by our local Palmer Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

Free literature and other handouts are available to learn more.


Tools of the Trade

Dental ToolsAn exhibit displaying the instruments and other items used by Dr. James Milford Chambers, a traveling professional dentist of the late 1800's. The display includes a marvelous foot-powered drill and the many items necessary for dental repair and restorations.

Also on display are instruments used by Dr. Warren Mulford in the mid-20th century.


Paper Wings Over Japan

Paper Wings Over JapanAn exhibit of Japanese Kites. "Soaring Art for the Spirit."

These magnificent kites were on loan from the Scott Skinner collection. Another exhibit of kites from around the world is planned for the future.

Paper Wings Over Japan, Brochure- A Brief History of the Kite's of Japan.



ARTifacts exhibitAn exhibit of artists, authors, & poets from our past.

Also, we had a display on loan from the public of "A World of Boxes." Small to large, old to new, mango wood to yak bone! With these exhibits to feast our eyes on, we could hardly contain our excitement!


Sundance Mountain Rendezvous

Mountain Man DisplayItems representing the mountainmen of the fur trade era 1803 - 1843.


Weddings of the Century
Weddings of the CenturyDresses from 1880 - 1980, photos to match most of them, also memorabilia such as marriage licenses, garter belt, napkins, & beautiful items in the hope chest.


Old Timey Kitchen Gadgets
Old Time KitchenIncluded in this display are anything from Victorian fish forks to 1891 cookbooks and plenty of mashers & smashers!


Antique Dolls, Toys & Games
Antique Toys ExhibitFor children's delight & parents' nostalgia, see Shirley Temples, Avon collectibles, Barbies, metal trucks, 1880's anagrams, 1890's Carom board & Beatles cards!


Railroad Memorabilia
Railroad Memorabilia From lanterns to narrow gauge spikes, timetables to original train dinnerware, & even the engineer!

[More about the exhibit]

Salute to Veterans
Salute to Veterans Honoring all branches of the military, this display contained items from the Civil War through the Vietnam War.


Vintage Lingerie
Lingerie Exhibit Featuring mannequins with 1930s era peach silk with beige lace gowns (and matching undergarments displayed). Also shown were period items such as would be found in a ladies' dressing room.


If you would like to learn more about Tri-Lakes history, the Palmer Lake Historical Society, or the Lucretia Vaile Museum, please e-mail us at