This museum of painted cinderblock forming flat-roofed boxes of varying heights celebrates the Utes and their culture. Exhibits in two 20-by-40-foot galleries display, among other artifacts, the collection of Thomas McKee, a local photographer who documented tribal life during the 1890s. The museum honors the famous Ute chief, Ouray (d. 1880), and his wife, Chipeta. Sited on a hilltop near the willow-lined banks of the Uncompahgre River, the 6-acre site, once part of Ouray's 400-acre farm, includes a park, Chipeta's grave, and a marker for the Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776, whose members found the Utes to be an attractive and friendly people. The Ouray Springs, on the grounds, are covered with a cement tipi (1924), donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
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Ute Indian Museum
1956, Dudley T. Smith. 1996 addition, Edward Chamberlin. 17253 Chipeta Dr., 2 miles south of Montrose on U.S. 550
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