Museum Collection

Event staff peek out windows during the Car No. 25 open house.

Overview

Heritage Lakewood is home to more than 33,000 historical objects and more than 9,000 historical photographs. Although it resides at Federal Center where there is a railroad track for it to run on, the popular Interurban Car No. 25 is also part of the collection.

These artifacts tell the story of the City of Lakewood, Jefferson County and Colorado, as well as national and world events as they relate to Lakewood residents.

Pieces from the collection can be viewed in free exhibitions at the Heritage Lakewood galleries or during tours and annual open houses in historic buildings. Select objects and photographs are listed within an online database

Access Online Database

 

About the collection

The purpose of the collection

The artifacts housed at Heritage Lakewood are a link to our past. We collect these artifacts to preserve, study and interpret the past. By examining these artifacts, we can discover information about our past and our place in history. These artifacts give evidence of what people did, how events unfolded and what people thought.  

What is collected

These artifacts cover, but are not limited to, the history of 20th century business and technology, textiles and personal artifacts, toys, military life, domestic life and material culture.

20th century collections

The 20th century spans decades of unique history and major social change in the United States and the world. The collection includes many items relevant to all Americans. 

Artifacts such as a LIFE® Magazine linked us to the social and political events of the time while May Bonfils Stanton’s dishes give a glimpse into her life. These unique collections allow visitors to walk down memory lane, look back at their childhood and reminisce about what life was like during the 20th century.

Donations

Are you interested in donating a 20th century artifact related to Lakewood to the museum collection? Call 303-987-7879. Donations dropped off at the museum cannot be accepted.

Share your story

Do you have a story to tell? We interview former and current residents to record notable experiences and recollections of everyday life in 20th century Lakewood. Contact us at CaiLew@lakewood.org or 303-987-7879 if you would like to be interviewed or know someone we should speak to.

 

Interurban Car No. 25

Denver once had an extensive electric rail transit system that included over 250 miles of city tracks and 40 miles of high-speed interurban railcars connecting Denver with Golden and Boulder. Thousands of riders used the system to visit downtown Denver and its venues for shopping, going to work and school, seeing friends, and for recreation.

Rich in local history, Car No. 25 was built by Denver’s own Woeber Carriage Company and placed into service on February 17, 1911. Car No. 25 was one of seven cars that provided passenger service on the Denver & Intermountain Interurban’s 13-mile Denver-Lakewood-Golden line from 1911 to 1950. With the proliferation of the automobile and a new bus system, rail transit service was abandoned in 1950.

Beginning in 1988, the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club Historical Foundation embarked on a 22-year restoration project, involving 500+ donors and 96 volunteers contributing 24,000 hours toward the restoration of Car No. 25. 

No. 25 is the last remaining, completely intact, electric railway car that once served the Denver area. As an exquisitely restored piece of history, Car No. 25 is listed on both the State Register of Historic Properties and the National Register of Historic Places. 

Car No. 25 is currently stored at the Denver Federal Center with limited public access. An open house takes place annually in the summer.

 

Caretaker's Cottage Research Room

Are you researching Lakewood history? Heritage Lakewood provides opportunities for learning and exploration and can offer information about our archives and photographs. 

Discover more online 

Visit the online database to view a selection of objects and photographs from the permanent collection that are significant to Lakewood history. Additional artifacts are being digitized on an ongoing basis. If you see an object in the database that you recognize, or a person you know in a photograph, please contact us at CaiLew@lakewood.org or 303-987-7879 to add more information to the entry. 

Access Online Database

Research Room

If you need additional research assistance, the Caretaker’s Cottage Research Room is open by reservation on Mondays. With a dedicated staff member’s help, you will have access to all digitized information, images and oral histories from the museum permanent collection. Additionally, the center will offer access to the extensive library edition of Ancestry.com for genealogical research.

Research reservations can be made online starting January 2021.

Additional resources

Need more resources for Lakewood, Jefferson County or Colorado history? The websites listed below are ones that the museum often uses for research and can help you expand your knowledge.

Resources Listing

 

Organization

Phone   

Email

Items of interest

Website

Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park 303-987-7879 cailew@lakewood.org Historical artifacts, maps, archives, photographs lakewood.org/heritage
Lakewood City Clerk's Office 303-987-7080 Contact via website Historical photographs, microfiche, laserfiche lakewood.org/cityclerk
Lakewood Historic Preservation Commission 303-987-7507

laupem@lakewood.org

Landmark program, historical maps and information lakewood.org/Government/Departments/Planning/Comprehensive-Planning-Main/Historic-Preservation
Lakewood Digital Media Services (Channel 8) 303-987-7050 Contact via website Videos about Lakewood history https://youtu.be/aduoeEm5Jt0?list=PL0C3AE686A07F25D8
Lakewood Historical Society N/A historiclakewoodco@gmail.com Annual historical newsletters, landmark program lakewoodhistoricalsociety.org
The Colfax Museum N/A info@colfaxavenue.org Colfax-specific archives and information thecolfaxmuseum.org
Denver Federal Center Museum 303-236-5374 andrea.collins@gsa.gov Federal Center/Ordnance Plant: 3D artifacts, photographs www.gsa.gov/about-us/regions/welcome-to-the-rocky-mountain-region-8/buildings-and-facilities/colorado/denver-federal-center/denver-federal-center-museum
Golden Hill Cemetery (303) 237-0573 Contact via website Jewish history, genealogy, tours goldenhillcemetery.com
Colorado Railroad Museum 720-274-5148 ResearchVolunteer@crrm.org Railroad or streetcar history coloradorailroadmuseum.org/library
Golden History Museums 303-277-8714 mdodge@goldenhistory.com Early Jefferson County history: photographs, artifacts, archives goldenhistory.org
Jefferson County Historical Commission 303-271-8700 Contact via website Annual historical magazines, landmark program jeffco.us/2383/Historical-Commission
Jefferson County Open Space 720-497-7656 Contact via website Jefferson County open space history jeffco.us/1251/Hiwan-Heritage-Park
University of Denver Beck Archives 303-871-3016 Jeanne.Abrams@du.edu Jewish history: 3D artifacts, photographs, archives library.du.edu/collections-archives/specialcollections/beckarchives.html
Colorado State Archives 303-866-2358 Contact via website Genealogy, history, legal records, legislative records, military colorado.gov/archives
Denver Public Library 720-865-1111 Contact via website Genealogy, photographs, books for research denverlibrary.org/research
History Colorado 303-866-2305 cosearch@state.co.us Photographs, newspapers, 3D artifacts historycolorado.org/visit-our-stephen-h-hart-research-center
National Archives at Denver 303-604-4740 denver.archives@nara.gov Federal Center/Ordnance Plant: maps, photographs archives.gov/denver

 

Purchase photos or archives

Looking for images of Lakewood to decorate your house or business? Research online or in-person and choose which photograph or archive you would like. We can print small images on-site or send them digitally; fees vary.

To request copies of photographs or archives, complete a request form via the button below or print a PDF copy and submit it via mail. If you have questions or would like to order/pay over phone, call 303-987-7879.

Complete a Request Form