The Castle Rock Museum is housed in a structure which by any account is its prime artifact. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad had just been built between Denver and Old Colorado City (Colorado Springs) in 1871. It was the first narrow gauge line in the United States and its builder, General William Jackson Palmer, had selected several communities along its route as deserving of rail sidings or depots. Castle Rock became one of them in 1874 when it was designated as county seat of the newly re-aligned Douglas County.
By 1875 a trim small depot was erected on third street in the bustling new village of Castle Rock. It was constructed of Rhyolite building stone native to the area around Castle Rock and designed in the style of the period with wide eaves supported by drop-pendant brackets. The stone work was finely detailed on corners or building edges or around sills and lintels.
The Depot was moved from trackside to its present location in 1970, and was carefully restored by the Castle Rock Historical Society in 1996 for use as a local history museum. The building still retains the original interior features such as the old ticket window and baggage area with 125 years of graffiti on its walls.
The Denver and Rio Grande Depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and the Castle Rock Register of Local Landmarks in 1994.
THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Castle Rock Historical Society was formed in 1991 by a group of concerned citizens. The group wanted to highlight the wonderful history of Castle Rock and work to preserve the historic buildings which form the heart of downtown Castle Rock. The society organized activities such as house tours in the historic Craig and Gould neighborhood, bus tours and significant speakers. After a degree of paperwork the society obtained its non-profit ==501(c)(3)== status with the IRS.
In 1996 the opportunity to fulfill a dream became a reality. The society was able to purchase the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot and create a museum for Castle Rock and the neighboring area. Through a Colorado State Historical Fund grant and with generous gifts from businesses and the Town of Castle Rock the society restored the building and opened the museum in October 1997. The society continues to operate the museum and expand its activities. The society remains dedicated to the history and preservation of Castle Rock. The Society is especially indebted to Starr and Lionel Oberlin who guided the society and the museum from its early days. Their drive and vision made both a reality.
To operate the Castle Rock Museum, celebrate, educate, and bring together people interested in the preservation of the heritage of the Castle Rock Colorado area.
Current Board Members
President- Jerry Persall
Vice President- Kathleen Cooledge
Secretary- Lynette McNairy
Treasurer- Ed Hooks
Education- Guy Mordeaux
Events – Claudia Belmessieri
Records Secretary – Dorothy Kelly
Member at Large – Suzie Perry
Founding Board Members