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Tesoro Cultural Center
(at The Fort Restaurant)
Morrison, CO

The Tesoro Cultural Center (Tesoro means "Treasure" in Spanish) is committed to protecting and making available to the community the artistic treasures of our American past. All Tesoro events are inspired by Colorado's rich history and shared experiences with Southwest, Spanish, Mexican, Native American, African American and Early European cultures. From art to cuisine to historical re-enactments and music, the Tesoro Foundation's mission is to create community based events and educational outreach programs designed to enrich and celebrate our cultural heritage.

Tesoro Cultural Center offers several meaningful programs for adult audiences throughout the year. From our Historic Lecture Series, to onsite tours and our Traveling Trunk Show, we host and provide several opportunities to learn more about Colorado history, art, culture, and more.

Shinin' Times at The Fort Adult Onsite Program:
This 2-hour program provides guests with an in-depth look into Samuel P. Arnold's fort in Morrison, Colorado. Built in the early 1960s, The Fort is of great historical importance, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Guests of this program will explore such themes as the connections between our Fort and Bent's Old Fort of early Colorado (1833-1849), The Fort's construction, and those who played an important role in The Fort's history. Get ready for an experiential, interactive, and fun program sure to educate, entertain, and inspire. This program can be booked for adult groups of 25 or more on weekdays throughout the year. For availability and pricing, please call us at 303-839-1671.

Adult Traveling Trunk Show
Taking the best of our onsite program on the road, Tesoro now offers a Traveling Trunk Show program for adult audiences in the community. This 1-hour program brings the history of Bent's Fort alive through hands-on activities, historical objects, and an emphasis on primary source documents. Best of all, we come to you! This program can be booked on weekdays throughout the year. Please contact us for more information.

Historic Lecture Series
From October through April, Tesoro's Historic Lecture Series features an exciting lineup of historians, authors, and professors who explore topics pertaining to the history of the 19th century American West. To learn more, please visit our website at

Videos for Further Learning
The Tesoro Cultural Center is proud to have produced three short educational films about the Kiowa People, the Ute Indians, and the Early Spanish Settlers of Colorado and Northern New Mexico. The films explore history, art, and culture, and use the power of oral history in doing so. These films are available on Tesoro's website at no cost. See them here:

Annual Cultural Events
Annual Indian Market & Powwow (Beginning of June)
40-50 artists join us to show, demonstrate, and sell their work over the course of one weekend. This event also features a demonstration Powwow where drummers and dancers from up to 35 Indian nations and tribes come together and compete in several prize categories. This event also includes an honoring ceremony for an American Indian Veteran.

1830's Mountain Man Rendezvous (Mid-Sept.)
This event commemorates mountain men of the Fur trade era through a Fur Trade encampment, demonstrations, reenactments, and hands-on activities for all ages.

Annual Farolito Lighting & Pinecone Ceremony (November)
The Farolito Lighting and Pinecone Ceremony is southwestern tradition where farolitos (meaning "little lanterns") are lit to not only usher in the holiday season, but to honor a member of the community who has enlightened and illuminated the hearts and minds of others as well. The event is typically held the Sunday after Thanksgiving each year.

Las Posadas (Christmas Eve)
This Mexican Christmas tradition commemorates Mary and Joseph's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter on the night of baby Jesus' birth. The Tesoro Cultural Center partners with the Christian Life Movement to present this special event every Christmas Eve.

Note: The Fort Restaurant is located at 19182 Hwy 8, Morrison, CO, phone 303-697-4771. The Fort Restaurant is a Bent's Fort Chapter member.

Information and Pictures provided by the Tesoro Cultural Center.

Time to Visit Local Museum     

With summer heat and sometimes unpredictable weather it's a good time to think about visiting your local museum.  Or perhaps you want to make a day of it, travel out of the area, go out for a meal and take in a museum in your travels.

Here are some ideas --   

Big Timbers Museum:  Located at 7515 Hwy 50 in Lamar, Colorado (as Hwy 50 turns in Lamar), the museum offers local history along with a collection of old time farm equipment and antique cars.

JW Rawlings Heritage Center and Museum:  Stop by the museum in Las Animas and tour the early history of Bent County.  Among the clothes items worn by early pioneers is a leather shirt worn by Kit Carson.  

Otero Museum:  Along with many artifacts in the main building, don't forget to find the old stagecoaches located in an out building.  The museum is located at 706 W 3rd in La Junta.

Trinidad History Museum: You can wander through the museum for free or go through the Bloom and Baca houses first for a fee.  Either way, there's lots of local artifacts and history to see and enjoy.  The houses and museum are at 300 E Main St, Trinidad.

Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum:  There was amazing aquatic life in the Trinidad area millions of years ago.  Along with early pioneer history, many replicas of the fish that once swam the ocean waters near Trinidad can be found in the museum displays.  The museum is situated on the Trinidad College at 600 Prospect St.

Ft. Garland Museum (29477 Hwy 159):  Looking for a getaway to some place cooler, then a trip to Ft. Garland with a stop at the museum may be just what you're looking for.

Heading to Pueblo you have lots of choices but two museums to visit are the El Pueblo History Museum (301 N. Union Ave.) and The Pueblo Heritage Museum (201 W. B St.).  Here you'll find lots of native and

pioneer history. Come see 

 the Carlisle piano, the first piano in the state of Colorado.  And did you know that Colorado once was the saddle-making capital of the world? Also,   

across the street from the Heritage Museum is the renovated Union Station well worth a visit 


And of course, two of the favorite places in the area are Bent's Old Fort and Boggsville.  If you haven't been to Boggsville lately, you may not know that they have now furnished the two homes with period furniture.  Come see!

These are just some ideas.  There are more historic places in SE Colorado well worth a visit.  Wishing you fun, safe, and informative travels. 



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