Breckenridge History & Museums: Edwin Carter Museum


Edwin Carter Museum

Edwin Carter was a man like many, drawn west by the lure of gold, until he witnessed the destructive nature of mining and became a naturalist who collected over 3,000 specimens of Colorado's flora and fauna. Read More

  • Originally a gold miner, Carter's focus turned to environmental concerns about the mines.
  • Carter's collection of over 3,000 specimens is on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
  • Restored in 2009, the Edwin Carter Museum contains interactive displays and artifacts from his collection.
  • For a $5 suggested donation, the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm.


Edwin Carter headed west to Summit County from his home in Oneida, NY around 1868 during the Pike's Peak gold rush. His dreams of wealth and fortune were quickly outweighed by the worry over the negative impact of mining to both the environment and wildlife of the area.

Turning in a different direction, Carter became a taxidermist. He was able to collect and preserve thousands of samples of local fauna. Through his observations, he noticed many abnormalities in local species caused by the environmental impact of the local mines. He opened his home to the public, allowing them to see first hand the effects of mines on local plants and animals. Carter ran the museum, which also doubled as his home, free of charge for over 25 years. 

Word of Carter's museum spread, attracting scientists from all over the world. In the late 1880s, Carter began discussing the idea of selling his collection to what he hoped would become a natural history museum. After his death in 1900, Carter's collection of wildlife specimens became the catalyst behind the creation of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Now, Carter's house-turned-museum is owned by the town of Breckenridge. It was recently restored and contains original examples of taxidermy work from his collection. 


111 North Ridge Street 

From Main Street, head east on Wellington, turn right into the alley. Museum parking is available on the left. 


Tues-Sun 11-4pm
Open Year Round


$5 Suggested Donation