Museums of Western Colorado: Cross Orchards Historic Site, Grand Junction

(4.2/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web)
Today’s 24 acre site, once part of a 243 acre fruit ranch, was operated as an agricultural show case by the Massachusetts-based Red Cross Land and Fruit Company, 1896-1923. With more than 22,000 trees, it was one of the largest in the state when most local orchards averaged nine acres. Most of the fruit ranch was planted in apples, but a few acres of pears and peaches were also grown. Primary apple varieties of the day included Black Twig, Gano, Jonathan, Winesap, Rome Beauty, and Ben Davis.

During peak periods of pruning, picking and packing, the Red Cross Land and Fruit Company often employed more than 50 part-time workers. Most were local citizens who commuted from town or would set up camp for several weeks during the fall harvest. Included in the restored bunkhouse are the kitchen, pantry and cook’s quarters on the west end; the men’s quarters and dining room in the middle; and the carriage room and office on the east end. The large barn/packing shed and bunkhouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since the Museum acquired the original 4.3 acres containing the historic structures in1980, the site has added many additional acres and several ancillary exhibits. The Swanson display contains household effects, farmyard equipment, and an amazing assortment of horse-drawn implements and tools. It encompasses the Swanson Family’s move from Sweden in 1885 to operation of their 40 acre farm south of Loma.

Rail fans will delight in the Uintah Railway exhibit and the recreated train depot. The reconstructed Whiskey Creek Trestle is part of a display of cars, an engine and caboose. From 1904-1939, the Uintah ran from Mack, Colorado to Dragon, Utah. It hauled one of the world’s few commercial sources of gilsonite, a black, lustrous asphalt. Members of the Grand Valley Model Railroaders have displays of HO scale trains representing historic rail lines that ran through Western Colorado. Related Link: National Railroad Historical Society, Rio Grande Chapter.

The Wallace “Boots” Corn Collection of vintage road building and related equipment is also housed at Cross Orchards. With more than 60 pieces, this diverse collection includes horse-drawn scrapers, graders and wagons in addition to steam, gasoline, and diesel-powered equipment. “Boots” established the Corn Construction Company following World War II.
Add Museums of Western Colorado: Cross Orchards Historic Site and other attractions to your Grand Junction trip itinerary using our Grand Junction itinerary builder.
Source
Create a full Grand Junction itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Grand Junction

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Grand Junction by other users

7 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, outdoors, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM DENMARK February, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Colorado BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I visited this during a short trip to Grand Junction. It is not very large, but it is definitely worth a short trip. It has some very interesting things to look at and read if you are interested in tr...  more »
  • This is a wonderful place to take your children. They have activities for family's. Great place to picnic. It's been a real treat for f a families very historical plan cell t go. Call for when they ha...  more »
  • Trains, trucks, tractors, and a trestle from the Uintah Railway, their associated equipment farm buildings from the period and a few farm animals.  more »
Google
  • Very interactive