Royal Gorge Regional
Museum and History Center
The Municipal Building was built in 1927 with the help of local businessman Dall DeWeese. He helped to acquire funding for the construction of the building with the condition that the second floor of the building would always be a museum. He also stipulated that the building be fire proof with concrete floors and sturdy walls to hold large taxidermy mounts. DeWeese even designed the fireplace on the second floor that incorporates dinosaur fossils, petrified wood, minerals and a part of a stalactite. The first artifacts displayed in the museum were of course items collected and donated by Dall DeWeese.
Denver architect Eugene Groves designed the building. He also was the architect of the former Cañon City High School (now the Middle School), the Administration Building at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado, just to name a few. The Municipal Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Properties.
Today, the Cañon City Municipal Building houses the Heritage Center’s exhibit galleries, program room, and research room.
Just behind the Cañon City Municipal Building sits the wood cabin of early settler Anson Rudd. The cabin was built around 1860.
Anson Rudd and his wife Harriet arrived in Cañon City in 1859. Mr. Rudd was a blacksmith by trade.
He served as Post Master and was the first Sheriff of Fremont County. He also became County Commissioner and the first Warden of the Territorial Penitentiary.
Built in 1881, the Anson Rudd House served as a retirement home for Anson and his wife Harriet. It was an improvement from their cabin next door. The Rudds lived in the wood cabin for over twenty years before building this two-story stone house. The house originally had a daylight basement and a porch across the back of the house.
Anson and Harriet occupied the house until they moved to Boulder to live with their son in 1904. The house was rented out and served as a boarding house. In 1918, the property was given to the City of Cañon City with the condition that the cabin be restored. The house became the residence of the Municipal Building Engineer until 1975. The house has undergone many changes since the Rudds lived there.
The City of Cañon City plans to work on restoring the house and hopes to have it open to the public in the future. Both the Rudd Cabin and the Rudd House are listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Places.