Cozens Ranch Museum reopens |

Cozens Ranch Museum reopens

Jon de Vos
Special to the Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

FRASER – William Zane Cozens was widely respected around Colorado as the tough, fearsome, and fearless sheriff of Central City in the gold rush days of 1862. “Billy” Cozens was a man to be reckoned with, literally.

He built the town’s first jail and kept it filled until the day he met, and married, Gilpin County’s first white prostitute. Sometime around 1875, they both retired to a quieter life, buying 160 acres of hay meadow along the Fraser River and settling alongside its banks. Their home also served as a stage stop, a hotel and post office.

This sturdy frontiersman was a good carpenter, because the building still stands today. In 1988, Cozens Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today it serves as the newly reopened Cozens Ranch and Stage Stop Museum, showcasing the hard life and difficult times faced by Grand County pioneers.

The ribbon-cutting for the opening was well attended on Saturday, May 1, with Grand County Commissioner Gary Bumgarner and Fraser Mayor Fran Cook on hand to mark the occasion. Each spoke briefly about the history of the area and how important that perspective is to preserve, thanking the museum board, staff and volunteers who have worked hard to re-open the museum, which was forced to close last year due to financial constraints.

Dave Lively, the new chairman of the board for the Grand County Historical Association, introduced the newly hired Cozens Museum Assistant, Darcy Miller, expressing his thanks on behalf of the Association for everyone’s support that has made it possible.

Dave urged everyone in Grand County to support and visit the three museums in the county, not only the Cozens Museum but also the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur and the Heritage Park Museum in Kremmling.

On the web

Visit the Grand County Historical Association’s site:

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