Richard E. Fike founded the Museum in 1997. He is a retired historical archaeologist having served as state archaeologist for the Bureau of Land Management in both Utah and Colorado. Fike served on committees in both Utah and Colorado for the Federal & State Register of Historic Places and is an expert in historical restoration. Fike began collecting western memorabilia when he was 4 years old. He had his first museum in his parent’s guest room at the age of 8. By age 12, he had begun his card catalog of artifacts. This Museum is the result of Fike’s lifetime dedication to preserving the history of the west.
The Museum was incorporated in 2005 and is designated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service. All donations are tax deductible. The artifacts, buildings, and grounds have been being donated by the Fikes to the 501(c)(3) for the education and enjoyment of visitors for generations to come.
Fike is the author of many historical books and articles and is considered an expert in historical medicinal bottles. The Bottle Book: A Comprehensive Guide to Historic Embossed Medicine Bottles was revised and published by Blackburn Press in 2006, originally published in 1987.
Currently Richard contributes his expertise as Museum director and historical preservationist.
Carol Harris-Fike joined the Museum in 2004. She is a retired public school administrator having worked in Texas and Colorado for more than 30 years as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. Carol serves on the board and is the educational director of the Museum, writing grants, curricula, and training docents for the museum. She also composes much of the documentation for museum displays.