Welcome to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo Museum
Original Cornerstone Display
This commemorative cornerstone was assembled for the 1979 Centennial Celebration and sits in front of the museum. The words "Colorado State Insane Asylum" etched in the top piece of sandstone bring reminders of the Institutes early history.
Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo Museum is located in the former Superintendent's Residence at 13th and Francisco Streets in Pueblo, Colorado. Our mission is to collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit artifacts and archives from the Mental Health Institute (formerly Colorado State Hospital). The Museum was developed to ensure that the history of CMHIP is not forgotten and that future generations will gain a better understanding of the
treatment of the mentally ill in Colorado.
The Kort Room
The Kort Room, a conference area, is dedicated to Dr. Haydee Kort, CMHIP's seventh Superintendent, and her husband, Dr. Gregorio Kort, who was the chief psychiatrist for the General Adult Psychiatric Services division at CMHIP. Both retired in 1990 and still reside in Pueblo. The leaded glass transom on the wall was salvaged from a former patient dormitory and signifies a sunrise as a new beginning for the mentally ill.
Upon the realization that nothing was being done to save the many valuable artifacts and records at CMHIP, Bob and Nell Mitchell secured the former Superintendent's Residence as a depository for these items. The 1934 house was renovated in 1984 by order of then superintendent, Dr. Haydee Kort, the first and so far the only woman superintendent of the Institute. The conference room in the Museum is named in her honor and contains a small exhibit outlining her accomplishments. The Mitchell's then obtained National Register of Historic Places status for the residence in September of 1985, and worked nights and weekends setting up the Museum. In 1998 Bob and Nell retired, Nell from CMHIP after 36 years of service, and Bob from Rocky Mountain Steel (formerly CF&I Steel) after 39 years, and six years at Hutchison Western, a farm and ranch supply company in Denver.
Both continue as museum directors on a volunteer basis.
Bob and Nell Mitchell stand in front of the museum during the institutes 135th anniversary celebration in 2014.
Among our collections are the Institute's original biennial reports beginning in 1879 and historical documents and photographs regarding the Institute's many operations; i.e., the former dairy farm, the evolution of the various psychiatric divisions and administrative departments, the legendary underground tunnels,
the 1962 geographic decentralization process, and many more.
On exhibit are old restraint devices, medical equipment, scrapbooks, awards, hand-written ledgers, and the original 1920s master time clock from the first administration building.
Restraint Chair and Jacket
Master Time Clock
Bob Mitchell found this large master time clock with beveled glass at a local antique store, traced its heritage, and donated it to the Museum for his wife Nell. The clock hung in the first Administration
Building and ensured that the drone clocks in the other buildings kept the correct time.
CMHIP Museum is open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for tours and research purposes or by appointment by calling the Museum at 719 543-2012. Tours consist of a two-minute movie noting what is on display in the Museum plus a 15-minute narrated, power point featuring photographs of some of the more important aspects of the hospital's history. Personal tours are also offered with more specifics on the exhibits.
Access the Museum from I-25, north or south, by exiting on 13th Street and continuing west to the entrance of the Institute's South Campus. The Museum is located at the first right turn inside the grounds. Admission is free.
CMHIP Museum Foundation is a non-profit organization.
Download a copy of our brochure in PDF Format.
Please note that due to confidentiality laws, patient information cannot be obtained from this web site. However, you may call CMHIP at 719 546-4000 and ask for the Medical Records Department. They will assist you in this process.
Thank you for visiting our web site!
© 2005-2014 Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo Museum