Welcome to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo Museum

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Former Superintendent's Residence
Built in 1934, the former Superintendent's Residence now houses the CMHIP Museum. It also functions as a conference center for the Institute's staff.

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 insure 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 had recently been renovated 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 Mitchells 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 director and assistant director on a volunteer basis. Several years later, they were joined by John Kogovsek, a retired high school history teacher, and Frances Mathews, a former nurse, as volunteer museum assistants. Eunice Wolther, CMHIP Volunteer Services Director, coordinates the museum activities with the Mental Health Institute.

Museum Staff
Museum staff are gathered in front of the living room fireplace in the Museum. Standing, left to right, Bob Mitchell, Frances Mathews, and John Kogovsek. Seated are Nell Mitchell and Donna Ward. The National Register of Historic Places certificate hangs above the mantel in an antique frame.

John's interest in gardening has resulted in a beautiful arrangement of flowers in the patio area behind the Museum which he faithfully cares for from Spring through Fall. Frances sorts and organizes boxes of papers and institutes new procedures for their retrieval. Eunice's insightful advice and knowledge of the present day activities at CMHIP keeps us informed and on track. Donna Ward, now retired, still serves as a consultant.

John Kogovsek in patio garden
John Kogovsek poses in the patio garden. In a few short years, he has transformed this area into a cozy, relaxing retreat. He tends the garden himself which has been named "The John Kogovsek Garden" in his honor.

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. Also on display on the patio is the cornerstone from the first asylum building.

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 insured 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. 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. Our mailing address is 1600 West 24th Street, Pueblo, CO, 81003. Admission is free.

CMHIP Museum is a non-profit organization.

Original Cornerstone Display
This commemorative cornerstone was assembled for the 1979 Centennial Celebration and resides on the Museum's patio. The words "Colorado State Insane Asylum" etched in the top piece of sandstone bring reminders of the Institute's early history.

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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.

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