El Pueblo Trading Post was the first permanent settlement in what is now Pueblo. It was constructed in 1842 along the banks of the Arkansas River to facilitate fur trade along the Santa Fe Trail, but was then only a decade later after conflict between local Native Americans and fur traders led to the Christmas Tragedy of 1854. Decades later the settlement of Pueblo grew up around the abandoned ruins of the trading post, until it was demolished and its location was lost beneath the rapidly-growing city.
El Pueblo History Museum has been in operation since 1959, and currently occupies the site of the historic trading post in downtown Pueblo. The site was rediscovered in 1989, by a class led by anthropology professor William G. Buckles of the University of Southern Colorado (now CSU-Pueblo). Following this discovery, the city and the Colorado Historical Society worked together to relocate the museum to the site. The current museum complex was completed in 2003, and includes the main building containing three exhibits and multiple event rental spaces, a reconstruction of the El Pueblo trading post showcasing life during the mid-19th century, and the Warren G. Buckles Archaeology Pavilion where the excavation site remains open to this day.
Visitors can see all of this, as well as purchase regional foods and crafts, books on Pueblo, Colorado, and western history, and Colorado souvenirs in the Colorado Proud museum store.