Colfax Mural

Current Exhibition

Forty Years on the ’Fax

Colfax Avenue, 1926–1966

Take a nostalgic ride down Colfax, with stops at the quirky and memorable places that gave the street its worldwide reputation. 

The mid-twentieth century was tourism’s heyday on Colfax Avenue. The main east-west thoroughfare through Colorado, “the ’Fax” beckoned visitors to the Rocky Mountain West. From its birth as US Highway 40 in 1926 until I-70 diverted traffic away from it in the ’60s, “America’s Main Street” boomed with tourist attractions. Hotels and motels, swanky restaurants and drive-ins, and all forms of shopping and entertainment—from amusement parks to nightlife—sprang up along a 26-mile stretch of pavement from Lakewood to Aurora. 

See relics from the glory days of “America’s longest, wickedest street,” like neon signs from Across the Street Cafe and Sid King’s Crazy Horse Bar, matchbooks from hundreds of famous businesses, and menus, glasses, and dishware from restaurants Denverites dined in for decades. Guest curated by Jonny “the Velvet Elvis” Barber, Forty Years on the ’Fax features objects from the Colfax Museum collection. Having gathered prime pieces of Colfax history for over a decade, Barber opened his museum in 2017, only to shutter its doors a year later after a flood. History Colorado is thrilled to offer visitors a chance to see these treasures while The Colfax Museum finds its new home.

Bill Dreiling Buick, 1983
Blue Onion
Bluebird Theater - All American Girls
Bugs Bunny Motel
Coral Lounge 1983
Colfax TV 1983
Cottonwood Motel
Dutch Boy Donuts
Eddie Bohn Pig'n Whistle
Eddie Bohn front of building
Ahwahnee Motel daytime
Ahwahnee Motel office

Tickets Free with museum admission

Colfax Street Sign
Highway 40 the Transcontinental Route
The Apple Tree menu
Kimberly Kronwall Exhibit and Loan Registrar, Collections
El Rancho Lodge Menu
Trolley Tokens
Highway US 40
Johnny Barber
Ashtray from The Lemon Tree
Julie Peterson, History Colorado Exhibit Developer & Public Historian