Grampa Jerry’s Clown Museum is one of the best-kept secrets on Colorado’s Central Plains.
What began as a small, personal interest has mushroomed (thanks to friends, relatives and other well-wishers) into a clown collection of more than 3,000 pieces, ranging from pictures drawn by children to an old bank featuring a clown who will eat your nickels!
Grampa Jerry’s Clown Museum
22 Lincoln Avenue, Arriba, CO 80804
Memorial Day-Labor Day by appointment only
719-768-3257 or 719-740-6195. Call will be returned.
get a map | driving directions
Much of the collection is comprised of sub-collections: clown music boxes, clown cookie jars, clown banks, clown tea sets, clown whiskey decanters and coffee cups. Grampa Jerry has his first clown, a picture that graced his childhood chalkboard, and one of his newer clown pictures was a Christmas gift, engraved on a piece of Kansas limestone as a sign for his museum. Among his more unusual clowns are a glow-in-the-dark clown stick-on tattoo, a clown made from a man’s necktie, and one made from a hairball from the stomach of a cow!
The Clown Museum first opened for public viewing in the early 1990s, in Sterling, Colorado. In 2002, it relocated to Arriba, Colorado. The collection covers walls and the ceiling, along with several floor-to-ceiling display shelves, in a small, pink-trimmed building. Grampa Jerry is making plans for larger quarters!
Because the building is small, Grampa Jerry maintains a park-like atmosphere around the interest, with lots of flowers and children’s playground equipment. If there is advance notice that a group would like to visit the museum, Grampa Jerry will even make sure there is iced tea or lemonade for the visitors.
Over the years, visitors to the Clown Museum have included school children on field trips, senior citizens’ groups and church organizations. One of Grampa Jerry’s favorite visitors was Bozo the Clown, the same actor that Colorado youngsters saw on Denver’s Channel 2 in the 1950s. When the museum was in Sterling, it attracted 1,000 to 1,500 visitors a year. It still is something new, in Arriba, but the local reception has been very good, he said.
More clown fun!:
• Emmett Kelly Museum - Sedan, KS
- Lincoln County's Hedlund House Museum - Hugo, CO
- Limon Heritage Museum & Railroad Park - Limon, CO
- Arriba Museum - Arriba, CO
- Elbert County Museum - Kiowa, CO
- Bailey Saddleland Museum - Simla, CO
- Flagler Hospital Museum & Hal Borland Room - Flagler, CO
- Second Central School Museum - Flagler, CO
- Kit Carson County Carousel - Burlington, CO
- Old Town - Burlington, CO
- Kit Carson Museum - Kit Carson, CO
- Cheyenne Wells Old Jail Museum - Cheyenne Wells, CO
(CLOSED FOR RENOVATION)
- Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Museum - Cheyenne Wells, CO