In 1985, Rotarians Charlie Peterson and Art Wilcox, searching for a practical hands-on community service project, began to build the Farm Heritage Museum in cooperation with Ft. Collins City Parks and Recreation at Lee Martinez Park.  The farm at Lee Martinez Park is a former dairy farm converted into a domestic farm setting in order to give urban Ft. Collins residents an opportunity to have contact and appreciation of the importance of agriculture in our lives.

The Rotary Farm Heritage Museum collects and interprets the use of farm tools and equipment in common use before World War II.  It was a time when irrigation made it possible for this part of the arid West to become a major agricultural producer.  It was also a time when tractors, gasoline engines and electric power slowly replaced horsepower and hard manual labor.

Under the leadership of Art Wilcox, members of the Rotary Club of Ft. Collins constructed all museum exhibits that now house literally hundreds of examples of farm tools and equipment.  The entire collection is a donation to the City of Ft. Collins.

 The Rotary Farm Heritage Museum has three major sections.  The Museum building has over thirty exhibits of tools and equipment ranging from scythes, hay knives and ice saws to one-legged milking stools, chicken blinders and blacksmith tools.  Special features in the building include changing displays of mystery tools, interesting agricultural facts and a working set of ropes and pulleys.  The museum building also houses a large plaque that features all of the honorees of the Master Agriculturist Award, an award that the Rotary Club of Ft. Collins bestows each year to an outstanding agriculturist in our community.

The second section of the Rotary Farm Heritage Museum is the North Forty.  This one acre area contains large pieces of equipment such as plows, harrows, grain mills, a hammer mill, a binder and a threshing machine.  There is also a long shed which protects a number of exhibits including Charlie Horse, a wooden horse in full harness, and an elaborate display of agricultural weights and measures.

 The third section of the Rotary Farm Museum is Art's Tool Shed, named in memory and in honor of Rotarian Art Wilcox who volunteered thousands of hours over 20 years to establish, build and fund the museum.  Art’s Tool Shed is a beautiful silo which is being converted provide children with a hands-on educational opportunity to work with farm tools and learn more about agriculture. 

“An ongoing project of the Rotary Club of Ft. Collins with gratitude and thanks to Rotarian Arthur T. Wilcox for his vision, dedication and commitment to the museum (dedicated May 2000).”

We continue to try to improve and expand the collection.  If you have old tools, equipment or other items that you think can be used in an exhibit to inform urban people about farm life, please call Bob Heil (in charge of exhibits) at 970 484 0853.