May Natural History Museum

The World's Largest Private Insect Collection


The May Museum

The May Museum is Colorado Springs’ premier bug museum! You name the bug and we’ve probably got it. We are located at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains in between Colorado Springs and Canon City. Our museum houses one of the largest private displays of tropical bugs in the world! We have:

7,000 Insects

That’s a lot of bugs!

We have everything from giant tropical insects and spiders to thousands of colorful butterflies and moths. Our museum is home to squishy beetles, gigantic spiders and deadly scorpions, all perfectly preserved. Families and school groups have been visiting our museum for decades. With this large of a collection, there’s a bug for everybody!

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what just a few of our guests are saying:

“Had a blast perusing the collection and generally enjoying the museum today. Didn’t find time for the educational video, but have no doubt that it would have rounded off the trip nicely. Will definitely go back!” – Heather L. 

“A historically significant collection of tropical insects, spiders, and other arthropods.” – Eric E.

“Wow..has been about 30 years since I last visited, best memories of growing up started there. Best people, definitely best museum! Would love to go back!” – Teresa L. 

John May

John May 1916-2007

John May was self-made – by age 13 he had two men working for him during the Great Depression. Learning to make the custom cases, and figuring out the stands, he displayed his father’s exotic insect collection in tents and pavilions everywhere, and fed his family through the admissions/donations. In 1947 and with just a little bit of money, he made the concrete blocks for his museum and started a campground to support it. Self-taught, he won a Colorado Supreme Court water case vs the US Army which secured his operation’s future.

John worked 16-18 hours, most every day, and would rather fix than purchase new. He’d purchase an entire Camp Carson barracks and reuse every board, or place the winning bid on a “lot” at the fort, and find uses for every discarded item. From re-welding a cracked bulldozer chassis, to creating 6 reservoirs, to converting a coal-fired furnace to fuel-oil, to trading specimens with missionaries in Indochina, he learned any skill and thirsted for knowledge.


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