The Colby Room opened at the Museum in 1965 as a re-creation of Colonel Francis T. Colby's den in Hamilton, Massachusetts. Like a snapshot in time, the room contains original artifacts and animals representing both the life travels of Colonel Colby and the mindset of a generation.
At the entrance to the room stand two enormous elephant doors from the palace of the Sultan of Witu. They are studded with ornate brass spikes. Inside the room are pelts, mounted heads, horns, and antlers of both American and African animals. East African statues, ivory figurines, and Ethiopian artwork adorn the walls and tables, while Maasai shields and spears frame the gigantic fireplace at the front of the room. The side walls are lined with a historical collection of guns, muskets, and rifles.
The majority of the items in this room were collected between 1900 and 1945, when big game hunters like Teddy Roosevelt first began to understand the importance of preserving the wilderness for future generations. Although unusual from a modern perspective, this room represents the roots of current attitudes toward ecology and conservation.