Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders came from New Mexico? Visit the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Riders Memorial Collection to find out about New Mexico’s role in the iconic group of fighters from the Spanish American War. Las Vegas hosted the Rough Rider Reunions for many years and much of the memorabilia and artifacts relating to the 1st Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, better known as the Rough Riders is at the museum.
The stone building that houses the museum was built as part of the Works Progress Administration for city administrative offices in 1939-1940. The museum was opened in 1961 as a unit of the city government in Las Vegas. The collection includes over 7,000 artifacts and an extensive archives relating to the history of Las Vegas, New Mexico and the surrounding area, including the Santa Fe Trail.
Las Vegas was established 1835 by a group of settlers who had received a land grant from the Mexican government. In 1880, a new town was established when the Santa Fe railroad arrived and the new town became a hub for the railroad. The historian Ralph Emerson Twitchell described the town as, “Without exception there was no town which harbored a more disreputable gang of desperadoes and outlaws than did Las Vegas.”
In the early 20th century, Las Vegas was one of the first locales used for film and movie production in the United States. And, it continues to be a location for current productions.
Address: 727 Grand Avenue, Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701
Hours: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Closed on city holidays