The Lea County Museum was created by the Lovington Women’s Club in 1969. That’s when the club purchased the Commercial Hotel, which was about to be razed. The Commercial Hotel was built in 1918 by a group of Lovington ranchers and businessmen. Since 1969, the Museum has acquired several more buildings — some, like the Baker School building were moved to their site. And others, are commercial buildings put to new use, like the Lister Building across the street from the Hotel.
The museum has an extensive collection of local memorabilia, all seeking to preserve the history of Native Americans, ranchers, farmers, homesteaders, town builders, oil men, and other residents of Southeast New Mexico. There is a special exhibit that honors the author, Max Evans, who grew up in Lea County. His novel, Hi-Lo Country is set in the Llano Escatado country in Southeastern New Mexico. There are dresses and costumes from many National Democratic Party Conventions in the late 1940s and into the 1960s, that belonged to Mrs. “Dessie” Sawyer, a powerful Party advocate from Lea County. The Lister Building houses the Lea County Athletic Hall of Fame. It also has space for public events, oversize exhibits, and temporary exhibits.