The Museums at Philmont Scout Ranch

Philmont Scout Ranch is located on what once was part of the Maxwell Land Grant. The land was later purchased by Oklahoma oilman Waite Phillips. Phillips named his ranch Philmont, combination of his name and the Spanish word monte, or mountain. In 1938, Phillips made the first of two gifts of his New Mexico ranch to the Boy Scouts of America to establish a national wilderness camping area.

Today, Philmont Scout Ranch is more than just a wilderness camp. It also houses the National Volunteer Training Center for the Boy Scouts and three distinct museums. Continue reading

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Raton Museum

Raton Museum

Raton Museum front windowRaton Pass had been used by Spanish explorers and Indians for centuries to cut through the Rocky Mountain. The trail was too rough for wagons on the Santa Fe Trail. The town of Raton (Spanish for “mouse,” but literally meaning “large rat”) was founded at the site of Willow Springs, a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. In 1879, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway bought a local toll road and established a busy rail line. Other smaller railroad companies also had lines that ran from Raton west and south to carry various resources to market. Raton quickly developed as a railroad, mining and ranching center for the northeast part of the New Mexico territory, as well as the county seat and principal trading center of the area. The Raton area was part of the richest area for coal mining west of the Mississippi. Nearby Dawson, New Mexico was the site of the second worst coal mining disaster in US history. Continue reading