The Folsom Museum is housed in the old Doherty General Store and tells the region’s more recent Wild West history, including the story of Black Jack Ketchum, a notorious train robber, who was captured near Folsom and hung in 1901. Many of the exhibits are shown in the store’s original fixtures. The museum also has an exhibit of the Dolph Law Office from nearby Clayton; the office was moved and reconstructed within the museum. The town of Folsom was named in honor of the wife of Grover Cleveland, Frances Folsom, even though she had no connection to the area. The museum has displays on the Folsom Points and bones from the nearby Folsom Man archaeological site.
The area is home to one of the most important archaeological sites in North America. After a disastrous flood in 1908, a black cowboy named George McJunkin discovered a cache of fossilized bison bones in a freshly cut arroyo. McJunkin realized the bones were not those of modern bison (they were at least 50 percent larger). McJunkin’s find was not investigated until four years after his death, but the discovery pushed the presence of man in North America back by at least 5,000 years to 12,000 years before present day. Archaeologists eventually found 32 bison skeletons and 26 spear points. These are know called “Folsom Points.” (Little is known about their makers, who have been dubbed “Folsom Man.”) Folsom Points are generally 3 to 5 inches long. They have a unique long flute on each side.
Address: 100 Main Street (at the junction of Highways 325 and 456), Folsom, NM 88419
Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend: Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekends in May and September, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Rest of year: By appointment.
Admission: Adults, $1.50. Children ages 6 to 12, $.50. Children under age 6, free.
Nearby visit Capulin Volcano National Monument. The entire area from Raton to Clayton was an active volcanic field and you can learn more about this activity at the National Monument. You can travel to the top of the volcano and hike around the rim. The views are spectacular. The visitor center has displays about the volcanos and the history of the area.