Western New Mexico University Museum

Western New Mexico Uuniversity MuseumThe Western New Mexico University Museum has the world’s most comprehensive permanent exhibition of prehistoric Mimbres Mogollon pottery and artifacts. Exhibits include separate displays of basketry, footwear, cordage, stone tools, and stone and shell jewelry.WNMU Museum exhibits

The museum also has exhibits about the history of WNMU and the Silver City area, the Scott Nichols Buggy Collection, American Indian tourist items, and a collection of mining tools.

The museum is located in Fleming Hall on the WNMU campus. The building was built between 1916 and 1917 to house the gymnasium and a science hall for what was then the New Mexico Normal School. Fleming Hall later served as the University library before it became home for the museum in 1974.

Address: Western New Mexico University Museum, Fleming Hall, 1000 W. College Avenue, Silver City, NM 88062
Phone: 575-534-2222
Email: Info@wnmumuseum.org
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Website: www.wnmumuseum.org
Admission: Free

Also worth seeing while in the area:

The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, operated by the National Park Service, are what remains of a series of interlinked dwellings built in five cliff alcoves. The dwellings were built by the Mogollon peoples, probably around 1300.

Visiting the dwellings requires hiking a well-traveled, 1-mile trail loop with several foot bridges over a stream. The walk takes about an hour. The first half of the trail, which takes you to the dwellings, is up hill. Some of the trial is steep. After you visit the dwellings, the trail is all down hill.

There’s a small museum near the trailhead with displays about nature and wildlife. The visitor center, which is a few miles from the trailhead, also has a small museum that focuses on the dwellings. A looping video tells the story of the cliff dwellers.

Address: 44 New Mexico 15, Silver City, NM 88061
The cliff dwellings are in the Gila Wilderness within the Gila National Forest on NM 15. Although the distance from Silver City is 44 miles, the drive takes about 2 hours because of the winding mountain road. (An alternative is along NM 35 through the Mimbres Valley, which is 25 miles longer but less winding and easier to drive, so it takes about 2 hours, too.)
Phone: 575-536-9461
Hours: Cliff Dwellings: Daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Last visitors are allowed on the trail at 4 p.m., and must be off the trail by 5 p.m.)
Visitor center: Daily, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Website: http://www.nps.gov/gicl/index.htm
Admission: Fees are collected at a self-self station at the trailhead to the cliff dwellings, so bring exact change or a check. (You can pay by credit card at the visitor center.) Families, $10. Adults, $3. Children age 15 and younger, free.

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Blackwater Draw Museums

Blackwater Draw

Blackwater Draw is a dry stream channel more than 85 miles long. The Black Water Draw Locality No. 1, a few miles outside of Portales, is one of the most significant and important Paleoindian archaeological sites in the Americas. The importance of Blackwater Draw was first recognized in 1929 by Ridgely Whiteman of Clovis, New Mexico. Early investigations at Blackwater Draw found evidence of early human occupation during the Late Pleistocene. This was when the Columbian mammoth, camel, horse, bison, sabertooth cat and the dire wolf roamed the region.

Blackwater Draw Museum

Blackwater-Draw-MuseumENMU owns and operates the Blackwater Draw Museum which opened to the public in 1969. The museum’s artifacts and displays illustrate life at the Blackwater Draw site during the Clovis period (more than 13,000 years ago) through the recent historic period.

Address: 42987 Highway 70, Portales, New Mexico 88130
Phone: 575-562-2202
Website: http://www.enmu.edu/services/museums/blackwater-draw/museum.shtml
Hours: Summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day): Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Rest of the year: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum may be closed during major holidays.
Admission: Adults: $3. Seniors (age 60 plus): $2. Children under 16: $1. Children under 5: Free. The fourth Sunday of each month is a free day. Includes admission to the Blackwater Draw Site.

The Blackwater Draw Locality No. 1 Site

BWD_Site_1In addition to many early mammal species like mammoths and bisons, “fluted” points, spearheads, known as Clovis points, along with other stone and bone weapons and tools have been found at the site – some within the fossilized mammoth and bison bones. Since its discovery, the Blackwater Locality No. 1 Site (also known as the Clovis Site) has been a focal point for scientific investigations by academics and organizations across the nation. The Carnegie Institute, Smithsonian Institution, Academy of Natural Sciences, National Science Foundation, United States National Museum, National Geographic Society and more than a dozen major universities either have funded or participated in research at Blackwater Draw. Due to its tremendous long-term potential for additional research and to public interest, the site was incorporated into the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. More recently, it was declared a National Historic Landmark. There is a small visitor center at the site with exhibits and you can take a self-guided walk around to see the site that will take a few hours.

Address: 508 New Mexico 467, Portales, NM 88130
Phone: 575-356-5235
Website: http://www.enmu.edu/services/museums/blackwater-draw/locality.shtml
Blog: The Clovis Site
Site hours: Summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day): Every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April, May, September, and October: Weekends only, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. September and October, weekends only, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed November through March.

Museums on the Eastern New Mexico University Campus

Portales, the county seat for Roosevelt County, was founded in 1898 as a construction camp for railroad workers. The area was already a ranching center that grew up because of the presence of local fresh water springs. Today, the area is known for Valencia peanuts and dairy production. In 1934, Portales was chosen as the site for a normal school for the eastern part of the state. Eastern New Mexico University has grown to the third largest institution of higher education in the state. There are many small museums located in and around Portales.

ENMU campus, itself, provides a home for four museums, and also has an art gallery, Runnels Gallery, and the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library both located in the campus library.

Roosevelt County Museum

roosevelt_outsideFounded in 1940, the Roosevelt County Museum is located on northern end of the ENMU campus. The museum documents the rich material culture of Roosevelt County – there is clothing, antique furniture, equipment from local ranches including a peanut roaster from the 1890s, examples of changing technology such as an Edison phonograph, old typewriters, and a dentist’s office. Of particular interest, the museum also owns one of the few examples of a 47-star United States flag.

Address: ENMU campus, near Highway 70 (which is also West 2nd Street).
Phone: 575-562-2592
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Weekend hours vary during summer months.
Website: http://www.enmu.edu/services/museums/roosevelt-county/index.shtml
Admission: Donations appreciated.

Natural History Museum
Miles Anthropology Museum
Miles Mineral Museum

The Natural History Museum and the Miles Mineral Museum are located in adjacent rooms in ENMU’s Roosevelt Hall.

The Natural History Museum  features live animals, as well as study skins and mounted specimens from eastern New Mexico and west Texas, with an emphasis on the natural history of the Llano Estacado, the name for the geographic region. There is a systematic research collection shows region’s flora and fauna. The Natural History Museum is part of the University’s biology department.

Miles-Min--1The Miles Mineral Museum  features the mineral collection of Fred and Gladys Miles, who began collecting mineral and fossil specimens along the Pecos River after they moved to Roswell, New Mexico, in 1928. They collected archaeological and anthropological specimens, along with quartz crystals called Pecos Valley Diamonds. For several decades, Mr. Miles displayed his collection in the back room of his Texaco service station on Second Street in Roswell. ENMU purchased the Miles collection in 1966, which included about 2,500 geological, archaeological and anthropological specimens and opened the Miles Mineral Museum in 1969. It now includes additional specimens that have been donated or purchased.

The Miles Anthropology Museum is also located in Roosevelt Hall in a space that  was once the first Dining Hall on the campus. The museum is home to various anthropological and archeological specimens collected by Fred and Gladys Miles and to other collections from digs in the region. This museum has irregular hours depending upon the school schedule.

Location: Roosevelt Hall, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, NM 88130
Phone: 575-562-2706
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday by appointment.
Admission: Free