The Artesia Museum and Art Center is housed in the Moore-Ward House, which was built about 1906 and is an unusual example of a cobblestone facade. The museum came into being as a result of the 1968 bequest of the building by the S. S. Ward estate and the decision of the City of Artesia to support the museum as part of the city government. The Museum opened in 1970.
The museum focuses on the history of Artesia and its surrounding area which is known for oil and gas and dairy farming, and more recently, for its Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. At the museum, you’ll learn about these activities as well as stories about the nitroglycerine plant and local refineries. There is a children’s activity area. Behind, the Moore Ward House, there is a building that houses their collection of vehicles. The Museum has always had an active program of community activities, art shows and traveling exhibitions offered in the Art Annex, another old house next door. The activities and programs outgrew the Art Annex and it was torn down to make way for a new multi-use facility which opened in 2015.
Address: 505 West Richardson Avenue, Artesia, NM 88210
Hours: 9:00–12:00 and 1:00–5:00, Tuesday–Friday; 1:00–5:00, Saturday
Admission: No charge
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
The site where Silver City is now situated was first used as an Apache campsite and later as a Spanish copper mining center. Silver City itself was founded about 1870 after the discovery of silver. The 1870s were tumultuous and the town was the site of the first crime committed by a local kid, known at the time as William Bonney, and more widely known as Billy the Kid. Silver City became a commercial center for local mining operations and also became an education center for the southwestern part of the state with the building of the New Mexico Normal School (now Western New Mexico University) in 1893.
The Silver City Museum has a permanent exhibition on Silver City’s history, including a display of an 1880s parlor and a reconstructed office from the nearby mining town of Tyrone. Other permanent displays tell about southwest New Mexico’s mining history and Silver City’s early mercantile commerce.
The museum hosts frequently changing exhibits as well as lectures and special events.
The museum’s collection includes some 20,000 objects relating to the peoples and history of southwest New Mexico. The museum also has a research library that is available to the public, along with a bookstore/gift shop.
The Silver City Museum opened in 1967. The museum is housed in the restored 1881 Mansard/Italianate H.B. Ailman house. The house was built for Harry Ailman, a prominent Silver City miner, merchant and banker. During the early 1920s, the city purchased the house for use as the town hall. In 1931, the town added a firehouse garage to the back of the building. The building was used as a fire station until about 1970.
Front door of Silver City Museum
Silver City Museum in spring
Address: 312 W. Broadway, Silver City, NM 88061
Phone: 575-538-5921, 1-877-777-7947
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Closed Mondays.
Admission: $3 suggested donation
Raton 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