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


Scout Museum & Westward Ho Trading Post

Scout Museum - RatonRaton’s Scout Museum is not related to the museums at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch. Raton’s Scout Museum reflects the passions of Dennis and Sue Downing – and displays the vast collection of scouting memorabilia they have put together over the years. There are uniforms, scout kerchiefs and slides, books, flags and badges from all over the world and from the very beginning of scouting in 1907 England.

The museum attracts scouts as they come and go from Philmont (about 45 minutes away), and it provides a safe and interesting place as they wait for trains and rides.

Address: 400 South 1st Street, Raton, NM 87740
Phone:    575-445-1413
Hours:    Generally open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless Dennis and Sue Downing are out of town. Call for an appointment to have the museum opened.
Admission: Free