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 Dalley windmill collection built by Bill and Alta Dalley of Portales was taken over by the City of Portales in 2011 and includes over 80 examples of windmills dating from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century. Many of the windmills were used around the Portales area. Before the city took over the collection, it was housed in the Dalley’s yard. Here is a visitor’s description of the museum before the city took it over.
Address: On the County Fairgrounds, near the intersection of US70 and Lime Street in northeast Portales, visible from US70.
Hours: You can see the collection any time through the fence or when the Fairgrounds are open.
Admission: No admission.
The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame are on the New Mexico Junior College campus in Hobbs.
The Western Heritage Museum focuses on the history of Lea County and the neighboring area in northwestern Texas. It is a region where cowboys and oil-and-gas industry workers meet and mix. The museum includes exhibits showing life on the Llano Estacado from prehistoric times to the present. There is archaeology, ranching, cowboys, buffalo soldiers, and exhibits about the oil-and-gas industry. A restored Eclipse windmill recalls a time when windmills were used on ranches throughout the area.
The Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame was founded in 1978. It features the many rodeo world champions who come from Lea County (more champions come from Lea County than any other county in the United States). In addition to memorials, many artifacts reflect aspects of the rodeo and cowboy life.
Address: 1 Thunderbird Circle, Hobbs, NM 88240
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m., Monday by appointment only
Admission: Adults, $3; seniors 65 and older, $2; students $2, children 5 and under, free.