Posts Tagged ‘museum’

The New Mexico History Museum

April 16th, 2010
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Rather than telling visitors what ‘happened,’ the New Mexico History Museum presents a theatrical environment and the engaging stories of the many cultures that have called the Land of Enchantment home.

The New Mexico History Museum includes interactive multimedia displays, hands-on exhibits, and vivid stories of real New Mexicans. As a 96,000-square-foot extension of the 400 year-old Palace of the Governors – the oldest continually occupied government building in the US – the New Mexico History Museum anchors itself on the historic Santa Fe Plaza and offers a sampling of the people and the legends to be found throughout the state.  Modern history museums know that individual accounts are often their most treasured artifacts.

With stories from and about New Mexicans like Po-pay, Juan de Oñate, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Adolph Bandelier, Earnest Blumenschein, Robert Oppenheimer, and the ’60s-era counter-culture, the New Mexico History Museum sweeps through centuries of human interaction. The museum is located on the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe Next to the Palace of the Governors, 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM, 505-476-5200.

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum and Governor’s Palace

April 16th, 2010

Okay … I admit that I’m a big fan of former New Mexico Governor, Lew Wallace.  Not because I have any idea of what his accomplishments were as he served back in the 1800’s, but because of what he did in his spare time.  This is the Governor who decided he was also a writer and penned the epic “Ben Hur”, which many years later made it to the Big Screen starring everyone’s favorite gladiator and rebel, Charlton Heston!   Roman History has always intrigued me and it obviously did the same to Governor Wallace.

That’s why I feel a connection when I head to Santa Fe and a must stop visit to the Palace of the Governor’s.  There you’ll learn about Governor Wallace and our other forefathers who have occupied the Governor’s office inside the oldest capital building still in use on the North American Continent.  It’s a wonderful place to visit and I must admit that I catch myself wondering about Governor Wallace sitting in his candlelit office after sunset meticulously writing “Ben Hur.”  Did he really have a lot to do as governor, or did he have lots of free time?  How and where did he get his information to write while living in Santa Fe, which is more than a few miles from Italy and Israel!

Lots of those questions arise as we take a peek into how our former Chief Executives lived and worked.  It’s even possible to imagine Governor Bill Richardson sitting there pondering the fate of New Mexico in pretty primitive surroundings!  Do you think any of our 20th Century Governors, including Governor Bill Richardson, ever wondered over to the Palace to walk the halls and asks his predecessors for advice as many of our Presidents have indicated they do in the White House?  Any way you cut it, from the Native Americans sitting outside the front door selling their authentic jewelry and pottery to what you see inside the Palace of the Governors is a place you’ll want to visit time and again while in Santa Fe.

And just behind the Palace is New Mexico’s newest museum … The New Mexico History Museum … 3 ½ floors of everything you want to know about New Mexico from the earliest settlers (after the Native American’s) making their way up the El Camino Real (The Royal Road) from Mexico City … to the wild west and early railroad travel … to space travel in our future.

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum

It’s all here and you’ll want to take in every inch of every floor.  See video (including some of our Travel Guide New Mexico video!) and other interactive displays that do much more than give you a glimpse of New Mexico … they walk you through hundreds of years of history and culture.  All in a way that will truly give you a feeling of what it was like then … and how it has evolved to now.  Just a wonderful place.  And being able to walk between the Palace of the Governor’s to the new New Mexico History Museum is a very special treasure that you won’t find in other states.

Chuck Jones Galleries in Santa Fe

April 16th, 2010
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The Chuck Jones Galleries in Santa Fe are the source for the finest animation and entertainment art in the world. Based significantly around the work of Chuck Jones, the galleries strive to present his and other artist’s fine works of art in their appropriate elegant setting.

The Chuck Jones Gallery (formerly known as the Chuck Jones Showroom) started in an 800 square foot location in Chuck’s hometown of Corona del Mar, California in 1990 by Linda Jones and her son, Todd Kausen. Each gallery is located in beautiful destination communities and are a must-see when visiting enchanting New Mexico.

The Santa Fe, New Mexico gallery is located in the midst of the downtown area near the famous Plaza area. 135 W. Palace Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501.  Call for more information: 505/983-5999.

Visit the Chuck Jones Galleries website.

Pick your adventure in Taos

February 27th, 2010
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Pick your adventure in and around Taos, a small town that offers a respected artistic community, many treasures of history and access to worlds of sporting thrills. Get a real taste of frontier history at the Kit Carson Home and Museum, the notorious Governor Bent Home, or the Blumenschein Home & Museum. Take in the artistic side of the area at the Fechin Institute or the Harwood Museum of Art. Taos also puts you within reach of spectacular skiing at Taos Ski Valley or Wheeler Peak, or whitewater rafting at Taos Box on the Rio Grande. Visit Rancho de Taos for historic churches, or Taos Pueblo to see an ancient American Indian community.

Western New Mexico University Museum

January 2nd, 2010
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Housed on the campus of Western New Mexico University, The WNMU Museum houses one of the world’s most complete and comprehensive collections of Mimbres pottery, basketry, and other artifacts, in the Eisele Collection of Prehistoric Southwestern Pottery and Artifacts. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM and on Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The museum is closed on university holidays. Admission is free and the museum is fully handicapped accessible. These museum’s stunning examples of ancient pottery reveal a glimpse of the cultural and artistic life of the area more than 800 years ago.

Check out our videos of other New Mexico museums here.

Richard visits New Mexico’s Ghost Towns and the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway

November 11th, 2009

Boy, do we have a lot of Ghost Towns in New Mexico!  Well over a hundred and certainly more.  Recently, we at Travel Guide NEW MEXICO had a chance to visit a few of these.  I apologize for no pictures with this post … guess the ghosts had a different idea of what should … and shouldn’t … be photographed! 

Part of our trip is along the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway which starts in Truth or Consequences.  We didn’t make the entire trek along the by way but certainly got a good start and had a great time.

The trip was incredibly interesting.  We started in Truth or Consequences, which really isn’t a ghost town but certainly isn’t booming the way it once was.  After spending time here, I’m convinced that a “boom” is just around the corner.  With hot springs bubbling everywhere (remember … T or C used to be Hot Springs, New Mexico) and the Spaceport getting ready to launch sometime within the next year or two, Truth or Consequences is really a great place to visit.

I’ll bet I’ve driven by the Geronimo Springs Museum a couple dozen times and never stopped.  Boy … what a pleasant surprise inside.  The folks at the Truth or Consequences visitors center, located right next to the museum, were incredibly helpful.  And, LaRena, the museum’s director, is a wealth of knowledge about this great little city.  You’ll learn why T or C is no longer Hot Springs.  You’ll walk around one corner and see one of the largest displays of Native American pottery that I’ve ever seen. 

And then there is Geronimo himself in life size form.  As LaRena told me … “he was small in stature but big in reputation.”   If she’s around when you visit ask her what others thought of this most famous warrior.  You might be surprised. 

Fossils of our ancient mammals are also in abundance.  I didn’t know they roamed here, but why not? 

I could go on and on about the hot springs but I’ll leave that to our friends at the Grande Sierra Lodge and Spa.  What a place this is!  18 luxury rooms and four hot spring pools plus a lot of other amenities.  Manager and part owner, Sazzi Marri, and her staff will be happy to show you around.  You won’t believe this place and owe it to yourself to call and make a reservation to spend a day or more (  Be sure and tell Sazzi I said “hello” and recommended you call. 

Okay … now on to the Ghost Towns.  Our first stop was Hillsboro, which is still home to about 100 people.  The folks there told me they have the two best restaurants in New Mexico and we thought the food … all home made … was great.  Hillsboro’s really laid back so be patient when ordering.  There is no rush!  One of the restaurants is open for dinner on Saturday night so if you time your visit right you might have a fun evening with the locals.  Be prepared, however, because they only make so many meals.  When they are gone they’re gone! 

You have to visit Hillsboro’s old courthouse with a great history and story about a very famous trial that was held there.

The jailhouse next door was more interesting to me than the tales of what transpired in the courthouse.  Steel doors and windows are still intact and you can peer into the cells and see just exactly why you wouldn’t want to spend time there.  The view is so spectacular one of the locals told me he thinks the folks housed there probably asked to be arrested just to enjoy the view!

I would encourage you to walk the Main Street and side streets.  If you see people sitting on the porch or walking nearby stop and ask them questions about the homes and town.  They’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.

Down the road a few miles is Kingston, in the late 1800’s the largest city in New Mexico outshining Albuquerque by about 1,000 people. Today, only 10 people on full time basis call Kingston home. Founded about 1880 this mining boom town quickly became the place to be.  If I remember correctly there were somewhere around 28 saloons, a post office, general store and hotels.  Then the price of silver dropped by 90% overnight and the mining stopped as quickly as it started.  The Percha Bank Gallery & Museum is a wonderful place to visit.  It looks exactly as it did when the town was booming, complete with teller cages and huge vault.  Mark Nero, the director, will be happy to share the history with you.  There are great old photographs of the folks who once lived there – a lot of fun to look at while visiting with Mark! 

Just west of Elephant Butte, out near the airport, is Cuchillo.  Now this is a ghost town complete with ghosts!  Paranormals have confirmed the presence of spirits throughout the town and a couple of the locals I talked with have heard the recordings and one recognized the voice of the person speaking.  A little spooky … but the local café, which is open Friday-Sunday, is a great place to stop for a friendly … and ghost free … meal.  Here, the specialty is Mexican food … not New Mexican food.  This means the chile isn’t hot but everything is made fresh and worth the stop.  Don’t be surprised if the kitchen help comes out and chats with you about the town and history! 

We continued past Cuchillo and headed toward Chloride where the road literally ends!  Just off Highway 52 past Winston is this great little town, which is literally being restored by Don Edmund, his wife and daughter.  I could write a book about my conversation with Don.  He showed us all over town and explained every building there, including the bank that never had a dime in its vault! And the “hanging tree” that never hung anyone!    

When you visit stop in at the general store and ask if Don’s around.  If he’s available I’m sure he’ll give you a guided tour like none other.  This is truly a labor of love for the Edmund family.  Don took us up the hill to the cemetery where we noted two graves that said “Killed by Indians” and saw where famous bad guy, John Wesley Harden’s, brother is buried.  His brother was allegedly the “nice guy” of the family and is so honored on his headstone. 

Oh … when you talk with Don ask him about his “hidden treasure” … one of the buildings he bought from the decedents of the original owner and what he found inside after the building was opened for the first time in over 60 years!  

Chloride is really something to see and I can’t wait to take another trip and spend a little more time with Don. 

These ghost towns are pure gold in New Mexico and need to be treated with respect.  Remember … take only pictures and leave only footprints when you leave

And let me know if you run into any ghosts while you are there!

Geronimo Springs Museum

November 4th, 2009
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Geronimo Springs Museum contains the history of Sierra County, New Mexico. From the mammoth and mastodon skulls and the world-class collection of prehistoric Mimbres pottery to the Apache, Hispanic, military, mining, ranching, and cultural exhibits, the Museum is a fascinating complex of historical artifacts. Each of several rooms at the Geronimo Springs Museum represents a specific subject of history, with displays and artifacts interpreted so that the viewer can understand the items exhibited. The Museum is located downtown in Truth or Consequences, in the historic Hot Springs District, at 211 Main Street.

Geronimo Springs Museum hours are Monday thru Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 to 4 pm. We are closed on New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

October 14th, 2009
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The Memorial was established in 1968 by Victor and Jeanne Westphall to honor their son, Lt. David Westphall, who was killed in Vietnam in May 1968. When it opened in 1971, it was one of the first Memorials of its kind in the United States dedicated to Vietnam Veterans. Until recently, it was funded and maintained by the David Westphall Veterans Foundation. The Memorial was formally transferred to New Mexico State Parks in 2005, making it the state’s 33rd park.

Now it is the only state park in the U.S. dedicated solely as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial provides veterans, and those who honor them, a refuge in which to reflect and heal. A representative from the Department of Veterans Services is present to offer assistance to veterans who require or request it. The 6,000 square foot visitor center/museum houses exhibits, videos and memorabilia. Veterans can use on-site computers to locate friends or loved ones.

Tours are available, with advance notice by calling ahead, for schools and other groups wishing to learn more. Since its inception in 1968, it is estimated that there have been more than 2.5 million visitors. In fact, there are between 70,000 and 80,000 visitors each year. Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park is located in Angel Fire, 30 miles east from Taos on US 64.

The Albuquerque Museum

October 14th, 2009
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The Albuquerque Museum is located in the in the heart of historic Old Town and just across the street from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Explora, the Children’s Science Museum —as well as our closeness to many other memorable attractions in Albuquerque.

That is perhaps why The Albuquerque Museum is an enjoyable experience for so many visitors each year: one-third of our guests are nonresidents. It’s easy to reach us from the interstate, and there is plenty of available parking. There is great recognition of, and support for, art in our community. It also means we are able to offer a wide range of attractions and programs with only modest charge to the public.

Richard & Will visit the Balloon Museum

October 14th, 2009
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Richard tours the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum with special guest, Will Beske.

The Balloon Museum is dedicated to the art, culture, history, science and sport of lighter-than-air craft. The mission of the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is to be the leading educational institution of engaging exhibitions and informative programs on the art, culture, history, science and sport of ballooning and other lighter-than-air craft.The Museum encompasses an international, national and regional perspective demonstrating the global development of ballooning achievements through exhibitions, collections and programs designed for diverse audiences. The Museum also showcases the adventurous spirit, endeavors and achievements of individual balloonists.

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