New Mexico is rife with history, from dinosaurs and ancient peoples to Spanish conquest and the Pueblo Revolt to New Mexico’s contributions during the Civil War and World War II. All around New Mexico you can find places that bring a piece of the state’s rich history alive. Here are just a few:
In the south, be sure to visit the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, where you will find a wide range of interesting exhibits featuring items from the state’s 3000-year agricultural history. Live demonstrations of common farming and ranching activities, such as blacksmithing and milking, make for a fun and informative museum adventure for all ages.
To the east you can take in Fort Stanton Live. Reenactors take you back to the days when the west was truly wild, and show you what life was like for the cavalrymen that occupied the Fort from 1855 to 1896, when it was decommissioned. Learn about the Buffalo Soldiers, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War. Reenactments bring history to life, and for kids that often results in generating an avid interest in learning more. At Fort Stanton, adult admission is a modest fee, and children under 16 get in free.
North toward Santa Fe you will find El Rancho de las Golondrinas, which translates to the Ranch of the Swallows. Las Golondrinas is a unique living history museum, set on a ranch dating to the early eighteenth century. It was, at the time, a camp area for travelers and traders along the Camino Real, the “royal road” between Santa Fe and Mexico City. Situated on 200 acres, the Spanish Colonial museum offers an interactive history of the area, its people and culture, with live demonstrations and workshops on everything from sheep shearing to horse shoeing.