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Fun Things To Do to/from Balloon Fiesta New Mexico: Farm and Ranch Museum
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces New Mexico
One of the New Mexico jewels is the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces New Mexico. The museum is 47 acres of history that is very interactive for both adults and children. There are farm animals and corrals, and practicing artisans keeping alive the ranching and farming hands-on creation of foods and materials, and many other exhibits nearly every day.
The New Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces, this is east off of I-25 going towards the Organ Mountains about 1.5 miles. The museum is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday and noon to 5pm on Sundays. Admission (at this time) is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors citizens (age 60 and over) and $2 for children 5-17 and children under the age of 4 are allowed in for free.
Those are the particulars of how to get there.
We love the museum and go there at least twice a year. This year there are many special exhibits because this is the year of the New Mexico Centennial. The museum has an excellent exhibit called The Land of Enchantment: Commemorating the Centennial of New Mexico Statehood . President Taft's signed New Mexico into statehood in 2012. New Mexico was the 47th state.
Statehood for New Mexico
It was a struggle for New Mexico to become a state. There are only three things required to petition to become a state and New Mexico had all of those yet, it took 62 tries for New Mexico to become a state.
The three things required were
population of 60,000 and New Mexico had that
a constitution and New Mexico had that
the US Congress approval which took awhile
First New Mexico had a bad image back in DC. It was considered a 'violent wasteland' full of gunslingers and Indians who fought the Army, like Geronimo. It was also populated with Catholics when the majority of the US was Protestant. Then there was that still relevant problem of racism as the state was also populated by the 2 centuries of Spanish that settled the area. Now you may find this last problem surprising but there was a not too small issue of corruption in the politics in both Washington DC and the Santa Fe, I know corruption in politics is surprising but there it was.
The state thought to market or brand itself as more 'American' sounding by changing the name to Lincoln or Jefferson. Other names were explored like Acoma (Indian Pueblo) or Montezuma. I would hope that the term of Montezuma's revenge was not coined at that time as it makes the name Montezuma problematical.
In 1898 there were concerns voiced that the Mexicans, Spanish, and Indigenous people would not be loyal to the USA. However, a full 1/3 of the Rough Riders were New Mexicans. So, the pride voiced by them as USA territory citizens played a great role in proving the loyalty.
Becoming a state was also helped by the land rush of the 1890s and the railroads bringing many 'Easterners' (hint Anglos) to the state and allaying the fear of the 'other'. Still, racism did not go away at that time. Those Easterners brought their Protestant religions with them too.
So after many years and many rejections the state of New Mexico was signed into being on June 6, 2012 by President Taft.
Interestingly, the New Mexico Constitution includes rights of culture and language for the people of New Mexico. Indeed, there are many areas where people reside on their original Spanish Land Grants and treasure their Spanish, Mexican, and Indian cultures. This makes New Mexico a very culturally rich land.
The museum's Legacy and Tradition's Gallery is devoted to the historical journey of New Mexico as a state. The exhibit The Land of Enchantment: Commemorating the Centennial of New Mexico Statehood will be up until September 16, 2012.
Here are many pictures from that exhibit. The Museum allowed pictures of everything except two prized flags that would suffer from flash photography.
Did you know that Smokey the Bear was from New Mexico? Well, Smokey was saved from a wild fire. Smokey was a cub and his mom was killed in a wildfire. His little paws were burned too. He was raised by the Forest Service, named Smokey, and spent his life helping educate the public of the danger of wildfires.
Here is a web site about how Smokey was saved in the Capitan Mountains in Southern New Mexico: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/FD/SmokeyBear/SmokeyBearPark.htm
Route 66 also plays a large role in New Mexico. Route 66 begins in Chicago Illinois and ends in Los Angeles California. Route 66 transverses the east to west route through New Mexico. There are bits and pieces of it in several communities where Route 66 is celebrated yearly with car shows and other events.
Route 66 runs east to west through the towns of Algodones, Bernalillo, Albuquerque, Tijeras, Edgewood, Moriarity, Laguna, Los Lunas, San Fidel, Grants, Milan, Thoreau, Continental Divide, Gallup, ande Mauelito.
Here is a nice web page for more particulars on that very famous Rout 66 road and route: http://www.americansouthwest.net/new_mexico/route_66/index.html
Family Things to Do and See
There are demonstrations in the museum that include weaving, sewing, and quilting. The outside museum has exhibits on blacksmith, dousing, and milking cows.
We like the rides with the docent where nearly every aspect of farm life is discussed from the six breeds of cows at the museum and information on the sheep, goats, and mules. The farm areas may also be accessed by walking across a 106 year old Green Bridge. The visitor may also tour the Skaggs Dairy Barn.
For the kids there is an adventure corral and a discovery garden. Here is the schedule for hands-on demonstrations:
~Dairy Barn (10am to 3pm)
~Livestock Tours (see front desk for availability, this is one of our favorite tours!)
~Wool Carding and Spinning
~Woodcarvers (first Saturdays)
There are also other scheduled events to include Ghosts of the Past, Ice Cream Social, Cowboy Days, Blessing of the Fields, and Antique Treasures Day.
For more information do visit their website www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org
At the end of your tour there is the obligatory snack bar and Eagle Ranch Mercantile where you may purchase mementos of your historical visit to the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.
While in the area be sure to visit Old Town Mesilla in Las Cruces as well. This was the original village of Las Cruces!
Happy Anniversary New Mexico!
Here are a few more pictures of various lifestyle displays at the museum.