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Las Cruces, NM


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Las Cruces Museums & Historic Sites

Branigan Cultural Center & Museum
490 N Water Street | 505-541-2158
The Branigan Cultural Center serves as both history and art museum. As such, you'll find the work of local and regional artists displayed a few paces from a turn-of-the-century parlor. When the Museum of Fine Art and Culture was completed in the spring of 1999, the Branigan Cultural Center it became the Las Cruces Historical Museum.

Bicentennial Log Cabin
The log cabin dates from the late 1870's, when it was built in the once flourishing mining town of Grafton, New Mexico. Located in the Black Range Mountains, northwest of Las Cruces, it was disassembled and brought to Las Cruces in celebration of the Bicentennial. The cabin once served as a store and post office. When the silver and copper mines quit producing in the late 1800s, Grafton began its slide to ghost town status. The flood of 1957 finally destroyed Grafton. This sturdy log cabin survived only because it was perched on a hillside above the flood waters.

The cabin was built of hand-hewn logs chinked with a mixture of clay, mud, ash and sawdust. The craftsman builder followed a German style pegged and notched construction method. He also showed a fondness for doors--the cabin has four, one on each wall. The doors offered multi-escape routes from both fire and marauders. Small windows cut into each of the doors let in cooling breezes, but also served as gun sites in times of danger.

In 1972 Sid Blakley discovered the abandoned cabin while hunting in the Grafton area. He and his wife donated the cabin to Las Cruces as a bicentennial gift to area children. Marion and Caroline George donated $5,000 to the project and the Las Cruces Home Builders Association disassembled, transported and reassembled the cabin on a corner across from the Branigan Cultural Center. The Home Builders Auxiliary furnished the cabin with furnishings of the 1880s. The log cabin became part of the city's museum system in 1987.

During Heritage Days, the log cabin is the backdrop for living history demonstrations. The log cabin is open year-round for individual and group tours. The tours are free but please call ahead at (505) 541-2155 for an appointment. 

City of Las Cruces Museums 
490/500 N Water Street | 505-541-2155

Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art
490 N Water Street | 505-541-2155
The Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art’s main gallery has over 5,000 square feet of multi-use exhibition space. The gallery features curated, traveling, juried, and invitational exhibitions of contemporary art. Exhibitions are hosted by the Museum and the Museum’s supporting foundation, the Branigan Cultural Center Foundation. Artists Luis Jiminez, David Hockney, Eileen Cowan, Esther Parada, and Graham Nash are among the talents who have exhibited in the Las Cruces Museum of Fine Art.

The New Mexico Rail Road & Transportation Museum
351 North Mesilla Street | 505-541-2155
Now open every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the NM Railroad & Transportation Museum is displaying some of the materials and memorabilia collected thus far. Located in the historic Santa Fe Depot at 351 North Mesilla Street, the museum officially opened on May 10, 2003.

There are many railroad museums in the country. We feel confident there is a niche on our community for combining history and information in a successful and viable Railroad & Transportation Museum as a part of the Museum System of the City of Las Cruces. Our plans call for making the museum an informative, and at the same time entertaining, family museum.

At present the collecting focus is confined to railroads. The Railroad & Transportation Museum Committee is asking the community to consider the museum a safe and willing repository for the donation of objects/artifacts (bells, whistles, lamps, tools, toys, uniforms); printed materials ( photographs, posters, books, folk art, folk music, poems, old schedules, brochures, maps); or any kind of materials related to railroading.

If you have materials of the sort we are looking for or, which you could part with, please consider a donation to the new museum. We need your help in making this exciting museum project a success.

For further information, please call The Branigan Cultural Center at 505-541-2155.

New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road | 505-522-4100
Nestled with a perfect view of the Organ mountains is the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum. In the main gallery, "Tools and Traditions" is a diverse showing of tools used years ago to cultivate New Mexico's farmland. Recently opened "Generations" is the first permanent exhibit in the main gallery. The exhibit uses the biographies of 33 New Mexicans to tell the story of 3,000 years of agricultural history in the state. The temporary gallery is showing "The Enduring Cowboys," an exhibit prepared cooperatively with New Mexico Magazine. The exhibit examines the reality of cowboy life through biographies, photos and artifacts of more than 30 individuals. Enduring Cowboys can be viewed here through Jan. 15, 2000. A book of the same title is available for purchase through the Museum Mercantile. In the Conservatory Gallery, "Wired Wild West," is an extensive display of the multitude of barbed wire that harnessed the land. It created boundary for both people and livestock. "Shoofly" Lithographs / Prints of famous artist - Robert Shufelt dot the main gallery hallway. Milking demonstrations are held twice daily at the dairy barn. Longhorn cattle, churro sheep, goats and Jerusalem donkeys also are displayed. Wildflower garden an apple orchard and crops. Next to the blacksmith shop is a 21' Chicago Aeromotor Windmill is pulling a 2000-pound counter weight.

Other Museums in New Mexico


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