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First News Spring 2008

History is Alive in Folsom

   Step inside an 1896 clapboard covered adobe building to discover the historic valuables of Folsom, New Mexico. The Folsom Museum, which is located inside the old Doherty General Store dates back to 1903. Dan Doherty, Sr. closed the business in 1959. Later a group wanted a place to save the rich local history to share it with others. The museum became a project and a reality. The Museum holds a collection of historic and cultural artifacts that date from prehistoric Folsom Man through the period of American westward expansion when the town of Folsom was established. Just over 2,300 non-living items are on public display ranging from dinosaur eggs and bones found locally, through early pioneer items used in daily life to include saddles, hand tools (used inside and outside a home), examples of arrowheads, furniture, musical instruments, paintings, photos, and much more.

   The Folsom Flood of 1908, which killed 17 residents, is featured along with the story of Sarah Rooke, a telephone operator who stayed to warn people by phone until she perished in the raging floodwaters. As a result of the flood, George McJunkin, a foreman at the Crowfoot Ranch, discovered the Folsom Man Archeological site when it was exposed by floodwaters. Or, delight in the more recent adventures of the Wild West, when Black Jack Ketchum, while attempting to rob the Folsom train, was shot, captured and spent the night incarcerated on the 2nd floor of the Folsom Hotel. Later he was transferred to Clayton, where he was tried, convicted, and executed by hanging. However, it doesn’t end there, so come to the museum and learn the rest of the story.

   The Santa Fe Trail, the Aubry Cutoff, pioneer settlers, Native American Indians, Charles Goodnight and his famous Longhorn trail drive, and the beef industry, all played significant roles in shaping this area, and are explored at the museum. Also included are exhibits on the nearby Capulin Volcano National Monument and Sierra Grande Mountain along with geological and archeological items that have been discovered in the area.

   With summer approaching, a museum tour can be a family fun event. For the month of May the museum is only open on weekends. However, beginning Sunday, June 1, 2008,
the museum opens its doors seven days a week from 10-5 p.m.

Folsom Museum
Folsom, NM 88419
(575) 278-2122


Newsletter photography by Michael Babnick Photography

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