The Old Wild West Lives On

October 18, 2017 pixelmark

Grit and determination. LAWLESSNESS AND REVELRY. Passion and perseverance. IT’S NO WONDER WE’RE STILL SO FASCINATED WITH THE WILD WEST. Every time we stroll the Mesilla Plaza or amble the streets of Downtown Las Cruces, WE’RE LITERALLY WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE OUTLAWS, LAWMEN, AND COURAGEOUS New Mexicans who tamed the western frontier. FROM FASHION AND MUSIC to cattle ranching and farming, THEIR INFLUENCE IS STILL A LASTING LEGACY IN OUR CITY TODAY.

On the following pages—and throughout this entire issue of Las Cruces magazine—we’ve highlighted just some of the ways that

T h e  O l d  W e s t  L i v e s  On

Old west lifestyle
Young woman with a headdress on

Photography by Dawn Santiago

New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

Old west lifestyle
Longhorn enjoying his meal

THERE’S PERHAPS no better place to see Old West history come to life right here in Las Cruces than at this local museum housing more than 11,000 artifacts from our state’s agricultural and rural life, “ranging in size from a sewing needle to the Historic Green Bridge,” says the museum’s Craig Massey. The collection focuses on 1850 to 1955 implements, and includes equipment used for the care and management of livestock, wagons and carriages, and household items.

Outside, visitors can wander the museum grounds taking in displays of equipment from threshing machines to horse-drawn implements and tractors. (One of their newly renovated chuck wagons just celebrated its 100th birthday!) Visitors can literally step back in time by touring a New Mexico colonial home resembling life in 1815, or discovering the arts of saddle making and blacksmithing.

Old west lifestyle | cowboy on a ride
Cowboy on a ride

The museum also boasts an impressive collection of cattle, horse, and sheep brand records going back to 1899. The history curator and museum staff helps the public track down an ancestor’s brand or trace the history or status of a family brand. On the artistic side, the museum exhibits renowned New Mexico artists Peter Hurd’s charcoal studies of rural farming and ranching subjects that contributed to a 1952 fresco, “The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare For It.” Other western artists are also featured in long term and temporary exhibitions.

At the museum’s annual Cowboy Days celebration in March, the Old West vibe is at its peak with cowboy singers, a 19th-century fashion show, gun fight reenactments, and a demonstration from the Borderland Pistoleros Mounted Shooting group.

Old west lifestyle
Chuck wagon and windmill

New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road
nmfarmandranchmuseum.org

Save the date
Homegrown: A New Mexico Food Show & Gift Market
November 18-19, 2017

Antique Treasures Day
January 21, 2018
Cowboy Days
March 3-4, 2018

Blessing of the Fields
May 15, 2018

The post The Old Wild West Lives On appeared first on Las Cruces Magazine.

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