Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame

Mammoth Remains Found in Lea County

11/17/2010 - Hobbs, NM. Thanks to one of our employees, New Mexico Junior College has captured the attention of the world!

On Thursday, November 18, from 6:00-7:30 p.m., at the Western Heritage Museum Complex & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, Calvin Smith, who serves as Executive Director, will be making the official announcement, in conjunction with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, that the possibly complete remains of a mammoth were found here in Lea County.

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Museum to Present Dr. Roy Blizzard: "The Dead Sea Scrolls and Their Significance"

11/11/2010 - Hobbs, NM. Dr. Roy Blizzard, internationally recognized author and Biblical archaeologist, is returning to Hobbs to make another appearance as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Western Heritage Museum Complex and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 16th in the Complex theater.

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Free Admission on Smithsonian Magazine's 6th Annual Museum Day

9/23/2010 - Hobbs, NM. On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Western Heritage Museum Complex and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will participate in the sixth annual Museum Day, presented by Toyota on behalf of the redesigned 2011 Avalon.  The Western Heritage Museum Complex and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will join participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide to open their doors free of charge to all visitors who download the Museum Day Ticket from Smithsonian.com.  A journey to celebrate our world’s dynamic heritage and cultural life, participating Museum Day venues emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities.

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Museum to Present Films on the Story of India

Museum to Present Films on the Story of India photo 9/9/2010 - Hobbs, NM. On Sunday, September 19, at 2:00 p.m., the Western Heritage Museum will present the first half of the critically acclaimed landmark documentary The Story of India.

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Saddle Up, Pard'ner! It's Staked Plains Roundup Time!

Saddle Up, Pard'ner!  It's Staked Plains Roundup Time! photo 9/9/2010 - Hobbs, NM. The 20th annual Staked Plains Roundup, sponsored by the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, will be held Thursday, September 16, and Friday, September 17, on the campus of New Mexico Junior College from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

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Western Heritage Museum Hosts Dan Berry Dedication

9/5/2010 - Hobbs, NM. On Thursday, September 9, at 5:00 p.m., the Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will hold a ceremony for the dedication of a Desert Willow tree and memorial for Dan Berry.  Presented by the Rich Anderson family, the ceremony will honor the memory of Berry, who served for 17 years as a New Mexico state representative and who was instrumental in helping build the New Mexico Junior College arena and related programs. 

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Museum Offers Reception, Exhibit for Copter Cowboy

Museum Offers Reception, Exhibit for Copter Cowboy photo 9/5/2010 - Hobbs, NM. On Thursday, September 9, at 7:00 p.m., the Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will host a Grand Opening Reception for the cowboy art and ranch photography of Russell G. Hill, also known as the “Copter Cowboy with the Red Grasshopper.”

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Western Heritage Museum to Add Nature Trails, Sculptures

Western Heritage Museum to Add Nature Trails, Sculptures photo
Nature Trail Map

2/25/2010 - Hobbs, NM. The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will soon begin development of two innovative nature trails, which will reflect both the flora and fauna of the region through native plantings and an outdoor life-sized wildlife sculpture exhibit by renowned, award-winning artist Curtis Fort of Tatum. 

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NMJC Museum to Host Women’s History Month Celebration

3/8/2009 - Hobbs, NM. The 5th Annual Women's Tea, part of the Women's History Month Celebration, will be held on Wednesday, March 11, at the Western Heritage Museum Complex and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame on the New Mexico Junior College campus. The 11:00 a.m. session is reserved for students, while the 2:00 p.m. session is open to the general public.

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Christmas at the Museum

12/9/2008 11:07:44 AM - Hobbs, NM.By all accounts, NMJC's Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame's "Christmas Traditions from around the World" on December 3, 2008, was a huge success.

With a crowd of nearly 500 who braved the chilly night to discover more about Christmas from other lands, the international holiday extravaganza delighted both young and old. There were designer Christmas trees to admire, live music, carols, storytelling, and costumed performers to enjoy, and foods and drinks from 13 different countries to sample. Not to mention that Santa stopped in to visit with children of all ages.

One European visitor remarked that it was "very generous" for the Museum to host such an event for the community, and graciously thanked everyone involved. She mentioned that it was probably a learning experience for Lea County to discover the Christmas customs of other lands while giving others, such as herself, a small taste of home at this time of year.

A number of door prizes were raffled in conjunction with the event. Mason Caviness of Seminole, Texas, won a 19" flat-screen TV/DVD combination; Tishe Kizziar of Hobbs won a Playstation 3; Gary Don Reagan of Hobbs won a designer wreath; Dennis Atherton of Hobbs won a 3-piece candle set; Anastacia Morales of Seminole, Texas, won an Ocotillo Park gift card; Judy Bromley of Hobbs won a decorative bowl; Robert Adams of Hobbs won a lamp and vase set; and Kendall Allen of Hobbs won a lamp, vase, and plate set.

According to Mary Lyle, who serves as the Museum's Education and Events Coordinator, she was "thrilled" with the community's response to the event. "It was heartwarming to see so many people involved -- and for such good causes. Portions of the proceeds went to the Lovington Toy Tea, which provides gifts and bicycles for deserving children in the Lovington schools. And another portion went to help sponsor the Phi Theta Kappa Lea County Foster Children's Christmas celebration, so it was very successful in that respect, as well."

Although most of the designer Christmas trees have since been delivered by Coach Black and the NMJC Golf Team to their respective buyers, Lyle insists there are a few trees left that are looking for homes. "We have a Victorian tree and a beautiful feathered tree and others that can still be purchased and delivered before Christmas," she said. "And there are numerous gifts in the Museum's gift shop that would be perfect for gift giving. I invite anyone who hasn't yet experienced the magic of a museum at Christmas to come on out and see for themselves."

The Museum's hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm; Thursday 10 am - 9 pm; Sunday, 1 - 5 pm. On Monday, group tours are offered by appointment only. Cost of admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors 65 and older, and $2 for students, with children 5 and under free of charge.

For more information about the Museum, call 575.392.6730.

Raising the La Belle: Out of the Sea, Out of the Past

Raising the La Belle: Out of the Sea, Out of the Past photo
L to R: Peter Hitchcock, Taras Pevny, and Peter Fix

11/5/2008 1:23:12 PM - Hobbs, NM. On November 18, 2008, at 7:00 p.m. the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will present a special lecture on the raising and restoration of the La Belle, a seventeenth-century French shipwreck found off the Texas coast.

For over 300 years the fate of the La Belle - as well as the fates of her crew and her French captain Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle - has remained a mystery. Now, attendees of the lecture will hear firsthand from a man who has been integral to the ship's rediscovery and recovery. Dr. Peter Fix of Texas A&M University will give his fascinating account of the retrieval and conservation of the shipwreck that was, at long last, discovered in 1995.

This event is open to the public and will be held in the Museum's Theatre room on the campus of New Mexico Junior College.

For more information, please contact Mary Lyle at (575) 492-2679.

Texas Tech Students Visit NMJC Museum

10/3/2008 5:29:15 PM - Hobbs, NM.The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame had a visit from a group of Texas Tech University students on Thursday, October 2, 2008. The class of 15, along with their professor, came as a part of their museum science curriculum. WHM & LCCHF Executive Director Calvin Smith gave them a tour of the facility and explained the need for such a facility in this region.

The graduate students, along with their professor Nicky Ladkin, are a part of the Preventive Conservation course at Texas Tech which teaches the preservation and care of artifacts.

"We really enjoyed having these students," said Smith. "They're very attentive and asked some really good questions."

For more information, please call the museum at (575) 392-6730.

Staked Plains Roundup Receives Grants

Staked Plains Roundup Receives Grants photo
Adrian Leon of Wal-Mart presents check to Lisa Seed for Staked Plains Roundup

8/27/2008 10:40:17 AM - Hobbs, NM. With the help of the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame and New Mexico Junior College, the annual and ever-popular Staked Plains Roundup is just around the corner. This year the program has received some extra special support from two well-known local names.

Recently, Hobbs Wal-mart gave a gift of $1,000 to support this year's Roundup. In addition, the R.D. & Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation generously contributed $3,000 on August 9th, 2008. With the help and funding of NMJC, the program offers attendees everything from demonstrations of cattle branding and trick roping, to examples of quilting and honey processing, to an authentic chuck wagon lunch.

"We are grateful to Wal-Mart and the Hubbard Foundation for their generous donations, as well as to NMJC and the community for their ongoing encouragement," said Lisa Seed, Director of the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame. "With such excellent support, Staked Plains Roundup will continue to grow and offer area residents a realistic taste of western heritage."

This year's Roundup is scheduled for September 25-26. For more information about Staked Plains Roundup or the Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, please call Seed at (575) 492-2675.

Film Set Director Speaks at NMJC Museum

Film Set Director Speaks at NMJC Museum photo 7/29/2008 - Hobbs, NM. In keeping with the Western Heritage Museum's "Pink Panther" theme, set director Carla Curry spoke to a large gathering on the evening of Wednesday, July 23, 2008, on the campus of New Mexico Junior College. Curry, who has worked on various films such as Tombstone, The Alamo, and Friday Night Lights, and who most recently finished work on The Pink Panther 2, gave a detailed and often humorous description of a day in the life of a set director.

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

4/25/2008 1:15:42 PM - Hobbs, NM.The Western Heritage Museum is proud to announce that the Second Annual New Mexico Junior College and Hobbs High School Photography Show is up and running from April 12 - May 3, 2008. The walls of the North Gallery of the Museum are adorned with a variety of photographs taken by NMJC students and faculty and Hobbs High School students.

A total of sixty-four photographs in the categories of Landscape, Nature, People, Macro, Architecture/Transportation, and Computer Manipulated are hanging for viewers' appraisal. These photos await the May 3 awards program to be held at 7 p.m., followed by an auction of the first, second and third place winners. Additionally, all who stop by to see the exhibit can vote for their favorite, the winner of which will be named the People's Choice. Another category, Best of Show, will hang in the Museum for the upcoming year in recognition of the artist.

The Museum would like to recognize those who have supported and put effort into this imaginative event. Organizers include Brian Henning, David Jett, and Calvin Smith. Sponsors include Wells Fargo Bank, Hobbs Municipal Schools, Lea County State Bank, Kim's Kakes, Forest Tire, 1st National Bank, Sadler and Son, and Permian Ford.

For more information, please contact Nancy Powell at 575.492.2679 or npowell@nmjc.edu

Second Annual NMJC / Western Heritage Museum Photography Show

3/13/2008 - Hobbs, NM. The Western Heritage Museum Complex invites students, faculty and staff of NMJC and the Hobbs High School to participate in their 2nd Annual Photography Show. To participate in this show, you must be a student of NMJC or Hobbs High School, or you must be part of the staff or faculty at either school. School identification may be requested by photo show staff on receipt of an entered image.

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NMJC Museum to Host Biblical Archeologist

NMJC Museum to Host Biblical Archeologist photo 11/8/2007 - Hobbs, NM. The Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will host Dr. Roy Blizzard, internationally recognized author and biblical archeologist, on Wednesday, November 14, at 7 pm. Admission is free.

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NMJC Museum to Host Tres Vidas

NMJC Museum to Host Tres Vidas  photo 10/5/2007 - Hobbs, NM. On Friday, October 26, at 8 pm, the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will host Core Ensemble: Tahirah Whittington, cello; Hugh Hinton, piano; and Michael Parola, percussion, along with featured actress Georgina Corbo, who will be performing chamber music theatre work from Tres Vidas.

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Cowboy Hall of Fame to Host Roping & Barrel Racing Event

10/3/2007 - Hobbs, NM. The Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame will host its 53rd Annual Lea County Championship Roping and Barrel Racing event, open to Lea County residents only, on Sunday, October 21, in Eunice, NM.

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About Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame

A prehistoric sea. Rich grasslands. Millions of buffalo. Ancient Indian tribes. The Great American Desert. Ranchers and homesteaders. World champion cowboys. The discovery of oil!

From the ancient, prehistoric sea that once covered the Permian Basin to the rugged individuals who tamed the Llano Estacado, or “staked plains,” the unique and colorful spirit of the timeless land of southern New Mexico can be explored fully at the Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame in Hobbs.

The museum's exhibits strikingly depict the vast region's fascinating background. As the largest non-mountainous land formation in North America, the Llano Estacado covers an area larger than the combined states of Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Throughout the centuries, this expansive area was comprised of rich grasslands that supported life for millions of buffalo, as well as a number of Native American peoples.

Long known as “The Great American Desert, ” the Llano Estacado was avoided by Europeans for centuries. It wasn't until the 1880s that bison hunters discovered the La Pista de Vida Agua, or Trail of Living Waters, which ran across northern Lea County. From that point on, the area underwent extensive exploration by the legendary Buffalo Soldiers and others.

Such efforts of early explorers convinced some that there was enough water to sustain livestock—if one was lucky enough to gain control of the few springs and lakes in the region. However, with the advent of the windmill, which pumped life-giving water from far below the surface, life on the Llano Estacado was changed forever. Now, enterprising homesteaders, cowboys, and ranchers were able to move onto the seemingly inhospitable rangelands to begin staking a future for themselves and their families.

As these hearty pioneers slowly began to tame the region, one last secret was discovered deep within the bosom of the Llano Estacado: oil! And with this discovery, the face of the Llano Estacado was to be transformed yet again. . .

Come discover for yourself the compelling history, the rugged men and women, and the rich traditions beautifully showcased in the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame in Hobbs!

Background: At approximately 29,000 square feet, the Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame was completed late fall 2005 and opened January 14, 2006. In addition to offering world-class exhibits throughout the year that exemplify the diversity, beauty, and rich cultural traditions that have shaped the American Southwest, the Museum also serves as home to the renowned Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, which boasts more world champion cowboys than any other region in the world!

The Museum is located on the Lovington Highway (State Highway 18) between New Mexico Junior College and Lea Regional Hospital (and just past Zia Park Racetrack & Casino!). Come check out all the exciting new happenings around Hobbs!

Regular hours of operation: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday.

Admission:
Adults - $3
Seniors (65+) - $2
Youth (6-18) - $2
Children 5 and under - Free

School groups from Lea County will be admitted free of charge.
School groups from outside the County will pay $1 admission fee.

Discounts will be offered to military, American Automotive Association (AAA), and groups of 10 or more.

Contact

For additional information contact:

Darrell Beauchamp – Exec. Dir. Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame
New Mexico Junior College
1 Thunderbird Circle
Hobbs, NM 88240
575.492.2676
DBeauchamp@nmjc.edu