Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame

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

Saddle Up, Pard'ner!  It's Staked Plains Roundup Time! photo 9/9/2010 12:02:26 a.m. - 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.

The yearly event brings to life the Western culture of yesteryear through interactive exhibits, live performances, educational displays, authentic foods and music, and impressive presentations. Visitors to the Roundup will experience music, storytelling, trades, and various livelihoods from a time gone by, including blacksmithing, branding, wool spinning, churning, saddle- and boot-making, honey processing, quilt-making and much more. 

New to this year’s Roundup are Longhorn experts Fred and Marijo Balmer of Folsom Falls Ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern New Mexico.  Several of the Folsom Falls Ranch Longhorns have become well known personalities.  “Real Beef,” for instance, has been featured on television commercials, and “Festus” has been featured in the “Festus at Folsom Falls Ranch” children’s book series.

Back by popular demand is professional trick roper Brice Chapman, along with his talented paint horse Crossfire and his dog Sooner, who have performed several times at the White House.

Visitors will also be able to walk among authentic Western artifacts, enjoy a variety of small animals—including working dogs, and watch talented artists and artisans working at their crafts just as they would have done back in the Old West.  Lunch will be served from an authentic chuck wagon for $12 from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call the Western Heritage Museum & Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame at 575.392.6730.

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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.

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.


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