Sunday, July 13, 2008

the Tucumcari Museum

Regular readers may remember my recent post on the Dinosaur Museum here in Tucumcari.

The good news is that this small town boasts not just one, but two exceptional museums. The second is the Tucumcari Historical Museum, and it's another hidden find, nestled here in Northern New Mexico. Located in an old brick home, it has a special mystique, similar to my other favorite New Mexico Museum which is down south in Deming.

As you walk through the front yard, old artifacts are scattered around the grounds, creating an ambiance redolent of this magical state. On your way to the entrance, you pass this small shrine. We see these all over the countryside.

In another area of the yard is an horno, an outdoor oven favored by the pioneers. This one is decorated with a collection of antlers. At some time, I hope to get the chance to learn to bake in one of these outdoor beauties.

The Tucumcari Museum houses a collection of collections, covering a variety of subjects and time periods. This is just the kind of place I love. There's so much to see here, you can go over every room three or four times and still miss so much. This museum is a great place to spend an afternoon, knowing you can come back many times for a whole different experience every time.

I know there is a name for these mirrors, but I sure don't know what it is. I do know that I've always loved them. I wonder why they don't make them anymore?

I've included a couple of dual pictures of two of these mirrors, so you can see the graphics better.

Isn't this Indian Maiden a hoot?

I remember that these kind of mirrors used to be a common advertising item, but they seem to have all but disappeared.

Here's one more for the dog lovers. Remember you can always click on any picture for a larger version.

Now on to other parts of the Museum. There are a lot of household items, donated from various local families. I liked his old birdcage.

Here's a vintage Will Rogers clock, pretty cool, huh?

This is a shot taken from the second story landing looking down. It gives a good feel for the kind of eclectic collections housed in this Museum.

Here's another shot of the landing with my Hunny Bunny posing with the bear. The Museum curator said this is the most photographed area of the Museum.

While I'm not a huge fan of taxidermy, the examples in this museum were stunning.

There's a whole section dedicated to the local High School. Don't you just love these Majorette costumes? The local football team is called the Tucumcari Rattlers.

There used to be a wonderful old Drug Store here in Tucumcari called the Elk Drug. Among fans of old Route 66, it's one of the legends. Here in the Museum, there's a large collection of memorabilia and stock from the Elk Drug, including this sign which hung in the bathroom of this fabled store.

Somewhat ahead of its time.

The Museum has a lovely collection of vintage hand made lace. I was so taken with this next piece that I took two pictures, then couldn't decide which one I liked better, so I'm posting both of them.

This lace is called Nanduti, and it's handmade in Paraguay. The word Nanduti means spider web in Guarini, the language of the Paraguayans who create it. It's hand made on a frame similar to a small quilting frame.

Isn't it just amazingly beautiful? I hope you can tell from the photos how deliciously delicate it is.

Another area of the Museum houses old letters, stamps, books and assorted ephemera. I used to collect old leather work, so I was particularly taken with these hand made leather postcards.

The next four pictures were taken in one of the out buildings. Whoever put this room together did such an exceptional job. Not only does it beautifully display a variety of artifacts, but the whole feeling of the room is like a painting.

This inlaid necklace adorns the turquoise dress you see in the display case.

Here's a wider shot of the table display.

And finally, here's a closeup of the table tableau. Quite beautiful, don't you think?

I've been using this shot as a desktop on my computer .

The Museum also has exhibits on teh grounds. This tee pee is life size and you can go in it if you like.

Here's a picture of the wagon barn.

And here's the Museums' air plane.

And here's their train car. They have a bit of everything!

As we were leaving, we noticed a large selection of petrified wood in the Museums' garden. This is an especially large specimen.

So this concludes my tour of the Tucumcari Museum. It was a swell afternoon, and a tremendous value for $2.50. If you're in the area, I think it's definitely worth a visit.

We are truly enjoying our time here. The weather has been quite wet, but that's been sort of special also. The rain keeps it nice and cool and makes the lovely flowers all green and bloomy.

Life is good.

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