By William Thompson
The Tucumcari Historical Museum hosts a chuck wagon barbecue at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. Duane Moore, head of the museum’s research institute, said it’s a good chance for the museum’s 90 or so members to socialize and for
non-members to find out what museum membership offers.
“Members of the museum and research institute can visit the museum all year long without having to pay the $2 admission,” Moore said. “Members get to go on three field trips per year.”
Moore said the field trips involve access to private lands in the area.
“We can get permission to go onto private lands and view things like ancient American Indian petroglyphs and old Catholic churches from the late 1800s,” Moore said.
Annual membership is $5 for individuals or $10 for families.
Moore said every April the museum holds a banquet for members.
“Every banquet has a guest speaker knowledgeable about some aspect of area history,” Moore said. “Last April we had James Lerke speak on the history of the railroad in Tucumcari.”
The museum itself is unique for a city the size of Tucumcari,
“Tourists come in and tell us they visit historical museums in other towns our size and our museum has a lot more items than other museums,” Moore said.
The museum’s building was originally a schoolhouse for railroad employees. Six large rooms hold historical artifacts from the Quay County area, including American Indian and homesteader artifacts.
“A lot of old-timers come in and say they remember using some of this old stuff,” Moore said.
Behind the museum building is an exhibit of old horse-drawn wagons.
“I especially like the old doctor’s buggy,” Moore’s wife Linda said, “and the old covered wagon still has the original tarp on it.”
For anyone wishing to do historical research of Quay County and Tucumcari, the museum has a collection of area history books, high school annuals, directories and old newspapers long gone out of print like the Glenrio Tribune, the Nara Visa Register and the San Jon Acantha.