Lincoln, NM. A division of the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso Downs, the Anderson-Freeman is the best curated of all rural Lincoln County museums. There are extensive exhibits here documenting the Lincoln County War (depicted in the movie 'Young Guns,' among others) and a theater for viewing a short video. The museum also hosts the best gift shop on the back road museum tour. Location: see above. Hours: 8:30-4:30 daily. Cost: $6 for the all-location pass, or $3.50

 The Hubbard Museum of the American West    
A Smithsonian Affiliate The Hubbard Museum of the American West is one of the most respected museums in the southwest region, and home to an extensive collection of magnificent carriages, wagons, saddles, firearms and Indian artifacts, as well as ever-changing traveling exhibits.
26301 Hwy 70 Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico 88346
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Capitan, NM. If youírelooking for a stuffed Smokey, this is the place. In a small one-room log cabin on the other side of the historical park is a collection of (not for sale) items that feature Smokeyís image, as well as shelves full of for-sale items like t-shirts and Smokey Beanie Bears. Location: 102 Smokey Bear Blvd. Hours: summer hours 9-5 daily (closed for lunch). Cost: free.

The focus of this fledgling museum is the communityís past as a railroad boom-town. One exhibit features a typical one-room school with a window overlooking a since-demolished county seat building. A new model railroad exhibit is a kid-pleaser. Location: 103 12th St., Carrizozo (intersection U.S. 54 and 380). Hours: 10-2 Weds thru Sat. Nice gift shop. Costs: free, donations appreciated.

Ft. Stanton, NM. This 150-year-old pre-Civil War fort (1855) was home at one time to Kit Carson, the Buffalo Soldiers, 'Black Jack' Pershing, German prisoners, Geronimo and Billy the Kid. The public is only allowed onto the grounds (the state is using it as a rehab center) one day a year. The event is called 'Ft. Stanton Live!' and it happens in mid-August annually. 'Fort Stanton Live!' converts the fort into a living history stage with military re-enactors, storytellers, Buffalo Soldiers and more (free). Any other time youíll have to be satisfied with small but nice Fort Stanton Museum & Visitorís Center which includes a re-created officerís room and library. Annual events: 'Ft. Stanton Live!' mid-August (call to confirm). Location: N.M. 220 between N.M. 48 and U.S. 380 (northeast of Ruidoso). Hours: 10-4 Thurs-Mon.   

White Oaks, NM. Once the second largest city in the state, White Oaks is just a ghost of what it was before residents tried to charge the railroad for right-of-way (and lost) and the gold mines petered out. One of the surviving gems is the finest example of an eastern-influenced, brick four-room school house left in New Mexico today. State-owned, and maintained by the local historical society; the whole structure is much the way it was when it was built in the late 1890s. Thereís a small museum on the second floor documenting the past and many of the families that went to school here. Annual events: Artists of White Oaks Studio Tour mid-April; Gold Rush Days Memorial Day Weekend; Art, Antique & Collectibles Auction Sep or Oct. Location: 12 miles northeast of Carrizozo via U.S. 54 and N.M. 349. Hours: 10-4 Sat & Sun Memorial Day-Labor Day. Costs: $2 per person or $5 per family donation.

Capitan, NM. Everything you ever wanted to know about Lincoln Countyís most famous bear. Kids love the place. Thereís a full-size talking Smokey and a small theater where a short documentary plays about the bear cub found in a 17,000-acre forest fire in the nearby Capitan Mountains. Heís buried in the park next door. Annual events: Smokey Bear Days early May; Annual Smokey Bear Parade & Rodeo July 4th weeked. Location: 118 Smokey Bear Blvd., Capitan (U.S. 380 between Carrizozo and Lincoln). Hours: 9-5 daily. Adults $2, kids 7-12 $1, 6 and under free.

Alto, NM. The seven-story landmark architecture by Antoine Predock is worth the photo alone, but inside there are four major installations by Seatlle Glass Sculptor Dale Chihuly. About 5000 people a year stop by for guided public tours Tuesdays & Thursdays (except show dates) at 10 a.m. N.M. 220 on the way to Ft. Stanton from N.M. 48 (northeast of Ruidoso). Cost: free. On the average the Spencer has a live touring performance every 11 days

Corona, NM. In far north Lincoln County the 10-year old Corona Museum shares space in an old hotel with a new lending library. The museum features heirlooms and antiques from local families dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s (including a moonshine still found on a local ranch). If Corona had had an army base in the mid-1940s, the alien 'Roswell Incident' might have been called the 'Corona Incident.' Corona is the closest civilization to the actual site. Location: about 46 miles north of Carrizozo on U.S. 54. Hours: 9-1 Tues, Thurs, Fri; 2-6 Weds; Childrenís Story Hour Weds at 4. Cost: free.

A restored 1800s family home from the gold-boom era. Photos, drawings, self-guided tour. The nearby cemetery is the resting spot for the first governor of New Mexico, Susan McSween Barber and deputy J.W. Bell, killed by Billy the Kid when he escaped from the Lincoln County Courthouse. Annual event: Minerís Day first Sat in June. Location: (see White Oaks Schoolhouse Museum). Hours: 9-5 daily Memorial Day-Labor Day. Costs: donations appreciated.

Lincoln, NM. All of 'Old Lincoln' is an historic district. In a sense, youíre walking through a museum there. Many of these these are more preserved historical sites than hard-core museums. The Courthouse is one of only six State Monuments in New Mexico. The core of the historical importance here is the Lincoln County War and its players, which include Billy the Kid (he made a famous escape from the Courthouse), Sheriff Pat Garrett, John Chisum, Alexander McSween and John Tunstall. Walking through all of these museums/locations gives one the sense of the way things were. The Courthouse seems almost untouched. Take a picture next to an image of the famous life-sized tintype blow-up of Billy. Annual events: Old Lincoln Days Celebrations the first weekend in August; Christmas Eve in Old Lincoln Dec 24 (7 p.m. Episcopalian service, 10 p.m. Catholic Mass). Location: 12 miles east of Capitan on U.S. 380 (30 miles north of Ruidoso). Hours: Courthouse & MontaŮo Store 8:30-5 daily; Dr. Woods Mansion & Tunstall Store 9-5 daily. Cost: $6 for entrance to seven sites including the Anderson-Freeman Museum; NM residents 1/2 price on Suns (60+ free on Weds); otherwise $3.50 per location. 16 and under free with paid adult.

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