What to Expect When Eastern New Mexico State Historic Sites Reopen This Week
September 23rd, 2020
The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) has announced that state museums and historic sites will reopen on Thursday, September 24. Eastern New Mexico DCA facilities include Lincoln Historic Site, Fort Stanton Historic Site, and Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial. Each of these facilities will operate at 25% of normal occupancy, with modified hours, and offer visitors an opportunity to experience a unique piece of our state’s culture.
Fort Stanton Historic Site, one of the most intact 19th-century military forts in the country and the best-preserved fort in New Mexico, will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Visitors to this historic site will have accessible to the visitor’s center, outdoor historic structures, gift shop, and outdoor walking trails, and when staff is present guests will be able to explore indoor historic structures. The occupancy limit of 200 people will allow visitors to learn about some of the most unusual and little-known chapters in our state’s history.
Lincoln Historic Site, preserved as it was in 1880 when it was described at the most dangerous street in America, offers visitors plenty to explore – from the Lincoln County Courthouse to the Tunstall Mercantile. The historic site will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Visitors can enjoy access to the visitor’s center, indoor historic structures (when staff is present), outdoor historic structures, and outdoor walking trails. When staff is present, guests can also visit the hacienda and chapel. The occupancy limit of 200 will allow visitors to see first-hand how Lincoln hasn’t changed much since the Lincoln County War.
Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial, where the Navajo Treaty was signed in 1868, creating a sovereign Navajo Nation, will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and closed on Monday and Tuesday. Visitors to this historic site will have access to the visitor’s center, indoor gallery, outdoor walking trails, outdoor animal exhibit, and gift shop. The occupancy limit of 50 people can learn how the U.S. Army used scorched-earth policies to forcibly remove Navajo and Mescalero Apache people from their traditional homelands to this lonely, inhospitable outpost along the Pecos River, pivotal moments in the history of the American West.
Additionally, from 10 a.m. to noon each Wednesday, most DCA facilities will provide special hours of operation for high-risk populations. This corresponds with DCA’s weekly free day for state residents 60 and older.
State museums and historic sites have been closed to the public since March 16 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the reopening process, the DCA has taken the necessary steps to ensure a safe, healthy, and enjoyable experience for visitors when they return to these facilities, in accordance with the current Public Health Order issued by the New Mexico Department of Health.
Entry into facilities will be metered to ensure compliance with the occupancy limits. Based on both historic attendance data and ticketing limitations, facilities will not require timed entry or reservations.
The New Mexico CulturePass, which allows one visit to each state museum and historic site while active, will be extended by six months past the expiration date. Memberships sold through the private Museum of New Mexico Foundation, applicable to New Mexico Historic Sites, are valid one month past their original expiration date.
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