Monday, June 16, 2014

Folsom, NM - 6/15/14

Folsom, NM, is about 10 miles from the Capulin RV Park where we stayed, so we decided to check it out. The town was named for Frances Folsom, the finance of President Woodrow Wilson. This tiny town has a population of 56 (2010 census) down from 77 in 2000, but still has a post office. (It first opened in 1877.) There is a phone booth with a real-live working pay phone in the parking lot next to the entrance to the post office today. I haven't seen one of them in quite a while!

In 1908, George McJunkin, a black cowboy discovered the bones of an extinct bison at a site about 8 miles from Folsom. This archeological find proved to the scientific community that ancient man lived in the Americas 10,000 years earlier than previously believed. When the site was excavated in 1926, 23 ancient bison skeletons were found that had been hunted with distinctive tools, known as Folsom Points. The site is closed to the public, although guided tours are provided once or twice a year. Contact the Folsom Museum to learn more information about the tours.

Some of the extinct bison bones from Folsom Site.

The Colorado and Southern Railroad line ran near the town. In 1888, Black Jack Ketchum and his gang robbed the train near Folsom three times and was captured during the final one in 1889. His arm was shot and subsequently amputated before he stood trial. He was subsequently hanged in nearby Des Moines. The town had no experience with hanging and tested the process using a 200-pound sack of dirt. When the actual hanging of Black Jack occurred, someone forgot to remove the sack of dirt. The ghastly result was that Black Jack was decapitated due to the tension between his neck and the sack during the public hanging. Yikes! Photos of this are exhibited in the Folsom Museum.  

There are very few business remaining in Folsom and it is referred to as a "ghost town." Hopefully, they will find funding to restore this quaint village to its original form.

The Folsom Hotel was once a well-known place to stay in the region.

The museum is a large, one-room, high-ceiling, structure with an interesting array of historical artifacts. There are numerous photo albums that have lots of interesting tidbits of info about the area. You can easily spend a couple of hours looking around here. Displays are somewhat disorganized, but we had fun finding hidden "treasures" all over the crowded room.

The view of this antique cash register provides a partial view of the rest of the museum. 

Lots of kitchen stuff.
Ice box.

Copper bath tub. (don't think I would have liked that aspect of life on the High Plains in the 1800s.)

Barber chair then a dentist chair.  I know which one I would prefer!!

Vintage x-ray machine.

There are historical markers all along the roads we travelled in this NE corner of New Mexico. Below is a historical that commemorate the initiative to recognize women.

And this marker is next to the Folsom Museum recognizing Sally Rooke.

Admission for adults is $1.50. If you like large, slick, polished museums, skip this one. If you want to see some of Americana about the High Plains in a casual setting, stop by.  We loved the history of it.


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