The quest for a building for our museum began in earnest in 2014 with several locations investigated. Every building had good points and not so good points. Some buildings were too expensive and some did not fit our needs. Just as we were giving up, Bob Roland came to the CCHS board and told us about the Lightning Field building.
The outside was not impressive. The building looked run-down and needed work, to say the least. Upon entering the building, CCHS president Sally Blum knew this was the one. The interior also needs work but the layout for displays, meeting room, kitchen, library and parking would more than meet the needs. In addition it has historical value.
In October the CCHS board began communicating with the DIA Art Foundation through Kathleen Shields, their representative in Albuquerque. From the beginning Kathleen was enthused and supportive in our quest to obtain title to the building. CCHS, through Kathleen, communicated with the New York office and we negotiated a donation to us with a lease back from the Lightning Field Operation. Kathleen Shields continually worked with us and New York to put this transaction together. Thank you, Kathleen, And thank you, Bob Roland, for finding the building.
On February 20, Sally Blum, Becky Bratten, Kathleen Shields, Bob Roland, Helen Cress, and Gary Blum (seated left to right in photo) met at Security Title in Socorro and finalized the paperwork. Lisa Blessing and Ken Zimmer, who were instrumental in deciding on the building, were unable to attend the closing. Now the work begins!
Ken Zimmer previously looked at the building and gave us his evaluation of the problems we need to address. He gave us a positive spin and began even before we owned the building to obtain cost estimates. Ken gave us a breakdown of what needs to be done and in what order. We are so fortunate to have Ken spearheading this project. Gary Blum will assist Ken wherever needed, but we need MONEY and VOLUNTEERS to make the museum a success.
We have formed a donation committee with volunteers to pick up items you are willing to donate. Some of the items needed are as follows: desk, chairs, tables, filing cabinets, display cases, printers, bookcases, historical manu-scripts, historical pictures, family histories. In addition we are in the process of asking homesteader families to collect family history and pictures for the museum. We will also pursue local ranchers to give us the history of their ranches with historical data and pictures. Doug Fischer will help with the Archeological History of Catron County and will help put together a display of Native Americans who came before us. His expertise is greatly appreciated.
As soon as the town of Quemado knew we had a museum, we were offered donations and the promise of historical items for our museum. We are a 501 (c)(3) corporation and donations are tax deductible. Without the help of our community, this museum cannot exist. So please help wherever you can.
Please contact us if you have items to donate. Visit our donation page for financial contributions.