I am notoriously easy to please when it comes to roadside attractions. A few hours previous to this I marveled at a huge room full of rocks for a couple of hours and was happy as a clam.
But THIS! This museum is a masterpiece. I could spend days here. I actually went here on my first road trip through New Mexico in 2017. Lucky for me my family lives in T or C so the museum is just down the street and I got to experience it for a second time.
As I’ve mentioned previously, my absolute favorite thing to do on Trip Advisor is to go right to the bad reviews for any given location. For this museum my favorite bad review said that their favorite thing here was “seeing a very small but fat mouse.”
I get it because I get pretty excited when I see mice too. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion; everyone except for this guy. There is SO MUCH STUFF here, if you didn’t see something you thought was cool, you didn’t look hard enough.
Like these! The first things you see when you enter the museum are a mastodon skull and a woolly mammoth skull. They’re just on tables out in the open! It’s so hard not to touch them! Please note, I showed an amazing amount of restraint by not touching them.
After the fossils there is a long hallway full of artifacts from the indigenous people of New Mexico. There is a stunning display of stone tools and points, cases upon cases of them.
The hallway of artifacts leads you to the Hardcastle Cabin. This cabin was used in the 1930’s-1940’s. It was built in the Black Range Mountains and relocated to the museum in the 1990’s. These newspaper clippings were found inside the walls of the cabin. They were originally used as insulation.
It is full of era-appropriate artifacts, although I don’t know what mining prospectors or ranchers would have done will this many creepy baby dolls. Actually I do, but I don’t want to think about it.
Honestly there are an unsettling number of haunted looking dolls in this museum, and replicas of angry-looking Geronimo. I think his anger is warranted.
I was drawn to this quilt made in 1942 from tobacco sacks by the late Mrs. J. Dan McCauley of Dusty, New Mexico, in nearby Socorro County. It was embroidered with all of the original cattle brands of New Mexico. The cattle brands and owners’ names are great, but I love the illustrations around the perimeter; we’ve got wildlife, cowboy boots, saddles, cowboys being thrown from their horses & gored by bulls, Mickey Mouse, and somehow, more. It gets more chaotic the longer you look at it.
Every town in the old west had to have a saloon and Truth or Consequences was no different. This part of the building was originally the Turf Club and had this outstanding mural on the wall, which had been covered up. It is now restored with a terrifying mini bar scene at the end of the room.
Of course there’s a big display of items from the radio program Truth or Consequences. The townspeople has very fond memories of Ralph Edwards and a great appreciation for the publicity he gave to the struggling resort town.
With the arrival of the radio program came a yearly Fiesta, which is still held today. There are lots of great dresses and tiaras of Fiestas past to admire.
When other smaller museums in New Mexico close, the Geronimo Springs Museum is bound to inherit anything they might have accumulated. That’s how the museum acquired these items from the New Mexico Fiddlers Association Hall of Fame.
Lots of things are donated, like all the ancient pottery and arrowheads. But my favorite donated items I saw were these trophies and photos of competitive mohair goats from the early 1900’s
This place just goes on and on! Just when you think you’re done, there’s a whole other building you haven’t seen yet. There are displays with an extensive history of New Mexico, lots of cool taxidermy, and ANOTHER ANGRY GERONIMO.
There is a place for the kids to color in the last building, where I took a photo of this relatable note.
There is honestly so much stuff in this museum that I had to stop looking at things and move on because I was overwhelmed! This is one of my favorite stops in town and is not to be missed.
If you’d like to read about my entire 2019 trip to New Mexico, check out these posts:
- La Paloma Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences, NM
- I Went to the Desert & All I Bought Was ROCKS
- ABQ Zoo
- Riverbend Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences, NM
- Ghost Town of Chloride, NM Travel Guide
- Blackstone Hotsprings: Truth or Consequences, NM
- Mineral Museum, Socorro, NM
- Geronimo Springs Museum (that’s this one!)