On Exhibit Now

Ranching in Grant County

Cowboy on a horse and man standing next to themCaption: Gideon Lyda and D.C. McMillen, c. 1900. Collection of Silver City Museum

People have raised livestock in Grant County since long before the county’s founding in 1868, and to this day ranching continues to play an important role in the economy and culture of the region. The exhibit presents historical photographs, artifacts, and family histories to tell the story of this place and how ranching in Grant County and surroundings has changed over time.

Ranching families immigrating to Grant County brought a diversity of practices, and traditions from Mexico, Texas, California, and the Great Plains, which they combined and adapted to create a ranching culture unique to southwestern New Mexico. Ranching families have been active and creative in expressing their culture and in contributing to their community. The exhibit will showcase distinctive Grant County expressions including the outdoor sport of cowboy polo, local Western musicians, ranch management education and community charity programs.


This exhibit is made possible thanks to the generous contributions of the Copper CowBelles and members of the local community who have given or loaned historical objects, family histories, or financial support.

Cowboy Culture

Hallway Case Exhibits

Cowboys on horses

Caption: Tirey on Corkscrew, Rodeo at Fort Bayard, circa 1920. SCM Photo Number 01429

This exhibit explores the following that surrounds this rural lifestyle:

  • Art
  • Cultures
  • History
  • Social Organizations
  • Sports

From the Collections

January 22, 2020 to October 5, 2020

Man holding red high heels

Caption: Curator Joe Bryce holds the shoes of Madam Millie, Silver City’s storied courtesan, businesswoman, and philanthropist.

A behind-the-curtain peak at some of the Museum’s most fascinating artifacts, along with some information and commentary on the process of collecting and an invitation to visitors to suggest items to be added.

The Silver City Museum houses more than 20,000 objects and 25,000 photographs. Among the highlights are Madam Millie’s red high heels, and a photograph from the Marriott Family collection of the first planes the U.S. military used in combat, which in 1916 took to Mexican skies seeking retribution for Poncho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico.

There is also a mystery case full of un-named items. Guess what they are and visit the front desk greeter to find out if you’re right!

Other Exhibits

The Ailman Parlor

Flood Season

Tyrone Banking Office

Mining Exhibit

The Cupola