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The Ailman Family in Silver City - A family friendly interactive parlor exhibition
This interactive exhibition allows visitors to enter into and experience the Victorian Parlor of the H. B. Ailman family. It is a family friendly exhibit that all age groups will enjoy.

H. B. Ailman built the home in 1881 that now houses the Silver City Museum. The parlor has been designed for guests to actually use the vintage and reproduction furniture and games, and experience what a fine home in Silver City would have been like in the 1890s. Parlors were used to express wealth and for entertaining guests.

H.B. Ailman and Family in the Parlor (Collection of the Silver City Museum)
April 1917: The United States Enters World War I
Exhibit runs March 21 - May 14, 2017

On 6 April 1917 the United States joined the Allies in fighting in France. Although the United States had professed no desire to fight in a war created by Europeans, by early 1917 it was apparent that America's assistance would change the outcome of the struggle. Grant County professed enthusiastic support once war was officially declared. Hundreds of Grant County men joined up or were drafted into the military. Forty were killed in the Great War. Over two million American men and women were sent to Europe. It is estimated that worldwide there were 38 million casualties. Of this number, 320,518 were from the U.S. This exhibit features military uniforms and original photographs from the Museum's collection.

The Disappearing Mining Landscape of Grant County photographs by Ann McMahon and minerals courtesy of Andrew Lindlof
Exhibit runs April 28 - September 4, 2017
Along with McMahon's photographic prints, the exhibit includes a collection of minerals from three of nineteen mining districts in Grant County courtesy of Andrew Lindlof. McMahon's crisp, detailed colored prints artistically document the disappearing mining landscapes of three storied Silver City-vicinity mining districts, Boston Hill; Chloride Flats, and the Central Mining District. According to Lindlof,
"These images of mines, infrastructure, and landscapes are meant to elicit feelings of beauty, curiosity, respect, and a connection to place. They, along with the rock and mineral samples, act as a physical heritage, providing either a view of an unseen place or a reminder of a place once visited. This exhibit displays a common history of this region and its people."
Including work from the last five years, it is part of an ongoing effort by a few people to preserve Silver City's mining heritage. Led by local mining historian Terrance Humble of Bayard, and with the help of hydrologist Andrew Lindlof-and photographer Ann McMahon, their work was recognized in 2015 by the first ever Mining Heritage Award from the National Mining History Association.

50 Years Ago In Silver City
50th Anniversary Special Exhibition
Exhibit runs May 19 - December 31, 2017

The Silver City Museum opened its doors to the public in July 1967. The exhibition tells the origin story of the Museum and places it in the context of life in Silver City and Grant County circa 1962-1976. Artifacts and photographs of the era from both the Silver City Museum's collection and borrowed from community members will be on view.

The Town of Silver City granted permission to establish the Silver City Museum in the H.B. Ailman House, then in use as the fire station. The Museum would share the space with the fire department for the first years of its existence until the fire department moved to its new building. In telling the story of the Museum founders, the exhibit connects to their other interests and projects in historic preservation, forming the local arts community and the Food Co-op.

The exhibition features popular culture artifacts and photographs, showcasing the music, clothing, sports, and cars of the era. Also featured, newsworthy local happenings in education, civil rights, mining, rodeo, and space exploration.

Vignettes comprising artifacts collected in 1967 will be displayed in the Museum hallway cases to give visitors a sense of the Museum collection in those early days. In addition to the exhibition, the Museum is planning a slate of programs to celebrate this landmark year.

Stories of Southwestern New Mexico Women
Exhibit runs through April 2017
Many of the stories of women in southwest New Mexico have been obscured in history, lost in the telling by predominantly masculine chroniclers. In some ways, women's stories are simply a focused version of people's stories as a whole. And yet women occupy unique niches across cultures by holding specific knowledge, performing work, and assuming roles essential to both basic survival and cultural cohesion.

Within the array of cultures that have touched southwestern New Mexico - Mimbres, Apache, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo - women's contributions are as varied and mosaic as the cultures themselves. Women are warriors, social organizers, hunters, potters, explorers, and messengers. Often, through necessity or opportunity, they subvert gender norms and buck historical assumptions as to the scope of their capabilities. And yet, quite literally, certain threads universally bind women's roles. They process and stitch fibers into clothing, procure food and shelter, tend children and animals, and maintain medicinal knowledge. Women are the artisans of survival, sustaining their communities through hard, skilled labor.
[ Press Release ]

Built to Change: The Evolving Story of the Historic Ailman House
Exhibit closes April 23, 2017
Built to Change shares a little of the long history of this beautiful house and its occupants. Past occupants include the Ailman family, the Hobart family, and later a boarding house for many new arrivals, City Hall, and for a time, the Silver City fire station. Also in this exhibit, the museum shares more information on architectural features of the home. There is a wonderful large-scale model of the house on display along with original Ailman family artifacts and other objects of the time period from the museum's collection.

The Silver City Museum's exhibit entitled, The Flood Season: How Silver City's Main Street Became the Big Ditch features historic photographs and eyewitness newspaper accounts from the many floods that destroyed downtown Main Street in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Historic District Window Exhibits
Historic Districts Interpretive window exhibits are on display facing the Courtyard.

Each of the four districts has a map, with corresponding information about the history and architecture of the district.

The maps interpret the unique buildings and history of Silver City, and the importance of historic preservation.
Walking tours of three historic districts include:
  • Historic Business District,
  • La Capilla,
  • Gospel Hill.
Each tour includes maps, illustrations, and histories of specific buildings in the tour area. These materials are currently available for free, while supplies last, at the Silver City Museum and the Murray Ryan Visitor Center.