Monday, April 1, 2024

Billy the Kid Museum

Billy the Kid was a horse thief, a cattle rustler, and a murderer but his death at a young age along with fictionalized tales of his exploits has resulted in a romanticized version of his life. He became involved in the Lincoln County War which was a conflict between two groups fighting for control of the profits from ranching and dealing in dry goods. Billy was arrested and charged with killing four men. He escaped but was tracked down by and shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett on July 14, 1881. Nobody in the conflict was blameless but Billy, despite all of the stories told through the years, was never anything but an outlaw. 

 The Billy the Kid Museum is capitalizing on the fact that Fort Sumner, Lincoln County, New Mexico was where Billy spent most of his time, where he was shot, and is buried. The first section of the museum has newspaper clippings and conflicting stories about Billy's life. Several old men came forward years after he was killed and claimed to be him. Other people had old photographs that they believed were of Billy. Since his life was so short there isn't a lot known about him and there's only one authenticated photograph of him.  

The rest of the museums rambles through rooms filled with neatly arranged collections of everything.  Follow the arrows painted on the floor so that you don't miss anything.

Due to the rambling nature of the museum there are multiple problems with accessibility. The ramp from the parking lot down to the entrance is fine and the first room is okay too but after that transitions from one section to another include short, steep ramps and high thresholds. 

The parking lot is large enough for most RVs. Street parking is also available. Museum  34.46622, -104.22892