Lincoln State Monument
Lincoln State Monument was established in 1937 as a New Mexico
State Monument, and is a part of a historic district in the tiny
hamlet of Lincoln, New Mexico. Seventeen of the forty-eight
structures in town are protected as part of the monument.
Properties comprising the monument include Wright House, Dr.
Wood's Office, Watson House, Curry Saloon, Wortley Hotel, Penfield
Shop and Home, Tunstall Store, Old Mill, Ellis Store, Old
Courthouse, Montano Store.
The entire town (including the remaining privately-owned
structures) is part of the Lincoln National Historic District that
extends along U.S. Route 380 for 10 miles. The district was
declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The National
Park Service reviewer of the site, who visited in 1974, believed,
then, that it was the best preserved cow town in the United
Lincoln State Monument is unique in that it manages most
of the historical buildings in the community of Lincoln. This most
widely visited state monument in New Mexico is part of a community
frozen in time—the 1870's and 1880's. Through a gift from the
Hubbard Family Trust, the monument now includes 17 structures and
outbuildings, 4 of which are open year round and 2 more seasonally
as museums. Most of the buildings in the community are
representative of the Territorial Style of adobe architecture in
the American Southwest.
Lincoln is a town made famous by one of
the most violent periods in New Mexico history. Today's visitors
can see the Old Lincoln County Courthouse with museum exhibits
that recount the details of the Lincoln County War and the
historic use of the "House" as store, residence, Masonic Lodge,
courthouse, and jail. Walk in the footsteps of Billy the Kid, Pat
Garrett, and other famous and infamous characters of the Wild
West. Trace the events of 1878 through the Courthouse and the
Tunstall Store, with their preserved 19th-century atmosphere.
Remarkably, the Tunstall Store contains
displays of the original 19th-century merchandise in the original
shelving and cases! Continue your walk through history by visiting
the Dr. Woods House, defensive torreón (tower) for the village,
the San Juan Mission Church (you can also enjoy holiday Episcopal
and Catholic Mass here), and the Montaño store. The
Anderson-Freeman Museum features historical exhibits in a timeline
starting with American Indian prehistory and ending with the
Lincoln County War. A 12 minute video about the Lincoln County War
and the community is shown throughout the day.
The importance of this community and the
significance of the Bonito Valley in the prehistory and history of
the Territory of New Mexico are interpreted within some of the 17
structures that comprise Lincoln State Monument. These historic
adobe and stone buildings are preserved as they were in the late
1800s and represent the factions involved in the Lincoln County
A small park is available for picnicking, and
there is ½ mile hiking trail along the Rio Bonito.
Lincoln is a community frozen in time. Lincoln
State Monument, a National Historical Landmark, preserves numerous
historical buildings much as they were during one of the most
violent periods of New Mexico history.
President Rutherford B. Hayes called Lincoln’s
main street “the most dangerous street in America.” In this quiet
one-street community visitors can walk in the footsteps of Sheriff
Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, and other infamous characters involved
in the Lincoln County War, 1878-1881.
The Old Lincoln County Courthouse
traces the events as a store, residence, Masonic Lodge and
eventually courthouse and jail.
The Tunstall Store's
original 19th century merchandise is on display.
The Torreon, a defensive
tower, continues to stand watch in the middle of town.
The Montano Store
contains exhibits on adobe construction and the Hispanic
culture that was prevalent during the Lincoln County War.
The San Juan Mission Church
is open to the public and is still used for services today.
The Anderson-Freeman Visitors Center,
the only non-historical building open to the public, has
exhibits in a timeline starting with American Indian
pre-history and ending with the Lincoln County War.