Donate to the Lea County Museum

The Lea County Museum is a non-profit organization that depends on donations from the community to operate. We have been fortunate to have great support from people and organizations around the area. This has allowed us to expand considerably and introduce a concert series as well.

There is still a lot to do and more we’d like to bring to the community of Lea, but we need your help to make our goals a reality. Here is a look at just some of the projects we have on our wish-list:

  1. Developing several planned exhibits on second floor of 1931 Lister Building, $15,000
  2. Completion of two bathrooms in Lister Building, $10,000
  3. Completion of Hop Graham print shop exhibit on 1st floor of Lister Building, $12,000
  4. Repairing inside and stabilization of 1918 Sewalt House, $55,000
  5. Repairs for Caprock Store and Reed House, $12,000
  6. Digitizing photographs of Lea County Veterans Exhibit, $10,000
  7. Creating introductory videos for Commercial Hotel and Lister Building, $5,000
  8.  Purchasing and installing an elevator in the two-story 1931 Lister Building, $100,000
  9.  Creating a large scale mural (30’ x 80’) depicting the history of Lea County on west side wall of the Lister Building, $80,000

Maintaining Current Operations

In addition to expanding and bringing on board new programs to entertain and education the community, the Museum relies on donations for its regular day-to-day operating budget. Every little bit helps and we appreciate your donations.

Gift Shop

You can also come into the museum and explore our gift shop which includes many books and artwork from artists in and around Lea County. You can browse some items from our gift shop online here: https://leacountymuseum.org/store/

Make a Donation Now

You can make a donation today online by visiting:

Donations are tax-deductible.

You can also come into the museum in person or mail a check to:

Lea County Museum
103 S. Love St
Lovington, NM 88260

You can also call us at 575-396-4805 to arrange a donation.

Lea County Museum Seeks Full-Time Executive Director

The Lea County Museum seeks a full time Executive Director to provide dynamic leadership and to direct planning, organization, staffing, and operations for the museum located in Lovington. Salary commensurate with skills and/or experience. Range is $32,000 to $48,000. Full job description available below. Open until filled. Applicants may apply by emailing resume and references to: LeaCoMuseum@leaco.net.

Job Description:

The Lea County Museum seeks an Executive Director to provide dynamic leadership and to direct planning, organization, staffing, and operations. The Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Directors to refine, develop, and implement a program for the Museum’s fundraising, exhibitions, collections management, educational activities, and community outreach. The potential candidate will be passionate about the historical relevancy of Lea County. Strengths should include administration skills, knowledge of the area, media skills and promote the mission of the museum.

Lea County Museum Executive Director Job Duties:

Historical and Cultural Exhibits and Programs

  • The director will be responsible for developing at least one new exhibit per year.
  • Plan at least four concerts hosted by the LCM per year.  

Educational

  • The director will host at least 2 events/programs in the museum such as having authors discuss their publications per year. 

Develop educational programs/classes and partnerships of benefit to the school systems and/or community.

Communication

  • Serves as spokesperson and chief advocate for the Museum.
  • Establishes strong partnerships in the community. 
  • Enhances the Museum’s public image to expand interest and support.
  • Communicates information about Lea County historical aspects and relevancy to advance the purpose of the museum both externally and internally by a variety of means to include newspaper and social media including the quality of life throughout Lea County. 
  • Communicates information to the board of directors.
  • Communicates to LCM patrons’ information and donation requests.
  • Develops relationships with foundations, corporations, and individual donors.
  • Research and continue to publish books.

Preservation

  • Preserves the LCM historical properties and develop a strategic plan to update, enhance and maintain infrastructure and grounds. 
  • Seek grant opportunities for the LCM.

Cataloging, Curation and Development

  • Catalog, curate and develop a database of collections and donations relevant to Lea County and regional artifacts. 

Coordination of Usage Space

  • LCM will provide space for groups to host events such as school reunions, usage of the pavilion for dances.
  • Develop and maintain a calendar of events coordinating with Lovington Chamber and MainStreet.
  • Develop a usage agreement to protect LCM assets.

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Maintain budget and fiscal responsibility.
  • Manages and leads staff, volunteers, and consultants.

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds with or without assistance.
  • Ability to go up and down stairs. 
  • Ability to fulfill all elements of the job description.

Job duties included but not limited to other duties as directed by the Board of Directors.

Steve Smith and Tim May: Bluegrass from Nashville

Steve Smith and Tim May, musicians

The Lea County Museum will be continuing its concert series with Steve Smith & Tim May coming up in September. Smith and May are a musical duo from Texas who perform a variety of acoustic music across many styles and genres.

The duo will be performing on the night of September 25th, a Saturday, at 8:00 PM at the Lea County Museum pavilion located outside east of the old commercial hotel. Bring your own lawn chairs for the best seats. Admission is free. Come out and enjoy a night of country and bluegrass music!

For more information contact the Lea County Museum at 575-396-4805 or leacomuseum@leaco.net. You can also learn more about the musicians on their website or Facebook page.

Bobby Flores & The Yellow Rose Band

The Lea County Museum is hosting Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band on Thursday, August 12th outside on the museum grounds, weather permitting. These musicians are a country and western swing band out of Texas featuring 3 fiddles. Bobby Flores was part of the Grammy award-winning team behind Freddy Fender’s 2002 album, La Música de Baldemar Huerta. He performed on violin and provided string orchestral arrangements for the album.

Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band

In August, Bobby Flores and his band will be entertaining Lea County locals at the museum with renditions of country and western swing music. Bring a lawn chair to get the best seats at the performance, though it might be difficult to resist the urge to get up and dance to the country western tunes. The performance will begin at 8:00 on August 12.  Admission is free.

You can learn more about Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band on his website or Facebook page.

For more information about the upcoming event at the museum, contact the Lea County Museum at 575-396-4805.

Hank Williams & Ol’ Time Country

When Anthony Ray Wright and his band perform at the Lea County Museum on Friday night, July 16, at 8:00 p.m., they will be bringing a lot of country music history with them to Lovington.

 In addition, singing and playing some of the songs Hank Williams made famous in the 1940s and 1950s, ARW will be reviving a lot of personal memories for folks who lived through those years or know the musical history of that era.

Hank Williams was born in Alabama in 1923 and lived a very short life, dying on New Year’s day in 1953.

But in that brief life, Williams became a performer who may have been the most important musical artist in establishing and making popular the sound that the world associates with the dozens of different kinds of country music heard today.  

That music became known as several different types of country music, from classic country, to western swing, to roadhouse, to outlaw country, and to the island music of Kenny Chesney. 

Williams did that by recording such songs as

“Lovesick Blues,” “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It,” “Moanin’ the Blues” and “Why Don’t You Love Me.” His 1951 hits included “Hey, Good Lookin'” “Cold, Cold Heart” and “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You).” Hits of 1952 were “Honky Tonk Blues,” “Jambalaya,” and “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.”

These days Anthony Ray Wright lives and works out of Austin where he and his band perform in a number of venues, such as the downtown Hole in the Wall, but he has performed solo and with his band all over Texas.  He has also performed for years in his home country of the Big Bend in far West Texas.

Anthony Ray Wright with guitary

There he is a favorite in such venues as the Starlite Saloon in Terlingua, the ghost town where he has been a featured artist in many music festivals.

Earlier this year he was performing as far away from Texas as Cincinnati, Ohio and Madison, Indiana.

In November he will be back home where he will appear at Alpine’s Art Walk annual art and music festival. 

This will be his second appearance at the Lea County Museum in Lovington.

He can be found on Facebook, Youtube, Reverb Nation and his website.

Like Hank Williams, Wright has been singing and playing music since he was a kid.

Also like Williams he is fond of traveling the back roads of America and writing songs and singing about his adventures during those travels.

His latest album is titled “The Foolish:  Anthony Ray Wright.”

Reviewers have written of him and the latest album:  

“Anthony Ray Wright is a Texas treasure.  His roots reach deep into Americana.  His songs draw from the rich experience of roving across the US. Delivering an invigorating rock n’ roll-honky tonk performance is ARW’s calling card, but The Foolish Anthony Ray Wright reveals a more pensive side.”

He will perform in the Lea County Museum Pavilion.  If there is rain or poor weather conditions, the program will take place in the LCM Town Hall just across Central Street from the county courthouse.

The Pavilion is located on the east side of the Museum’s two-story Commercial Hotel building, at 103 S. Love Street, on the southeast side of the courthouse.

All LCM programs are free.

For more information about the concert, call the LCM at 575-396-4805 or email leacomuseum@leaco.net.

2021 Virtual Run & Walk Results

The Lea County Museum hosted its annual Run & Walk, and this year, like last year, it went virtual. Despite being virtual, it’s no less exhausting, though! We’re grateful for all our participants who went out there and gave it their all.

Click here to skip down to the table of results.





Run & Walk Results

Below are this year’s Run/Walk participants with their group rankings.

NameDistanceTimePlace
Rosa Cruz1m11:001st
Mason Deen1m17:301st
Sha Marie Martinez1m31:542nd
Zach Martinez1m31:541st
Zane Martinez1m31:541st
Rey Chin1m7:561st
Grace Griffin2m25:051st
Karen Deen2m31:101st
Larry Deen2m31:101st
Anne Behl2m38:751st
Larry Ward2m41:123rd
Mary Jane Ward2m41:122nd
Janis Waechter2m29:321st
Nikki Bartlett4m45:493rd
Maria Coleman4m40:452nd
Hawk Harris4m35:001st
Leonor Harris4m35:051st
Juan Zapata4m35:051st
Fernando Hernandez4m1:19:451st
Glenn Brewster4m50:101st
Benita McKensie4m1:19:311st
David Reed4m33:421st
Jimmy Waechter4m46:021st
Alice Espinosa4m1:13:221st
Phebe Zapata4m1:13:221st
Arthur Zapata4m41:511st

Unreported Times

The following people signed up to participate but did not report their times. In addition, many unnamed family and friends joined our virtual runners and walkers this year.

Alina Anaya
Bianca BoJorquez
Tegan Bradley
Aygul Brown
DagmarByrd
Wyatt Byrd
Kyle Coleman
Stephanie Deans
Cas DiOrazoi

Dillon L Franca
Allie Frei
Cesar Guerrero
Amanda Lara
Shannon Lathrop
Robert Lathrop
Dianna Luce
Amary Lee Maldonado

Lou Maldonado
Chris Martinez
Ava Olivas
Dominic Olivas
Patty Olivas
Diana Salazar
Alex Tran
Allison Zapata
Elias Zapata

Read about 2020’s Run & Walk here.

Lea County Museum Virtual Run & Walk

The Lea County Museum is hosting a Virtual Run & Walk this summer beginning June 1 through July 4.  Registration must happen before end of day on Sunday, July 4th.  T-shirts will be provided to the first 100 registrants.

Awards and drawings will take place after July 4th.  Results will be sent through by email, phone or mail.

AWARDS

1st, 2nd, 3rd will be given to male and female finishers in the following age groups:

  • 10 and under
  • 11-14
  • 15-19
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70+

ENTRY FORMS:

Available at Lea County Museum, 103 S. Love, Lovington, 88260 or download here and return via email to leacomuseum@leaco.net or through Facebook.

HistNote924-PhotosPhillippine

Jim Harris

            A shoebox full of history: American Soldiers in the Pacific, Pre-WW I.

            Last week I had a brief visit with an old friend from my days at New Mexico Junior College when she brought a shoebox full of history from her home in Hobbs.

            Elaine Richeson came up to the Lea County Museum with her daughter Melody to donate to the museum two World War II Navy uniforms that had belonged to her late husband Doyle.

            Elaine’s father-in-law, Jack Richeson, had been a soldier in the US Army in the years before World War I, and he had served in 1914 in the several parts of the world.

            Doyle had kept some memorabilia of his father, and among those belongings was a shoebox full of postcards with soldier pictures from the Philippines on the front of the cards.

            A few of the postcards had handwritten notes on them, but many of them were kept just for the island images where a lot of American troops were stationed in the first decade of the 20thcentury.

            To tell you the truth, I quickly got fascinated with the sharp images and wanted to learn more about the historical context for the images and how they came to be in Hobbs, then to Lovington and the museum.  The first time I studied them, I could not stop looking for a couple of hours.

            One other factor that caused me to dwell on the photos has to do with the fact that I have some relatives in my family who are part Filipino.  My brother married the daughter of a Filipino woman, who married a WW II American soldier. So my nieces Lisa and Rachel are part-Filipino, Lisa visiting last year her elderly maternal grandmother in Australia where some of their family members moved from the Philippines after WW II.

            That family connection prompted me to write a couple of essays for the Texas Folklore Society back in the 1980s about Filipino traditions brought to America in the 20thcentury.

            One final footnote to this subject is the fact that over the last few decades of visiting doctors offices and hospitals in Lea County has found me encountering  several nurses and medical personnel who had immigrated from the  Philippines.

            My wife Mary, a University of Southwest Education Professor, tells me that in addition to the many Filipinos in medicine, there are many who are quite a few who are teachers.

            Perhaps that is too long of an introduction to these photos that Elaine has donated to the museum, because they are just plain fascinating images of a world a century ago so unlike our contemporary world.

            Doyle Richeson  passed away in Hobbs in 2012.  I wish I had been able to visit with him about his and his father’s collection of postcards.  Doyle served (1943-1946) in the Asiatic Pacific, spending most of his time on the island of Tulag in the Solomon Islands.

            Doyle’s daughter Melody wrote to me about his communications with his family concerning his war experiences:

            “We have a huge scrapbook – where his mother carefully preserved every letter or postcard he sent back home all the time he was gone.  There are probably over a hundred.  Maybe more.  

            “We read through many of them with Dad a couple of years before he died (by the way, we never even knew this scrapbook existed until then.  He casually asked one evening if we would like to see some things from his time in the Navy.  We said, “Sure!”
            “He went and retrieved this scrapbook from a box in the garage.  Our mouths
just fell open.  He couldn’t believe that he wrote home that often.  At least one for every week, sometimes two, beginning with Boot Camp.   He said the officers must have stood over them requiring them to write home?!  

            “We laughed reading many of them because he used the word “swell” in every paragraph.  The food was swell.  The guys were swell.  The officers were swell.  Some town nearby was swell.  The island was swell.”            Elaine and Melody tell me that the box of postcards belonged to Elaine’s mother with the words “Jack’s War Pictures” written on its lid.  However, mother and daughter do not think Jack served in the Pacific, but in the Siberia.