How our museum came into existence.
The Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum is a collection that started as a way to preserve the history of this historic village. When we were walking around the town, we would see many antiques and artifacts of the Cerrillos area in people’s backyards. They had been discarded. We felt these treasures of a bygone era needed to be preserved and began to gather up these pieces to display in our family business as the mining museum.
We knew these were things that others would appreciate and all could learn from. I handmade several displays to showcase certain historical events of the area and include the rich mining history of Cerrillos, New Mexico. We also have our rock, bottle, tool, insulator, coffee can, hand grinder & various antiques collection for all to see. | Museum Admission is $4.00
Inside the Cerrillos Mining Museum
A visit to the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum brings you to a private collection and display of tools, equipment, objects and artifacts used in daily life during the mineral mining era (prehistoric - 1880's - recent) of Cerrillos.
The museum is on the site of the old Palace Hotel where Thomas Edison stayed while working on gold experiments in the nearby mining district of old placers, and NM territorial governor Lew Wallace drafted his book Ben Hur. Rough riders were recruited from the cowboys here to fight in Cuba, following Teddy Roosevelt up San Juan hill.
The site for the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum and Trading Post is packed with history.
Centuries ago, Native Americans mined this area for turquoise to use in trade and jewelry, some of which has been dated back to the 900's. They also mined lead which was hand ground for paint and pottery glaze. Spanish explorers discovered these ancient diggings and worked the mines during the 17th and 18th centuries. Anglo miners toiled until early 1900's, when most mines became exhausted and played out. Today, there are several private claims to this world famous Cerrillos turquoise.
The equipment and artifacts found here at the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum include prehistoric tools, photographs, maps, rocks, mineral samples, dry washers, gold pans, miners' lamps and drills. The museums' windows are a colorful and intriguing collection of old medicine bottles, telegraph insulators and more.
Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum ADMISSION - $4.00
Antique Ore Mining Cart
I just turned 62 years old. I splurged on a present for our mining museum and bought the last mining car to come out of the San Pedro mine, 20 miles south of Cerrillos, New Mexico. Ten years ago all the mining cars and engine had been sold to a mine company in Mexico but this mining cart had been set up on a nearby property. The antique cart still works and dumps perfectly. It is a great honor for our mining museum in Cerrillos to have it on display. - T. Brown