Culture Series: New Mexico Trails & Tales
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Enjoy a fun evening getting to know some of New Mexico’s historical characters in this series of Chautauqua-like performances in the Museum’s Theater. Admission is free.
Neil Fuller will portray his grandfather, Charles Fuller, a cattle rancher who homesteaded a 360-acre parcel on the Gila River northwest of Lordsburg. He will talk about the trials and tribulations of ranching and farming in the early days, and also will share his encounter with cowboy actor Tom Mix.
Beth Czerniak will portray Luciana Rynerson, the wife of Col. William Logan Rynerson who was an attorney in Las Cruces and Mesilla. When Col. Rynerson was asked to travel to Lincoln and fill in as a temporary judge, he didn’t hesitate. Luciana accompanies her husband and tells the story of the capture of Billy the Kid at Stinking Springs and other events on The Kid’s way to Mesilla for trial.
Sara Addison portrays Ms. Mattie, a camp follower and laundress at Fort Cummings in southwestern New Mexico, who also was a quilter. She learned the art of quilting from family members and her quilts tell a story while keeping you warm. In December 1867, she was falsely accused of stealing money from one of the officers and expelled from the fort. Consequently, the Buffalo Soldiers were angry about this incident and the fort suffered a brief mutiny. While Ms. Mattie was a real person, the fictional story that Sara will share covers her quilting life after she left the fort.
Loni Todoroki will portray “Silly Sally,” a local school marm. She was an unusual person because she hung out with a group of outlaws even though she was from a reputable ranching family and never had problems with the law herself. She’ll talk about how she created her own dowry and influenced a Texas rancher to marry her.
John Smith will portray Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley, who led a Confederate army of 3,000 men into what is now New Mexico. His soldiers defeated the Union at the Battle of Valverde Mesa, occupied Albuquerque and Santa Fe for a time, and fought the Union again at Glorieta. After losing all of his supplies, he and his army withdrew from New Mexico with the statement, “this territory is not worth the blood shed over it.”