The dramatic history and transformation of White Sands Missile Range is the subject of this month’s Culture Series at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.
“The Range: From Livestock to Missiles,” is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12 in the Museum’s theater. The focus is ranching in the Tularosa Basin and in the San Andres and Oscura Mountain ranges and how the ranchers lost their land to America’s military needs. The speaker is Jim Eckles, who spent 30 years (1977-2007) working in the Public Affairs Office at the Missile Range. Admission to this presentation is free.
During his time on the Range, Eckles saw the Space Shuttle Columbia land; followed the Noss treasure hunters into Victorio Peak; escorted dozens of ranch families to visit their old homes; experienced many ear-splitting explosions and missile launches; and probably has been to Trinity Site more than any other human being.
Eckles grew up in Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska. He majored in psychology and English literature, and a master’s degree followed at the University of Washington. Eckles, who is on the White Sands Missile Range Historical Foundation board of directors, has published three books: “Pocketful of Rockets,” “Trinity: The History of An Atomic Bomb National Landmark,” and “Deming New Mexico’s Camp Cody: A World War One Training Camp.”
About the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum:
The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens, $3 for children ages 4 to 17, and $2 for active U.S. military members and veterans. Children 3 and under, and members of the Museum Friends receive free admission. The Museum is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.