Museum installs sign at iconic Hatch restaurant

A replica of a New Mexico Scenic Historic Marker sign that was once an exhibit prop at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is now permanently installed in front of Sparkys BBQ and Espresso, the iconic Hatch restaurant known mostly for its green chile cheeseburgers.

The sign, part of the New Mexico Centennial exhibit at the Las Cruces museum in 2012, was converted to give a brief history of the historic structure that now contains Sparkys on one side of the sign, and has promotional information about the Farm & Ranch Museum on the other.

“It’s a dream … a great collaboration,” said Sparkys owner Teako Nunn. “Both of us can benefit from this.”

The Sparkys structure began as the Peacock Mercantile in 1926 and Nunn wanted to devote most of that side of the sign to the history of the site in downtown Hatch. A progression of businesses occupied the two buildings over the years – an auto parts store, ice cream shop, pawn shop, and a community pool hall.

“This building is nearly 100 years old, but it’s only been Sparkys since 2007,” he said.

After it was stored in a hallway for several years at the Museum, the decision was made recently to seek a location for the sign that could do the Museum the most good in a promotional sense, while also honoring an iconic, regional establishment.

The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces shares the amazing 4,000-year-history of growing food in this region. The 47-acre campus features indoor and outdoor exhibits, animals, demonstrations, a greenhouse and much more.

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