Las Vegas, New Mexico, today is a community built upon a rich history of people from many walks of life and cultures. It’s a fascinating story that awaits you right here at the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection.
The museum is focused on the colorful history of an emerging New Mexico, the legendary Santa Fe Trail and Las Vegas’ unique connection to the Spanish American War of 1898.
Here you’ll find a treasure trove of over 7,000 historical items including business and municipal records, newspapers, maps and personal documents, as well as photographic prints, tintypes, and negatives, Native American pottery, artifacts and more. Objects from everyday life such as agriculture equipment, mercantile items, clothing, accessories, and household furnishings are also on display.
Permanent exhibits depicting life in old Northern New Mexico include the famous Duncan Opera House, La Casita (home life in 1800 – 1935) and Rolling Along The Santa Fe Trail.
Rough Rider Memorial Collection
Of particular interest to history buffs is the Rough Rider Memorial Collection, a permanent exhibit honoring Theodore Roosevelt and his 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment known as Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. This special collection relives the regiment’s legendary adventures in historical photos, memorabilia, documents, medals, uniforms, equipment, and furniture.
Many of Rough Rider volunteers were from New Mexico. Las Vegas was chosen by the regiment as their official reunion home when they disbanded, the first of which was held here in June of 1899. The museum is housed in a 1940 WPA-funded building built of stone and features Pueblo Revival details.
City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection
727 Grand Avenue
Las Vegas, NM 87701
10am to 4pm, Tuesday through Saturday
Closed Sundays, Mondays and City holidays.
Special Thanks To
New Mexico History Website
Roosevelt’s Rough Riders 1898
By Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint