20 • AUGUST 2017
A mastodon tusk found in an O’Kelly Company gravel pit near Deming can be found at the museum. (Photo by Elva K. Österreich)
BORDERLINES • MARJORIE LILLY
Capturing the Past
Deming Museum holds delightful collections This whisky bottle is but one of a large and fascinating collection of bottles at the museum. (Photo by Elva K. Österreich)
ountain Lodg M r a e Be
Blue Dome Gallery
Contemporary Art & Fine Craft • Our painters, sculptors, jewelers, furniture makers, glass artists & potters are known for their excellent craftsmanship and unique style.
he Deming Luna Mimbres Museum on Silver Street in Deming brims with tens of thousands of objects as small as a pottery shard or bead to a hightoned antique hearse meant to be horse-drawn. El Paso historian Leon Metz once told me that the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum was “the best historical museum in the entire Southwest.” When she heard that, museum administrator Suzanne Stewart said, “I just love it!” Based on the sheer number and variety of the whole miscellaneous collection, it would be hard not to recognize the importance of it. And Stewart is writing up more descriptions of the displays. The Mimbres pottery collection has been the place I’ve always gone first at the museum. There are two rooms of pots on the first floor and more on the second. I’d thought I’d gotten a little tired of the pottery, after 20 years, but a talk with the woman responsible for them, Sylvia Ligosky,
made them vivid to me again. The pots are so original, imperfect and fresh, you feel you know the people who made them. The doll room is another favorite of mine. The staff will usually point out the room to you, to the left as you first come in the museum. The long, narrow room was a bowling alley in the original Armory. There are huge numbers of dolls there. To me the most appealing dolls are the old porcelain ones that date back to the 1880s and 1860s. There are dolls representing different countries and races, including a Japanese doll that was recovered from the ruins at Hiroshima by a U.S. serviceman. And there are Barbie and Ginny dolls, a magnificent three-story dollhouse, and more. I’d suggest taking a little girl with you, if you happen to know any. But anybody can find something that makes them happy. The layout of the different floors is a little confusing, but you can get happily lost for hours looking
at old bells, cowboy hats, the large gem and mineral room, the quilt room (which includes antique homespun coverlets), a genuine chuck wagon from the old days in Deming, and displays behind windows of Deming stores that some people still remember — the saddle store, the mercantile, and Dr. Finnerty’s dentist office. The Customs house has oldstyle home furnishings and maybe the nicest landscaping of any lawn in Deming. At the museum, you can pick up a flyer for a walking tour that describes the architecture of 16 buildings in town. The Deming Luna Mimbres Museum is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday. For information call 575-5462382, e-mail: dlmm@qwestoffice. net, website: lunacountyhistoricalsociety.com. Borderlines columnist Marjorie Lilly lives in Deming.
This doll, Suzy, can be found in the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum doll room. (Photo by Elva K. Österreich)
Café Oso Azul
Open for weekday Breakfast 8-9:30, Luncheon, Weekend Brunch 11-3, Nightly 5-7 for Dinner, RESERVATIONS REQUIRED Visit our website for holiday meal & brunch information.
The Lodge is perfect for get-aways, events, weddings & retreats. Open all year. 575.538.2538 • 60 Bear Mountain Ranch Rd. P.O. Box 1163 • Silver City, NM 88062 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Deming museum keeps an extensive collection of ancient Mimbres and other Native artifacts. (Photo by Elva K. Österreich)
Exhibit of child-doll in a recreated Luna County kitchen of the past, Deming Luna Mimbres Museum. (Photo by Marjorie Lilly)