Museum Opens Schoolhouse Exhibit

Las Cruces – A new exhibit in Las Cruces examines the rich history of rural school houses.

They are unofficial monuments to the beginnings of public education in New Mexico, dotting the rural landscape in our vast state.
They are all shapes and sizes. And while some have found new life as museums or community centers, many others are crumbling.

The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces has created an exhibit that pays tribute to many of these historic structures.

"Building for the Future: Rural Schoolhouses of New Mexico: 1880-1965," takes visitors on a tour of the state where they will encounter more than 30 schoolhouses from various small communities.

The exhibit tells the story of these iconic structures through a mix of historical images, contemporary photographs of surviving buildings, and objects from the museum's collections. Text panels describe the beginnings of public education in the state which led to a boom in building schoolhouses between 1891 and the beginning of World War II.

The exhibit that opened Thursday will be on display at the Farm and Ranch Museum through July 18, 2010.