George McJunkin ~ photographer unknown

History of the Folsom Museum

In 1965, a group of Folsom citizens decided to develop a museum to honor the Folsom Man Discovery, to preserve and display local artifacts, and to record pioneer history. The New Mexico State Museum was contacted and help was promised. The old rock hotel was the first choice for the museum. The Doherty family agreed to deed their old store building for a museum. If the museum ever ceases to be, the building will revert back to the Doherty family. Several volunteers rolled up their sleeves and went to work. By early 1966, the building was ready to open.

On February 3, 1966, a general meeting was held at the Folsom Fire House to elect a board of trustees and set up a constitution and by-laws. Fourteen people were present: Emma Adams, Loren Doherty, Alma McNaughten, Betty Short, Bob Hasty, Oscar Brown, Fran Eiland, Mary Clements, Mrs. Ola 'Grandma' McDonald, Sarah Castillo, Eligio Castillo, Maybell Honey, Fred Honey. The election was by ballot, and the following people were elected for the first board: Betty Short, President, Fred Wilbourn, Vice-President, Emma Adams, Secretary, Bob Hasty, Treasurer, and Loren Doherty, Member.

Honorary memberships would be given to those who gave extraordinary service to the museum. Honorary members were:

* The Doherty Family: John, Catherine, Louise, Danny, Loren, Hazel, Jimmy, and Sylvia * Dick and Elaine Kennedy * Paul Kastler, for his work on the constitution and by-laws.

The State Museum lacked the staff to support a walking path to the Folsom Man Monument and were afraid to open it without supervision to keep people from disturbing the area. A promise to help with the museum exhibits was given. When the anticipated aid didn't come, the museum committee proceeded on their own and collected items to be on loan for exhibit.

On July 30, 1967, the Grand Opening, from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m., with a local talent art show, floral displays and refreshments, was a great success with more than 250 persons registered and an estimate of at least 350 people there. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves just looking, visiting and reminiscing.

Originally, the museum was open daily from 2:00 - 5:00, with volunteers taking turns staying at the museum. People came earlier and later, wanting in, so soon, Emma Adams was spending long hours, daily, taking care of the museum. We had 980 registered visitors the first summer, besides the ones on opening day, for a total of over 1200. The museum received many compliments from visitors on the variety of items and interesting things displayed. (In recent years, the museum has had to begin charging for admission to cover operating expenses). During the first years, the museum was hard-pressed for money.

Dinners to raise money for expenses were held. On April 2, 1968, a dinner was held at the Fire House from 11:00 - 2:00. The fried chicken dinner came with vegetables, salad and dessert at $1.00 for adults and 50 cents a plate for children. All the women in the area were frying chickens (38 in all), and making other goodies. At 11:00, people were wanting to eat. A steady stream of people came until after 2:30. Different ones ran home and whipped up another salad, or opened cans of vegetables to have something to feed the people. Most of the food was donated. When the money was counted, $261.24 was earned from the dinner. In 1968, 2,970 visitors, including some from foreign countries, visited the museum.

Each year the number of visitors increased. By 1972, when the museum was open longer hours, 6,600 visitors registered. Currently, between 2,000 and 3,000 people visit the museum each year. Emma Adams, for many years, put in long hours and would open the museum any time someone asked. She really enjoyed visiting with the people. A native, Emma could tell the ranching and cattle history, and personal stories about the exhibits. Everyone loved her and people would come back years later asking about the nice little lady who ran the museum. For years, Emma was secretary-treasurer of the board.

The Folsom Museum is open from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day Weekend. Everyone has a family and can't stay the long hours Emma did. Nor do the volunteers know the history like Emma did. Interest in the area history continues and visitors still compliment us on our nice museum. Each year groups of school children from New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma visit the museum. Some come back year after year, bringing new groups of students. Groups of Boy Scouts, archaeologists, the rich and poor, the young and old, all seem to enjoy the museum. Local people bring friends and relatives that are visiting. The museum has brought many people into Folsom that otherwise wouldn't have come. Advertising has been word of mouth. The State Highway Department 'Folsom Museum' signs on Hwy 87 at Capulin and Des Moines help. Plus, the Capulin Volcano National Monument staff tell visitors about the museum. People were skeptical, at first, and didn't think it would work. But, with a lot of hard work, cooperation, and determination on the part of many people, the Folsom Museum has been a success for 36 years.

Contributed by Betty Short

Emma Adams Day in Folsom

Sunday, September 2, 1979, was celebrated as Emma Adams Day in the Folsom Community. Everyone knew about the reception that afternoon in the Folsom School. Everyone, that is, but Emma. The purpose of the surprise reception was to honor Mrs. Adams for her birthday, which was August 31. It was also a good time for the community to show appreciation for all she's done for this area. Emma has been the municipal clerk in Folsom for years, a mainstay in the Folsom Baptist Church, and the Folsom Museum Curator.

In addition to being an active member of the Folsom Garden Club, Mrs. Adams participated in the local extension club and was the Folsom representative to the Sierra Grande Chamber of Commerce board. Emma was also the volunteer gardener for the flowers around the museum and fire house.

Folsom Newspapers

Newspapers Published in Folsom, New Mexico from 1888 to 1915  





Name Change

The Folsom Idea English 1888-April 1890 J. E. Curren Folsom Springs Metropolitan
The Folsom Metropolitan English April 1890-October 1890 Thomas W. McSchooler  
Folsom Springs Metropolitan English April 19, 1890-1895 Thomas W. McSchooler  
New Mexico American English / Spanish Nov 1889-Jan 1890    
Folsom Cricket English 1895-1897   Cricket (Clayton)
The Folsom Independent English 1897-1899    
Actual Settler English 1897-1905    
The Union County Stockman English Jan 1900-Jan 1902    
The Folsom Stockman English 1901    
Hispano-Americano English / Spanish 1902-1905    
La Epoca English / Spanish 1907-1908 G. W. Guyer Lance (Clayton)
Leader English 1909-1912    
La Cometa English / Spanish 1911-1915    


Folsom Postmasters


Appointment Date


Fairchild Drew

April 12,1883

Angelina C. Bayley

January 14 1888

William W. Boyle

May 11, 1889

Thomas W McSchooler

October 1,1891

Charles H. Nance

September 4, 1893

Elta Rankin

September 29, 1897

George W Guver

January 30, 1900

Jose M. Martinez

September 18, 1902

Frances N. Wilson

April 4, 1914

Lucille E. Goodrich

March 5, 1923

Ida N. White 

October 20, 1927

Ida N. White

March 29, 1928

Virginia D. Wilson

January 14,1937

Betty Ann Short

February 24, 1961

Betty Ann Short

June 17, 1967

Michelle Phillips

February 27, 1987

Marla Newkirk

November 7, 1987

Alfred Newkirk 

to present