Lincoln Historic Site

Old Lincoln Days 2016

July 08, 2016


The town of Lincoln, NM, perhaps better-known as Lincoln Historic Site, comes alive during the annual Old Lincoln Days, a three day-long celebration and historic re-creation of the frontier West. Bring your family and take a trip into the historic past. 

Old Lincoln Days begins Friday, August 5 and runs through Saturday, August 6, 2015 from 9am to 5pm both days; and on Sunday, August 7 from 9am to 3pm. Admission is $7 per adult to access the Historic Site. Children, veterans, and active military and their families are free. New Mexico residents are free the first Sundays of the month. 

The expected 7,000 plus visitors will enjoy tasty eats prepared by chuck-wagon cooks, blacksmithing demonstrations, dancing girls, gunfighters-a-slinging, notable speakers, a colorful parade, and "The Last Escape of Billy the Kid," the annual pageant, now in its 76th year, with re-enactors portraying Billy the Kid’s last escape and the notorious Lincoln County War. "The Last Escape of Billy the Kid" performances will be held at the Pageant Grounds at 8:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 3pm on Sunday. Throughout town there will be living history demonstrations, arts and crafts vendors, shops, and food concessionaires. Seven museums of the Lincoln Historic Site will be open, including the Anderson-Freeman Visitor Center and the Murphy-Dolan Store, now known as the Old Lincoln County Courthouse, from 8.30am to 4.30pm, Friday through Sunday.


Lincoln Historic Site is unique in that it manages most of the historical buildings in the community of Lincoln, NM. This most widely visited state monument in New Mexico is part of a community frozen in time—the 1870’s and 1880’s. The historic site now includes 23 structures and support buildings, 17 are on the National Historical Register, five of which are open year round and two more seasonally as museums. Most of the buildings in the community are representative of the Territorial Style of adobe architecture in the American Southwest.

Lincoln is a town made famous by one of the most violent periods in New Mexico history. Today’s visitors can see the Old Lincoln County Courthouse with museum exhibits that recount the details of the Lincoln County War and the historic use of the "House" as store, residence, Masonic Lodge, courthouse, and jail. Walk in the footsteps of Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and other famous and infamous characters of the Wild West. Trace the events of 1878 through the Courthouse and the Tunstall Store, with their preserved 19th-century atmosphere.

Remarkably, the Tunstall Store contains displays of the original merchandise in the original shelving and cases. Continue your walk through history by visiting the Dr. Woods House, defensive torreón (tower) for the village, the San Juan Mission Church (you can also enjoy holiday Catholic Mass here), and the Montaño store. The Anderson-Freeman Museum features historical exhibits in a timeline starting with American Indian prehistory and ending with the Lincoln County War. A 20-minute video about the Lincoln County War and the community is shown throughout the day. 

The importance of this community and the significance of the Bonito Valley in the prehistory and history of the Territory of New Mexico are interpreted within some of the 17 structures that comprise Lincoln Historic Site. These historic adobe and stone buildings are preserved as they were in the late 1800s and represent the factions involved in the Lincoln County War, 1878-1881.

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