Black Range Museum Open House

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Date/Time
Date(s) - Saturday May 7, 2016
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Location
Black Range Museum, Main Street, Hillsboro

Contact: Garland Bills | Hillsboro Historical Society
gbills@unm.edu

The Board of Directors of the Hillsboro Historical Society is pleased to announce our purchase of the Black Range Museum. This historic 19th century building contains many invaluable artifacts and documents representing the history of western Sierra County.

To celebrate, we invite you to an open house at the museum from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, May 7, 2016, in conjunction with Hillsboro’s annual yard sale. You’ll get to see the museum in it’s current state before it is closed again for months in order to repair and restore the building and make an inventory of its contents.

The history of the building is not crystal clear. It was built before 1893 and is best known as the Ocean Grove Hotel of the infamous Sadie Orchard with Tom Ying’s restaurant. The museum houses many items that belonged to Orchard and Ying as well as many others that document the history of the Hillsboro area.

The HHS purchased the museum because of the historical significance of the building and its contents. But we have a lot of work to do. The first priority is to replace the leaking roof and make the building rodent proof. In addition, we’ll need to work on restoring the building and water tower as well as upgrading electricity and plumbing. We’ll also have to inventory, clean, and preserve the contents. Most of the artifacts will have to be moved before structural repairs can be started.

All of this requires a lot of money and effort. The HHS has been raising funds since its inception in 2007 through direct appeals, memberships, play performances, and festivals. This enabled us to make the down payment. Continuing donations will permit us to pay off the mortgage, and we will be submitting applications to foundations to help with repairs and restoration.

The many projects to restore and re-open the Black Range Museum will require not only money but also commitments from HHS members and many other volunteers. Those who might be interested in furthering building restoration, artifact cleaning, or grant writing are encouraged to contact Barbara Lovell (575-895-5501) or Garland Bills (gbills@unm.edu).

Black Range Museum Open House