Home on the Range

Judsen Caruthers, Red Stone Missile Launch at White Sands Missile Range, Sierra County, New Mexico (undated), photograph

Ranch life in the Tularosa Basin was disrupted as the region was transformed into the White Sands Missile Range. The online exhibition Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets explores the changes in the region. As private land was taken over by the U.S. government during World War II per executive order, ranchers and their families were displaced, and the area became a military training ground. While these families complied, most never returned. The exhibition delves into the history of the region, from its early settlements to the development of the A-bomb and later space and science programs. The onsite exhibition (through January) features replicas of a ranch house, tool shed, and a military blockhouse; a V-2 rocket engine and a Loki Dart rocket; and other objects related to military and space programs in the region. The virtual exhibition is ongoing and features videos, oral history audio files, historic photographs, and educational lesson plans for students. It can be accessed at nmfarmandranchmuseum.org/home-on-the-range-online-exhibit. The project was a collaboration with White Sands Missile Range and the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, 575-522-4100, nmfarmandranchmuseum.org

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