Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Basque Museum ... Boise, Idaho

Basque Center in Boise, Idaho.

Basque Museum & Cultural Center is the only museum in the United States dedicated to preserve, promote, and perpetuate Basque history and culture. It provides a look into the Basque heritage through exhibits, collections, and tours. As a cultural center, it's a gathering place for events and educational opportunities, according to museum representatives.

Boise, Idaho has long been a central location where Basque immigrants first congregated after coming to the United States from the Spanish Basque Region. As immigrants established their lives here, Basques became well known for their hard work and perseverance, especially in the rigorous field of sheepherding. 

Culture is preserved through traditional Basque dances.
The Basque Sheepherder exhibit "focuses on the job that so many Basques came to be known for in the American West.  Peek inside a sheepwagon, where many Basques spent several months at a time living while they were in the hills herding sheep."

An Enduring Culture exhibit is a brief overview of the history of the Basques of yesterday and today.  It includes many modern and historic photographs and artifacts to highlight key aspects of the culture.

Dancing is perhaps one of the more fun ways to preserve Basque culture in the United States. The museum features an exhibit with costumes, instruments and photographs.   In addition there are dancing activities and events held each year. 
Children dress in traditional Basque costumes 
Upcoming events:

The Annual Benefit Dinner & Auction on Sat., April 7, 2018, at 6 p.m. at the Basque Center.  $55. Purchase tickets by calling 208-343-2671.

Celebrate the history of Basque communities and families shared through research, interviews, and archiving with the Community History Project team.

There are cultural events every First Thursday of each month. 

Basque Museum Cultural Center
611 Grove St.
Boise, ID 83702

Tuesday - Friday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday: 11a.m.-3 p.m.
; Closed: Sunday, Monday, Holidays
Cost: General - $5; 
Seniors (65+) & Students - $4; Children 6-12 - $3; 
Children 5-under - free

-- Julianne G. Crane
To read more articles by Julianne G Crane about the RV lifestyle, go to

Photos: Basque Museum Cultural Center.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum

  New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. (NMFRHM)
If you are a history buff and traveling along the I-10 east-west route between El Paso, Tex., and Deming, N.M, one place to work into your itinerary is the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, NM.

Native artifacts
The interactive museum is part of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and covers 47 acres. It brings to life the "4,000-year history of farming and ranching in New Mexico."

This is a fascinating destination for retirees or the entire family. RVers can stroll along corrals filled with livestock, enjoy the gardens, visit several of the exhibitions, or take a cart tour of the "South 20."

Exhibits: The museum has permanent and changing exhibits in the main building that contains more than 24,000 square feet of  space.  From the temporary fine art exhibits in the corridors ...  to the rows of farm implements at the Antique Equipment Park, folks have an opportunity to learn from a variety of exhibitions that help tell the unique story of farming, ranching, and rural life in New Mexico. 

Live blacksmith demonstrations.
Demonstrations are part of what makes this museum unique and fun. People living in remote New Mexico needed to know how to make fabrics and clothing from raw materials including sewing, spinning, weaving, embroidery along with other traditional handcrafts.

Also out of the past, the blacksmith shop is a must-see attraction. Watch metal forged into tools and decorative items. Learn about the history and importance of the blacksmith in rural communities.

 Click here for the demonstration schedule.

Sculpture dedicated to New Mexico agriculturalists by Armando Alvarez.

One unique sculpture by artist Armando Alvarez is shaped like a water tank. "The cut-out figures were inspired by photographs of New Mexico farm and ranch scenes. With this work, the artist makes a statement about the importance of water for farming, ranching and life in general. The 80,000-pound sculpture is made of 1-inch steel that is 130 feet in length. Its height ranges from 16 feet to 8 feet," according to the museum website. It is located in the "South 20."

Livestock Tours: Cart tours to get to the "South 20" portion of the museum grounds are available throughout most of the day. The docent-lead tour includes the livestock corral where visitors learn more about the cattle raised in New Mexico.

Greenhouse & Gardens: The museum also has a Greenhouse, with plants for sale on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a pistachio orchard, as well as a cactus garden, and the Children's Discovery Garden.

If you go:

New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road
Las Cruces, NM
Directions: From I-25, take Exit 1 and go east 1.5 miles. 
Hours: Mon-Sat 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun. Noon to 5 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens (60 and over), $3 for children ages 4 to 17, and $2 for active U.S. military and veterans. Children under 4 free.
There is plenty of free parking for RVs and buses in an enormous parking lot.

-- Julianne G. Crane
To read more articles about the RV lifestyle by Julianne G Crane, go to

Photos: New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. (NMFRHM)