6131 U.S. Highway 64
Bloomfield, NM 87413
P.O. Box 125
Bloomfield, NM 87413
Adults - $3.00, Seniors - $2.00, Child - $1.00. Children under 6 years - Free
Mrs. Nancy Sweet Espinosa, Curator
Mr. Larry L. Baker, Executive Director
Mr. Paul F. Reed, Chaco Scholar
11th-century Pueblo ruins, historical buildings and museum. Initial builders and occupants, referred to as the Primary occupation, were colonists from or had very close ties with the inhabitants of Chaco Canyon.
Salmon Ruins is named for George Salmon who homesteaded the property in the late 1800s. His family protected the ruin from vandals and treasure hunters for more than 90 years. His homestead and outbuildings remain standing near the ruin. In 1957, Charles Dustin purchased the property and also provided protection for the site.
In 1964, a group of local citizens formed the non-profit corporation known as the San Juan County Museum Association. Its mission was, and is today, to preserve the historic and prehistoric resources of the Four Corners Area of New Mexico and make them more generally known to the public.
The Museum Association, in 1969, acquired the 22-acre tract of land that contained the ruins and the Salmon Family homestead. San Juan County followed suit with the final purchase, and the Association operates the facility under a lease agreement. The Salmon Ruins Museum opened to the public in 1973 and has been managed by the Association since that time. The site was placed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties and the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
In 1990, Heritage Park at Salmon Ruins was completed. The Park, greatly utilized by area schools, recognizes the many cultures which have contributed to the colorful history of San Juan County, New Mexico, via a series of reconstructed habitations and outdoor exhibits.
During excavations in the 1970s, approximately 1.5 million artifacts were recovered from Salmon Ruin. At the end of the excavation, nearly all artifacts, field records and other paper archives were returned to the Salmon Ruins Museum for research and storage. Following the award of the prestigious National Park Service and National Endowment for the Arts Save America's Treasures Grant in late 2002, the museum moved forward with the massive project of stabilizing and inventorying the collection. The collection will be stored in a newly remodeled and upgraded facility.
In addition to the archaeological collection held in storage for research, Salmon Ruins Museum exhibits complete pots, basketry, worked stone, shell and beads recovered from the site. A model of a pueblo room is available to view, as are a video relating to Ancient Puebloan people, a Kid's Corner, and a weaving loom. Temporary exhibits are developed at the Museum and feature select information on the region.
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