Oliver Lee Memorial State Park Celebrates

Heritage Preservation Days, May 12 and 13
ALAMOGORDO, NM – Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is celebrating its annual Heritage Preservation Days next month on May 12 and 13. Come and enjoy an oasis of cottonwoods and ash trees in the Chihuahuan Desert and experience the beauty and history of Dog Canyon and the Tularosa Basin. Get a glimpse into late 19th Century ranch life in the Tularosa Basin.

“The nature trail and the ranch house are our two main attractions; come and stay for an evening under the stars with the Amateur Astronomers Group on Saturday,” said Wendy Justice, Park Manager. “We are also co-sponsoring a comprehensive tour of historical and cultural sites on the Dog Canyon Tract with the Tularosa Basin Conference on Sunday, May 13.”

Oliver Milton Lee (1865-1941) had a colorful career in New Mexico history. The adobe ruin of his house was excavated in 1984-85 as an archeological site and then reconstructed using historical photos, evidence from the excavation and oral histories. The ranch house is furnished with period pieces, exhibits, and historic artifacts.

The Heritage Preservation events at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park are as follows:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It’s the Water Trail Walk, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Meet at Visitor Center
While walking the Riparian Nature Trail enjoy the scenic beauty of Dog Canyon. Discover the diversity of plants and learn how native cultures and early settlers used the resources of the canyon.

Ranch House Tour, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Meet at Visitor Center
Join a Ranger-guided tour of the Oliver Lee Ranch House, originally built in 1893. Furnishings and displays provide a glimpse into the early ranching history of the Tularosa Basin.

Saturn in Virgo, 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Meet at Group Shelter
Join the Amateur Astronomers Group for a spring sky tour. Saturn dominates the sky residing in the constellation Virgo, Mars resides in nearby Leo and Venus sets in Taurus.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Dog Canyon Tract, 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Meet at Visitor Center
NMSU-A Archaeologist Pete Eidenbach will lead a tour of the cultural sites on the Dog Canyon Tract sponsored by the Tularosa Basin Conference. This 440-acre tract contains both the Oliver Lee Ranch site and a large Jornada Mogollon village site. Professor Eidenbach will share insights gained from his extensive archaeological work on the Dog Canyon Tract. Attendees must drive their own vehicles to the Ranch House property and be willing to walk about a mile round trip. Wear sturdy shoes, bring plenty of water and snacks and wear sun protection. To learn more about the Tularosa Basin Conference go to http://tularosabasinconference.nmsua.edu.

Ranch House Tour, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Meet at Visitor Center
Join a Ranger-guided tour of the Oliver Lee Ranch House.

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park is 12 miles south of Alamogordo via U.S. 54, then four miles east on Dog Canyon Road. There is no charge for programs; however, all camping and day use fees do apply. For more information, contact the park at (575) 437-8284.

The New Mexico State Parks Division manages 35 diverse parks across the state with recreational opportunities, special events and educational programs. For more information on New Mexico State Park seasonal closures, visit us on the Internet at www.nmparks.com, or telephone us toll free at 1-888-NMPARKS (888-667-2757).