Kit Carson Home & Museum

Kit Carson's Cavalry Sabre

Step Back Into The 1850s at Taos' Oldest Museum


March 19th, 2013

Kit Carson Home and Museum in Taos, New Mexico now has on display four artifacts that were recently purchased in dramatic fashion. When Taosenos discovered that some items belonging to Kit Carson and his family were to be auctioned in Santa Fe, they rallied to the cause and in little more than a week raised $18,000 to acquire these important artifacts for the museum.

Bidding was intense by people in attendance, on the phone and over the Internet. By the end of the two-day auction, the museum had purchased Colonel Carson's U.S. Army saber and scabbard, his wife Josefa's leather sewing box with red silk lining, a branding iron used at Carson's ranch in Rayado, New Mexico, and a branding iron from the Maxwell Land Grant.

Another artifact recently acquired by the museum is a spur that came from the family of Lucien Maxwell, a close friend's of Carson's who owned vast ranches in NM and served as chief hunter for one of Fremont's expeditions.
These artifacts have become part of the museum's permanent collection and are now on display in the first room of the museum, along with a shotgun reportedly used by Carson and a replica of his .50 caliber Hawkins rifle.

Kit Carson Home and Museum is the location for some scenes in an upcoming TV show on April 2nd on PBS (7:00 PM on KUNM-Albuquerque and KENW-Roswell). The Oregon Public Broadcasting Co. will be airing an episode of "History Detectives". The segment of the show that was partially taped in the museum is called "Kit Carson Family Secrets." History Detectives is a documentary television series produced for PBS. In each pro-
gram, a researcher is given an artifact that is investigated for its historical significance. In the segment about Kit Carson, Charles Burns, has reason to believe that his 19th century biography of Kit Carson may have a tangible connection to Carson himself. Burns purchased the leather bound edition of the book at an estate sale, and while leafing through it, he was amazed to find a page with the names of Carson's family written with a quill pen.

Charles Burns of Bakersfield, CA & Tukufu Zuberi of History Detectives with the book at the Kit Carson Home & Museum
History Detective's Tukufu Zuberi takes on the challenge of finding out whether this book once belonged to the Carson family or even to Carson himself.

Museum President Martin Jagers recently announced that the museum Board of Directors has decided to create a membership program.

Annual membership is $25 for individuals, $40 for families and nonprofit organizations, $50 for businesses, and $10 for students and seniors. A life-time membership is available for $500. Because of the long history of Masons preserving the home and legacy of Kit Carson, who was a Mason himself, a special life-time membership for Masons is available for $400.

Benefits of membership include a lapel pin with an image of Kit Carson, free admission to the museum, a 10% discount on museum store purchases, notice of upcoming events, the museum newsletter, and a membership card. To become a member or for more information, call the museum at (575) 758-4945 or send an email to The Kit Carson Home and Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is located at 113 Kit Carson Road, Taos, NM. It is open daily from 11 am to 5 pm

More information about the museum can be found on its web site at and on its Face Book page.

A Thank You from David Remley,
Author of "Kit Carson: The Life of an American Border Man"

January 10th, 2013

Recently author David Remley made the long journey from Silver City, NM to give a lively presentation at the Kit Carson Home and Museum about its famous owner. He also read excerpts from his book, "Kit Carson: The Life of an American Border Man."

Mr. Remley told the audience that researching the material of the book gave him many hours of pure enjoyment and a greater understanding and appreciation of the man.

He made a powerful case for Carson being a product of his times, especially his strict religious upbringing, while at the same time being a complex and at times conflicted individual.

Mr. Remley's book about Carson, along with many other books about him and his era, are available in our museum in Taos.

Annual Update on the Kit Carson Home and Museum
Taos, NM - 2012

November 26th, 2012

It is my pleasure to report on our progress at the Kit Carson Home and Museum (KCHM) during 2012.

With the help of a $5,000 donation from Director Dee Dee Miller, we transformed the inner courtyard from a barren yard to a showcase of nineteenth century plants and structures. The improvements were designed and installed by Brother Wayne Rutherford and Melissa Serfling and included a new horno and a ramada, as well as numerous flowers and native plants period-appropriate to the time of Kit Carson. Los Jardineros Garden Club of Taos has awarded the KCHM a grant of $1,300 for additional courtyard beautification in 2013.

In the spring of this year, Oregon Public Broadcasting shot scenes for an episode of "History Detectives" at the museum. The detectives were examining a first edition of Carson's biography to determine if it belonged to the Carson family. The show is scheduled to air on PBS sometime in April.

We are very grateful for two fine period chairs donated to the museum by Chapman Lodge #2 AF&AM of Las Vegas and now on display in the living room of the house. A fine buffalo hide was donated through RWB Jeff Jordan.

Our annual lecture series featured a variety of scholars and performers, including authors and writers David Remley and Stephen Zimmer and Taos' own Roberta Meyers. For next year, we have received a tentative commitment from Hampton Sides, author of Blood and Thunder, which has been optioned for either a movie or a TV series. We have applied to the McCune Foundation for funds to present a more ambitious series.

The most dramatic achievement occurred in early August. The museum discovered that some artifacts belonging to Kit Carson were going to be auctioned in Santa Fe. When a group of longtime Taosenos heard about it, they mobilized and within a week, had pledged $17,000 to keep some of the artifacts in Taos. Bidding against national and international bidders who were there in person, on the phone and on the internet, we were able to buy the saber/scabbard and branding irons belonging to Carson, as well as a sewing basket belonging to Josefa Carson.

Finally, last but by no means least, we began the KCHM Endowment Fund through the Taos Community Foundation, which will manage and invest the Fund. Our plan is to increase the endowment each year until it becomes a significant source of income, ensuring the future of the museum.

Our annual donation drive is underway and we hope that NM Masons will give generously to this important historic attraction which draws over 22,000 visitors a year. Donors may designate their contributions to one of four funds: the General Fund; an Acquisition Fund (for purchase of more artifacts; an Educational fund; and the Endowment Fund. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit so donations are tax-deductable. They can be sent to Kit Carson Home and Museum, 113 Kit Carson Rd, Taos, NM 87571.

We welcome all Brothers visiting the area to stop by and visit the museum.

Martin Jagers
President, KCHM Board of Directors
PM Bent Lodge #42 AF&AM

Kit Carson Home and Museum Summer Lecture Series:
July 28th, 2012
Stephen Zimmer gave his lecture on Kit Carson, and as always, with visual aids and sound effects. A very enjoyable evening with Stephen.

Kit Carson Home and Museum President, Martin Jagers; Treasurer, Wayne Rutherford;
Kit Carson Book Owner, Charlie Burns and History Detectives Host, Tukufu Zuberi.


(575) 758-4945 • email the Museum
113 Kit Carson Road - Taos, New Mexico 87571