Los Alamos History Museum

Los Alamos History Museum The Los Alamos Historical Society and Museum preserve, protect, and communicate the remarkable histo
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One museum in multiple buildings, the museum tells history of the people of Los Alamos, including information on the Ancestral Pueblo people, Homesteading history, the Los Alamos Ranch School, the Manhattan Project, and the Post-World War II community. Visit www.losalamoshistory.org for the most up-to-date information on hours, events, and other news.

Happy 112th Statehood Anniversary New Mexico! Come celebrate with us in the Bethe House! New Mexico was the 47th state a...
01/06/2024

Happy 112th Statehood Anniversary New Mexico! Come celebrate with us in the Bethe House!

New Mexico was the 47th state added to the union (before Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii, but almost 5 years after Oklahoma), after President Taft signed the New Mexixo Statehood Bill. Before New Mexico was considered a state, it was seen as a territory. On some maps, the land of the future states of New Mexico and Arizona were combined.

The Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS) regrets to announce the postponement of the highly anticipated lecture featurin...
01/05/2024

The Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS) regrets to announce the postponement of the highly anticipated lecture featuring Bruce Held scheduled for Tuesday, January 9, due to unforeseen events.

In lieu of the lecture, LAHS is excited to invite everyone to a special showing of Christopher Nolan’s B-roll footage of the Oppenheimer film. This film will offer supplemental footage and behind-the-scene glimpses of filming in Los Alamos!

The LAHS will hold a raffle at 6:00 pm, aimed to support the preservation efforts of the Oppenheimer House. Following the raffle, the B-roll film will begin at 6:30 pm and is expected to end around 9:30 pm. The winners of the raffle will be drawn at the end of the film.

LAHS extends its gratitude to the community for understanding and ongoing support. The society reassures it is committed to rescheduling the Bruce Held lecture in the near future and urges the community to stay tuned.

The event will take place in the Pajarito Room at Fuller Lodge and is open to the public, free of charge.

Bruce Held, CIA veteran, returns to our Lecture Series to unveil his unprecedented year as Acting Administrator of the N...
01/03/2024

Bruce Held, CIA veteran, returns to our Lecture Series to unveil his unprecedented year as Acting Administrator of the NNSA. This gripping narrative is a first-time public sharing and promises to be wilder than his three decades as a CIA spy!

📚 Held, a decorated CIA officer, offers unique insights into global affairs and security. Plus, grab a copy of his book, "A Spy's Guide to Santa Fe and Albuquerque" at our museum shop!

🏡 Raffle Fundraiser for Oppenheimer House Renovation! Support this historical landmark with $1 raffle tickets available at the event. Winners drawn at the lecture's end.

Contact Todd Nickols at (505)662-6272 or [email protected] for details. Don't miss this captivating evening!

📚 Join us for a fun celebration of New Mexico's statehood on Saturday, January 6th at the Hans Bethe House! 🌟 From 10 AM...
12/30/2023

📚 Join us for a fun celebration of New Mexico's statehood on Saturday, January 6th at the Hans Bethe House! 🌟 From 10 AM to 12 PM, immerse yourself in the rich tales of our state's history and culture with the talented local actor, Tomás Farish, as he brings enchanting books to life.

🍪☕Tomás Farish, known for his remarkable performances in various productions, will guide us through engaging stories that promise to delight audiences of all ages. Plus, indulge in complimentary hot chocolate and cookies while you unleash your creativity at our bookmark-making station!

🏛️ This event isn't just about stories—it's an opportunity to connect with New Mexico's uniqueness and dive into its vibrant culture. Families, both old and new to our state, are invited to join this engaging and educational experience.

🏠 Don't forget, Los Alamos and White Rock residents get free access to the History Museum! Make a day of it by exploring other exhibits on our museum campus like the Guest Cottage, Romero Cabin, and even catching a glimpse of the Oppenheimer House grounds.

🎭 About Tomás Farish: An accomplished actor with a portfolio spanning from theater productions to staged readings, Tomás brings his passion for storytelling to life. Outside acting, he enjoys the rhythms and dancing to Tango, Blues, and Swing.

Mark your calendars for a day filled with stories, creativity, and exploration! See you there! 🌟





Photo credits
Graphic designed by McKenzie Vaupel.
Photo provided by Tomás Farish.

We will be closed for Christmas Day, and will resume our normal hours on December 26th. We hope you all have Happy Holid...
12/25/2023

We will be closed for Christmas Day, and will resume our normal hours on December 26th.
We hope you all have Happy Holidays and stay warm!

Also, thank you to our staff and volunteers for helping us with the decorations.

Photo 1: The Guest Cottage exterior with holiday decorations.
Photos 2 and 3: The Bethe House interior with holiday decorations.

Come join us on New Year's Eve at Fuller Lodge to ring in the New Year! We will be ringing the 90+ year old bell at the ...
12/23/2023

Come join us on New Year's Eve at Fuller Lodge to ring in the New Year! We will be ringing the 90+ year old bell at the stroke of midnight.

This bell was designed to be heard across the Mesa. The Meneely Bell Company promised in a letter from July 1928 that "any bell we send out to have a much sweeter tone, a far longer vibration and greater carrying power than ANY OTHER MAKERS' BELL OF AT LEAST TWICE ITS WEIGHT". (Their exact phrasing and capitalization)

Attendees are invited to stand outside on the Fuller Lodge lawn and watch the ringing. Only employees will be allowed inside.

If you hear the bell from other places on the Mesa, or even from further away, please let us know!

Bell Drawing credit:
Sketch of the Fuller Lodge Bell Tower that was used by Conron and Lent, Architects for the "A Plan For Fuller Lodge" report from March 20th, 1986 (M1986.923.1.2). The report was Prepared for the County of Los Alamos to address the state of Fuller Lodge and future actions that should be taken to preserve it.

With the holidays approaching soon, we were discussing how to decorate the museum buildings. We tried to search for what...
12/17/2023

With the holidays approaching soon, we were discussing how to decorate the museum buildings. We tried to search for what religious affiliations the scientists and Bathtub Row residents had, but that question sent us into what ended up being a research rabbit hole. We found this document that recorded a religious census of a pool of Los Alamos residents from May 1947. These numbers represented about a tenth of the total population of Los Alamos.

We hope you found this interesting and enjoy the upcoming holidays!

❄Welcome to winter!❄Due to the 4-6 inches of snow outside (and more on the way), the Historical Society will be closed t...
12/14/2023

❄Welcome to winter!❄

Due to the 4-6 inches of snow outside (and more on the way), the Historical Society will be closed today (December 14th). All museum buildings, the Archives and Collections, and offices will be closed. Today's tours are cancelled.

Stay safe and warm!

Did you see Liz Martineau's interview in the Special Features for Oppenheimer?"The Story of Our Time: The Making of Oppe...
12/12/2023

Did you see Liz Martineau's interview in the Special Features for Oppenheimer?

"The Story of Our Time: The Making of Oppenheimer" covers the making of the Oppenheimer movie from beginning to end. Interviews with the Cast and Crew lead the viewer through some of the stories and obstacles that were experienced in the production. Liz spoke about how she reacted when the film approached us about filming in the Oppenheimer House.

Some of our other members of staff were interviewed, and you can see their names in the credit sequence for "The Story of Our Time: The Making of Oppenheimer". Most of our interviews took place on March 15th, the same day that Christopher Nolan filmed inside the Oppenheimer House and outside of Fuller Lodge.

Congratulations to Liz Martineau, Todd Nickols, and Kaity Burke!

Image 1: Todd Nickols sits in the interviewer's chair as the camera is focused on Liz Martineau. The interview was conducted in the Guest Cottage. Photo taken by Kaity Burke.
Image 2: Kristen sits in the interview chair as the camera is focused in preparation for Kenneth Branagh. The interview was conducted in the Hans Bethe House. Photo taken by Todd Nickols.

We recently received a very generous donation from Rachael Hensen, the owner of The Cricket Window. The donation consist...
12/10/2023

We recently received a very generous donation from Rachael Hensen, the owner of The Cricket Window. The donation consists of two complete uniforms, service patches, buttons, ribbons, and lots of photos!
These items were discovered while a crew was working in a downtown house that was being cleared out. The owners of the house were James D. Gallagher and Vera J. Gallagher. They both came to Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project.

We are very excited to receive this donation because we do not frequently see complete uniforms of the military personnel that were here during the war, and the photos contain scenes that were taken inside the Technical Area! We only have a few images of the interiors of the Tech Area buildings, and this donation brought in dozens!

Photo 1: Rachael Hensen with the donation in the archives.
Photo 2: The patches were included in the donation. They are a mix of American and Canadian service patches.
Photo 3: "Me and my camera".
Photo 4: "During the First Snow".
Photo 5: Fuller Lodge during the winter.
Photo 6: A look out at TA-1.
Photo 7: Workshop.
Photo 8: Party in the Tech Area.
Photo 9: James D. Gallagher and Vera J. Gallagher.

Come in out of the cold for hot apple cider all day today. Free Hot Cocoa Bomb with any purchase until 4pm. 4pm-9pm FREE...
12/02/2023

Come in out of the cold for hot apple cider all day today. Free Hot Cocoa Bomb with any purchase until 4pm. 4pm-9pm FREE Hot Cocoa Bomb just for walking in the door! (No purchase necessary) Come by the History Museum for extended shopping hours today - open till 9pm!

Have you heard of a version of the Nutcracker that honors our local history? Welcome to Dance Arts Los Alamos’s Nutcrack...
12/01/2023

Have you heard of a version of the Nutcracker that honors our local history? Welcome to Dance Arts Los Alamos’s Nutcracker on “The Hill” - Where Tchaikovsky meets the Manhattan Project! Jonathan Guise, the Artistic Director for DALA, created this production in 2015. Choreography and staging for this year’s production are by DALA instructors.

Jonathan worked hard on connecting authentic parts of local history with this production, so you will see Robert Oppenheimer and General Groves, as well as several local Manhattan Era personalities such as: Kitty Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Laura Fermi, Dorothy McKibben, and many more. One Manhattan Project era character, Carmen Gallegos, is being played by her goddaughter Venita Chavez. Mrs. Gallegos was able to attend last year’s production at the age of 96, and was introduced to the audience by Jonathan.

The backdrop for the party scene is a recreation of Fuller Lodge during the 1940s and was painted by Robi Mulford. You will notice the south facing windows, the original Ranch School blankets hanging on the walls, and other little details that bring the scene to life.

DALA won the Historical Society of New Mexico’s Dorothy Woodward Award for this production in 2022. We are grateful to have helped contribute to the creation of this unique production, and hope that you will enjoy the performances this weekend!

Tickets are available on DALA’s website, or in person at our Museum.
General Admission: $20
Students & Seniors: $10

Children 3 and under are free

Online tickets: https://checkout.square.site/buy/PGHDL4KGNLLVYLA5E6M3VMHN

Image 1: Image provided by Dance Arts Los Alamos. Nutcracker on "The Hill" poster.
Image 2: Image provided by Venita Chavez. The party scene with the Historical Chatacters.
Image 3: Image by Kaity Burke. Nutcracker on "The Hill"'s Oppenheimer and Groves.
Image 4: Image provided by Venita Chavez. Jonathan Guise, Carmen Gallegos Geoffrion, and Venita Chavez.
Image 5: Image provided by Dance Arts Los Alamos. The Fuller Lodge backdrop painted by Robi Mulford.

11/23/2023

The Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS) needs your help to raise $2 million for the restoration of the iconic Oppenheimer House!
Your support keeps the vibrant story of Los Alamos alive for the world to discover.

We currently need contributions to cover electrical upgrades, foundation stabilization, floor care, and roof repairs. Let's make sure this New Mexico treasure stands strong for generations to come. 💪

🏡Oppenheimer House: A gem built in 1929 for May Connell, the art teacher at the Los Alamos Ranch School. Stone masonry, a cozy fireplace, and large windows captured J. Robert and Kitty Oppenheimer's heart during the Manhattan Project. Now it needs our help!



🎁 This Holiday season, be a part of something special. Your involvement opens the doors of the Oppenheimer House and ensures it becomes a vital part of the Los Alamos History Museum Campus. 🎄✨

🔗For more info and to contribute, visit our website, the Giving Tuesday campaign through the Los Alamos Community Foundation, and the Oppenheimer House Go Fund Me campaign. See the comments for 💙

📣 Big shoutout to Tony Mitchell for beautifully capturing the essence of the Oppenheimer House in this stunning video! 🎥 Check out more of Anthony’s incredible work on his website.

We are grateful for the fantastic turnout at our ornament making event. Special thanks to DALA for hosting a fantastic t...
11/21/2023

We are grateful for the fantastic turnout at our ornament making event. Special thanks to DALA for hosting a fantastic tea party! 🎄 ☕️

Photo credit: McKenzie Vaupel

Have you ever wondered how fragile exhibit pieces travel between museums? It begins with paperwork!... but that part isn...
11/18/2023

Have you ever wondered how fragile exhibit pieces travel between museums? It begins with paperwork!... but that part isn't too exciting. So, skipping ahead, we come to packing.
The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona has an upcoming exhibit called Maria and Modernism. They requested two of our Maria plates to use in their exhibit until late 2024.

These plates are part of the Brode collection. One plate has a 15 inch diameter and a buff-on-red design, and was made sometime between 1943 and 1946. The other has a 12 inch diameter and Black on Black design, and was made sometime before 1943.

Each plate was placed on a foam and paper cradle, packet into secure boxes, and then placed into a special crate. The crate has rigid styrofoam against the outer walls to prevent damages during travel.

Thank you to David Astilli for doing such a wonderful job crating our Maria plates!

Photo credits: Katy Gulsby, A&C Tech.
Image 1: David Astilli (left) and Don Cavness (right) talk and prepare the plates.
Image 2: Creating the paper cradle for the Black-on-Black plate.
Image 3: Moving the plate into the cradle.
Image 4: Moving the Buff-on-Red plate into its cradle.
Image 5: The final view of the plates and crate before being sealed.

Join us this Saturday at Fuller Lodge from 1-3pm for a festive and historic ornament making party hosted by the Los Alam...
11/16/2023

Join us this Saturday at Fuller Lodge from 1-3pm for a festive and historic ornament making party hosted by the Los Alamos Historical Society! This is a free event for everyone, but help us support our upcoming Nutcracker on the Hill Ballet by purchasing a ticket to DALA's Nutcracker Tea Party; let's spread some holiday cheer together!

Ornament Party flyer designed by McKenzie Vaupel.
Nutcracker Tea Party flyer design provided by Dance Arts Los Alamos.

A huge shout out to Dr. Mark T. Banker for lighting up our November Lecture Series!🌟 His energetic talk on the parallels...
11/14/2023

A huge shout out to Dr. Mark T. Banker for lighting up our November Lecture Series!🌟 His energetic talk on the parallels between Oak Ridge, TN and Los Alamos, NM left us with a fresh perspective on our fellow atomic city. Also, congratulations to John and Sandy Charles for being awarded the Los Alamos HIstorical Society's History Award! 🏆Their decade-long dedication as tour guides, researchers, the caretakers to the General's car and more has truly made the LAHS a welcoming place for visitors. 👏 View this lecture by visiting our YouTube page! 🎥

Photo credits: McKenzie Vaupel.

We look forward to seeing you at tonight's lecture! Just a reminder: we will be hosting a raffle. All proceeds will go t...
11/09/2023

We look forward to seeing you at tonight's lecture! Just a reminder: we will be hosting a raffle. All proceeds will go to the Oppenheimer house.
The lecture will start at 7 pm in Fuller Lodge.
See you there!

As Veterans Day approaches, the Los Alamos Historical Society proudly announces its commitment to honor and support our ...
11/09/2023

As Veterans Day approaches, the Los Alamos Historical Society proudly announces its commitment to honor and support our nation's veterans by participating in the "Operation Green Light" campaign. This act is part of a bigger movement that encourages individuals and businesses to show their support for veterans in a simple yet powerful way. Through November 11th, the LAHS will light up its porch with a shining green light as a symbol of appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.

We have an updated link for donations to the Oppenheimer House fund. Please donate here at:
11/03/2023

We have an updated link for donations to the Oppenheimer House fund.
Please donate here at:

Help us restore an American treasure! Would you like to experience the life of J. Rober… Christine Hipp needs your support for Restore the Oppenheimer House

10/31/2023

Congratulations to our Educator, McKenzie Vaupel, for her 2nd place Best In Show carved pumpkin!!!

McKenzie carved this Oppenheimer logo for Saturday's Pumpkin Glow. She used several creative techniques to create the illusion of depth. She also used a small humidifier to create the "smoke" that comes out of his pipe.

We hope you all enjoy your Halloween!

10/28/2023

We will be open until 8 pm tonight. Be sure to swing by during your visit to the pumpkin glow on Fuller Lodge lawn!

Thank you to all who visited our booth during last night's Trick or Treat on Main Street! It was lovely to see so many p...
10/28/2023

Thank you to all who visited our booth during last night's Trick or Treat on Main Street! It was lovely to see so many people, and to have so many participate in our beanbag toss game.
We even got to see someone dressed up as Oppenheimer!

Image 1: Our educator, McKenzie Vaupel, watching over the table and beanbag toss.
Image 2: Oppenheimer spotted! We forgot to ask the man for his real name.

We have a NEW EXHIBIT!!! It is titled Jack Aeby, His Life and Work Beyond the Blast.Be sure to see it when you go to the...
10/24/2023

We have a NEW EXHIBIT!!! It is titled Jack Aeby, His Life and Work Beyond the Blast.

Be sure to see it when you go to the Los Alamos County Municipal Building to vote or pay your utility bills!

This exhibit is likely 10 years old, but has been sitting in storage for quite some time. Kaity Burke modified it so that it would fit in the County Building displays. The creator of the original exhibit is not recorded.

Most of the images was taken by Jack Aeby. The subjects cover the different tests at Trinity Site, portraits of prominent scientists, local views, and Boy Scout Troop 22.

This display will be up for a few weeks before being replaced by a different exhibit.

10/17/2023

Keep an eye out for the behind-the-scenes footage of Los Alamos.... and possibly some interviews....🙂

Be sure to order your copy from one of the providers listed on their website.

On this day in 1945, the E Award was presented to the Los Alamos Laboratories (accepted by Oppenheimer) on Fuller Lodge ...
10/17/2023

On this day in 1945, the E Award was presented to the Los Alamos Laboratories (accepted by Oppenheimer) on Fuller Lodge lawn by General Groves.

Those that were present included University of California President Robert Sproul and Commodore William Parsons.

A video of the ceremony can be watched here: https://archive.org/details/cubanc_000266

Image 1: Recreation or copy of the E Award Certificate. LANL owns the original certificate and flag from the ceremony.
Images 2 through 6: Jack Aeby slides

Thank you to Mike Katko for speaking at this month's lecture! Make sure to keep an eye on this page for next month's lec...
10/13/2023

Thank you to Mike Katko for speaking at this month's lecture! Make sure to keep an eye on this page for next month's lecture information.

Buy Mike Katko's book Big Medicine Pretty Water here: https://www.losalamoshistory.org/store/p573/Big_Medicine_Pretty_Water.html

Image 1: Mike Katko stands by two saddles that were brought out of archives for the lecture on Tuesday. Peggy Pond Church's saddle is on the left, and the Ranch School saddle is on the right.

Images 2 and 3: brief descriptions of the saddles and their history.

Image 4: the back on the cantle of the Ranch School Saddle.

We are OPEN today (October 8th) and next Sunday (October 15th)! Our hours are 10 am to 4 pm. We will be offering our gui...
10/07/2023

We are OPEN today (October 8th) and next Sunday (October 15th)!

Our hours are 10 am to 4 pm. We will be offering our guided walking tour at 11 am on both days.

This is a great place to visit if you are in New Mexico for the Balloon Fiesta and want to see more of the state!

One of the first interactions the Historical Society had with the Oppenheimer production was back in November of 2021.  ...
09/30/2023

One of the first interactions the Historical Society had with the Oppenheimer production was back in November of 2021. The Art Researcher for the movie reached out to the Historical Sociery for assistance. She was researching images and descriptions of Los Alamos from during the war. Our archives intern was tasked to assist her.

These images covered technical areas, offices, labs, Christmas celebrations, the Oppenheimer family and house, the South 10,000 bunker (the control bunker) at Trinity, the transportation of the bombs, the Army-Navy E Award Ceremony, and pictures of some of our artifacts. This research started in November of 2021, 4 months before filming took place in the town of Los Alamos!

Here are a few images that were sent to the Art Researcher, and their use/reference in the film! Any images that are not individually credited are from the IMDB page for the Oppenheimer film.

Historical Society image credits will be listed in the comments. (Photos 1, 3, 5,7, and 9)
The images from the Universal Studio's Oppenheimer film are from the IMDB page for the film. More of these images can be seen here: https://m.imdb.com/title/tt15398776/ (Photos 4, 6, and 8)
The other images were taken by Kaity Burke. (Photos 2 and 10)

Address

1050 Bathtub Row
Los Alamos, NM
87544

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm

Telephone

+15056626272

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Los Alamos History Museum

In the heart of a National Landmark District, the Los Alamos History Museum consists of several sites amid lovely lawns and tall trees. The log and stone buildings that house exhibits date from the early 1900s and include a furnished homesteader cabin and Fuller Lodge and masters’ cottages from the Los Alamos Ranch School (1917–1943). Also on the grounds is an early Ancestral Pueblo site. Exhibits include artifacts and interpretation of our Homestead era, the Ranch School years, the Manhattan Project, and the Cold War impacts and are installed in the Ranch School’s Guest Cottage and the Hans Bethe House Cold War Museum. Exhibits are designed to engage visitors through multiple perspectives and learning styles.

Los Alamos has a dynamic and distinguished history of transforming lives and changing the world. Situated on a majestic plateau bordered by mountains, Los Alamos embodies the spirit of innovation, scientific integrity, a deep concern for people and community, and a passion for history, education, and the arts.

The Los Alamos History Museum is supported and maintained by the Los Alamos Historical Society, a 501(c) 3 organization, which is responsible for historical collections, document and photo archives, outreach, and educational programming. The Society is an educational partner with the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Learn more at www.losalamoshistory.org

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