Billy The Kid Museum is located in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on Highway 60-84, 2 miles east of downtown. It is one of the most complete museums in the Southwest and features relics of the historic past of one of Billy the Kid’s favorite haunts. Scores of items are one of a kind and are not seen elsewhere. The museum appeals to old and young alike.
Billy the Kid was a frequent visitor in Fort Sumner where the 21 year old outlaw was shot to death in 1881 by Lincoln County Sheriff, Pat Garrett. The Kid used William H. Bonney as his name even though he was born Henry McCarty. He also use the name Henry Antrium, taking the name of his stepfather. It’s all blurred in the mists of myth that leaves the name ‘Billy the Kid’ indelibly imprinted in folklore.
One item in the museum is a rifle that belonged to Billy the Kid, along with the documentation. Other interesting things are the door Billy backed through the night he was slain and two curtains that came out of Pete Maxwell’s bedroom where Billy was shot. There is a large rock he carved his name on. Also, on display you will see the chaps and spurs Billy liked to wear to the dances. Billy was a very good dancer and singer and was much admired by the young ladies.
The museum’s collection included antique cars, wagons, and buggies along with a horse drawn hearse and memorabilia from the once Fort Sumner military fort. Some of the most interesting items are an army blanket, cash box, and spurs that belonged to General Edwin Vose Sumner, the Civil War General for whom the fort was named in this eastern New Mexico town. There is a letter from his daughter giving the items to the museum.
Billy The Kid is known the world over and has great appeal as an outlaw legend. Visitors have come from every state and 50 or more foreign countries.
There is a large souvenir and gift shop in the front entrance to the museum where visitors may purchase items for the entire family. There is ample free parking around the museum.
Make plans to spend the day in historic Fort Sumner.