New Mexico Association of Museums

Archaeology of the Lincoln County War

  • 19 Jul 2015
  • 2:00 PM (MDT)
  • Lincoln Historic Site

Archaeology of the Lincoln County War

The Alexander and Susan McSween house was the scene of the most famous gun battle of the Lincoln County War, a violent struggle between two rival factions of businessmen, ranchers, and lawyers for political and economic control of the county. A 5-day siege of the McSween House ended during the evening of July 19, 1878, when Alexander McSween, Billy the Kid, and others fled the burning house. McSween and four others were killed just outside the house, while the other defenders reached the safety of the brush along the Rio Bonito. Architectural remains and burned artifacts from the McSween House in Lincoln, New Mexico, were recovered during archaeological test excavations conducted in the summers of 1986, 1987, and 1988. Archaeologist David Kirkpatrick will give a slide show and talk on what these excavations tell us about the War, the lifeways of the McSweens, and life in frontier New Mexico. The talk will be followed by a walking tour to the site of the McSween house. Free.

Driving Directions:

From I.H.25 10 miles south of Socorro take U.S. 380 east. It is 98 miles from San Antonio to Lincoln.

From U.S.70 between Roswell and Ruidoso take U.S.380 west. It is 10 miles to Lincoln.

For GPS users, please use "Lincoln, NM" as your destination, with no street address.

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