Chihuahua Hill history project is topic of Silver City Museum talk – Deming Headlight

Javier Marrufo is new museum curator

SILVER CITY, N.M. – Silver City Museum’s new curator, Javier Marrufo, will talk about his ongoing work on the Chihuahua Hill History project. He will discuss his personal interest in the project as both a historian and a Chicano born and raised in Silver City. His presentation will describe the need for this project and the previously unexamined historical relevance of the Chihuahua Hill neighborhood – one of Silver City’s oldest and least understood.

The event is co-sponsored by the Silver City Museum and the Western Institute for Lifelong Learning. It will take place both at the Silco Theatre and on the virtual platform Zoom, where questions and commentary will be relayed to Marrufo and the live audience in real time. To register on Zoom go to and click on Programs & Events, or go to

After a long period without a curator, while the position was frozen in response to the COVID economic fallout, the Silver City Museum is proud to announce the recent hiring of a longtime collaborator, local history enthusiast, and Grant County prodigal son Javier Marrufo.

Marrufo received his BA in History from Western New Mexico University in 2016 and plans to obtain my MA in History from the same institution by 2023. His interest in history stems from his love of southwestern New Mexico. As a child, he was enamored by the intricately painted black and white pottery of the Mimbreños, the tragic tale of Geronimo during the heroic defense of his homeland, and most of all, the countless stories of happiness in the face of great inequality from the mouths of his elders.

“With my connection to the area and love of its history, I am truly fortunate that my career path allows me to study its history, and to make meaningful contributions to our community,” Marrufo said.

His first major project at the museum is the Chihuahua Hill History Project. The presentation, Uncovering Chihuahua Hill, will give audience members a behind-the-scenes look at how Marrufo is working with professional folklorist Dr. Thomas Grant Richardson to create the first comprehensive history of Chihuahua Hill. He will share excerpts from interviews with long-time residents of the community with ties to Chihuahua hill whose stories and experiences are being documented and made public for the first time.

Through Marrufo’s eyes we will explore an important aspect of local history that has been largely overlooked, due in part to relatively little documentation on the residents of Chihuahua Hill being readily available to the public. This project aims to change that by collecting the stories, photographs, and memorabilia from those with connections to this historic and culturally rich neighborhood.

Museum Director Bart Roselli says of the Chihuahua Hill History Project, “The collection of a local history museum should reflect its community as closely as possible, but sometimes we end up with more artifacts from dominant groups and affluent eras. They tend to be well-documented to begin with, and their history has traditionally been viewed as more central and important to collect. Oral histories have emerged as critical tools for reversing this trend. They record history through lived experience — before it disappears from living memory.”

Marrufo will take questions from the audience and fill us in on how we can help support and take part in this first-of-its-kind project.

The Silver City Museum creates opportunities for residents and visitors to explore, understand, and celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of southwestern New Mexico by collecting, preserving, researching, and interpreting the region’s unique history. It is nationally recognized through its accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums.

For more information on this or other programs, contact; to volunteer, contact; to join the Silver City Museum Society, contact For all of the above and more, visit or call the main office at 575-388-5921.