Trapper, guide, military scout, Indian agent, soldier, rancher – Kit Carson had a long and illustrious career
Kit Carson’s 3-room Taos adobe home displays artifacts, antique firearms and other pioneer belongings
The familiar figure of frontiersman Kit Carson, with his rough-hewn features and fringed buckskins, is an American icon everyone knows. The fascinating facts of his life, however are known to few. A scout, explorer, entrepreneur, soldier and freemason, he spoke English, French, German and several Native American languages, though he could read and write not a single word. Abraham Lincoln said of him “His word is as gold to my ears.”
The mission of the Kit Carson Home and Museum is to maintain the original home and artifacts of Kit Carson’s home in Taos, New Mexico for the educational and cultural benefit of the general public by presenting information and interpretive history.
The Museum consists of the house and grounds occupied by Kit Carson, his wife Josefa Jaramillo and their many children from 1843 to 1868 at 113 Kit Carson Road in Taos.
The original adobe walls and fireplaces of the home have been preserved and renovated for the purpose of maintaining the home in approximately the same condition as it was in 1850.
The Home is a National Historic Landmark, visited by the general public throughout the year. There are many artifacts within the house, such as guns and Masonic regalia that belonged to Kit Carson, and original photographs of his family.
Throughout the museum are found historic storyboards, and interpretive tours are given to the public. Walking into the courtyard of the compound immediately draws you into the history of Taos. Sometimes a basket weaver sits outside the door, plying his craft under the ramada.
There is a fee for entrance into the Museum, and a gift shop with books about Carson and his times; other southwestern arts and crafts items create a delightful atmosphere of the Old West.
— Tracy McCallum
This article appeared on page 28 of HighCountry Magazine 2010.