Casa Grande Trading Post NM

casa13Tucked away on the Turquoise Trail at the end of a dirt road, lies one of the best places in New Mexico, a rockhounds paradise, it’s actually two places in one. Todd and Patricia Brown began this adventure when they built their hacienda style home back in 1975. They raised their six children here, and the tally on the building ended at 28,000 adobes and 28 rooms. But the treasures this place still holds today is incredible!!! From agates, crystals, ore samples, geodes, fluorite, malachite, pyrite, cinnabar mercury, aragonite, miners dollars, obsidian and of course, turquoise and much much more. However, it’s not just gems and minerals, there is also a complete collection of artifacts for sale. From fossils, horseshoes, painted hubcaps, New Mexico style of course, and a host of touristy items too. But at the back of shop, sits one of the best private museums I have ever seen.

casa14Los Cerrillos began as a turquoise and silver mining town back as early as the late 1500’s, but it wasn’t until 1879 when a couple of Colorado miners finally got the word out about the rich mines. A year later the railroad came through south of the main hill and the town was born. But the mines never grew to where the people thought they might, and eventually around 1900 the heyday was. Shops began to close, people began to leave and Los Cerrillos was beginning to slip into ghost town status. Years later, like any other town, the remnants of the old days were just laying around in peoples yards, at mining sites, or simply discarded on the roadside. That’s when Todd knew something should be done, and one by one he started to collect all he could, and the museum was born. Slowly but surely his private museum began to take shape and today is one of if not THE main attraction in town.

casa15The museum hosts alot more than just mining equipment though, there is also a dentist chair, old potbelly stoves, horseshoe collection, pulleys, pot and pans, even antlers. But they also have ore buckets, dry-washers, saddles, an old pegleg, drill bits, pottery pieces and even a bison horn… He was able to amass a large collection of early artifacts from the daily lives of the first pioneers. By the way, he has even included a petting zoo at his home/store/museum

Hollywood also found this town to be magic with the filming of no less than 18 productions from movies like Young Guns and We are the Millers to TV shows like Longmire. Here is a link for the complete list.

So if you find yourself somewhere between Santa Fe and Albuquerque New Mexico, close to route 14, or if you are planning a trip, make sure you stop by and say hello. Tell them Dezert sent you.. lol This is definately one place that you will want to keep coming back to, I promise!!! The store is free to enter of course but the museum is $2.00 and you can find out more at


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