Valencia County Historical Society
The Valencia County Historical Society (VCHS) was formally organized in 1969, although it had been conceived almost a decade earlier by local residents who were anxious to document and preserve the rich historical legacy and varied cultures of the Rio Abajo. For the ensuing four decades the organization has actively pursued its original goals through direct or indirect sponsorship of a number of facilities and activities.
The centerpieces of historical collection, preservation and presentation in Valencia County are two museums—the Belen Harvey House Museum and the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts. Although neither facility is owned by the Society, VCHS is closely involved with the oversight, planning, and curating of exhibits in these facilities. Exhibits have included locally produced material as well as material from national and international traveling exhibits. In addition, the Society directly assists in the maintenance of several historical collections of artifacts, photographs, genealogical information, and documents in these facilities.
VCHS has supported and continues to support a number of documentary projects including the publication of books, papers, video tapes, and newspaper articles on various historical topics. Society involvement in these projects ranges from direct financial support to providing peer review and editorial consultation.
Another important feature of VCHS is its ongoing involvement in community outreach and education. The Society directly or indirectly sponsors numerous lectures and tours and is working with local school officials to assist history and social studies teachers in utilizing local resources to develop classroom materials and to provide opportunities for students and teachers to get directly involved in historical research within Valencia County.
As stated in its Bylaws, the Society’s activities, as guided by the Board of Directors and the Society membership, are focused on identifying and preserving the rich history of Valencia County and sharing this history with all segments of the community.
2021- 2022 Officers
- President - Richard Melzer
- Vice - President - John M. Taylor
- Treasurer - Roberta Scott
- Secretary - Sandy Schauer
- Belen Harvey House
- Bosque Farms Community Center
- Los Lunas Museum of Heritage & Arts
- Los Lunas Public Library
- Tome Dominguez Community Center