Lincoln Historic Site conducts bat removal at Tunstall store

The Mexican bats Freetail and Pallid lived in the attic of the Tunstall store in Lincoln. Courtesy/NMDCA


LINCOLN – The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) recently completed a major $400,000 restoration project at the Lincoln Historic Site in Lincoln.

Part of the New Mexico Historic Sites Division’s responsibilities include meeting intriguing new challenges as it tends to its portfolio of properties. One of the most recent cases involves the emergence of bats inside the historic Tunstall store at the Lincoln Historic Site during this process.

As New Mexico’s most visited state historic site, Lincoln is a snapshot of the 1870s and 1880s. The site is unique in that it manages many historic buildings in the community. Thanks to a donation from the Hubbard Family Trust, the historic site now includes 17 structures and outbuildings, 7 of which are open year-round and 2 others seasonally as museums. Many of the buildings in the community are representative of the territorial style of adobe architecture found in the American Southwest.

Part of the restoration project focused on the Tunstall Store, a building that was a focal point of Lincoln County’s war and, because of its significance, is listed on both the National Historic Register and the National Register. cultural property. It contains displays of the original 19th century merchandise in the original shelves and display cases.

The restoration included rebuilding the deteriorated foundation of the Tunstall store and repairing associated defects and cracks in the structure’s walls. Unexpectedly, the work disturbed the habitat of the Mexican Freetail and Pallid bats living in or around Tunstall’s granary. This situation came to light over the summer when several juvenile bats entered the main building through an opening created by the restoration and could not find their way out.

Working to ensure the protection of both the building and nearby bats, DCA hired wildlife biologists and bat removal specialists to complete the remediation of bats in the Tunstall store. After blocking access to the main building, bat experts sealed the exterior of the building after the end of the maternal nesting season when the young are weaned and the colony departed for the winter. Concurrent with the initial arrival of the bats, collections staff from the New Mexico History Museum traveled to Lincoln to work with the local team to box and temporarily move the collection to the nearby house. by Fresquez.

In December, after the building was completely secured, New Mexico Historic Sites staff along with curators from the New Mexico Museum of History returned to support the initial return of artifacts to the store and will return within months. coming to perform a deep cleaning. of the store and the reinstallation of the exhibits. As the Tunstall store reopens at its traditional time in the spring, the historic structure will provide a new experience for visitors and ensure bats and other wildlife stay out.

About New Mexico Historic Sites

New Mexico Historic Sites is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the direction of the Board of Regents of the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the New Mexico Museum Foundation and its donors. The New Mexico Historic Places System was created in 1931 by an act for the preservation of New Mexico’s scientific resources. The eight historic sites include Coronado, Fort Selden, Fort Stanton, Fort Sumner Historic Site/Bosque Redondo Memorial, Jemez, Lincoln, and Los Luceros.

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