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“Native American Steel Gangs,” Brown Bag Lecture, 12 PM, June 12, RRM

The Las Cruces Railroad Museum hosts a free Brown Bag Lecture at 12pm on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.  On June 12, Fred Friedman will present, ”Native American Steel Gangs.”

Friedman has a broad background in New Mexico railroading history. He served as head of the state’s Railroad Bureau for many years, investigated railroad accidents throughout the country for law firms, and acted as an expert witness in railroad cases after retirement. He has written numerous works about New Mexico railroad history, including subjects such as Santa Fe County Railroads: 1880 to the Present, The Zuni Mountain Railroad, and Railroad Depots of New Mexico.

Among railroaders, Native American track workers, known as “steel gangs” were the best in the business. In New Mexico, steel gangs were comprised of Navajo, Pueblo, Hopi, and other indigenous groups. This presentation describes the establishment of “steel gangs, importance to the railroad industry, and their eventual absorption into more technical aspects of railroading.”

This program is made possible by a grant from the Historical Society of New Mexico.

The museum is located at 351 N. Mesilla Street and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4:30pm and Saturday 9am to 4:30pm. Throughout summer 2018, the museum will be open every Wednesday until 8pm. For additional information, visit the website at: or call (575) 528-3444.

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