Copyright May 1, 2024  San Juan County Museum Association at Salmon Ruins Museum. All rights reserved.


You bring the adventurous spirit,
we'll supply the archaeology!

Larry Baker Retires!

The party to celebrate the many contributions that Larry has made took place on June 8th, 2024. We were thrilled to host it here at Salmon Ruins, around the amphitheater on the lower grounds.  About 60 people attended, many of whom were old friends and work partners going back to the 1970s.  We had music played by Matt Palulis, the best brisket and pulled pork that anyone had ever eaten from San Juan BBQ in Aztec, and equally delicious beans and potato salad from Dickey's BBQ in Farmington, Larry's favorite beer and wine, and a celebratory cake.  Larry and many of the guests recounted memories and stories from the past, and of course there were gifts!  A commemorative bench from his family will be permanently installed on the patio of the museum, and a personalized pot engraved just for him from his employees at the museum were some of the gifts.  Many of his friends also made or found unique items for him as well.

In May, Larry received the prestigious lifetime achievement award from the New Mexico State Archaeology Department, recognizing primarily his work to educate the public about, and to physically stabilize, early Navajo sites in San Juan and Rio Arriba counties known as Pueblitos.  These buildings are defensive sites that were built to protect semi-nomadic family groups from Spanish Colonization, which began in 1705, and from warfare incited by the Spanish between tribal groups who had previously been indifferent or even friendly to one another, including the Jicarilla Apache, the Ute, and the Pueblos.  In August, he also received the prestigious Victor Stoner Award from the Pecos Conference, again focusing on his lifetime of preservation and education work in the southwest.

We look forward to Larry enjoying his retirement by traveling to visit old friends, but he assures us that he will still be involved in stabilization and other "special projects".  Larry will be staying on part-time to help us seek grant-funded incomes, to manage all of our Stabilization projects, and to be involved in special research that brings recognition and visibility to the museum and the nearby archaeological sites.