Upcoming Wheels Museum Events

May 21, 2022

The Naughty Harvey Girls Presentation and Lecture

Date: Saturday, May 21
Start Time: 11 AM
Lecturer: Richard Metzler
Admission: Free. Donations gratefully accepted
Seating is Limited
RSVP to: leba4@aol.com 505-243-6269

Fred Harvey’s Harvey Houses were among the most famous restaurants in the United State in the early twentieth century. The eateries were famous for their good food, fair prices, and exceptional service, as provided by the world-famous Harvey Girls.

These fine young women, their beauty, and their kindness have been celebrated in poems, books, songs, and a 1940s hit musical starring Judy Garland.

Richard Metzler, Ph.D. past president of the Historical Society of New Mexico, award winning author, and retired UNM history professor, will give a presentation to remind us that despite all their well-known virtues, the Harvey Girls were, after all, only human. You’ll learn about these lesser-known Harvey Girls and the mischief they got into through his descriptive anecdotes, photos and good humor.

May 28, 2022

The Belen Cut-Off and Settling of Eastern New Mexico Story

Date: Saturday, May 28
Start Time: 10 AM
Lecturer: Randy Dunson
Admission: Free. Donations gratefully accepted
Seating is Limited
RSVP to: leba4@aol.com 505-243-6269

The vast area of New Mexico from between the Rio Grande and the New Mexico/Texas border was essentially unsettled until the Santa Fe Railway built a new rail line across the area between 1903-1907.

This new line connected the Santa Fe’s Pecos Valley line with its line that ran from Raton to El Paso. This line came to be known as the Belen Cut-off. It not only circumvented the mountain passes of Raton and Glorieta, it also opened up eastern New Mexico to homesteading. What a remarkable story it is!

Randy Dunson has always been a historian at heart, particularly interested in the history of the railroad. He’s spent hundreds of hours researching thousands of historic railroad documents and was a primary source for the “Train Town” article that was included in “Clovis New Mexico: The First 100 Years” published in 2007.

July 31, 2022

Ride the Rails with Pianist Adam Swanson

Date: Sunday, July 31
Time: 3-5 PM (doors open at 2:15)
Location: First Unitarian Church, ABQ (3701 Carlisle, NE)
Price: $ 26 in advance. $ 30 at the door
Purchase: Online at: Hold My Ticket

Adam Swanson is the only four time world Ragtime Piano Champion. He performed at a fund-raiser for the WHEELS Museum in February, 2020, and many were turned away because the concert had sold out.

We have not announced this concert publicly – yet! We want you to have the opportunity to purchase tickets before they’re no longer available. Here’s a link to a few videos from his previous concert:
2020 – Adam Swanson Benefit Concert

Sponsorships to this 5013C organization are available. Sponsors will receive preferential seating. For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact the WHEELS Museum at 505-243-6269 or email Leba at Leba4@aol.com

Santa Fe Completes Modern Shops at Albuquerque – 1922

Railway Age – August 5, 1922

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe is now engaged in an extensive program of rehabilitation of its extensive locomotive repair facilities at Albuquerque, N.M., which involves the expenditure of more than $2,500,000.


Leba Freed receives the Edgar Lee Hewett Service Award

Leba Freed was chosen for the 2022 Edgar Lee Hewett Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the people of New Mexico, as related to New Mexico history, for her long-time efforts to save the historic buildings of the Albuquerque Railyards and to establish a transportation museum, the Wheels Museum.

The Historical Society of New Mexico (HSNM) recognizes outstanding work by students, professional and avocational historians, and organizations through various annual HSNM Awards. The awards are announced and presented at the Annual Meeting. This year’s NM-AZ Annual History Conference is April 7-9 2022 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

2022 New Mexico~Arizona History Conference Program

Study looks at possibility of connecting major Albuquerque trails

By: Scott Brown Apr 8, 2022

Albuquerque, NM (KRQE) – A new study has been released on the feasibility of connecting the city’s Rail Trail to the Sawmill District. The Spur Line Trail would follow the existing railroad tracks – north at Lomas and Broadway, then west along the Rail Spur Track, which extends to the Sawmill District.

This would be a part of an eight-mile loop connecting major attractions like the Railyards, BioPark, Old Town, and the Sawmill District. A new study says while the trail is feasible, they face some challenges. The study says there isn’t enough of a buffer between the tracks and where the trail would have to go – on two parcels of land.

The city says they could get around it with an elevated trail in this area. Photos show what that trail could look like. To adhere to the style of the area, they would tile it with a design that emulates the Albuquerque Rail Yards.

The study says the trail would have to be done in three phases. They received strong support from surrounding property owners and community members.

WHEELS Museum Spring 2022 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

The wheels at WHEELS are turning very fast and we have a full calendar of events that are described in this newsletter. We are thrilled with all the visitors, groups and interested people as well as new volunteers. Please see opportunities for you to visit with your group or come see us and visit as an individual or family. We are hoping you will call so that we can schedule your group, club, school, church or professional organization. If you are interested in joining us at WHEELS, call Leba at (505) 243-6269 or visit us at 1100 Second St. SW in Albuquerque.

Download the Spring 2022 Newsletter


Leba Freed

Travel Along the Rails HOBO Event

4 Events Rolled into One Afternoon:

  • Book Review and Signing by Ed Davis, author of “The Last Professional”
  • Silent Movie Showing of the 1928 Film, “Beggars of Life”
  • Catered Lunch by Freddy’s 
  • Hobo Attire Contest – Dress Up and Win a Prize


Time:1 pm – 4 pm

Date:Sunday, April 24th

Location:WHEELS Museum

1100 2nd Street, SW (ABQ)

Price:$ 20.00 includes catered lunch

Tickets:Call 505-243-6269 or email leba4@aol.com or jmariecoen@unm.edu

Space is limited.  

Reservations required.  

Attendees – Please bring a non-perishable food item for a local food bank donation.

About Ed Davis, Featured Speaker:

Author and former train-hopper/hobo,  Ed Davis, will discuss and sign his book, “The Last Professional.”  Join us in riding this train, a trip that began in a boxcar over 40 years ago.  In the tradition of Jack Kerouac, this book tells the story of two travelers linked by the yearning to wander and the quest for a simpler life.

Hobo Style Menu Catered by Freddy’s Includes:

All Beef Hot Dog

Bowl of Chile

Frozen Custard


Silent Movie Beggars of Life:

Beggars of Life is a1928 silent film American film directed by William Wellman and starring Wallace Beery and Richard Arlen as hobos, and Louise Brooks as a young woman who dresses as a young man and flees the law. The film is regarded as Brooks’s best American movie.

Dress Up (or down) in Hobo Attire:

This is totally optional, but you might win a prize for best HOBO attire if you choose to “dress down”!

Tour The Museum:

The opportunity to tour the museum is available to all who attend.

City of Albuquerque Covid guidelines will be observed.

Doug Figgs in Concert

International Western Music Association’s 2021 Male performer of the Year

Doug Figgs International Western Music Association’s 2021 Male performer of the Year
along with many other songwriting and performance awards including two “Wrangler Awards”.

Saturday April 2 2022, at 1:00 pm
Wheels Museum
1100 2nd St SW Albuquerque NM 87102

Tickets are $10 each, with limited seating.
Please call (505) 243-6269 or e-mail at info@wheelsmuseum.org for tickets and more information.

Download Flyer

Train Trip to the Historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona

Train Trip to the Historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona
Friday, April 15 – Sunday, April 17, 2022
Offered by the Wheels Museum in Albuquerque

Enjoy two nights at this restored historic landmark. A world-renowned American treasure, this
special place is one of the last of the great trackside Harvey Hotels. Built in 1929, at the time it was
the finest hotel constructed by the Santa Fe Railroad. The restoration has brought the hotel back
to its former comfort and grandeur.
The trip will include:

  • Social get-together prior to the trip to meet your fellow travelers
  • Two nights lodging at La Posada
  • Private tour of the hotel to learn about the history and view historic artifacts
  • Roundtrip train transportation
  • Saturday breakfast and dinner
  • Hotel gratuities
  • Visit to the Old Trails Museum/Winslow Historical Society and the former Hubbell Trading Post.

You will also have the opportunity to take pictures at the site of the Eagles first hit single, Take It Easy.
The song has the lyric “Standin’ on a corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine site to see, it’s a girl my
lord in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

Tour cost: $1000 for two people sharing a room, $650 for a single
Donation of $100 per couple and $50 per single will be tax deductible

Contact: Donna Pedace at pedaceabq@aol.com or (505) 349-8850 to book your space.

Download flyer

Leba Freed – Albuquerque’s Wheels Museum

Leba Freed has been recognized by the Albuquerque Historical Society with an Albuquerque History Accolade for her efforts over two decades to preserve Albuquerque’s historic railyards and for creating a museum that honors the nation’s history of transportation.

Leba Freed’s family is one of the mainstay families in Albuquerque’s history. Her father created Freed and Company which had a store on Central downtown for decades. Leba worked there as a child and became the owner/operator later in life. During these years, she rarely gave any notice to the abandoned buildings that were mostly home to pigeons in the 1990s. However, a visit there to the enormous structures caused her to envision turning these industrial Gothic spaces into a world-class museum of transportation. She imagined that the museum would showcase how all forms of transportation have contributed to the nation’s prosperity and the history of Albuquerque specifically. It would pay tribute to the men and women who built the buildings and worked there helping to move people and goods across the country.


© 2022 Albuquerque Historical Society, Inc.

Wheels Museum Virtual 360° Tour

View “Virtual Tour” of the Wheels Museum

The Wheels Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Leba Freed has headed a non-profit group for 20 years to bring this museum to Albuquerque. Nestled in the Barelas neighborhood, the Wheels Museum captures and preserves a vital part of Albuquerque’s history. Several display areas feature almost a million dollars’ worth of donated pieces that record some historical elements of the city of Albuquerque, as well as the history of transportation.

When the tour opens, use your mouse to control the direction and speed of the rotation. This tour features two 360 rotations of the Museum grounds as well as several panoramic views of the sculptures on the Museum grounds. The imagery features reduction or enlargement and panning. The thumbnail pictures at the bottom of the interface allows for quick selection of the desired view.

Studio Seven Productions

Since 1981,Studio Seven Productions has been producing advertising, editorial, web and fashion photography in the great Southwest; Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Colorado, Arizona and Texas.

© Wheels Museum by Studio Seven Productions