Richard Barrett

Richard Barrett

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 01:34

Lovato Golf Links - Santa Fe

Lovato Golf Links  -  Santa Fe

Years ago I was doing some work on Seville Rd off E. San Mateo Rd. near the intersection of Old Pecos Trail.  Next to the house on which I was working, was an unusual-looking building at least by Santa Fe standards.  It sort of looked like a rustic clubhouse.  I asked my client if he knew anything about it.  He said it was once a golf course clubhouse and that this neighborhood was once a golf course.

On investigation I found that the area south of E. Cordova Rd, west of Old Pecos Trail to Don Gaspar was once a golf course called "Lovato Golf Links". The Chamber of Commerce  maps of the City of Santa Fe from 1920-1930 show an unnamed road in this location with the following:  "to Lovato Golf Links".  At this time this was beyond the City's southern boundary.

The Palace of the Governors, Photo Archives had this interesting photo. 

             Mr Simms golf whole                                                                        

Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA)

Negative Number 149933

Photographer:  William H. Roberts

Title: Mr. Simms of Albuquerque at the golf links, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Date: circa 1925        

    Mr Simms golf detail                  

In the distance, to the NW of the tee, can be seen the old State Penitentiary near the current intersection of Cerrillos Rd. and St. Francis Dr.  Notice in the photo a complete absence of piñon-juniper; this view today is totally obscured by trees.  The tee was of compacted soil, the fairway of native vegetation.  Another of Roberts' photos shows a "green" of compacted, raked sand:  a real environmentally conscious course.  It was probably by default, as they didn't have elaborate sprinkler systems then, nor water availability.

For some reason this course isn't mentioned in the city Directories of the period.  It appears to have been short-lived as "to Lovato Links" disappears from the C of C maps in the early 1930's.

New Mexico historian,Ralph E. Twitchell, (1859–1925) authored a book/pamphlet in 1925 entitled the "City Different".  In it is a list of things to do in Santa Fe, one of which was:


               Country Club & Lobato (sic) Golf Links " of the most complete in NM."


The late Pancho Espstein, a Santa Fe New Mexican columnist and avid golfer, wrote a column on golf, and one was a brief history of Santa Fe golf courses.  In it he mentions the Mesa Golf Course located in what is now the Sol y Lomas neighborhood off Old Pecos Trail, north of Rodeo Rd.  The Mesa Club was founded in 1900.

I believe his location is incorrect because a New Mexican article dated Aug. 18, 1900 reports the burning down of the Ramona School at "the head of Don Gaspar", the same location as the Lovato Links. The article goes on to say that the large structure was the home of a local merchant by the name of Goebbel and that the rest of the building was occupied by the Mesa Golf Club. I believe the Mesa Club morphed into the Lovato Links.

And to clinch my research as to location, I remembered that Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne in 1929 did an aerial photo survey of New Mexico and Arizona archaeological sites.  Not all of the photos were archaeological, and there are peripheral photos of non-archaeological locations:  three of Santa Fe.

One of them is a panorama of Santa Fe taken from the south looking north (Palace of the Governors, Photo Archives, Lindbergh 1929, neg.#130333).  On this photo is shown the Lovato Links, all nine holes, at the location I described with a clubhouse in the center of the course.

Happy Golfing!


Tuesday, 26 April 2016 17:33

Santa Fe Plaza Tunnels Myth

Santa Fe Plaza Tunnels Myth

In the early1980's, I worked at Los Llanos Bookstore in the Spitz Building (72 E. San Francisco St.) on the south side of the Plaza.

It is a late 19th century building with a full basement of stone walls. In the wall abutting the Plaza was a bricked up doorway.  The story was that this opening led to a series of tunnels that connected the Spitz Building and others on the Plaza to the First National Bank and the Palace of the Governors, La Fonda Hotel, Catron Building, etc.

Why?  No one really knew but many had their theories, all supposition.  To this day you still hear people ("tour guides") repeating this yarn. 

So as usual I headed off to the Chaves Library to see if I could find any documentation.  After an hour of looking through files (archaeological, historical & architectural), I found not one mention.

One of the ever helpful staff suggested I call Cordelia Snow, an archaeologist with the Dept. of Cultural Affairs.  I phoned her, introduced myself, and told her what I was up to.  Her initial response was a laugh.  She too had heard these stories and told me that she and her husband, David, had done numerous excavations on the Plaza over the years and never once found evidence of tunnels.

The Palace of the Governors doesn't even have a basement and so a tunnel to it would be superfluous.  I doubt the bank would have wanted a tunnel into its basement for security reasons.

Snow said that she too was familiar with these sealed doorways and went on to explain what they were for.  These basement doors led to chambers under the sidewalks in front of many commercial businesses on the Plaza and were used to access freight elevators to bring goods down to the basement level instead of through the front doors.  Anyone who has been to NY, Chicago or any other big city has seen this type of freight elevator still in use today.

End of story.  End of myth.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

p.s. When I originally posted this article I immediately deleted it.  Within an hour an alert reader notified me to the following:  a website called Legends of America has an article, "NM Legends: Haunted La Fonda Hotel of Santa Fe".  I had seen this article when surfing the Internet but ignored it as just another ubiquitous tale of Santa Fe ghosts.  But buried in this article is the following line in reference to the Exchange Hotel, the former name of the La Fonda in the late 19th, early 20th centuries before it became a Harvey House in the early 1920's.

"Sometime during this period several tunnels were constructed underneath the hotel that lead to the courthouse."  Vague, but interesting.  I emailed the author as to her source but never heard back.

I again called Cordelia Snow and asked her for her opinion.  Her response, and I quote with permission, was "Hogwash".

I went down to the La Fonda and talked to John Nuanez, the head maintenance man of 37 years for his knowledge of said tunnels.  He, most obligingly, took the time to show me the basements of the hotel as they now exist.  He in all of his years of crawling about every nook and cranny of the hotel had never seen any sign of tunnels, or doorways leading to them. 

Would anyone with any hard documentation of these tunnels please post them in response.  Otherwise I am assuming that Plaza tunnels are just another Santa Fe myth.


Saturday, 27 February 2016 21:03

Hadley, San Miguel County, New Mexico

Hadley, San Miguel County, NM

     One evening while perusing Cram's "Auto Trails and Commercial Survey of the United States" atlas of 1918 I came across the place name Hadley. The map shows that it was located approximately three miles west of Rociada up against the eastern side of the Santa Fe National forest.

     Hadley? I had never noticed this name on any contemporary maps of NM: Forest service, USGS 7.5 min. quad of Rociada, Shearer's atlas of NM ...

     So my first source was of course Robert Julyan's "The Place Names of NM". There are two citations listed. Hadley, Luna County, Cookes Peak Mining District and Hadley, San Miguel County, "exact location unknown, P.O. 1904-05, mail to Rociada".
Julyan goes on to say "Ephemeral postal locality, name origin unknown, though an association with W. C. Hadley is possible". 

     Location, origin, name? This really piqued my interest and so it was off to the archives and the Internet.

     It turns out there are three place names associated with the name Hadley in NM. The first and most prominent is the one in the Cookes Peak District developed by the above mentioned W. C. Hadley in the 1890's.

     Space does not permit a discussion of W. C. Hadley and his history in NM, it will have to wait for another story.

     The second Hadley is the subject of this article, the one three miles west of Rociada. It is Named for Ozro Amander Hadley (1826-1915), the one-time governor of Arkansas 1871-1873.

     The third is the O.A. Hadley ranch south of Tiptonville on the Mora river a few miles northwest of Watrous on the Scolly Grant. This too is another story.

     The Hadley in question here was a mining camp developed by O.A. Hadley in 1904 in what is known as the Rociada Mining District. This district, starting in 1900, had over the years approximately 15-20 mines.

     The principal ores initially prospected were copper, gold, silver, lead and iron. The main mines associated with the mining camp Hadley were the Azure, Rising Sun and the Iron Hole. They are located on a ridge west of the confluence of Maestas and Spark's creeks at approximately 9200 feet.

     The mining camp of Hadley was located in the meadow at the confluence of the two mentioned creeks.

     I found the following in the "NM Business Directory 1905-06": Hadley, pop. 20. Mining properties developed by O.A. Hadley. 

     Besides the Cram atlas I subsequently found two other early 20th century atlases showing Hadley. It then disappeared from the map record.

     The Rociada district never really prospered. This from F.A. Jones 1904 report "NM Mines and Minerals": "The district has never produced, the grade of the ore being insufficient to stand the long wagon haul to the railroad".

     These mines weren't just shallow surface prospects. A report by G.T. Harley in 1940 "Geology and Ore Deposits of NE New Mexico" has a map and description of the district showing the Azure-Rising Sun mines, as it was then known, as having vertical shafts of 170 feet and horizontal tunnels of 100-300 feet.

     O.A. Hadley himself was quite an interesting character. Besides being governor of Arkansas he homesteaded in Minnesota in 1855, spent a year in Europe with his wife on a "Grand Tour" before coming to NM in the early 1880's where he is associated with the Tipton, Dorsey and Hallett families. 

     Historical citations mainly mention his name in NM in association with ranching interests. Three maps in the archives show a Hadley-Hallett Tract on the Scolly Grant where he ran cattle and raised forage and other crops.

     An interesting aside relating to the Hallett name was found in an article by Sharon Snyder on the web site NM "History in the Writing of Peggy Pond Church". "Peggy's mother was the granddaughter of former governor O.A. Hadley who owned a 4000 acre ranch called the Clyde near Ft. Union". The ranch mentioned above on the Scolly Grant. This means P.P. Church was the great granddaughter of Hadley.

     With the demise of Hadley's mining venture and the Hadley camp there are references in the mining literature of continued interest in the Rociada district: in the 1930's and again in 1946-47. Nothing came of any of this until 1961.

     At that time another attempt was made to tap the ores of the Azure-Rising Sun mines. Exploratory work was done, thousands of tons earth excavated, a mill built on the site all in the name of a mineral called tantalum, atomic number 73. Wikipedia says it is a "rare, hard, blue-gray lustrous transition metal that is highly corrosion-resistant". A substitute for platinum it is used in medical implants and bone repair; also in capacitors and electronic equipment, mobile phones, DVD players, video game systems and computers.

     Ore samples were analyzed but all for not. Tantalum was not found in high enough quantities to make it economically feasible to mine. And so ends the sporadic, failed history of the Hadley Azure-Rising Sun mines of the Rociada district.


     A note on my bibliography: my citations and references are so voluminous and extensive that I feel it over-kill to list them in an already long posting. If anyone does want them I will be happy to provide upon request.


Wednesday, 13 January 2016 18:57

Hugo Hartmann - cartographer

Hugo Hartmann - Cartographer


Hugo Hartmann, a native of Germany born in 1837, was a well respected cartographer, metallurgist & civil engineer active in NM from 1876 until his death in 1893.


Hartmann came to the US in 1868 after graduating with "high honors" from Heidelberg University. 1874 finds him in Nebraska connected with the Engineering Dept of the Army.  In 1876 he came to the SW with Gen. Hatch in charge of the Engineer's Office of Hatch's military district.  From 1876 until his death he was active doing topographical surveys in NM, Southern Colorado,  and Arizona.  His maps "are accepted in official circles as the best ever prepared". 


Among the references I found of his mapping was work done for Adolph Bandelier in 1884, the Guadalupe Mts. 1883, the Gila in 1884, and the Pecos Valley in 1890. 


I came across his name and an interesting "Sketch Map" he did in 1889 for Capt. Ayres of Ft. Marcy.  (See my article in Voces "Aztec Springs".)  Among other things this map shows (which I have discussed in the above posting) quarries in the vicinity of Two Mile Reservoir and Cerro Gordo hill.


One of the quarries shown on his map is obviously of limestone (see my posting "Limestone Quarries of Santa Fe).  Next to it on the map is shown a lime kiln sitting on the ridge north of Cerro Gordo hill. Lime kilns are used for making cement from limestone.  What is most curious is a coal mine due south on the north side of the Santa Fe river!


I have never heard of or seen reference to coal in the immediate Santa Fe area, much less one actually located on a map.  There are shale outcroppings in the vicinity, but from my reconnaissance I have never seen anything resembling usable coal. My guess is that the kiln was fired by the abundant piñon, juniper and Ponderosa pine in the area at the time or coal brought in from the Madrid district.


Another wonderful map he did was of Santa Fe in 1886 and can be seen in the History Museum at the Palace of the Governors.  This is a large, detailed plan of Santa Fe with much fascinating information. 


Contemporary references of Hartmann appear in the NM Territorial Census of 1885, and then again a personnel list in the War Department's  Quartermaster's Dept of 1889:  Hugh Hartmann "clerk" (sic), Santa Fe, salary $1800 (eighteen hundred dollars).  This wasn't an inconsiderable amount for the time and one of the highest listed in that record.


But in spite of this, he seemed to have money problems as I found a letter in the L. Bradford Prince Collection of the State Archives asking for arrears in rent on his house on Galisteo Street.  Put in the perspective of his health in the last years of his life, it is understandable. 


In 1889, the first great world-wide flu epidemic hit America.  It spread like wildfire due to advances in transportation:  the railroads being it's greatest vector on land, the steamship brought it across the ocean from Europe.


Santa Fe was not immune and Hartmann, according to his obituary, "had been an invalid for several years, a complication of disorders coming upon him at the time of the la grippe epidemic some four years ago."


He died age 56 (Feb. 10, 1893) and left a wife and two children.  He is buried at the Veterans Cemetery here in Santa Fe.




Tomas Jaehn. Fray Angelico Chavez History Library.

L. Bradford Prince Collection.  State Archives.

Daily New Mexican.  Feb. 10, 1893.

Aztec Springs

Santa Fe's first proposed spa and resort


Three miles east of downtown Santa Fe and a mile north up what is now called Aztec Springs Creek on the western boundary of the Santa Fe watershed is the site of what was proposed as a health resort in the late 19th century.


It all started in 1879 and includes a veritable "Who's Who" of Santa Fe historical figures:  Capt. Ayers of Fort Marcy fame, Territorial governor L. Bradford Prince, a Catron of the Santa Fe "Ring" period, Amado Chaves and a local dentist by the name of Dr. L'Engle.


Springs, both hot and medicinal, were very popular for health conscious Victorians and New Mexico had its fair share. Among the most famous are the still active Ojo Caliente and the now remnant Las Vegas Hot Springs at the site of the United World College, it being housed in the third grand hotel built at that location.  Aztec Springs aspired to join the ranks of these two establishments and become a tourist and health "destination".


In 1879, Capt. Ayers of Fort Marcy discovered the much heralded but secretive springs. "Discovered" being a relative term as the local Hispanic population concealed its location.  The Indians also knew of it because on my first reconnaissance of the site with a friend he found a beautiful red scraper just above the springs.


Aztec Springs Creek as it is now called was also named variously as Gigante Canon and as late as 1990 on the SF National Forest map as Arroyo Gigante.  These appellations coming from the original name of the springs as Ojo del Gigante. The reason being these springs produced 8,000 gallons of cold water a day at 42 degrees year round.


After filing a homestead claim on Dec. 26th, 1879 Capt. Ayers started developing the site.  He cleaned out and improved the springs with rock pools and opened a road down Gigante Canon to the Santa Fe river.


At this time he also had a topographical "Sketch-Map" compiled by H. Hartmann, a civil engineer.  This is a very interesting, rare map of Santa Fe from August of 1889.  It shows Santa Fe from the Plaza, east up the Santa Fe river to Two Mile reservoir and then north up the arroyo to the spring site.


The map's main purpose was to show the routes available for two proposed pipelines to carry the spring water into the city and Ft. Marcy.  There was also plans to bottle the water and sell it at hotels, for medicinal use and general local consumption.


One pipeline route was down the arroyo to the Santa Fe river and then into town.  The other was to go over the divide to the west of the springs, cross Arroyo Cerro Gordo, over another ridge to Canada Ancha continuing west to the Arroyo Saiz drainage, down it to what is now the intersection of Palace and Armijo and then to the Plaza.


To accomplish this he enlisted the support of George Cross of the New Mexican, Walter Davis a deputy surveyor, "army officers stationed in New Mexico", all the physicians of the city and a Mr. Niles of Minneapolis, an "active dealer in mineral waters".


In 1885 Capt Ayers received his final certificate for the homestead claim and had the water analyzed by F.W. Clarke, chief chemist of the Division of Chemistry of the U.S. Geological Survey.  Its principle constituents being calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, sodium chloride, sodium sulphate and other trace minerals.


Dr. D.L. Huntington of the Surgeon General's Office in Washington reported that the water "resembles many of the German springs, is a gentle tonic, and will be useful in troubles of the bladder and indigestion".


Capt. Ayers forged ahead with his plans for the pipelines and bottling plant only to be stymied by the claimants of the Salvador Gonzales grant represented by "Mr. Catron" who claimed that the grant extended over the property.


At the time the grant claimed 103,959 acres to the east of Santa Fe.  After years of litigation the Territorial Survey Land Court reduced the grant to a fraction of its original size and Ayers continued his project.


In 1891 Dr. L'Engle, a Santa Fe dentist, took a half interest in the property with the stipulation that he build bath houses, a hotel, maintain road access, besides dig an exploratory coal tunnel just south of the Springs and develop the timber and mineral resources thereon.


Only part of this came to fruition with many allegations by Ayers of dereliction of duty by L'Engle.  Due to the uncertainty of title, the death of Dr. L'Engle and the removal of Ayers to Mexico City, the enterprise was abandoned and the buildings demolished.


In 1903 former Territorial governor L. Bradford Prince bought out the Ayers half ownership for $250 and in 1908 the remaining half from the L'Engle heirs for $150.  For a period of time he set about trying to organize a company of investors to further develop the property, esp. for water bottling purposes.  From 1915 to 1917 he contacted many bottling contractors, going so far as to get estimates for a plant and even had a logo designed for the bottles of a mythic "Aztec" Indian.


In 1917 he penned an article for the "Revista Ilustrada", the "Official Newspaper of Santa Fe County" again trying to promote the springs.  In the article he praised its health and scenic values.  He tried piggy-backing the "good roads" craze of the day with his spring being a nice side trip to the on-going trans-Pecos Scenic Highway then under construction.


Nothing much ever came of his endeavor and the project languished.  But as late as 1921 Prince got an interesting letter from one Amado Chaves.  From an old New Mexican family with much history, Amado had served his state well in many capacities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  In a letter to Prince he said he had just spent the whole summer in the mountains (the Los Pinos Lodge in Cowles was built by the Chaves family and was a base for their sheep operations) and was "at a loss what to do this winter".  He went on to say "I have no home anywhere now".


Anyway, he asked Prince if he had any prospects for the spring;  would he be interested in setting up a company for bottling it for the market.  Since he had nothing better to do he would be glad to give his time.  Otherwise he was going to start a little farm and raise "game chickens" for the Mexican market as cocks commanded up to $200 apiece.


He ends his letter thus:  "If people with money are willing to buy worthless oil stocks, why not sell them real water".


Prince replied that due to illness' of the past three years he hadn't been able to pursue the project further.  He died a year later in 1922 in Flushing, NY.  Soon after the National Forest was established and the Santa Fe watershed created,  putting an end to all hopes for Aztec Springs.


Today the spring is dry, except for some seepage which waters a swath of grass for about 50 feet below it.  I found no trace of any coal tunnel.  At the spring itself are remnants of old stonework for the pools and across the arroyo can be found the stone foundation of the hotel/house shown on the Hartmann map.  Otherwise nothing has survived. 


The location today is accessible by trail up Aztec Springs Creek from a trail head on the left just before the Randall Davies estate.



Ref: New Mexico State Archives, L. Bradford Prince Papers, Aztec Mineral Springs, 2 folders.




Thursday, 21 August 2014 15:33

lest We Forget

Lest we forget
Institutionalized racism in railroad unions on the Santa Fe Railroad 1953
Recently, while going through boxes of old railroad papers I've collected over the years I came across a Seniority Time Book for the Santa Fe Railroad's Albuquerque Division which ran from Belen to Winslow.
It is full of advertisements from businesses that railroaders patronized along the line and includes rosters of all conductors, brakemen, engineers, firemen, yard helpers/foremen and telegraphers. All the above employees are identified by name. All were union jobs.
And that's when I started to notice something odd in these lists of employees. There were no Hispanic or Native American names! Out of the nearly 2000 names listed, not one Hispanic! Not one Navajo! And this from the largest private employer in the state at the time.
The Santa Fe Railroad which capitalized greatly on Indian and Hispanic culture to promote itself didn't think it necessary to actually hire any in these well paying union jobs.
While this isn't news to anybody who has an inkling of knowledge about racial and gender history in America, it came as shock to me that in a state that was predominately Hispanic and Native American they weren't welcome in railroad unions. 
Not to say that they didn't work for the Santa Fe RR, but only as non-union shop and track laborers: the lowest paying, dirtiest and hardest jobs.
Many Hispanic New Mexicans gave their life for their country just 10 years earlier, only to be locked out of well paying jobs on their return by both the unions and the railroads.
Kinda makes you think. So much for the "good old days".
Thursday, 14 August 2014 17:54

Edgar Varese in Santa Fe

      The recent name change of the Santa Fe Concert Association to Performance Santa Fe got me to thinking of Edgar Varese, one of the original founders of the former. As a music critic for the New Mexican in the 1980's I was asked to write many previews for concerts, as opposed to reviews. This led to history, the future being for science fiction.
While for many there is not a lot to like about the music of Varese,; for the casual listener not very easy listening by any standard; but there is  a lot to like of Varese and what he did for Santa Fe.
Varese and his wife Louise visited Santa Fe in the summers of 1936 and 1937 at the urging of artist John and Dolly Sloan. He has believed to have lived in what is now Geronimo's restaurant. Up the street on Monte Sol is the Mary Austin house where he gave many interviews and lectures.
These visits were meant to be vacations and not work; but the record show they were any thing but. In more than ten articles written for the New Mexican in these years by B. B. Dunn Varese's activities were documented.
The SF Concert Assoc. dates from his first summer. He helped raise money for St. Francis Auditorium's first piano. He started a choral group called the Schola Cantorum; under his direction. On Aug. 7,1937 he gave a lecture at the Arsuna Galleries in the Mary Austin house entitled "Music as Living Matter". In these lectures he covered everything from Palestrina to the future of electronic music.
While in the US he championed a Russian musical inventor by the the name of Theremin who was promoting a new instrument called, wait, the "Theremin". A hybrid of cello, synthesizer and electric guitar. According to the Wiki entry on Varese there is still an extant instrument at UNM in Albuquerque where Varese performed and lectured.
Varese's greatest proponent and disciple in this country was Frank Zappa; Showing the far ranging influence his music and thought created.
Varese was a man with a mission; and in his short stay in SF left a lasting impression on its musical culture.  
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 15:44

Phantom Spur

The Phantom Spur
     Years ago an old Pecosonian wood seller told me the railroad once ran into the town of Pecos. While I didn't disbelieve him I could over the years find no trace of this line: on maps, in railroad history books or historical articles. USGS topo maps showed no sign of it, as they usually do of abandoned rail lines: a dashed line labeled as "abandoned railroad grade". Myrick's very thorough New Mexico's Railroads doesn't mention it. Old forest service maps don't show it. 
     And then one day while researching my recent article on the old limestone quarries of Santa Fe in the New Mexico Geological Society annual bulletin of 1995 I came upon a photo of the American Metal Company's reduction mill .3 miles west of Pecos in Alamitos Canyon. "Voila". There it was! Railroad ore cars sitting on a siding waiting to be loaded and hauled to the Santa Fe mainline at Fox, four miles to the south.
       The lead-zinc ore being processed in this Pecos mill came from twelve miles north, from the mine at Terrero. It was transported to the mill site on an aerial tramway considered the longest in North America at the time. This all occurred from 1927-1939; that is the shipment of ore via railroad cars. 
There are several reasons for this lacuna of historical record on maps. First, this spur line existed for such a relatively short period of time that it missed mapping periods. It didn't exist in 1924 when the Forest Service issued a Santa Fe National Forest sheet of the Pecos area. It had disappeared when years later a new map was issued. The same goes for the USGS topo maps of the period.
      Secondly this spur probably wasn't built and owned by the Santa Fe railroad, but by the American Metals Co. Consequently it doesn't show up on any Santa Fe railroad maps of their system, like all their coal spurs do in NE New Mexico, Madrid and elsewhere around the state.
Another guess is that it didn't show up on SF railroad maps, which were published yearly, because it didn't carry anything but ore, and was  just considered an industrial siding, unlike some industrial and mining spurs which also carried freight and passengers, mostly workers, to and from the mines.
But with the above sited photo it did exist and so I did a little homework and went to the map collection of the State Library Southwest Collection. The USGS topo 7.5 min. quadrangle of Pecos, 1961, shows a narrow band of un-vegetated land, no piñon-juniper, heading north from the siding at Fox to the mill site west of Pecos. 
A close look at Google maps shows portions of the grade in exactly the same position as the topo map. About half of the right-of-way was commandeered by modern dirt roads, the rest is visible by its beautiful, elliptical topographical curves, that are so typical of railroad engineering.
      An aside: unlike the eastern half of the US, where vegetation, they call them trees, have obscured old roads and railroads from Google maps, out west we have no such bio-mass. As everyone knows, when you drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, you see everything from right to left for thirty miles or more. Out east this isn't true. You're lucky to see fifty feet into the verge.
     This is also true of satellite imagery. One can follow old railroad grades for miles on Google map in the west due to the absence of vegetation. Even the most obscure logging and mining spurs, which New Mexico is full of for the looking.
      As for textual information, much has been written about both the Terrero mine and the mill site in geological reports, mining surveys (see the USGS Minerals Yearbook starting in 1932 onward) and historical writing. Most recently, both sites have been the subject of intense interest due to environmental remediation.
So anyone driving from Pecos to Santa Fe from 1927-1939 on the old Route 66 would have crossed this spur line near the present-day gas station, liquor store motel on the right about 2/3 of the way to Pecos.They would have, maybe, if they were lucky, seen a steam locomotive dragging a string of ore cars to and from the mill site. They would have thought that the railroad had come to Pecos. In a way it did, but not for people or general freight, just  lead-zinc ore.
      This obscure bit of railroad arcana is in and of itself not important. But what is, is the wonderful historic importance of these New Mexico Geologic Society Annual Reports. Not only are they full of geologic history, but also social and economic history. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading them, I urge you to.
They are available for circulation from both the Santa Fe Public Library and the State Library Southwest Collection. 
Richard Barrett
Sunday, 20 April 2014 16:56

Old Limestone Quarries of Santa Fe

Old Limestone Quarries of Santa Fe    By  Richard Barrett
Before there was polished granite table tops, flagstone patios, sandstone block rock terraces, "pen" tile, bricks and cinder block there was limestone! In days of yore you use'd what you could get and close at hand. In Santa Fe that meant limestone. 
Most Santa Feans drive or walk by it every day, whether they know it or not. The Federal Court House, the terrace in front of the San Miguel Church,the Santa Fe river and old Acequia embankments, the south Capitol district's raised basements and CCC work projects. Everywhere you go in old Santa Fe, there it is, limestone.
Where did it come from?
It came from our back yard.
A cursory look at the the 1961 USGS  7.5 min. topo. map of the the Santa Fe quadrangle shows over twenty different quarries within two miles of the plaza.
It all started with the Territorial Federal Building next to the present day PO in downtown SF in 1853. It all ended about 1940 when all the CCC workers went to war.
Although sandstone was also used in this period, such as the St Francis Cathedral and Loretta Chapel, it was much more costly due to milling into blocks, dressing and  transportation  (the "Bishop's" quarry was located on the of top Cerro Colorado, a Mesa
due south of Lamy).
The Wikipedia site on the cathedral erroneously identifies it as yellow limestone. It is not. It is sandstone of the Morrison formation.
Other sandstones used for ornamental work also came from south of Santa Fe in the Cerrillos Hills and environs.
Limestone though was the basic available stone. Easy to quarry and dress, it also bonds well with cement (limestone being its source). The limestone  in question has been variously described over the years with many different nomenclatures, but the current consensus is that it is of  the Mississippian Arroyo Penasco Group/La Pasada formation. It is approximately 800 feet thick and outcrops from the foothills east of Santa Fe, into the Pecos River Canyon and over into the Las Vegas area.
Of the twenty or so quarries in the Santa Fe area the largest grouping was off Valley Drive, northeast of town in the appropriately named drainage of the Arroyo de la Piedra. Nine quarries are shown on the map, making it an easy, close, down-hill coast into town for the hauling wagons.
These being the closest to the present Federal courthouse it would be obvious to surmise that that is where the stone came from.
The next closest are the four on Gonzales Road just up from Cerro Gordo road. These may have been used for the retaining walls along the river and various acequias in town.
Three more are shown just downstream from the Twomile Resevoir where Cerro Gordo curves into upper Canyon Road. To the north are three more along an unnamed arroyo flowing south by the namesake Cerro Gordo hill.
There is another cluster on Hyde Park road in what is now  called Cerros Colorado (a more erroneous name if I've ever heard one, as the whole project was excavated and built on limestone).      
A curious aside in relation to this development is that most of the stone was hauled away to the intersection of Airport and Aqua Fria roads to be used as fill. The builders and landscapers then brought in truckloads of sandstone. Although you do see some of the local limestone used,most is sandstone.
As an active stone mason from 1990 to 2010 I was lucky enough to cross paths with a local builder named Robert Frank who let me have all I wanted from the fill site and to let me scavenge at building sites. In all I used 20 to 30 tons over the years, a fraction of the thousands of tons hauled away and buried.
Across the road from Cerros de Colorado is another development called Paseo del Norte. It to has old quarries.
Almost all the sites mentioned have been obliterated by new residential construction and are now virtually invisible. But when viewing the described areas on Google map it is obvious from the grey coloring of earth where these limestone outcroppings are. 
How many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of tons were quarried is anybody's  guess. All I know is that a lot of Santa Fe is built on and out of this rock.
If you ask for native limestone today at any of the local rock yards, you will probably be met with a blank stare. It is just no longer available.
Santiago E. Campos US Courthouse,Santa Fe , NM, GSA Home page
Museum of NM/Office of Archaeological Studies
Vista Canada Ancha: Survey of proposed water line
Wallace/Lentz Archaeological Notes 207, 1996
Geology of Santa Fe Region/NM Geological Society
Bauer, 1992
Industrial Minerals and Rocks in Santa Fe county, p.179
NM Geological Society, Guidebook 41, 1990
Building with Stone in Northern NM
Austin, Barker/pg. 405
Adam Read link to nomenclature:
http://geo info.nmt. edu/publications/periodicals/nmg downloads/23/n4/nmg V23 n4 p.103
Wikipedia "St. Francis Cathedral" Santa Fe, NM

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