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Friday, 30 March 2012 16:05

Stephenson Family - 1906

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Thursday, 29 March 2012 16:54

Mora County, New Mexico

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After a hard day herding cattle, cowboys head to dinner in this 1897 photo from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, Neg. No. 005324. 

Mora County ... The Early Years  Before the Spanish conquest, Mora County was primarily Indian Country, Mora Valley having been used by the Utes, Navajos, and the Apaches. After Spanish conquest, it was primarily a travel way for Spanish explorers and was not really settled until the beginning of the 19th Century.  The earliest records of Mora County come from 1817, when a group of settlers from San Juan de los Caballeros petitioned the Catholic Church. They had wanted a church to be built in Lo de Mora, the former name of Mora County. 

28 September 1835  Albino Pérez, Governor of New Mexico Territory, gave over 800,000 acres of land to 25 families.

"Mora" today is actually three plazas and three villages; Mora, Cleveland (originally San Antonio), and Chacon. Holman (originally Agua Negra) lies between Chacon and Cleveland.

Historical and genealogical records for Mora are difficult to obtain for a number of reasons. One is that Mora was destroyed by Americans in 1848 in the course of the rebellion against the new government, and most of the archives were lost. "Not until artillery was brought up (by the United States Army) and Mora practically destroyed did the insurgents yield." A US Government Proclamation at the time (February 15, 1847) wrote that the US Army " proceeded with a body of men and one canon to Moro and razed the towns (Upper and Lower Moro) to the ground."

Revolt of 1847

The Mexican War with the United States was fought between 1846 and 1848, and, following the ratification of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, New Mexico became part of the United States. Mora was affected by the war. In 1847, Manuel Cortez and Pablo Montoya began stirring up the northern counties to revolt against the occupiers. Governor Charles Bent was assassinated in Taos on January 19, 1847. On that same day, a group of eight traders passing through Mora were murdered. On January 24, 1847, a band of American volunteers headed from Las Vagas to Mora planning to exact retribution. The band lacked sufficient ammunition and powder for facing the well-defended village. Private John Hudgins described the village:
". . . about 250 or 300 yards square, with lines of adobe houses joined together except in two places which was occupied by cedar pickets eight feet high, one two-story L adobe building at the northwest angle and a wood block (house) at the southeast angle. The two-story building was pierced with loopholes for small arms and one embrasure for cannon (but no cannon) all in the upper story."

The attack failed when Captain Israel Hendley, commander of the group, was killed, and the group left the area. This failed attack was followed on 1 February 1847 by another expedition under Captain Jesse I. Morin. Armed with cannon, this group succeeded in destroying the village and proceeded to burn ranches and grain fields. An eyewitness gave the following account from the vantage point of Morin's position:
"As they lived all scattered in their fields, they joined together as soon as they were appraised that they would be attacked by the American soldiers, and fortified themselves with whatever kind of logs they could find ready, at the foot of the mountain on the road going from Mora to Cebolla, there they were attacked by the soldiers, who killed one of their own men, Manuel Gallegos and wounded another named Juan Guillen. After this attack the soldiers turned to the houses and destroyed them by fire before leaving the Valley." (from Jose Ramon Pacheco, The Mora, New Mexico Story.)

In 1860, Mora County was established. Before this time, most of the county had been part of Taos County and San Miguel County. The new Mora County was nearly twice the size of what it is today. A process of take away was begun, and, by 1900, it had been reduced to a size only a little larger than it is now. Since then, some of the eastern county was added to Harding County.   

This information is from:  http://mora.nmgenweb.us/

Wednesday, 28 March 2012 23:25

Embudo--the rest of the story

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The tiny village of Embudo about fifty miles north of Santa Fe was a location of a station on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Few know the true place Embudo has in the development and settlement of the arid west during the eighteen eighties. Embudo became known as the "Birthplace Of Systematic Stream Gaging." The attached is a synopsis of this and the demis of "The Chile Line."  Download and readd the article below.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 18:53

Santa Fe Ski Area Prospectus - 1939

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In 1938, the Santa Fe Winter Sports Club commissioned a study on the feasibility of developing a ski area at Sacate Blanco (Aspen Basin.)  WWII delayed the project for 10 years, but in 1949 the Santa Fe Ski Basin opened for business.  Part of the project was constructing a road from the bottom of the primitive ski area at Big Tesuque into the basin following the (then) Windsor Trail.  It was a far cry from the small ski hill at Hyde Park.

There is a wealth of information here - old ski photos, weather and snowfall data, maps and the roster of the 1939 Winter Sports Club.  I received the prospectus from my grandfather 40 years ago.

Please note that this is a large file (10MB) so it will take a minute or so to download before it opens.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 06:15

Birds-eye view of Santa Fé 1776

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Birds-eye view of Santa Fe 
painted by Wilson Hurley after a map of Joseph de Urrutia
This is what Nedra Matteucci writes of Wilson Hurley: "Wilson Hurley, a resident of New Mexico since 1935, is recognized as one of America's premier landscape painters. Working in the great American landscape tradition, he has often been compared with Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, and Thomas Moran, the great landscapists of the 19th century. Though honored by the comparison, Hurley creates paintings which are truly contemporary in that they combine the realistic beauty of nature with the best of 20th century technological achievement, thought and expression. Hurley is credited with bringing Western realist landscape painting to the forefront of American painting. His influence on current and future generations of artists is incalculable. His work embodies the spirit of Western individualism and presents his experience, enthusiasm and appreciation to all who see his paintings so that they, too, may understand his extraordinary perspective."
A link for Captain Jose de Urrutia: 

Sunday, 25 March 2012 16:15

The Alley Theater - 1960 and 2012

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Here's The Alley Theater, then and now.  Quite a contrast, que no?

Friday, 23 March 2012 17:14

Spanish Names Fade Into History

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Spanish Names Fade Into History 
By Leslie Linthicum
Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer
One day last week, in between the rancheras and community announcements on KDCE radio in Española, Matthew Rivera, owner of the Rivera Family Funeral Home, delivered the news of 81-year-old Eustaquio Montoya's passing. 
The departed was preceded in death by Matias and Estefanita Montoya. 
The same morning, Johnny DeVargas of DeVargas Funeral Home announced services for Estanislao Roybal, an Arroyo Seco resident who passed away at age 92. 
He was preceded in death by Procopio and Tonita Roybal. 
Just about every day in New Mexico, another great old Spanish name passes on as a family loses a viejo.

What are considered forms of Northern New Mexico art today, were originally created as functional and utilitarian pieces by the indigenous people:  Pottery, baskets and weavings to name a few.  Some forms of "art" were created by these same people as a reflection of their spirituality: Retablos, bultos, Kachinas, drums, etcs.  As other people migrated to this intriguing frontier in the 1800s and early 1900s, incoming artists paid tribute to the environment and the culture through their own creative visions.  Paintings, drawings, and photography depicting the landscapes and the vibrant communities were created, some becoming iconic pieces of the southwest.  Along this same path, Zozobra was born.  The internationally known Santa Fé and Northern NM area continues to draw artists and connoisseurs of art from around the world.

Sunday, 18 March 2012 20:40

1943 Santa Fe High School State Football Champs

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My father, Jimmy Baca, is in the bottom row, second from left.  I believe Santa Fe High School has only won the state championship one other time since 1943.

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