Arthur Scott

Arthur Scott

Monday, 30 December 2013 19:17

First Gas Lights in Santa Fe 1880

This clipping from the Daily New Mexican Dec 1, 1880 describes the organization of the Santa Fe Gas Company. My great-grandfather was one of the original organizers.

You will have to copy it to your .jpg viewer an enlarge in order to read clearly.

This is for you coupon clippers. No expiration date.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:34

Mexican bandits -1932

This was sixteen years after Villa's raid on Columbus. From Dallas Tribune 3-25-1932

Monday, 23 December 2013 16:18

Santa Fe High School 1953-55

“Beer, Beer, for Santa Fe High”

 Santa Fe High School 1953-1955

By Arthur Scott

(Note: Content is copyrighted and may only be used ith author's permission.)


    Bueno  chicas, chicos, damas y caballeros; let me tell you estory de dias  antiguos. May be true –may be not. In any case no names have been changed to protect the innocent.

    First I want to set the location. Right smack-dab downtown! SFHS encompassed the block bounded by Lincoln, Federal Place, Marcy and Grant streets. The front entrance and principal’s office faced Lincoln Street. Across Marcy Street from the main campus was the auto-mechanics shop presided over by Mr Jack Boulton. Also across Marcy Street were the Little Chef Grill, Hyde's Bakery, and Boyle's florist (required for proms, snowball formal, etc). Just down Lincoln Street was BatRites Grocery store. All of which served as emergency back up when school cafeteria food became unbearable or sort of handy places to meet shortly with girls at noontime.

    The school was comprised of three connected buildings. There was a two-story building facing Lincoln which, in 1955 was still unnamed and known as "The New Building." The buildings ran east and west, connecting to the Sena Building and  culminating with Seth Hall which included the gym. The school was designed by Meem so of course most was fake adobe, pueblo style. The central area of the lot facing Marcy Street was student and faculty parking.



 Santa Fe High School 1954



    At this time there were only two primary high schools in town, St Michael’s and Santa Fe High School. Santa Fe High was the “Demons” and St. Michael’s were the “Horsemen.”  To this day, I find it difficult not to precede the word “Horseman” with an impolite Spanish or English adjective. 

   The Demon fight song, “Beer, Beer, For Santa Fe High,” was sung to the Notre Dame fight-song

Friday, 13 December 2013 22:09

Fairview Cemetary

Attached is the newsletter from the Fairview Preservation Group. Of particular interest is the 100 years ago section. Many of us have relatives buried here. Several multigererational. These people are doing a great job trying topreserve this National Historic Place. I am sure any help would be appreciated.

Saturday, 23 November 2013 14:22

New Mexico Tinwork--St. Nathalie

Early New Mexico Tinwork—Saint Nathalie


Arthur Scott


    I bought the Saint Nathalie in a tinwork frame over 65 years ago. My mother was always looking for antiques and dragging me along. I had saved some money from sacking groceries and a paper route.  We went to some tobacco-chewing old gringo’s place in an old adobe house with a front portal, a rocking chair, and a coffee can for a spittoon. I don’t remember much else so I have no real idea how old she is.

   This guy had a house full of trosteros, chests, bultos and retablos. He apparently took a liking to me and I came away after a couple of  visits with this tinwork, a San Isidro bulto with two oxen; a .45-.70 1865 Springfield long rifle; and a Colt .22 caliber single shot derringer. To this day, I can’t remember the man’s name.

   The derringer was stolen from a wall in my home by a high-school classmate and never recovered. The Springfield, along with another rifle was traded for a Gibson, five-string, Pete Seeger Model, long-neck banjo in 1965. The bulto was traded to Rex Arrowsmith (I think) for some prehistoric Indian pottery during the 60’s also. The piece shown above has traveled with me through a couple of marriages and several states.

The REverse




Tuesday, 12 November 2013 16:24

A Kid In Santa Fe During The War Years


A Kid In Santa Fe During The War Years


Arthur Scott

   For the purposes of this paper I am defining “War Years” as World War II. During the later years of the war I ranged in age from five to eight. My dad had owned the Santa Fe Typewriter and Radio Repair shop on Water Street so we had a late model RCA floor-model, wood cabinet, furniture-grade radio in the living room.  Every evening the norm was for the family to gather around the radio for the latest war news. My most formative years were ingrained with hatred, sacrifice, fighting, killing, wounding, victories and defeats.

    This war, unlike many of our later conflicts, was totally approved of and supported by our civilian population. We all knew we were fighting for our country and way of life. We hated the sneaky, sadistic “Japs” (Japanese) that started the war by bombing Pearl Harbor (at the time I had no idea where this was), perpetrated the Bataan Death March on our hometown boys and wanted to govern the eastern world while the “Krauts” (Germans) were stealthily taking country after country in Europe to control the western world..

    As a war time child, one of my most vivid memories was rationing.  Of prime interest to me, there was NO bubble gum available during these years. The pressed cardboard tokens shown above were allocated and  issued to each family by the local ration board (The Office of Price Management had created 8000 across the US.) and then could be used, along with cash to purchase groceries such as meat, sugar, coffee, fats (wonder how we made tortillas and biscochitos without manteca), and canned goods. Along with cash, each rationed item required a specific number of tokens.

    I remember the yellow and black “A” sticker on our car windshield which I just learned meant our family was allowed four gallons of gas per week. No pleasure driving was allowed. Each family was allowed five tires with all excess tires required to be turned in to the Government. Other families had B, C, and D stickers, depending on what the local ration board determined their driving-priority was. For example law-enforcement and medical personnel had higher priorities than other families.  Among items rationed or not produced during the war years, that I remember, were shoes, automobiles, bicycles, and metal toys. Production of plastic items did not occur until after the war.

    The war was a time of prosperity for Santa Fe and Santa Feans. Santa Fe had always been dependent on tourism, skiing, and government to provide jobs. Industry was unheard of. During the war there was most likely little tourism. However, we had three important government war-time facilities. Bruns Army Hospital was constructed on Cerrillos Road. It was a large facility for the care and rehabilitation of wounded troops. After the war this facility became warehouse space for Federal agencies in town. A portion of the land was donated and became St. Michael’s College and later became the College Of Santa Fe.  At the lower south end of East Alameda, then unpaved, was an interment camp for American-Japanese run by the US Dept of Justice. As I remember it was a dark, foreboding, high barbed wire fenced area with tall guard towers. To the town it was known as the “Jap Camp.” Although much injustice was done by this program, to us the wisdom at the time was anyone of Japanese ancestry owed an allegiance to the emperor and would either spy on or sabotage military installations in the US. It was certain that after Pearl Harbor California and our west coast was the next target.     The third facility that employed a large number of Santa Fe citizens was known as “The Hill,” later to become Los Alamos. This of course was top secret but the town abounded with rumors of what was going on at “The Hill.” As I recall hearing as a kid these ranged from rockets to explosive tape. Many of us in town had friends or family that worked at one of these facilities.

    Every family seemed to have men in battles. There were many Blue Star flags in doors or windows. Women in the Red Cross Auxiliary were rolling bandages. Plaza store windows abounded with anti- Japanese or German posters. I remember “Loose Lips Sink Ships” and “Slap the Japs with Iron Scrap.” We had metal scrap drives in the Plaza. Our kid’s contributions were tin-foil balls made by peeling the foil from gum and candy wrappers and forming a ball with the foil. We made them as large as possible by saving over a long period. Tin cans were gathered and turned in. Also any rubber material, such as shoe soles and rubber bands formed into balls were turned in. We had “Black-Out drills. Light proof shades had to cover windows or no lights turned on during certain periods. Block wardens checked to insure total darkness.

    Most families had their heroes. I had two cousins wounded in action. My cousin, George March, had been among the early Santa Fe skiers. He lost a leg serving in the ski troops in the Allusion Islands. After he was discharged and returned to Santa Fe, his other leg had to be amputated because of some complications with the wound.  He never skied again but with crude 1940’s prosthetics he was able to live a somewhat normal life. Another cousin, Captain Morton Seligman (my grandfather’s brother’s son), served as executive officer on the aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington when it was sunk by the Japanese in the battle of the Coral Sea. “Uncle” Mort was an Annapolis graduate and had been awarded a Bronze Star for bravery during World War I for service on a mine-sweeper. . In the Coral Sea attacked by Jap suicide bombers he fought fires on the ship and was badly burned. He insured that sailors could get off of the ship before he and the Captain were the last to abandon ship. He was awarded a Silver Star for saving lives and bravery. He stayed in the Navy after rehabilitation and eventually retired as a Captain in Coronado, California. In later years he offered me an Annapolis appointment which I wisely turned down as I was not cut out for military school at the time.

    Of course in the midst of all of this we children also had our own pitched battles against the hated “Japs” and “”Krauts.” On East Palace Avenue, next door to the Montgomery’s house and property was a large vacant lot that ran down a steep hill all the way to the Alameda. This was our wartime battle ground.  The hill was pock-marked with fox holes and bunkers which we defended with homemade wooden rifles and pistols. It was several years later before we could get rolled caps to shoot in metal pistols. After the Japanese surrendered and war ended in 1945 the government sold much of its military surplus. Gus Mitchell opened the Army Navy surplus store on lower San Francisco Street. Now we could continue to fight our battles with genuine Army helmet liners, canteens, canteen belts and back packs, this was forty five years before backpacks were popular. I am very proud to report that this strategic hill was never taken by the enemy!






Monday, 28 October 2013 12:40

New State Historian Website

   On October 21, 2013 the Office of the New Mexico State Historian launched their new website. It is brighter, menu driven and much more easily navigated than the the previous one. Most of the emense hoard of previous materials were preserved. The multimedia section contains dozens of audio, video and podcasts. One Gf my favorites is "Growing Up in Cochati." The search engine is very fast and complete.

Give it a try at:  NEWMEXICOHISTORY.ORG or use the link on the Voces "Links" section.



Growing Up In Santa Fe-My Life Through The Eyes of My Dogs


Arthur Scott


   Throughout my life, dogs have always been my companions. They have provided me with the most untold joy and unconditional love that I have known. However they have also caused me the most profound sense of loss and deepest sorrow I have ever known. Most were “street mutts” a few have been pedigreed and of known breed. Each and everyone was equally a Champion in the eyes of a boy and now in the memories as a old man. Each was a hero in their own right to a small and needy boy. These are their stories:



   The first dog that I remember in my life was “Spin”, a small black and white smooth-coat fox terrier mix. Spin was named from his habit of chasing his own tail. He, like many of our dogs, until I grew up came to us from the Santa Fe County animal shelter. Spin had seniority in the house because he was there before I was born. From what I was told, Spin was very gentle to me as a baby and enjoyed licking whatever goodie he could find from my baby face.

   I can remember and see in my mind’s eye, Spin playing out in the yard with me as I grew into a toddler. I was less than five as I remember my father still being alive. I clearly remember Manuelita, in Spanish, sending the two of us out to play. Manuelita was from Hernandez, NM, lived with us, took care of me, and did all the things my mother did not want to do. She spoke no English so I learned mostly Spanish at a very early age. Manuelita was probably the most influential person in my early upbringing and helped shape what I would grow to be. In her eyes, I was her little Pedrito and Spin and I could do no wrong. This required that Spin also be bilingual.

   Like all dogs in that era in a small town, Spin had the run of the neighborhood but, stayed close to me when I played or slept. Other times he had his own agenda for investigating. Automobile traffic was not generally an issue on upper Palace Avenue.

   My father died of a heart attack at a very young age, shortly after I turned five. That same year, Manualita had to return to her family in Hernandez either because my mother felt the need to cut costs or because of illness in Manualita’s family. However, the most profound loss that year is a faint memory of screeching breaks and a dog screaming in pain. Everyone rushed out of the house and I was scooped inside. Spin was gone. I was promised another dog and an ice cream cone.

   This was my first lesson that to many people dogs are replaceable by another dog rather than individuals. To me no other dog could ever be another Spin and ice cream cannot cure crap or lessen the pain of loss and sorrow



   Another year or so passed and my mother remarried. My only sister got married and moved to the Dead Horse ranch, which her husband owned to raise show Herfords, halfway between Las Vegas and Santa Fe. In less than two years I lost my father, Spin, my older sister to marriage and I had a new step-father. I guess with enough whining the promise of another dog was remembered. I was now about seven or eight at by then and I was going to pick out my dog from the animal shelter. As I recall, I had very little to say about it. We ended up with a very young, very small, male puppy that was marked like a Doberman Pinscher.

   Our family vet, Dr. Smith, would later be the veterinarian for Smoky Bear when he was brought to Santa Fe out of the Capitan Mountains where he was burned during a forest fire, as a small cub.  After examining my puppy and giving him required shots, he said the dog would most likely grow to the size of a Miniature Pincher because of his small feet.

   I did get to name “my” puppy so he became Mike. I have no earthly idea why. Mike eventually grew to be a full sized Dobe with an extremely sweet but timid personality. As Mike grew, so did our love until we had a bond as only the bond between a lonely boy and dog can exist. He slept with me; waited for me to come home after school, sometimes meeting me as I walked home. He played ball and romped with me.

   After a few months passed, my mother and step-father were going to take couple week trip to Texas. Mike and I were to stay with my Aunt Ritchie and Uncle John that lived a few blocks down Palace Avenue. I can remember being so angry. I realize now that it was a deep anger based on fear of being left alone. But then I was just plain mad! My consolation was having my friend Mike and a mostly understanding Aunt.

  One day my aunt, uncle and I were eating lunch in her very large kitchen. Mike, as usual was lying on the floor. My aunt would not let him in the main part of the house. He began whining and jumped up and ran across the room. He was bleeding profusely from his rectum. The kitchen floor was an enormous pool of blood. He died and was buried in my Aunt Ritchie’s back yard. He most likely had a perforated intestine from eating bones my aunt gave him. Then it was attributed some undisclosed illness or weakness in his system.

   My mother and step-father returned. I was given an apology for being left. And then I was told we could always get another dog, and given an ice cream cone.




   Mike was “replaced” by a young but grown Collie mix. This was during the late forties and the time of the movie “Lassie Come Home.” So this shelter pup became a heroic “Lassie.” The war was over so gasoline and tires were no longer rationed. We could make more frequent trips to the cabin above Pecos.   My sister was divorced and back in the household. Her horses were back in Cow Creek.

   Lassie fit in well at the cabin. Either following along with the horses while we were riding or messing up the fishing by getting too close to the stream and spooking the wily trout. If told to stay, he would wait on the porch anxiously waiting for my return.

   My sister became gravely ill. The local doctors were baffled and suggested she visit The Cleveland Clinic. My mother had two sisters and a brother in Cleveland so she felt she would have support. The plan was that my sister, mother, and I would take the train to Cleveland. My step-father would stay in Santa Fe and take care of the house. Lassie would stay with the neighbor in Cow Creek that took care of our horses when we were gone for a long time.

    I would have to attend public school there in the fifth grade. I had never seen a large city. To me it was very frightening. We lived in a dingy apartment hotel. All the tall and huge buildings were ditty, dark, and scary. I had to ride a streetcar to and from school. The playground was concrete and fenced with a six-foot chain link fence. I longed for the clear air, sunshine, mountains, and freedom of New Mexico and especially my Lassie.

   After a couple of months, which seemed like an eternity, my step-father picked us up and we made the long drive to New Mexico. I had to start school right away and had to wait a couple more weeks before we could make the trip to Cow Creek to pick up Lassie. When wee finally got up to the ranch and drove to the neighbor’s, I didn’t see Lassie come to greet me. The neighbor casually told us in Spanish that he had shot the dog the day after we left him because he killed a chicken. I collapsed with a scream and started beating the back seat. There were no tears just a deep and piercing scream. My mother tried to console me with we will get another dog and when we get down to Pecos we will buy you an ice cream cone.

   As it turned out the trip to Cleveland was fruitless. They could not diagnose my sister’s illness. She started seeing a different physician in Santa Fe. After some exploratory surgery, he resolved her problem with the use of a new cortisone drug which she required for the rest of her life.



   Around this time, we were living in the walk-out basement maid’s room of out house. It had been converted to a small apartment. The main portion of our house was rented as was a small downstairs room and bath. This was done to make ends meet. My mother and step-father were divorced.  The house and cabin were sold and the proceeds used to buy another smaller house on Griffin Street. My mother added a third bedroom to the new house. After a time, I once again begged for a dog. A trip to the shelter and we came home with Saber (named by my mother), a beautiful German shepherd mix. He was about a year old even tempered and possibly a purebred. He walked upright; unlike the current fashion of haunchy sway back Shepherds today. I was now eleven or twelve years old. Saber and I quickly became best friends. We did a lot of neighborhood running. I could tackle him and he could tackle me without ever biting or any growls. He never had a problem with the neighborhood kids or dogs.  My mother, ever paranoid, thought he would be a perfect watchdog.

  My mother decided she could make some money and move into a larger house by selling our current home. This became a recurring theme in my life. From the time I was around eight to the time I entered college, we moved five times each house getting larger, more prestigious in her eyes, and each becoming more unaffordable.

  Atthis time, my sister was still quite ill and there was a problem with house closings. We could not move into the next house she bought until about 60 days after selling the first house. We moved to a one-bedroom apartment on upper Acequia Madre, a dirt street in the artist section of Santa Fe. Because my sister was ill, she got the bedroom and my mother and I slept on a day bed and cot in the living room. I was in junior high school and new no other kids in this neighborhood. As I had about a month of school left, a teacher that lived nearby offered to drive me in the mornings. There was no school-bus service in the city limits. We made do and I always had my Saber with witch to come home to and roughhouse with.

   Then came the day I will always remember with extreme bitterness and sadness. I was at a summer fencing class it was warm and Saber, my sister and mother were sitting in the living room with the front door open to get air through the screen door. From what I was told, the mailman came and tried to hand the mail through the screen door instead of putting it in te box. This obviously was taken as a threat to his family by Saber and he reacted by going after the mailman. No serious damage was done and I don’t remember being told that he drew blood. I was only told that he was too vicious and that she had called the animal shelter to pick him up. The dog was doing the job he was bred for, protecting his family from what he perceived as an imamate threat, The shelter was to pick him up the next day. I finally gave up on begging for him to stay. They said he would be adopted out to a ranch or a nice place where he had more room. I knew it was my friend’s death sentence since she reported him as “vicious.” This was after living with him over two years and observing how gentle and playful he could be. I quit begging and resolved myself to a deep hate. I lay with Saber all night and waited the next day. I only talked and revealed my real feelings to him. The dog catchers showed up around noon. I walked out with him at my side. The man said they would take him. He got a pole with a wire noose at the end. He grabbed Saber around the neck and tightened the noose while another guy grabbed his hind legs. While he was being hung, they threw him in a steel closed cage on the truck. I could hear him try to cry out as he was being hung.  I ran back into the apartment.

   I was told we could get “another” dog once we got settled and promised me an ice cream cone. In my mother’s eyes, one dog was the same as another. In a strange way, Saber taught me a couple of great lessons. The first was in my young eyes, money was power. So to emancipate myself I had to earn money. I got my first job sacking groceries at fourteen and running a paper delivery route. I also vowed that when I became an adult any dog that entered my house would be there for their natural life.


   After this incident, we went on to move four more times. I never had another dog but my sister adopted a dog that had been picked up on the street by a co-worker. The dog had been hit by a car and suffered a broken muzzle.  He was named “Bourbon” and survived all the moves and died of old age while I was away at college. 

   During my high-school years I worked after school and weekends helping groom dogs for Claude James and Happy Krebs at their pet shop, The Clip Joint, on College Street directly across the street from the old Orchard Court motel.  After Saber I never had another dog until I was an adult, out of college, married and in control of my own life. Since then there has always been at least one and as many as three wonderful dogs in my home. They have provided me with untold love, friendship, loyalty in many good and bad times. I hope that I have provided them all recognition of their own individuality and a sense of wellbeing and love. The honor roll of my heroes includes Cocoa, Flower, Inashah, Pooh, Sailor, Blue, Sierra, and Koda I.  Today we share our joy with Australian Shepherds Koda II and Sunny and shelter-dog Tipper!




This May 1936 photo of The Laboratory of Anthropology was taken by a tourist while on an Indian Detours tour. The Indian Detours limo/bus is in the foreground.

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