Mike Lord

Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

Monday, 23 April 2012 20:46

The Exchange Hotel

The earliest mention of the Exchange Hotel was by William Becknell, the first American trader to travel what became the Santa Fe Trail, when he arrived in Santa Fe in 1821.  Prior to that, records indicate that there was an inn (fonda) at the location.  During the 19th century, the hotel was known by several names until it was razed in 1919 and rebuilt as today's La Fonda. The Exchange was the hub of social interaction (at least among men) during the last half of the 19th century, boasting a saloon and a billiard parlor that was always active. 

The caption for this photo reads "It is the oldest hotel in the west, and was the hotel at the end of the Santa Fe Trail. Overhead wires for power or communications can be seen attached to the adobe hotel. A covered portal supported by square posts is visible on the left. A workman stands on a ladder at left under the porch roof near a sign reading "Lemp, St. Louis". A dog lies on the ground at the foot of the ladder. The area in the foreground is composed of dirt.  Other legible signs include: ..."Star Tobacco", "Exchange Hotel", "Coca-Cola [...] fountain."

Photo by Reverend George Cole

Ca. 1895-1905

Saturday, 21 April 2012 22:38

Four Generations of Santa Fé Gringos

Mike Lord, Grace Davis, Anders Lettie and Rachel Lord.

Photo by Kathy Lord

April 21, 2012

Saturday, 21 April 2012 22:35

Three Santa Fé Treasures

Connie Hernandez, Grace Davis and Adelina Ortiz de Hill.  Inspirations for Voces de Santa Fé.

Photo by Mike Lord

April 21, 2012

Thursday, 19 April 2012 18:12

St. Francis Basilica Tetragrammaton

There are a lot of stories floating around about this inscription over the main door of the Cathedral. The following from a blog by David B. Williams covers what I have heard:

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:24

When Santa Fe Made Its Own Beer

 

 The Santa Fe Reporter , August 6, 1986

Open Door

Charles A. Hannaford and Mike Taylor

When Santa Fe Made Its Own Beer

By 1873 there was an all-time high of 4,131 commercial beer breweries in the United States and almost every town of any consequence had its own brewery and its own beer.  And Santa Fe – even though it was just the capital of a frontier Territory and not even part of a state - was no exception.

For years I've been looking for a photograph of the Fischer Brewery and have just discovered two.  This photo is of the entertainment side, with the bowling alley, salon and outdoor porch.  The brewing was done in the 2 story building just visible to the right.  It is credited to Adolph Fischer and, based on the Sanborn 1902 map description 'Dilapidated, being used as a residence' I would estimate the date between 1902 and 1906, when it was demolished to make room for the Renehan's Willows.  It must have been a Santa Fe hotspot, a rural retreat where one could have a beer overlooking the Santa Fe river, listen to live music and bowl in what I believe was Santa Fe's first bowling alley.

Photo by Adolph Fischer

1902-1905

Friday, 13 April 2012 15:48

Automobiles and The Willows

The automobile arrives in Santa Fe.

From The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 14, 1908:

Attorney A.B. Renehan has joined the ranks of the automobile
enthusiasts by investing in a handsome four-cylinder Ford Model S
roadster. The machine arrived this week from Denver and Mr. Renehan is
now getting next to its intricate workings under the tutelage of Earl
Mayes, a professional chauffeur and local agent for the Ford. Mr.
Renehan will now be able to travel to and from his
beautiful suburban home, "The Willows," much more conveniently.

Here's a 1908 Ford Model S Roadster.  Imagine it chugging up East Palace Avenue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNrxiSzw348


From The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 18, 1910

While attempting to scale one of the 'peaks' a half mile or more
behind the home of A.B. Renehan, to show off the climbing powers of his
automobile, Frank Owen had a narrow escape from serious if not fatal
injuries yesterday afternoon. His car turned turtle and he saved
himself by a magnificent vault just in the nick of time. With him but
several minutes before Mr. Owen took the leap were Dr. J.M. Diaz, who
is one of the greatest auto enthusiasts in the territory, A.J. Griffin
and J.H. Walker. They made a rapid descent from the car before it
turned turtle and in order to save it if possible from attempting the
feat.

Friday, 13 April 2012 00:47

Marietta and Alois Renehan - 1922

Since I've been talking about my Great-grandmother and step Great-grandfather, I'd like to introduce them to you.

Thursday, 12 April 2012 18:38

The Fischer Brewery

Alois and Marietta Renehan's home, the Willows, was built on the site of the Fischer Brewery.  The brewery was established in the 1880s (it appears on the Birds-Eye View of Santa Fe in 1882) and was closed in the late 1890s.  Alois bought the property and the 1902 Sanborn map lists it as "Dilapidated, used as a residence."  In its heyday, it boasted a performance stage, a beer garden and a bowling alley.

In 1894, Rudolph Eickmeyer wrote in his book "Letters From The South-West" about the brewery.

"Palace Street is the Fifth Avenue of Santa Fé.  Most of the stylish residences line its sides; but a little distance from these I made a discovery.  To see the city, you generally go over to the west side of the Santa Fé River, drive up the valley through the Mexican town, and return by Palace Street, after crossing to the east side of the river on a bridge.  Well, one day we made this trip, and when within a half mile of the stylish part of the street we discovered on our right a sign with the legend "Santa Fé Beer Garden."  We stopped, of course, and found ourselves in the Fatherland.  Tables under the trees and a jolly fellow-countryman of mine ready to serve his customers with pure Santa Fé lager and real St. Louis pretzels.  When he brought the lager, however, I was both astonished and amazed.  You have, no doubt, seen in Yonkers, in front of the establishments where the juice of King Gambrinus is flowing, a sign with the picture of a tumbler of huge size, saying, "Schooners, five cents."  But even the schooners there offered to the thirsty are not to be compared with those of Santa Fé.  I could account for it in but one way, namely, the climate here is exceedingly dry, and to moisten the throat it takes a large quantity of fluid.  In all my travels I have never met as good measure, except in the Hofbräu, in Munich, Bavaria, where his Royal Highness the King furnishes his thirsty subjects with lager at so much a "stein."

My Great-grandfather, Charles N. Lord, was the Secretary of The Board of Dental Examiners for the Territory.  Here's his report to the Governor, shortly before his divorce from my Great-grandmother.

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