Mike Lord

Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

This is an extremely comprehensive history of the Code Talkers.  Give it some time to download.


On April 25, 2013, I photographed this wagon on NM 14 near Cedar Crest.  It turns out that Randy Boehmer has been traveling the American West since 2008.  Here’s his story from the May 28, 2011 Denver Post.


Saturday, 06 April 2013 16:26

Dolores, NM - The West's First Gold Rush

In 1821, Spain signed the Treaty of Córdova and New Mexico became part of the new Republic of Mexico.  In 1827, placer gold was discovered in the Ortiz Mountains, the mining camp of Dolores sprang up almost overnight and the first gold rush in the West began - 22 years before the California gold rush.

In the early 1830s the gold quartz veins, source of the placer deposits, were discovered and developed by two wealthy Santa Fe merchants, Jose Francisco Ortiz and Ignacio Cano, on the Santa Rosalia lode about a mile up the hill from Dolores.  This led to a large influx of miners from as far away as Missouri.  The population after this is unknown, but there are estimates that it reached over 2,000 people.

In 1870, Real de Dolores had a population of 150, an ore stamping mill, a mercury separation facility, a store and a church, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores.  In May, 1900, Thomas Edison constructed a mill to test a new separation process which used an electric blower and static electricity to separate heavier gold from the lighter waste material.  An electric line was run from Madrid to power the mill and it was reported that the mill's electric lights could be seen from Santa Fe.  The project was unsuccessful and Edison abandoned it 6 months later.

By 1905, very little gold remained and Dolores was abandoned.  It is estimated that, during its 80 year existence, 100,000 ounces of gold were recovered.

Today, the ruins of Dolores are on private property and are not open to the public.  One can drive to the fenceline (about 2 miles north of Cerrillos on NM 14) and see what's left.

Photo taken in 1904 - 1905

Photographer unknown

--Mike Lord

While researching the Scenic Highway, we came across this map.  It's one of my favorites - and I have a lot of maps.

--Mike Lord

Friday, 15 March 2013 16:27

Site Map - List of All Articles

I've just discovered (I'm a slow learner) that if you scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click "Site Map" in the bottom right-hand corner a list of every post on the website comes up.  You can then click on the individual article.  We'll add a prominent Site Map button soon.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 01:27

Bicycling in Santa Fe, 1900

All of these guys but one are riding the original high front wheel bicycle (called a penny farthing bicycle.) They were dangerous as a small stone in the road could cause you to flip over the handlebars, and it was a long way down. The guy on the tricycle is riding the earliest machine I've ever seen designed to prevent this problem

Any guesses as to where this photo was taken?

Photo by Dana B. Chase.

--Mike Lord

This is the plan drawn by Lieutenant Jeremy Gilmer in 1846 for the construction of the original Fort Marcy.

--Mike Lord

Saturday, 09 February 2013 18:13

Fort Marcy - (1846-1868)


The first United States Army post established in the Southwest, it was built at the outbreak of the Mexican War, when General Stephen W. Kearny and some 1,700 troops marched over the Santa Fe Trail, seizing Santa Fe on August 18, 1846. The next day Kearny ordered two of his chief engineers, Lieutenants William Emory and Jeremy Gilmer, to stake out a good site for a defensive fort, a crucial decision to prevent an uprising by Santa Fe citizens. Lieutenant Emory soon reported an ideal spot for the post atop a flat top hill, 650 yards northeast of Santa Fe’s plaza, describing it as "the only point which commands the entire town."

Kearny agreed and within no time, soldiers and hired workmen began to build five foot thick adobe walls, which were nine feet high in an irregular hexagonal polygon. The fortress was surrounded by a deep ditch. Within the compound an adobe blockhouse and powder magazine were built to store artillery and weapons.

Though the plan originally intended the compound to house some 280 men, no quarters were ever built. Instead, a few limited quarters were built outside the post, but the majority of both men and horses were lodged and corralled in and around the old Spanish military barracks next to the Governors' Palace. Kearny named the new fort after William L. Marcy, then Secretary of War.

The fort was never required to defend Santa Fe during the Mexican-American War, but it remained through the Civil War. During this time, the post saw little action and when the war was over, it was officially abandoned in August, 1868. The walls soon began to deteriorate and what was left was later destroyed when a local citizen discovered a treasure trove of Spanish coins hidden at the old post. The find was reported in newspapers and soon the hill was filled with treasure hunters, digging up the entire area and ultimately destroying any remaining standing walls. 

The government sold the Fort Marcy location at an auction in 1891. Later, the city of Santa Fe acquired the site in 1961 and established a scenic overlook of the city. Today, the site is located at Old Fort Marcy Park, 617 Paseo de Peralta.

This photo is of Fort Marcy in 1868.

Photographer unknown.

--Mike Lord


Sunday, 13 January 2013 17:48

Santa Fe Ski Fashion on Big Tesuque - 1940

Here's what the well-dressed skiers were wearing in 1940.

If anyone can identify these folks I'd be grateful.

--Mike Lord

Saturday, 12 January 2013 19:23

Santa Fe Winter Sports Club Members - 1938

These are the people who brought skiing to Santa Fe.

--Mike Lord

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