Friday, 01 June 2012 17:47

The Pond and Rio Chiquito

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In 1846, Lieutenants William H. Emory and Jeremy F. Gilmer, attached to Kearney's Army of the West, made this map of Santa Fe.  It shows a spring-fed pond behind La Parroquia (later to become Archbishop Lamy's garden) and the drainage into the Rio Chiquito, which became Water Street.

In 1859, nineteen year old Santa Fean John Watts wrote the following in his diary:

Sunday, May 22.  "We arose at 5. O'clock - I took a walk by myself but Howe, Sallie, and Willie Rencher went to the fish pond and took a skiff ride - the ladies did not walk with them."

Wednesday, May 25.  "To day has been rather warm, but still pleasant.  Howe and I went over to see the ladies this evening and intended to go with them down to the fish pond and row them over the pond but it was to windy.  However we went down but could not get the oars and therefore had no ride - Willie was with us."

The pond was a source of water, bathing and entertainment - and it was right off of the Plaza.

--Mike Lord

Friday, 01 June 2012 16:39

The Old Santa Fe Trail - Col. Henry Inman

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In 1896, Col. Henry Inman published this book detailing his experiences on the Santa Fe Trail.  It is a comprehensive history of the Trail from the 1840s through the 1890s, when the coming of the railroad ended its usefulness.  The best single book about the Trail that I've read.  You can find it here:

Monday, 28 May 2012 17:42

Lt. DeForest Lord, Jr. - 1944

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My dad, Lt. DeForest Lord Jr., US Navy, 1944. He died in 1975 from a brain tumor, most likely caused by radiation exposure he received while working as a contract dentist in Los Alamos.

In May, 1946, there was an accident involving a sphere of plutonium encased by two hollow half spheres of beryllium.  The lead scientist, Louis Slotin, was using a screwdriver to gradually bring together the two halves of beryllium and measure the radiation increase.  The test was called “tickling the dragon’s tail” because it was so dangerous and was being observed by 7 others in the room.  The screwdriver slipped and the pieces made full contact.   A blue light filled the room and Slotin felt a wave of heat over his body.  He manually separated the spheres and the reaction stopped.  My father later told me that he was called in to remove fillings, crowns and all metal work from the teeth of the participants so that doctors and scientists could determine how much radiation they had received and because, as my mom told me, "they were so hot."  Slotin died 9 days after the incident.  The plutonium core had also been involved in a previous accident in August, 1945, that killed scientist Harry Daglian.  It became known as the Demon Core.

Dad was a delayed casualty of WWII and I miss him still.  Thanks for your service.

--Mike Lord

Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:34

Levi A. Hughes at NMMI

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Saturday, 26 May 2012 20:05

Rosie's Night Club of Fun, ca. 1960

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If the walls in this place could talk I can only imagine the stories we could have heard!

Saturday, 26 May 2012 15:49

Santa Fe - 1873

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Photo taken by Timothy O'Sullivan in 1873.  Visible is the old hospital, La Parroquia (with the Cathedral under construction), Sena Plaza, Barrio Analco, the Plaza (with Civil War monument) and the Delgado house.

Photo by Timothy O'Sullivan


Saturday, 26 May 2012 15:44

Saint Francis Basilica Construction - 1873

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Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy began construction of the Cathedral around La Parroquia in 1869.  This detail, from a photo by Timothy O'Sullivan in 1873, shows the walls rising at the front and side of the old parish church.  The oldest photo of Cathedral construction I've seen thus far.

Photo by Timothy O'Sullivan


Sunday, 20 May 2012 17:47

Toonerville Trolley: Mystery solved

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From the New Mexican, August 2, 2009

Last month, the Museum of New Mexico asked readers if they recognized anyone in this photograph by Santa Fe photographer T. Harmon Parkhurst, which is drawing attention in the New Mexico History Museum.

Turns out the photo is of the Studebaker entry in a 1929 fiesta parade that was published in the New Mexican on Oct. 2, 1929.  The Historic Santa Fe Foundation found the original story in its fiesta files.

The paper identified the people in the photo, left to right, as:  Mrs Margery Wilson, George Gormley (adjusting the trolley), Joe Schultz (perched on the rear platform), Mrs. John March (in the first window), Mrs Martin Gardesky (in the comfortable leaning pose), Mrs. Christine Gormley (in window No. 2), Mrs. DeForest Lord (in No. 3), Jane Bigelow (in Dana Johnson's Mexican sombrero), Norman Magee (with the parasol and ringmaster whiskers) and Mrs. Margery Bigelow (spurning his advances).  The two youngsters are George March and Sarah Bigelow.  On hands and knees is "Duke" Bigelow, who from a cockpit inside the car navigated the bus.  In the vestibule are Glenn Brill, Mrs. Jeanette Schultz and the skipper, Agustus "Gus" Wilson.

The caption said the photo will appear in the Studebaker News, the national house organ of Studebaker.  The trolley, according to the caption, was built on a Studebaker chassis.

In this photo are my Grandfather DeForest Lord's first wife (Lucille - my Grandmother) and his soon to be second wife (Jeanette.)  Lucille moved back to Chicago after they divorced in 1930.

Correction:  Arthur Seligman Scott (Pete) has identified the woman in the first window as Franc E. Seligman, wife of Governor Arthur Seligman, not Mrs. John March.

Photo by T. Harmon Parkhurst


NMHM No. 117681

--Mike Lord

Sunday, 20 May 2012 16:30

Dolores Esquibel Baca, ca. 1942

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This is my mother who went on to become a Registered Nurse and worked for over three decades at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe.  I believe this picture was taken while she was attending Santa Fe High School, class of 1944.