Mike Lord

Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

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

Saturday, 12 January 2013 19:12

Skiing Big Tesuque - 1940

In 1940, there was a small ski area where the road from Santa Fe ended at Big Tesuque Creek.  The Forest Service had cut some trails which I skied on in the 60s and 70s when people were skiing Big Tesuque from the top of the Horse's Head.  I understand that those trails are still there.  This photo was taken near the bottom.  These folks had skied into the basin on the Windsor Trail, climbed to the top of the Horse's Head and skied back down to the road.

--Mike Lord

Saturday, 12 January 2013 19:06

Santa Fe Ski Basin - 1940

In order to get here in 1940, skiers had to climb up the Windsor Trail from Big Tesuque Creek into the basin, which was called Sacate Blanco.

--Mike Lord

Saturday, 12 January 2013 19:04

Santa Fe Skiing - Late 1930s

This is a photo of my grandfather, Dee Lord Sr., taken in the late 1930s.  Before there were powered lifts, skiers climbed up the mountain and skied down.  There are some interesting equipment details here.  Near the back of his skis are attachment points for climbing skins, which is how you went up.  His poles, which were made of bamboo, are wrapped with black tape to keep them from splintering.  And, of course, the ankle-breaking bear-trap bindings with a heel that could be free for climbing and locked down for downhill.  Kathy and I started backcountry skiing 30 years ago and our equipment is very much like this - only made out of much better materials.

--Mike Lord

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