Mike Lord

Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 02:28

100 Years of Winter on the Plaza

Here are two photos of El Palacio.  The first was taken by Jesse Nusbaum during the winter of 1912.  The second was taken on December 10, 2012 by a photographer whose name I unfortunately do not know.  Other than the color and the facade of the Palace, not much has changed.  Happy 100th, Nuevo Mexico!

--Mike Lord


Saturday, 03 November 2012 15:33

Cerrillos Road - 1964

Cerrillos Road in 1964.  Photo taken just south of where St. Francis Drive crosses Cerrillos.

MNM negative no. 29830

This event was held in the Palace of the Governors.

Friday, 12 October 2012 21:16

La Bandera de La Casa Gutierrez-Hubble

This is the newsletter published by the Hubble House Alliance, which is dedicated to the preservation of the Gutierrez-Hubble House and Open Space on Isleta Boulevard in Albuquerque's South Valley.  It contains photos, stories and a wonderful Corrido, "Un Corrido de Un Paisano Borreguero", composed by Thomas Lucero Sr. in 1955.  Open or download the attached pdf file to see it all.

Friday, 05 October 2012 16:41

New Mexico's Money

This is a Spanish 2 Reales COB coin minted in Lima, Peru in 1727.  The designation "COB" is from the Spanish cabo de barra, or the end of the bar.  To produce them, a shallow trench was dug into sand and molten silver poured into it.  When cool, a piece was cut from the end, crudely clipped until the weight was correct and then struck with the dies, which accounts for the irregular shape.  These coins were used throughout the Spanish colonies.

The Spanish government, as best as possible, attempted to limit entry into New Mexico.  Most trade was conducted by barter, with only people of means able to use hard currency.  In 1807, Zebulon Pike was dispatched by President Thomas Jefferson to find the headwaters of the Arkansas River, was arrested by the Spanish on the Conejos River, having mistaken the headwaters of the Rio Grande for the headwaters of the Arkansas.  He was taken to Chihuahua via Santa Fe and ultimately released.  While there must have been some contact between the new America and New Mexico, it was probably very limited and definitely discouraged by the Spanish who were concerned about the intentions of their new neighbor to the east.

On August 24, 1821, Spain accepted Mexico's independence.  On November 16, 1821, William Becknell became the first American to arrive in Santa Fe with a pack train of goods that he sold for a huge profit.   What becomes the Santa Fe Trail quickly grows and a steady stream of goods flows into New Mexico and south into Mexico.  Becknell’s second trip to Santa Fe in 1822, which was the first to use wagons (he had three) yielded a profit of $60,000 on $3,000 worth of goods – an astonishing 2,000%!  In 1831, the Mexican government began to levy various duties and taxes on the American traders on both the goods imported into Santa Fe and the specie, gold dust and furs exported.  While this made the trips less profitable, there was still significant money to be made.  Specie was generally packed in sacks made of raw beef hide, which would shrink upon drying and press the contents tightly to prevent friction.   Two of these packages, each containing between one and two thousand dollars, would constitute one mule load.  So much silver was carried to Missouri that, for a time, the Mexican dollar was the principle currency there.

By the late 1830s, Santa Fe had become the trading hub between the United States, central Mexico and Mexican California.  Merchants making their way over the Great Plains would stop in Santa Fe, where they would meet with their counterparts from Los Angeles and Mexico City. The result was that as central Mexico fell into turmoil, New Mexico grew economically and shifted into the orbit of the United States.

--Mike Lord

Thursday, 04 October 2012 01:09

United States 47 Star Flag - January 6, 1912

New Mexico became the 47th state on January 6, 1912. At that time an American flag was produced with 47 stars. On February 14, 1912, Arizona became the 48th state and the 47 star flag became obsolete. Very few 47 star flags have survived and here's a picture of one. Viva Nuevo Mexico!

Kristi Davis posted this letter recently on Facebook.  Her grandfather was Evon Vogt, who settled  in El Morro in the early 20th century.  This is a remarkable document, as it illustrates the Navajo sense of humor during a time of turmoil.  Howard Gorman was artist R. C. Gorman's uncle.  Muchisimas gracias, Kristi.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 23:46

Bird's Eye View of Santa Fe - 1882

I've been asked for hi-res copies of this image so here it is.  You can download it for your very own.  Download the attachment, not the photo shown.  It's 8MB, so give it some time.

--Mike Lord

Over the past few years, I've acquired some images of the construction of St. Francis Cathedral and have decided to put them in chronological order.  The attached pdf file illustrates what must have been a monumental task, using only manual labor and very clever engineering.  I wonder if it could be duplicated today.

--Mike Lord

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