Santa Fe (130)

Thursday, 22 May 2014 21:03

My Grandfather's Birthplace on the Santa Fe Plaza

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My Grandfather's Birthplace on the Santa Fe Plaza


Arthur Scott

   I  recently discovered that my grandfather, Arthur Seligman, was born in 1881 on the Plaza in Santa Fe. According to Ralph Emerson Twitchell's "Old Santa Fe," published in 1925, Arthur  was born to Bernard and Frances Seligman  in the residence in the rear of the Siligman-Cllever (Seligman Brothers) store. Later this location was advertised as "The end of the Santa Fe Trail" As an infant Arthur made three trips with his mother over the trail. The view in the 1855 photograph is looking at the corner of present day San Francisco and Old Santa Fe Trail. This street has carried the names of "Santa Fe Trail, Seligman Street, Shelby Street, and Old Santa Fe Trail."

   The store is shown above on the right  in what William Stone (New Mexico Them and Nowe) calls  the oldest photo found of Santa Fe. He also noted that Sigmund Seligman, my great uncle, was the first photographer in New Mexico. Before entering the mercantile  business in 1852, he ran a daguerreotype portrait studio for a short time in Santa Fe. To the left is the Exchange Hotel, the only lodgings in Santa Fe at the time of the photo..

Thursday, 03 April 2014 16:18

Santa Fe River/water-supply Canon de Santa Fe

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 Rio Santa Fe y Canon de Santa Fe—Santa Fe’s Life Blood

And My Personal Misadventures in the River


Arthur Scott

    In 1610 the Spanish colonists (Peralta) that choose the location most likely did so by first and foremost considering the availability of an assumed perennial water supply. Other considerations such as flat arable land (river flood plain) and defensive position against raiding Indians would be secondary.  . Upper Santa Fe Canyon would have provided other resources such as timber, fish, and game. For over four hundred years the water supply of the Rio Santa Fe has met most of the city’s needs. Twice battles for Santa Fe were decided by the river. In 1680 the Pueblo Indians drove the hated Spaniards from the capitol by simply diverting the acequia being fed by the Rio, the city’s single water supply. Thirteen years later De Vargas used the same tactic to conquer the Indians remaining in Santa Fe.

   After the ceding of New Mexico to the United States from Mexico in 1846 and the opening of the Santa Fe Trail for immigration and commerce, the need for potable water increased and as with most water supplies, a competing need for agricultural use.  Santa Fe canyon also served the townspeople as a recreation area and as a homesteading location.

                                                         Drawing of one of the popular spots in Santa Fe Canyon, from “New Mexico Illustrated” by,

Territorial Bureau of Immigration, 1893.

   All of the following photographs, illustrating the early 1900’s Santa Fe Canyon were taken from Frost, Max and Walter, Paul A. F., 1906, The Land Of Sunshine, New Mexico Bureau Of Immigration  The Land of Sunshine by the Territorial Bureau of Immigration which was published in 1906 to be distributed at the Louisiana Purchase exposition in Saint Louis in 1906. The publication was designed to lure eastern state immigrants to New Mexico by documenting mining and agricultural opportunities and to dispel the notion that the Territory is a desolate, dry desert by using many photos of streams, reservoirs, dams, and artisan wells.


Pre 1903 Santa Fe canyon homestead (author’s assumption) from Territorial Bureau of Immigration  publication. Later editions identify photo on right as “Perry Ranch near Santa Fe.”

Sunday, 09 February 2014 20:02

The Scottish Rite Temple in Santa fe, NM

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