Wednesday, 13 May 2015 20:25

Old Santa Fe Trading Post

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Magoffin House, 1949, Photo by M. J. Hoban, MNM Negative No. 30464 (from " Santa Fe – A Pictorial History"  by John Sherman) Magoffin House, 1949, Photo by M. J. Hoban, MNM Negative No. 30464 (from " Santa Fe – A Pictorial History" by John Sherman)

Old Santa Fe Trading Post


Arthur Scott



    In later life James Seligman, Governor Arthur Seligman's brother,  was a well known Indian Trader and expert on Navajo weaving in Santa Fe. His shop was located in the old Magoffin house on  the corner of San Francisco and  Cathedral Streets across from St. Francis Cathedral. Shortly after this picture was tan, during the  1950's, this structure was sold, torn down, paved over and walled in to become a parking lot for the La Fonda hotel.

  My great uncle, James was born in Philadelphia, trained as a civil engineer, and got a job with the US Department of Interior in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1887. He

married Ruth Van Stevenson in Salt Lake City and they had two children. He moved to Santa Fe in 1896. In Santa Fe he worked for and later  became president of Seligman Brothers after his father died in 1903.  He retired from Seligman Brothers in 1914 when he was appointed Santa Fe Postmaster by President Woodrow Wilson, a position he held for six years. At the time of his death, he held the rank of Major in the New Mexico National Guard.  Jim and Ruth Seligman made their home against Ft. Marcy Hill on Hillside street where it joins Marcy street. I well remember spending time in their house as a child after Uncle Jim died. In 1929 he opened The Old Santa Fe Trading Past shown above in 1949, eight years after his death.

   .  He an his brother were both were 32nd  degree Masons.  However, he was not interested in politics as was his brother, Arthur According to his obituaries in 1941,  he was noted as a soft-spoken man of varied interests. He was considered an expert in Navajo weaving and blankets, Indian jewelry, a dedicated historian (always insisting on historically factual newspaper reporting), a man of fine music, fine theatre, and the reading of history, member of the New Mexico Historical and Archeological Societies, and a member of the County School Board. One of his obituaries (New Mexican December 15, 1941)states that "He deplored the erasing of landmarks, the making-over of  a beautiful old city into efficient but ugly structures. He kept his own store as a masterpiece of the old Santa Fe charm." Ironically, as I said, his store shown above  was torn down and made into a parking lot during the early 1950's.




Read 5845 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 May 2015 20:33

1 comment

  • Comment Link Mike Lord Wednesday, 13 May 2015 21:46 posted by Mike Lord

    Kathy is reading a book on NM colcha embroidery. Last night she showed me pictures of several that were collected by both Jim and Arthur Seligman.

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