Okay … I admit that I’m a big fan of former New Mexico Governor, Lew Wallace. Not because I have any idea of what his accomplishments were as he served back in the 1800’s, but because of what he did in his spare time. This is the Governor who decided he was also a writer and penned the epic “Ben Hur”, which many years later made it to the Big Screen starring everyone’s favorite gladiator and rebel, Charlton Heston! Roman History has always intrigued me and it obviously did the same to Governor Wallace.
That’s why I feel a connection when I head to Santa Fe and a must stop visit to the Palace of the Governor’s. There you’ll learn about Governor Wallace and our other forefathers who have occupied the Governor’s office inside the oldest capital building still in use on the North American Continent. It’s a wonderful place to visit and I must admit that I catch myself wondering about Governor Wallace sitting in his candlelit office after sunset meticulously writing “Ben Hur.” Did he really have a lot to do as governor, or did he have lots of free time? How and where did he get his information to write while living in Santa Fe, which is more than a few miles from Italy and Israel!
Lots of those questions arise as we take a peek into how our former Chief Executives lived and worked. It’s even possible to imagine Governor Bill Richardson sitting there pondering the fate of New Mexico in pretty primitive surroundings! Do you think any of our 20th Century Governors, including Governor Bill Richardson, ever wondered over to the Palace to walk the halls and asks his predecessors for advice as many of our Presidents have indicated they do in the White House? Any way you cut it, from the Native Americans sitting outside the front door selling their authentic jewelry and pottery to what you see inside the Palace of the Governors is a place you’ll want to visit time and again while in Santa Fe.
And just behind the Palace is New Mexico’s newest museum … The New Mexico History Museum … 3 ½ floors of everything you want to know about New Mexico from the earliest settlers (after the Native American’s) making their way up the El Camino Real (The Royal Road) from Mexico City … to the wild west and early railroad travel … to space travel in our future.
It’s all here and you’ll want to take in every inch of every floor. See video (including some of our Travel Guide New Mexico video!) and other interactive displays that do much more than give you a glimpse of New Mexico … they walk you through hundreds of years of history and culture. All in a way that will truly give you a feeling of what it was like then … and how it has evolved to now. Just a wonderful place. And being able to walk between the Palace of the Governor’s to the new New Mexico History Museum is a very special treasure that you won’t find in other states.