Posts Tagged ‘history’

The New Mexico History Museum

April 16th, 2010
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Rather than telling visitors what ‘happened,’ the New Mexico History Museum presents a theatrical environment and the engaging stories of the many cultures that have called the Land of Enchantment home.

The New Mexico History Museum includes interactive multimedia displays, hands-on exhibits, and vivid stories of real New Mexicans. As a 96,000-square-foot extension of the 400 year-old Palace of the Governors – the oldest continually occupied government building in the US – the New Mexico History Museum anchors itself on the historic Santa Fe Plaza and offers a sampling of the people and the legends to be found throughout the state.  Modern history museums know that individual accounts are often their most treasured artifacts.

With stories from and about New Mexicans like Po-pay, Juan de Oñate, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Adolph Bandelier, Earnest Blumenschein, Robert Oppenheimer, and the ’60s-era counter-culture, the New Mexico History Museum sweeps through centuries of human interaction. The museum is located on the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe Next to the Palace of the Governors, 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM, 505-476-5200.

Pick your adventure in Taos

February 27th, 2010
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Pick your adventure in and around Taos, a small town that offers a respected artistic community, many treasures of history and access to worlds of sporting thrills. Get a real taste of frontier history at the Kit Carson Home and Museum, the notorious Governor Bent Home, or the Blumenschein Home & Museum. Take in the artistic side of the area at the Fechin Institute or the Harwood Museum of Art. Taos also puts you within reach of spectacular skiing at Taos Ski Valley or Wheeler Peak, or whitewater rafting at Taos Box on the Rio Grande. Visit Rancho de Taos for historic churches, or Taos Pueblo to see an ancient American Indian community.

Taos Pueblo

February 27th, 2010
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Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. We welcome you to visit our village when you travel to northern New Mexico.

Taos Pueblo is open daily Monday – Saturday 8:00am-4:30pm and Sunday 8:30am-4:30pm. Guided tours are available.

Richard’s North Central New Mexico Recommendations

October 20th, 2009

New Mexico continues to amaze me with all the places I haven’t seen in the fifteen years I’ve lived here.  I’m certain the same is true for most of your reading this blog.  Here are my notes on North Central New Mexico!

This week is another of those “WOW – I didn’t know this was here” trips.  Our first stop was the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Spa and Resort.  Tucked away in Ojo Caliente right off Route 84 (?) this is one incredible place to spend a couple of days.  Soaking in mineral baths under the stars is a pretty awesome way to spend an evening.  The mud baths are rejuvenating and the food is excellent!  You should give it a try!

ghost-ranch

Just up the road in Abiquiu is Ghost Ranch, made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico paintings.  Did you know that Ms. O’Keeffe didn’t own Ghost Ranch but lived on a few acres there?  I didn’t and also was unaware of the many things to do at Ghost Ranch … from painting and exploring to looking for dinosaur bones and taking classes on a wide variety of subjects.  Or, just spending family time there horseback riding.  Incredible things to do for folks of all ages.  I’m planning on taking my family there for a few days to relax, unwind and learn!

Chama is one of those real hidden treasures.  It’s more like the Northwest than what most of us believe New Mexico to be.  Moderate days, cool nights.  On our summer trip there was no air conditioning and the fresh air blowing through the open windows with a blanket pulled up around me put a huge smile on my face!  Big trees … lots of green all around and a truly wonderful place to spend time relaxing, fishing and just enjoying the scenery.

Speaking of scenery … when in Chama you must ride the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad.  You’ll learn a lot about the history of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado as you wind you way through the mountains crossing back several times between the two states.  This is a great all day family adventure on an old coal fired and steam driven locomotive.  I promise this is a trip you’ll want to take more than once.

FishingI loved my time on the Jicarilla Apache Nation in Dulce, just a few miles from Chama.  The people are wonderful … the fishing and boating pristine (I hear the hunting is exceptional) and the native baskets and beadwork art is second to none.  I bought a great purse there for Janine that is beadwork on an animal skin (deer, I think!).  She loved it and I enjoyed talking with the artist who created it.  Watching these ladies piece together the beaded pieces and making baskets is really something unique to see.  I still can’t figure out how they do what they do and I walked away with an increasing appreciation for the history and culture of these great people.  And the land they live on is something spectacular to see, too!

It’s not a long drive from Ojo Caliente to Chama and Dulce.  If you want to do this trip right then make sure you plan three or four days.  If you want to do some great fly fishing and/or hunting I’d make it a week!

The Albuquerque Museum

October 14th, 2009
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The Albuquerque Museum is located in the in the heart of historic Old Town and just across the street from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Explora, the Children’s Science Museum —as well as our closeness to many other memorable attractions in Albuquerque.

That is perhaps why The Albuquerque Museum is an enjoyable experience for so many visitors each year: one-third of our guests are nonresidents. It’s easy to reach us from the interstate, and there is plenty of available parking. There is great recognition of, and support for, art in our community. It also means we are able to offer a wide range of attractions and programs with only modest charge to the public.

Roswell: More than UFOs!

October 14th, 2009
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Looking for more than just aliens and UFO’s? You’re in the right place because thats not all Roswell has to offer!

In this video, Richard and Travel Guide NEW MEXICO visit Roswell, New Mexico. Interested in adventurous outdoor fun? Visit Roswell’s Bottomless Lakes, hiking trails, scenic bike trails, or wildlife refuge. Take a step out of the sun and cool off in one of Roswell’s seven museums where you can experience the art, history, and fun of Roswell!

Looking for UFOs or information about the Roswell UFO Incident? You’ll never know what you may find. Don’t forget the Amazing Roswell UFO Festival, held annually July 4th Weekend at venues throughout the city.

Fort Craig in Socorro

September 30th, 2009
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Fort Craig, established in 1854, was one of the largest and most important frontier forts in the West. Set in the rugged beauty of Socorro County, N.M., it was one of the eight forts situated along the primary north-south road in the Rio Grande Valley. Fort Craig played a crucial role in Indian campaigns and the Civil War. Military excursions from Fort Craig pursued such notable Apache leaders as Geronimo, Victorio and Nana. The Fort has a rich multicultural history, full of stories of courage, honor and sacrifice.

The Fort was home to Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry and 38th and 125th Infantry, the predominantly Hispanic New Mexico Volunteers and New Mexico Militia, and household names like Kit Carson, Rafael Chacón and Captain Jack Crawford.

Fort Craig played a significant role in 19th-century New Mexico history. The fort was situated on El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (the Royal Road to the Interior Lands) – the 1,200-mile Spanish colonial trail from Mexico City to Santa Fe. This road served as New Mexico’s lifeline with Mexico for 223 years and was recognized in 2000 as a National Historic Trail.

In the mid-1800s the New Mexico territory was crossed by a large number of trails. Located along the travel routes were numerous military forts, designed to protect travelers and settlers. These outposts played a key role in the settlement of the American frontier.

Fort Craig was host to the largest U.S. Civil War battle in the Southwest.

It was was the epicenter of a battle that involved thousands of Union and Confederate troops, many of them New Mexico volunteers under the command of Kit Carson. Troops from Fort Craig included companies of Buffalo Soldiers who were garrisoned here while involved in struggles with Native Americans deemed at the time to be hostile.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Fort Craig remained a Union Army Post manned by regular army troops. In 1862, troops under the command of General H.H. Sibley continued up the Rio Grande after capturing military installations to the south. On February 21, 1862, Sibley’s troops engaged Union troops led by Colonel R.S. Canby. The Battle of Valverde took place upstream from Fort Craig at Valverde Crossing. Although many consider the battle to have been a Confederate victory, Union forces succeeded in holding the fort and half of the Confederate’s supply wagons were destroyed. The loss of the remaining supplies at the Battle of Glorieta, east of Santa Fe, on March 28, 1862, forced the Confederates to retreat to Texas and ended Southern aspirations for military conquest in the West.

After the Civil War, troops stationed at the fort resumed their attempts to control Indian raiding. By the late 1870s, these efforts began to succeed and the surrounding valley prospered under military protection. The fort was temporarily closed from 1878 to 1880 and, because the fort’s military function was no longer necessary, the fort was permanently abandoned in 1885. Nine years later, Fort Craig was sold at auction to the Valverde Land and Irrigation Company, the only bidder. The property was eventually donated to The Archaeological Conservancy by the Oppenheimer family Fort Craig is about 35 miles south of Socorro. Take I-25 to the San Marcial Exit, then east over the Interstate, and south on old Highway 1 (about 11 miles). Then follow the signs to Fort Craig and was transferred to the Bureau of Land Management in 1981. The site is a BLM Special Management Area and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/socorro/fort_craig.html for more information.

Ed Note: Thanks to Michael E. Pitel for contacting us with regard to Fort Craig history. His comments to us follow:

The site of the largest Civil War battle in New Mexico wasn’t Fort Craig.

It was at what was then known as Valverde Crossing, a ford on the Rio Grande a few miles north of Fort Craig, whose troops were involved in the Feb., 1862, engagement.  The Texas Confederate victory became known as the Battle of Valverde.  Today that remote battlefield, on the east bank of the river, is buried beneath 20-25 feet of river silt at the upper end of Elephant Butte Lake.

El Camino Real Heritage Center

September 30th, 2009

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El Camino Real International Heritage Center
(ECRIHC) is one of New Mexico’s newest State Monuments, dedicated in November 2005. The Center contains award winning exhibits, interpretive learning center, and artifacts presenting the history and heritage of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro – the Royal Road to the Interior. Colonists from Mexico and Spain entered New Mexico from 1598 until about 1885 along El Camino Real. Many of the people living in the Southwest today are decendents of these early settlers along the trail, extending from Mexico City and the port city of Veracruz to Santa Fe and beyond, a distance of over 1,500 miles.

Today, Interstate 25, from Las Cruces to Santa Fe, closely parallels the route of El Camino Real through New Mexico. El Camino Real is our country’s oldest, and longest continuously used “highway,” bringing European colonists to “New Spain” (New Mexico) beginning 22 years before the Mayflower. It has been designated a National Historic Trail.

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