Santa Fe, Frozen in Time

Santa Fe, Frozen in Time

Santa Fe, Frozen in Time

 

I arrived in Santa Fe early on May 23, 1971. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I drove in from Las Vegas, NM, where I had toured Highlands University for a NM State teacher’s credential. At the time, I knew that I wanted to reside in New Mexico. Through years of college friendships and familial bonds in western New Mexico, I had developed close ties to the state. I was 23.

 

Day 1: Santa Fe Plaza, 1971

While passing the College of Santa Fe, I stopped, went in, and discovered that they had a teacher’s credential program. I told them my educational background and they accepted me into their summer program right on the spot. Just like that. No security checks, no contacting my university. The old days.

The same day, I opened my checking account on the historic Santa Fe plaza at First National Bank. No Homeland Security, background check, or tax ID number needed – just money and a signature. Nearly 44 years later, I still have the same checking account number.

santa-fe-obelisk-fall

At the time, the plaza was open to traffic on all sides. There were shoe and clothing stores, pharmacies, a barbershop, and a flower shop. I don’t recall a single gallery. Gas stations were situated catty-corner to the plaza on two sides, and the central obelisk still spoke of “savage natives.” This was before the word, “savage” was chiseled off.

There were only 3 or 4 realtors at the time, and I found a place on Cerro Gordo through the Richard Mares Agency. We put down our deposit and our last month’s rent, and moved in later that same afternoon. No credit checks on Credit Karma, no references to call. Just me, my wife, and our new home.

santa-fe-obelisk-plaque

Even with its modern changes, the history of Santa Fe remains captivating etched in stone.

Day 2: A Different Santa Fe

The next morning I was driving on St. Michael’s Drive, which was a still a two-lane street surround by mostly vacant land, when I heard my name on the radio! The since-departed Santa Fe Welcome Wagon was welcoming my wife and me to Santa Fe. They even mentioned some factoids about our lives that I had shared with the realtor.

Late that evening, my grandfather died in Dallas. Since we didn’t have cell phones, and it took a while to get a phone line, my father’s secretary began trying to locate us. The second realtor she called was Richard Mares, and he informed her of our whereabouts. As a courtesy, he also called the Santa Fe Police Department on our behalf. Soon after an officer pulled up to our house and respectfully informed me of my grandfather’s passing. He also told me where the nearest pay phone could be found, so I could call home.

When I think back on Santa Fe, it’s hard to imagine that there were more pawnshops and trading posts than galleries. I vividly remember Bob Ward’s “oldest trading post” on San Francisco, and The Pink Adobe and The Bull Ring were the only two “fancy” restaurants downtown. Can you imagine?

santa-fe-original-trading-post

Those were the times, not really that far-gone, that welcomed me here and successfully beckoned me to stay.

Let us be your Santa Fe Welcome Wagon

We hope we can captivate you the same way Santa Fe captivated me all those years ago.

Madrid Miners and the Game of Baseball

Madrid Miners and the Game of Baseball

Historic Madrid, New Mexico, and Baseball

Historic Madrid, NM, as it appears today.

If you haven’t ever visited Madrid, New Mexico, consider adding it to your tourism bucket list. Located outside of Santa Fe, near the mineral-rich Ortiz Mountains, Madrid offers you a fascinating trip into the history of art, coal mining, and even baseball!

Madrid originated as a coal mining town known as Coal Gulch. In the 1850s the town began to grow in size and importance. This trend continued through the 1880s with the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. The railroad created a tremendous demand for coal, which fueled the expansion of the town to 2,500 people. During the 1920s, Madrid was even known for a Christmas light display with over 150,000 lights. The display was powered by coal generators that also supplied electricity to the entire town.

Like many company towns, the residents of Madrid relied on their employers to provide stores, amusement, schools, and hospitals. Employers even sponsored entertainment and social activities in order to prevent “idle hands from becoming workshops of the devil.” In 1919, the recently hired town superintendent, Oscar Huber, created a baseball team known as the Madrid Miners. Along with the team, he also oversaw the construction of the first lighted ballpark west of the Mississippi.

Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark, Image courtesy of ‘visitmadridnm.com’.

Madrid quickly became a model for mining towns across the country. Baseball teams like the Madrid Miners popped up around country, and the sport grew into a popular pastime for laborers on their days off. The Madrid Miners were instrumental to the development of baseball in our country, and the Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark can still be seen today.

After World War II, the demand for coal diminished, and by the late 1950s, Madrid became a ghost town. Still, the houses and cabins that were built during the boom still remain. In the 1970s, the town started to repopulate again with artists, artisans and other “free spirits.” Along with the new influx came new art studios, bars, galleries, and restaurants.

Just a 45-minute drive from the Inn on the Alameda, Madrid offers a fascinating piece of New Mexico history. Shop, eat, drink and experience the architecture and community spirit that has revitalized this important historical gem.

The perfect end to the perfect day!

After you’ve finished touring historic Madrid, it’s just a short drive back to the Inn on the Alameda to relax with a nice dinner and a comfortable bed.

Get Your Kicks – On Route 66

Get Your Kicks – On Route 66

Route 66 actually came through Santa Fe at one time, quite a while back. That was before WW2 when most highways led right into town squares connecting towns across the nation. Now this iconic US Highway runs “2,000 miles all the way” and follows a much straighter shot from Chicago to L.A. with stops along the way to St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Gallup (“New Mexico”) Flagstaff (“Arizona”) Winona (“Don’t forget Winona!”) Kingsman, (“Arizona”), Barstow and San Bernadino. These are the bare bone lyrical highlights of the equally iconic “Route 66” written by Bobby Troup in 1946, just one year after the end of WW2. The year before America launched the most phenomenal boom in her economy, quickly producing jobs, home and automobile ownership, disposable income, natty clothes and “gas money.” This song has to be a part of American history if Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones can all record it.

Deep down in the American psyche, an inherent American mantra of “go West young man” emerged from the dusty times of the 19th century into post-war America. So when legendary Bobby Troup wrote this song in 1946, there were still open spaces, an open road, a sense of freedom from society, and the possible future of some day pulling out of a gas station in your 1960 Corvette with a buddy roaring west out of Gallup, New Mexico. It makes me shiver even still, especially when I get behind the wheel of my Smartcar and head off to Whole Foods!

Songwriter Troup hit the nail on the head in 1946. But more amazingly, his lyrics envisioned the future of our country, our love affair with the automobile and the open road. And he penned this song before television’s 1960 show “Route 66”. It is impossible for me with the inherent limits of a blog to do justice to the imagery and history of this highway; better just try googling up Route 66, where you can see restored gas stations, motels, cafes, souvenir stores, side-road attractions, new and old. I cannot list the hundreds of incredibly interesting historical, architectural, culinary, hospitality, educational and pure visual experiences still awaiting you today on Route 66, established 1926!

Road trips. When I was growing up in the very early 1950’s, some of my most vivid memories are of my family’s road trips in a Woody all over the country. I swear it was a Woody and have pictures to prove it… but we were not surfers in Dallas… it was just the first “station wagon” made, and my Dad knew they were cool, with or without surfboards sticking out the back. As we traveled though each state, and most were along Route 66, we would buy a glue-on souvenir of that state, and glue them right on the rear windows. They were so colorful, probably full of lead, and you could see through them from the inside. You often saw folks driving by with their back two side-windows covered in these multicolored mementos, eyeing your collection with keen interest.

vintage-woody

So, today if you ever plan to motor west, swing up from Route 66 to Santa Fe, our home, and visit one of the most unique and beautiful towns in the US, established 1607, your first stop has to be the Inn on the Alameda. It is a beautiful oasis of comfort where once the old west stopped at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail. Even if you are still traveling west on that day and just passing through, stop and have a toast to America’s “Mother Road” at our fabulous Agoyo Lounge. Open for dinner and cocktails 5p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

We hope you book your next stay with us soon!

Stop and have a toast to America’s “Mother Road” at our fabulous Agoyo Lounge. Open for dinner and cocktails 5p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

Top 4 Summer Festivals in Santa Fe

Top 4 Summer Festivals in Santa Fe

When planning a summer visit to Northern New Mexico, be sure to check out Santa Fe’s roster of art and culture festivals. The summer months bring a wide variety of festivals and activities to Santa Fe. If you want to experience the true flavor of this historic and colorful city, we recommend including one of these outstanding festivals with your visit:

International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe, July 13-15

Folk-Art

Santa Fe’s art markets are a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with artists and fellow art lovers beyond the city’s famed galleries and museums. This event is the world’s largest exhibition and sale by master folk artists, with close to 200 different artists from 53 countries. The festival offers a chance to view and purchase unique folk art from around the world while you enjoy international food, live music and art demonstrations. Artists earn an estimated $25 million at the market, which helps support their craft and communities. The International Folk Art Alliance produces the event and has expanded over the years to support artists and their communities around the world. The Alliance partners with local and international organizations, including UNESCO and the World Craft Council.

The 67th Annual Traditional Spanish Market, July 28-29

Pottery

Each year in late July, Santa Fe welcomes hundreds of artists from New Mexico and Colorado to celebrate their unique work. Santa Fe’s annual Spanish Market is a celebration of Spanish Colonial artists who use traditional practices to create stunning woodwork, tinwork, straw appliqué and ironwork as well as pottery, jewelry, painting and hand-crafted furniture. Many of these artisanal styles date back 400 years. The Spanish Colonial Arts Society sponsors this event each year as a celebration of Santa Fe’s unique colonial history with its Spanish and Catholic influences. Enjoy live music and performances in Santa Fe’s historic plaza and a special Market Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Food vendors will serve up international flavors, and the event offers art demonstrations and historical talks as well. Don’t miss the Friday night preview at Museo Cultural to view the best of the best and meet with artists before the sale starts Saturday and Sunday.

Santa Fe Indian Market, August 18-19

Santa-Fe-Indian-Market

This celebration of Native arts attracts art collectors from all over the world. That’s not a surprise, considering this is the largest and oldest juried Native American art showcase in the world. The event features 900 artists from more than 200 tribes in the U.S. and Canada. The Indian Market originated as part of Fiesta de Santa Fe but has expanded into its own festival. The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), a non-profit organization that promotes Native art and artists, arranges the event every year and the market continues to grow. Market-goers can meet artists and experience contemporary Native art and culture first-hand. You’ll find pottery, painting, sculpture, jewelry, basketry, textile weaving, beadwork and other contemporary and traditional art. The art market takes place on Santa Fe’s historic plaza and adjacent streets, where artists set up their wares and sell directly to the public.

Fiesta de Santa Fe, September 1-10

zozobra (2)

Founded in 1609, Santa Fe is older than the United States—in fact, it’s the oldest capital city in the country. Fiesta de Santa Fe is the city’s annual celebration of that history and the region’s many influences, including Native, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo cultures. This colorful celebration centers around a re-enactment of General Don Diego de Vargas’s peaceful re-conquest of the capital city in 1692. It features a parade for kids and a mix of religious celebrations, art, music, food and cultural events. One of the Fiesta’s most famous activities is the burning of “Zozobra” or “Old Man Gloom,” a 50-foot marionette that symbolizes the hardships and despair of the previous year. This annual celebration has been going on for no less than 300 years. Each year it’s produced by the hard work of the all-volunteer Santa Fe Fiesta Council with support from local businesses and civic organizations.

To get a true feel for the history and culture of Northern New Mexico, we highly recommend including a visit to one of Santa Fe’s colorful festivals on your trip to Inn on the Alameda.

To learn more about Santa Fe, or for help planning your trip to Santa Fe, visit our website.

Santa Fe, Frozen in Time

Santa Fe, Frozen in Time   I arrived in Santa Fe early on May 23, 1971. I remember it like it was yesterday. I drove in from Las Vegas, NM, where I had toured Highlands University for a NM State teacher’s credential. At the time, I knew that I wanted to...

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History of the Anasazi

History of the Anasazi

Hundreds of years ago, the Anasazi, also known as the Ancestral Pueblo people, carved their homes from the volcanic turf at the sides of the cliffs in the Jemez Mountains. Today, visitors can explore this complex of cliff dwellings, called the Bandelier National Monument.  

The 50-square-mile monument offers a glimpse inside the lives of the Anasazi, including their farming and eating habits. Their diets consisted of corn, beans, squash, and native plants, along with deer, rabbit, and squirrel meat. The Anasazi also had domesticated turkeys.  

Along with the actual pueblo homes, visitors can see cave paintings and petrogylphs created by the Anasazi. There are miles of hiking trails, and the area is home to abundant wildlife. While you’re there, you may spot one of the black bears or mountain lions that inhabit the national monument area.  

The visitor center at the Bandelier National Monument features a museum with exhibits about the Anasazi, including pottery, tools, and other items of daily life. Other exhibits include dioramas demonstrating how the Anasazi lived, artwork, a 10-minute film, and more.  

The roads winding through the Jemez Mountains, just northwest of Santa Fe, are filled with history. Along with the Bandelier National Monument, the area is home to a volcanic crater and the birthplace of the atom bomb. You can see it all in a day’s trip from Santa Fe.  

 Ready to take a trip back in time? Let us help plan your next adventure! 

Field Trips Aren’t Just for School Kids

Field Trips Aren’t Just for School Kids

When was the last time you went on a field trip? We bet it’s been a while.

Santa Fe’s School for Advanced Research offers seasonal field trips for adventurers and knowledge-seekers of all ages. Local archaeological experts are hosting a field trip to El Morro and Zuni Pueblo for a two-day, overnight exploration the weekend of October 20th-21st.

El Morro, or “The Heartland,” is 200-foot bluff where Ancestral Puebloans lived long before Europeans arrived, and carved petroglyphs into the soft walls. Starting in the late 1500s, Spaniards and then Americans carved their names, dates, and messages into the walls as they passed through the area. The El Morro National Monument protects more than 2,000 of these inscriptions and petroglyphs, along with Ancestral Puebloan ruins.

At Zuni Pueblo, you will learn more about the Zuni’s unique fetish carvings and inlay silverwork. You’ll tour the exhibits at the Ashiwi Awan Museum and Heritage Center, and head to the Middle Village for a walking tour through the cultural heart of the Zuni people. The trip extends to Hawikkuh, one of the fabled Cities of Gold, where Zuni ancestors have lived since 1200 AD. It is the first place of documented Southwest history.

Don’t miss this intimate look at New Mexico history and culture guided by experts in the history of the Southwest. Let us be your home base in Santa Fe. Schedule your stay now.

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