New Mexico Historical Notebook (vol. 6, no. 9)

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¬Don Bullis, Editor

October 2012 Volume VI, Issue IX

The purpose of The New Mexico Historical Notebook is to provide readers with the most up-to-date information possible regarding the activities of New Mexico’s many historians, historical societies, museums and other groups interested in the state’s colorful and complex past. The publication will provide calendars of events, essays and monographs, book reviews, bibliographies, and interviews. It is revised and issued during the first week of each month. Submissions and comments from readers are encouraged. If you would like to have your name removed from this e-mail list, simply contact me at and let me know. The New Mexico Historical Notebook is a service of the editor, the Historical Society of New Mexico and the Central New Mexico Corral of Westerners. All books considered in the Notebook are selected by the Editor and no endorsement by either of the above organizations is implied.


My wife and I just returned from a long trip to northern Spain and Portugal, our fifth to Spain, although we had never been to most of northern Spain nor to Portugal, which were revelations in many ways. As in past trips, we were often reminded of New Mexico by the terrain and scenery, the names, the people, and the cultures, not to speak of the languages, despite the many linguistic variations.
Although nearly all Spaniards speak Castellano (Castilian Spanish), we were struck by the resurgence of the Catalan, Basque, and Gallego languages that has occurred in the last several decades (these were suppressed by the Franco regime). Apparently there is also considerable interest in keeping alive other dialects including Valencian (a variation of Catalan) and Aragonese.
In Portugal many more people, including taxi drivers, speak very good English, much more so than in Spain. We were told that English is taught as a second language in the Portuguese schools more than in Spain, where the second (or even first) language taught may be Catalan, Basque, or Gallego in the north. Another interesting factor is that Portuguese television shows originally in English are not dubbed in Portuguese, so that children grow up hearing English, whereas in Spain TV shows tend to be dubbed in Castellano.
We saw and heard much evidence in northern Spain of the various regional independence movements. This was particularly true in Catalunya, where large demonstrations for independence have been held in the past few weeks, largely associated with the perceived indifference of the Madrid government to Catalan pleas for more autonomy. The Catalans do not understand why the Basque Country and the province of Navarre (which is partly Basque) have more autonomy than Catalunya, and they are upset that they pay much more in taxes to the central government of Spain than they receive in return. The Basque Country is relatively quiet, with the ETA group having announced a cessation of violence in 2011. The streets of San Sebastian and Bilbao were teeming with people, including many foreigners, with both locals and visitors seemingly oblivious to any tensions.
One of the striking things we saw in Catalunya, in small towns even more than Barcelona, was the competition between the Catalan provincial flag and the Catalan Independence Movement flag. Both were everywhere, but the Spanish flag was nowhere to be seen other than on a few central government offices. This was just as true in the Basque Country, where the Basque Country flag was prevalent.
Although unemployment is high, particularly with the under 30 group, northern Spain on the surface looks fairly prosperous, considerably more than southern and central Spain in our last trip several years ago. Much infrastructure spending has taken place in the past decade, with help from the rest of Europe. This was evident in the highway system and in the proliferation of solar and wind turbine generator systems. Almost nowhere in northern Spain were we out of sight of lines of wind machines on the hills and ridges (Don Quixote would be astounded). Interestingly, a Basque company (Gamesa) has now become one of the leading manufacturer of wind generators in the world. Generally, the Basque Country is doing very well and enjoying its economic autonomy from Spain.
Portugal appeared less prosperous, with graffiti (no gangs, just exuberant and often politically-inclined youth) and decaying buildings more evident in the cities than in Spain. Despite Portugal's high unemployment and government financial difficulties, which are even worse than in Spain, the people we talked to seemed more content and optimistic. At least Portugal doesn't have any regional independence movements to worry about, just maintaining its national and cultural independence from Spain, something people seemed sensitive about.
Spain is still dogged by its 1930s Civil War, which didn't end politically until after Franco's death in 1975, and some say has never ended. The northern provinces, particularly Catalunya, were mostly on the wrong side of the Civil War, and Generalissimo Franco never forgave them. Memories are long. One comment we heard is that Spain needs to reconcile its history rather than to keep forgetting it--a good thought for all of us.
Spain, Portugal and their peoples and cultures are very resilient and will survive their current economic difficulties. Despite all the reports of unrest, we felt very comfortable everywhere we went. Criminal violence is very rare, and we urge everyone, especially New Mexicans, to visit as often as they can and also to read and learn more about the modern history of Spain as well as the Spain that we were part of until 1821.


Proposals for presentations at the 2013 Joint New Mexico/Arizona History Conference (April 18-20, Las Cruces) were due October 1. If you wanted to send in a proposal but missed the deadline, you might contact Bruce Gjeltema at to see if your proposal could still be accepted for consideration.
Mike Stevenson, President
Historical Society of New Mexico



(Editor’s Note) We’re running this item again. We’ve heard from several members who offered books for auction at our next conference in Las Cruces (April 18-20, 1213), but we need more. We’ve also heard from some members who are interested in service on our board of directors. Thanks to all of you.)

Speaking of the Las Cruces Conference next April, I have been selected to chair the book auction held at each conference. We need all kinds of book donations: new, used, rare, hardbound and soft. Some will be sold on our book table at a set price; others will be sold at auction. This is an important event and book sales help off-set conference costs. Anyone wishing to contribute should contact me (505-892-9177) or and we’ll make arrangements to get them either to me in the meantime, or to the conference in Las Cruces next spring. Your contributions will be very much appreciated and noted.
Also coming up in the next year will be an election of officers, and there will be several offices open, including president. Any member interested in serving, either on the board of directors or as an officer, should contact Nominating Committee chair Robert Torrez at
Don Bullis, 1st Vice-President
Historical Society of New Mexico


(Editor’s Note: Beginning with this issue of the New Mexico Historical Notebook, we will offer space for comments from the Sheriff of the Central New Mexico Corral of Westerners International, which is based in Albuquerque. B.G. Burr was elected Sheriff of the group in May. He currently also serves as president of the Valencia County Historical Society and secretary of the Historical Society of New Mexico. He is the author of the Arcadia publication Images of America: Los Lunas and is the photo archivist for the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage and Arts.)

The next meeting of the Central New Mexico Corral of Westerners International is Thursday, October 18th, 2012 at the MCM Elegante Hotel, 2020 Menaul Blvd., just east of University Blvd. The social hour starts at 5:30 pm. Dinner is $15.00. We invite anyone interested in Western history to attend and become a member. Contact me at for further information and dinner reservations.
Our speaker for the October meeting is our Sheriff, B.G. Burr, who will give a presentation about New Mexico’s long and difficult path to gaining statehood. In reality, New Mexico has a long history of contentious factions vying for control of her rich resources and cultural identity. Once the United States gained the upper hand, securing New Mexico as a Territory, the struggle to attain statehood began. There followed 62 years of misconceptions, blunders, and just plain bad luck, all conspiring to prevent New Mexico from attaining statehood. B.G. Burr’s presentation will highlight some of the more colorful characters and events on this epic journey.

2013 New Mexico-Arizona Joint History Convention
April 18-21, 2013
Las Cruces Convention Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico

The program committee of the joint Historical Society of New Mexico and the Arizona Historical Society Conference invites proposals for presentations on any aspect of Arizona or New Mexico history for delivery at the New Mexico-Arizona Joint History Convention, to be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center. The format of the convention includes approximately twenty-four 75-minute sessions of three 20-minutes presentations. We encourage both individual submissions and proposals for related topics that could comprise a complete session. PowerPoint presentations will be supported and laptops and projectors will be supplied.
Proposals must be submitted by October 1, 2012, (that date may be extended) to Bruce Gjeltema,, 1102 S. Strong Dr., Gallup, NM 87301; or Bruce J. Dinges,, c/o Arizona Historical Society, 949 E. 2nd St., Tucson, AZ 85719. Notification of acceptance will be sent beginning in early November.
Information on meals, tours, and lodging will be available at the Historical Society of New Mexico website:; or the Arizona History Convention web site:
A number of prizes are available. Following notification of acceptance, presenters wishing to be considered for a prize must submit a completed paper of no more than 12 double-spaced, typed pages (exclusive of notes) to Bruce Dinges or Bruce Gjeltema by February 1, 2013. If a PowerPoint presentation is to be considered as part of the judges’ consideration, the PowerPoint must be submitted with the paper (version 97-2003 is recommended). The Prizes include:
• Barry M. Goldwater Award – A $750 prize will be given to the best convention paper on Arizona or New Mexico history. All accepted papers are eligible.
• Valeen T. Avery Collegiate Award – A $500 prize goes to the best paper on an Arizona or New Mexico Topic by a college (graduate or undergraduate) or junior college student. Indicate the advising professor and institution on the proposal and completed paper.
• Don Bufkin Prize – The $500 prize will be awarded for the best paper dealing with the territorial period of Arizona or New Mexico history. Papers dealing with geography, broadly defined, or cartography are particularly encouraged. Anyone wishing to contribute to this memorial can send a check to the Arizona History Convention, Inc., to chairman John C. Lacy, DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, 2525 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 200, Tucson, AZ 85716.


The Land of Enchantment: Commemorating the Centennial of New Mexico Statehood. The exhibit is an eclectic look at the last 100 years of New Mexico through historical photographs and artifacts. The exhibit includes depictions of the state's important events and characters since 1912, and features the state's largest collection of statehood celebration memorabilia of past events (40th, 50th, 60th and 75th). The exhibit also features 100 years of New Mexico license plates, and rare flags of the first years after statehood. The exhibit will be in the Museum’s Legacy and Traditions galleries through Sept. 16, 2012. For more information, please call (575) 522-4100 or go to

The MUSEUM OF INDIAN ARTS AND CULTURE offers a major exhibition of North American Indian baskets. The exhibition runs through May 1, 2014. Of the 241 baskets in the exhibition, only 45 have been attributed to individual artists. Woven Identities honors those weavers and the many others whose names we do not yet know. Admission to the opening is free to New Mexico residents with ID on Sundays; all others $9. Under 18 always free. For more information about the opening the public may call 505-476-1269.


Several months ago, staff at the NPS's trails office in Santa Fe worked with members of the Santa Fe Trails Association on a series of maps that would collectively answer the question, "During the 59-year history of the Santa Fe Trail, what would be the most common way - during any given time in that history - to travel between Missouri River points and Santa Fe?" The routes taken during the first 45 years of the trail are fairly well known; but less known are the many, and frequent changes made between 1866 and 1880 due to the westward construction of the UPED (later Kansas Pacific) and Santa Fe railroads. To help answer this question, a series of 22 maps has been prepared, which are now available on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail website, and more specifically at the following URL:

Frank Norris, historian
National Trail Office
Santa Fe


300 Years of Priests and Preachers on the Camino Real
Presentation by Rev. Larry Castillo-Wilson
El Camino Real International Heritage Center
On Friday, October 5, 2012, at 10:30AM, Rev. Larry Castillo-Wilson will present on "300 Years of Priests and Preachers on the Camino Real" at the El Camino Real International Heritage Center. The presentation will share firsthand observations of the terrain along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro in the seventeen, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries as recorded by Spanish, Mexican, and American priests and preachers from 1625 to 1871.
Rev. Castillo-Wilson's lecture will emphasize the effects of flooding on the trail, the mal puntos (dangerous places) along the trail, the locations of Spanish vueltas (detours), the dangers of traversing El Camino Real, the difficulty of traveling over the sand hills, and the braids of the trail between floodplains and higher ground. The presentation is based on over thirty years of research, much of it from unpublished manuscripts.
Daily admission charges into the El Camino Real International Heritage Center apply. Free admission for ages 16 and under. Free admission for MNM Foundation members, U.S. veterans, and Cultural Pass holders. Single adult daily admission is $5. (Seating is limited in the lecture auditorium and on a first-come-first-serve basis.) For further information, please contact: El Camino Real International Heritage Center, 575.854.3600.

Speaker Series: An Enriching Presence: Hispanic Contributions to Historical Las Cruces
Oct. 11, 7 p.m. Dr. Terry Reynolds, anthropologist and ethnohistorian, explores the complexity of Las Cruces' historical past. Through examining civil, church, business and personal records, she documents the substantial Hispanic presence in the town. She discusses how frontier Hispanic traditions, persons and families influenced the founding and development of Las Cruces and enriched its history. Admission is a suggested donation of $2.

Ghosts of the Past
Oct. 26-27, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Ghosts of the Past is a unique living history experience that transports visitors of all ages to a variety of eras in New Mexico history. Over a dozen historical characters interact with visitors on indoor and outdoor evening tours. The indoor tour, which is called the Haunted Museum Tour, has start times of 6 p.m., 6:15, 6:35, 6:55, 7:15 and 7:35. The outdoor Time Travel Tour has start times of 6:25, 6:45, 7:05, 7:25, 7:45 and 8 p.m.
Tickets must be purchased for a specific tour and each tour lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. Advance tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for children. Tickets purchased on the evenings of the event are $4 and $2. Tours are limited and fill up fast, so advance tickets are recommended for this popular event.

New Exhibit: The Art of Saddle Making
The Museum's Horse & Cattle Barn is the site of a new, long-term exhibit showcasing the art of saddle making. The exhibit features the recreated workshop of the late, legendary saddle maker Slim Green, as well as a video of Green explaining saddle making, an interactive area for leather stamping, and panels that show the history and evolution of Western stock saddles. Two of Green's saddles also are displayed in the exhibit.

For more information, or to register for a class, please call (575) 522-4100.
Classes and workshops are co-sponsored by the
Friends of the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum.
New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road
Las Cruces, NM 88011
The museum is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs


The winners in the 2012 New Mexico Book Awards will be announced on November 16, 2012 at the 6th Annual Awards Banquet which will be held at the MCM Elegante Hotel in Albuquerque, located at 2020 Menaul NE.
Banquet tickets can be ordered online below or you can make reservations by phone or by mail.
The banquet has been a sell-out every year, so do not delay in making your reservations. Tickets are $40 per person if reserved before October 20. After Oct 19, the price is $48 per person. The tables seat eight people.

Cash bar 5:30pm Banquet menu:
Dinner 6:30pm Chicken Scallopini
Program 7:30pm Mixed Veg
Vegetarian menu is available if requested in advance. 505/344-9382
505-472-4646 (FOR RESERVATIONS

At El Rancho de las Golondrinas

Join us this weekend, October 6th & 7th (10am – 4pm), for our annual Harvest Festival, the last event of the season! Help villagers bring in the harvest and celebrate our patron saint San Isidro! Stomp grapes for wine, string colorful chile ristras, taste fresh bread and hot chile fresh from the hornos, see burros crush sorghum to make molasses, make apple cider and tortillas, and more! There will be lots of activities for kids, and an outdoor mass and procession with Archbishop Michael Sheehan on Sunday. Check out the schedule of events below. See you at the Rancho!
El Rancho de las Golondrinas
334 Los Pinos Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507


October 21, 2 p.m., Sponsored by the Albuquerque Historical Society. Lecture and booksigning of "Forty-Seventh Star, New Mexico's Struggle for Statehood" by David V. Holtby. NM became a territory in 1848 but statehood wasn't achieved until 1912. Holtby's book unearths the multiple layered intrigues of territorial, regional and national partisan politics from the 1880's until statehood. Call Janet at 299-5019 or


On October 25–26, 2012, the School for Advanced Research (SAR), the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC), and the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School will host the Joe S. Sando Symposium on Pueblo Indian Studies in honor of Joe Sando at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sando, a noted historian, was deeply committed to the study of Pueblo Nations and cultures and inspired many to pursue research and writing projects on the Pueblos. Through this Symposium, Joe Sando's legacy will be honored by highlighting current research in the field of Pueblo Indian studies.
To register for the Joe S. Sando Symposium, please go to here. Any questions can be directed to or call 505-954-7205. Thank you. We look forward to seeing you in October.
Marth B. Becktell, Museum Director
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
2401 12th Street NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
telephone: 505.724.3564
cell phone: 505.280.9853
facimile: 505.842.6959
Ronald Kil, artist of the historical West (and “old-time” cowboy) will present “From Indian Trails to Statehood,” Thursday, October 18 at 7:00 pm at the Old San Ysidro Church. This presentation features Ron’s paintings from the 2012 Official New Mexico Centennial Calendar. The calendar art was taken from the 100-foot long mural he painted for the Frank Brownell Museum of the Southwest in Raton, NM. The scenes depicted chronicle New Mexico history from prehistoric Indians to the cowboys of the 1920s. Ron will show images of the mural and share with the audience the stories behind them.
This award-winning artist works in oil, watercolor and ink with sizes ranging from miniatures to murals. He has illustrated 30 books and numerous magazine articles for publications including New Mexico Magazine, Cowboy Magazine and the University of New Mexico Press. He recently won awards from both the New Mexico Historical Society and the Santa Fe Trail Association for the mural. Ron's work is also featured on the official Centennial poster. The original artwork for the poster is hanging in the Farm and Ranch Museum in Las Cruces, NM.
Kil states, “I have a love of history and I cowboyed for a living for a lot of years… I’m completely at odds with the 21st century, which helps if you’re an archaic historical artist.” He thinks of himself as a “nineteenth-century man” with a preference for the past. The history that he’s studied and is so fond of is the inspiration behind his works of art that document actual historic incidents and people.


SATURDAY & SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27 and 28, 2012

"Books to the ceiling, books to the sky, my pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them." -- Arnold Lobel
(Santa Fe, September 6, 2012)—The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s Laboratory of Anthropology Library holds its annual book sale on Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28. Book sale times and admission fees are:
Saturday, October 27, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m., $10; 1-4 p.m., $1
Sunday, October 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., free entrance
For more information on the Laboratory of Anthropology Library book sale call the librarian Allison Colborne 505-476-1264.


The first ancient vertebra that led to the discovery of the Tawa hallae was found by Alex Downs at Hayden Quarry on the Ghost Ranch in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico in 2004. Work continued in the following years until the Tawa hallae find was reported to the public in late 2009. Tawa hallae was considered the oldest dinosaur found in North American until that time. It was small in size compared to some other prehistoric beasts: about the size of a Great Dane dog with a long tail, according to one source. The creature had feathers, however, and was otherwise more closely related to birds than canines. It was not capable of flight and was likely carnivorous. Anatomical information from the find helped scientists unite Triassic carnivorous dinosaurs into a single group called Theropoda. Tawa hallae was related to the Coelophysis/Rioarribarsaurus (discovered in 1947), which is New Mexico’s State Fossil (as of 1981). The name, Tawa, comes from the Hopi sun god, and hallae, is in recognition of Ruth Hall, an amateur paleontologist and the wife of the first director of Ghost Ranch, Jim Hall. Ruth Hall collected a number of specimens that became a part of the collection at the paleontology museum at Ghost Ranch. The Hayden Quarry is an estimated 215 to 213 million years old and contains the remains of numerous prehistoric animals. Scientists from around the world have visited the site for more than 130 years.
Associated Press, December 13, 2009
John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal, December 13, 2009
Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology
National Science Foundation

Excerpted from New Mexico Historical Biographies by Don Bullis