Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Grandparents House in Rowe, New Mexico in 1955

Click on the image to make it larger. This image is part of the one on my previous post. Just separated it.

This is the back of my grandparents house in Rowe, New Mexico in 1955.  There is a peach tree on the left some measly Lilac bushes behind by the window. The wood pile by the bushes and the remnants of an old corral, now being used as a chicken coop. If you look carefully from the house diagonally to the upper right hand corner you can see the path to the out house.

The front of the house faces North East towards where I-25 is today. The approach to the exit as you drive between Las Vegas and Santa Fe would have been visible from the front porch. But that was years in the future.

The house was a "jacal" built by my grandfather Roman Benavidez. A "jacal" was built by using juniper or pinon trees standing upright. They were inserted into logs that had been shaped to accept them as a foundation and a header. The logs were then chinked with mud and plastered with mud over that. The roof was an "azotea". That being logs used as "vigas" and, in this case, boards placed across the vigas and mud plastered on the roof several inches thick, sometimes up to a foot. 

I spent many nights there with them. There were no electric lights, water was carried from the spring in the arroyo about 200 yards away. The house had a large kitchen, a "dispensa" or pantry and 2 bedrooms. One bedroom they used and the other one was for when someone came over. The kitchen served as a living room too.

For entertainment in the evenings we used to play card games, or look through the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Sometimes my grandparents would tell us stories of the old days or read from a book titled "Mil y Una Noche".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Midway Bar and Grocery at Rowe, New Mexico in 1955

Click on the image to make it larger.

This aerial photograph is of the Midway Bar and Grocery which used to be on the south side of Rowe. The building is still there anyone can still recognize it. Back in 1955 they sold Gulf gas. Have not seen Gulf in many years. Later on it sold Texaco gas and kerosene for lamps and to start fires in local stoves.

You could also buy a few groceries and liquor there. There was a bar, no seats, just a bar there. And a jukebox in the corner. and a Three Feathers clock above the fridge.

Folks coming off of the Rowe Mesa with wood would stop by for a snack and a beer. That was before all of the DUI stuff and also before the heavy fast truck traffic. Folks traveling between Santa Fe and Las Vegas could not help but see the place. That is US 85 in front. This was before Interstate 25 came int being in the 60's.

See those houses on the upper left? I lived in the smallest one of the three.  My aunt lived next door and my maternal grandparents lived in the one inbetween us and the Midway.

I will update this particular post as I get time. If you recognize it, let me know.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Rowe, New Mexico Railroad Gang, Circa 1920

Click on the photo to make it larger. This group represents the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF) gang stationed at Rowe, New Mexico in the late teens or early part of the 1920's. At least the time is a best guess by me.

Top row 1) Unknown, 2) Magdelano Ortiz, 3) Miguel Salmeron. Bottom row 1) Roman Benavidez, 2) Dick Valdez, 3) Unknown, 4) Jauquin Segura, 5) Esequil Archuleta, 6) Unknown, 7) Pablo Salmeron.

Roman Benavides (bottom, far left) was my maternal grandfather and he was the oldest of the gang here. All others were younger than him. All of these folks were the ones with the best jobs to be had there at the time. The Railroad came to Rowe in the 1880's and these gangs were common into the early 1960's.

Rowe was founded to provide labor for the railroad. Most of these folks or their fathers or grandfathers came from Las Ruedas. Las Ruedas was the community at the Pecos river and part of the Los Trigos Land Grant. Roman Benavidez married Ignacia Archuleta whose father, Juan de Jesus Archuleta, lived in Las Ruedas. Roman came from "El Gusano", now South San Isidro, further on down the Pecos River and part of the San Miguel del Vado Land Grant.

The railroad provided the best jobs in the entire area. It allowed subsistance farmers along the river to transition to wage labor in the early part of the American period.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Kit Carson and New Mexicans

Kit Carson and New Mexicans, both Hispanics and Native Americans had a strange relationship. In Taos and when with New Mexicans or Indians Kit was their friend. When with Americans ole Kit seemed to take a different view of the very same people.

There he regarded them, as did most Americans of the time, with distrust and and some degree of loathing. His marriage to Dona Josefa Jaramillo made no difference in his views. There are still Anglos today who marry local Hispanic women and have no use for the rest of the group. But Kit was even baptized a Catholic.

But in all reality he was a master spy. A real master. He did what it took to infiltrate the folks who were here, even marrying one. And no sooner than the Americans marched into New Mexico he was leading columns or as a scout against anyone who opposed the occupation of New Mexico by the Americans.

He hated Padre Martinez and actually blamed him for the killing of Governor Bent. When that happened some of Kit's in laws went with the governor. Kit blamed Padre Martinez for this. In reality I do not think there was any love lost between them.

New Mexicans had to have known that Kit Carson betrayed them. Kit Carson spent many a night at Bents Fort with his brother in law. There the final push int New Mexico was discussed. And Kit Carson made sure the Americans had all of the information he was privvy too.  And he told them all of the gossip he had heard too.

To a lot of New Mexicans Kit Carson was a spy and a traitor to New Mexico and it's people.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Jose Preciliano Martin and the Santa Fe Trail and the Coming of the railroad to La Junta/Watrous

My Grandfather, Jose Preciliano Martin, was born January 4th of 1868 in La Junta (now Watrous) New Mexico. His parents were Teodoro de Jesus Martin and Maria Simona Benavidez. Teodoro de Jesus and Simona, along with their 4 older kids, moved the 25 - 30 miles to La Junta (now Watrous), New Mexico from Los Valles de San Geronimo, New Mexico sometime after July of 1859 but before December of 1861. It is my guess they moved to be closer to Ft. Union and the "jump off point" for wagon trains heading east. And the many jobs available associated with the fort and the wagon trains.
He was a young boy during the last days of the Santa Fe Trail. La Junta (now Watrous) was a jumping off point for wagon trains going east. First one wagon would arrive and set up and wait for others that were heading in the same direction. When enough were assembled to provide protection and security they would elect a leader and head out. If a wagon arrived after the train had left he would wait till more wagons would arrive and there was enough to form another train.

Jose Preciliano Martin he was 12 years old when the Santa Fe Railroad finally made it to Watrous in the summer of 1880. You have to know he was in town for this momentous occasion. Just the normal curiosity of a young boy would require his being there.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ignacia Archuleta, Marianna Duran and Roman Benavidez

This picture (click on it to see a bigger view) was taken sometime in the summer of 1900. On the left is my maternal grand mother Ignacia Archuleta, her mother, Marianna Duran and my grandfather, Roman Benavidez. On Marianna's lap is her grandson, and my uncle, Jose Benavidez. The proud parents taking a three generation picture.

This is the only picture of Marianna that I know of. She was about 66 years old when the picture was taken. Marianna was born circa 1834 in Tesuque, New Mexico and she died circa 1921 in Rowe, New Mexico at the age of 96. Her parents were Jose Pablo Duran and Ygnacia Francisca Lovato.

Ignacia Archuleta was born January 31, 1876, the last child born to Juan de Jesus Archuleta and Marianna Durna in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She died there on the 15 of October of 1971 at the age of 95 plus years. In this picture she would have been 24 years old.

Roman Benavidez was born the 24th of February in 1874 in El Gusano (South San Isidro), San Miguel County, New Mexico. He was the fourth child of Juan Andres Benavidez and Maria Espiririona Garcia. He died on the 4th of January in 1962 in Rowe New Mexico at the age of 87.

Jose, the child of Ignacia and Roman was born the 18th of March, 1900 and died in Santa Fe in March of 1986 at the age of 86.

All are burried in the cemetery at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Rowe, New Mexico.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One set of Great Great Grandparents

This is the Catholic Church in Sapello, New Mexico. Juan Cristoval Martin and Juana Rafaela Valdez or Baldez are burried somewhere close. I am not sure if the current cemetary was in use in the 1860's. There are some very old unreadable gravestones in the Cemetary. Someone might know. If so and you read this blog let me know.

Jusan Cristoval Martin was born on February 15 1789 in Abiquiu in New Spain. His baptismal godparents were Santiago Martin' Serrano and Antonia Vallejo. He died on June 2, 1863 in Sapello, New Mexico, now part of the United States..

His death record indicates he was 60-70 years old when in reality he was over 74. It lists him as Juan Cristoval Martinez. It also states he was the widower of Juana Rafaela Baldez and was from La Junta de los Rios (now called Watrous). He is buried in Sapello, NM.

Juana Rafaela Baldez was born on the 6th of March in 1798 and was christened as Juana Rafaela Valdez, the birth and baptismal was at Abiquiu, New Mexico, her padrino was Lt. Don Pedro Antonio Martin' and her madrina was Maria Manuela Sisneros.

The burial record indicates she was 60 years old but in reality was 64 and 1/2. The burial record also lists her as Baldes and her husband as Martinez and that they were from La Junta de los Rios. She is buried in Sapello, NM. She died on the 10th of October in 1862.

Juan Cristoval was born Juan Cristoval Martin' and married in Abiquiu and at least one daughter, Isabel, was born there. He ended up Juan Cristoval Martinez at La Junta de los Rios (now called Watrous). His son, Teodoro lived in Valles de San Geronimo and Teodoro's son Preciliano was born in Junta de los Rios. Juan Cristoval and Maria Rafaela must have moved with their son.

The 1845 colonial census lists them and their family in Auga Zarca.

I am thinking that Juan and Juana Rafaela were unaware of their ages and their family may have been unaware also.

Note: Both were born in the province of New Mexico in Nueva Espana, he lived in the same area when it was part of Mexico and died when the area was a United States possession.

They did not stand still very much. Having moved from Abiquiu and moved again and again. It seems like historic events just kept running over them

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Recycling in Rowe New Mexixo circa 1950 - 1960

You could recycle almost everything in Rowe, New Mexico in the 50's and very early 60's. Pig iron,, brown paper bags, pop bottles, tin cans, copper, lead etc. Even newsprint was recycled! As was the old Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs. They ended up as kindling for the wood stoves or in the outhouse as toilet paper. Everything seemed to have a second and even a third and fourth life as something other than its intended purpose when the item was manufactured.

Paper bags could be sold at the Midway Bar and Groc. for a penny a piece.

Folks there would actually use the tins of sardines and hook them together with wire or string to make toy trains.... At least that is what my grandfather told me my string of sardine cans was. My grandmother had jars of every description painted blue and filled with everything. It depended on the size of the jar. But the paint was always blue..... The color you still see around a lot.

Base balls were made of tightly rolled up string of every size and then taped with black cloth tape. Baseball bats were mended and taped until the bat was useless. Old baseball mitts were sewn again and again.

My padrino, Telesfor Archuleta, made me a wheel barrow out of an old metal wheel and some leftover lumber he had been saving. It was not a toy, it was a working wheel borrow.

I still have an old hoe that used to belong to my grandfather, Roman Benavidez, it had been repaired many times. Sometimes he did it himself and sometimes they were sent to Mr. Polinar Encinias, who had a blacksmith shop and who would do repairs on most anything made of metal.

Everyone had an old inner tube to make sling shots or rubber bands. Old tires were some of our favorite toys. Everyone had his or her favorite tire. New soles and heels  for shoes were made from old tires. Cut up and made to resemble a flower were favorite planters.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The First "Onate" Colonist to Die In New Mexico

This is a picture I found on the internet of someone wearing a Spanish helmet. It is not a picture of anyone I know.

The 1st Pedro Robledo the my 11th great grandfather.

He died at Paraje de Robledo (now Radium Springs), Nuevo Mexico, he was a member of the 1598 Onate expedition and was the first person of that expedition to die in New Mexico. Parage de Robledo was named after him. He migrated to Nueva Espana (Mexico) about 1576.

Reference "The Last Conquistador" by Marc Simmons, in reference to the Onate colonists, it states on page 96 "Pioneering in colonial New Spain was decidedly a young mans activity. The sixty year old officer Pedro Robledo, gone entirely grey, was a conspicuous exception. When the frailties of age prevented him from carrying his own weight on the march, he had four stalwart, red headed sons, the eldest twenty seven and the youngest eighteen, who amply compensated".

Here is a web sit with some very interesting information of an interesting individual in New Mexico history.

His descendants in New Mexico now number in the 10's of thousands.
The trip up the Camino Real had to be brutal in those days.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rowe, New Mexico

This is a picture of Rowe, New Mexico. You can see the Santa Fe RR tracks heading towards Santa Fe on the far left, the next line is the current frontage road. That frontage road (U.S. 85) used to be the main drag through the area for many years before I-25 was built. The next 2 lines are I-25.
I did not take this photo, but it was taken just as you get to the top of Rowe Mesa. Click on it to get a really neat view. The area you see here was pretty much my back yard back in the 1950'5 and very early 1960,s when I grew up.
There was not a single street light in Rowe back then, not one trailer house. The schoolhouse was just in front of the church. Mrs. Isabel Gutierrez was one of the school teachers, as was Mrs. Trinidad Varela and a Mr. Lujan and Mr Martinez taught the 7th and 8th grades. There were four stores in Rowe back then. The old Lucky 7 as you first came into town from Santa Fe, then E.T. Padilla store, then the old Trader Horn, or "la Tienda Grande" and at the other end was the Midway Bar and Groc. owned by Abel Benavidez. The Lucky 7 used to rent cabins. And the Trader Horn was where we would wait for the bus on the porch, sitting on the rail and messing with the Greyhound Bus flag.
In this photo Pecos is at the upper portion and slightly to the right, Glorieta is at the top and slightly to the left of center. The highest point in the picture is Pecos Baldy! At least I think it is..

Friday, February 16, 2007

Catholic Church at Sapello, New Mexico

This is the Catholic Church at Sapello, New Mexico. The cemetery is to the left of the church. My Great Grandfather, Juan Cristoval Martin(ez) is buried here as is my Great Grandmother Josefa Rafaela Valdez. They were buried here, but lived, in La Junta de los Rios, now Watrous, New Mexico.
They were both was born In Abiquiu in the province of New Mexico in Nueva Espana, he lived in the same area when it was part of Mexico and died when the area was a United States Territory.
History just over ran them several times. Juan Cristoval was born a Martin and died a Martinez. The history of a family over the generations is very interesting and makes a person wonder what his/her ancestors were like.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Catholic Church at Watrous (La Junta), New Mexico

This is the Catholic Church at Watrous (formally La Junta), New Mexico. A sleepy little town N. of Las Veagas on I-25. But it was a humming town back before the railroad came thru late in the 1800's. My father and his father before him were born here and baptized in this church. My Great Grand Father moved here in 1859 from San Geronimo, New Mexico

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Church at Rowe, New Mexico

This is a pretty nice painting of the La Sagrda Familia Catholic Church in Rowe, New Mexico. I was the Mayordomo there once along with my mother.
The rock wall (tapia) was originally about 5 feet tall and pretty much like it is depicted there, only 5 feet tall. Then someone contracted with Mr. Tranquilino Garcia of Rowe to pare it down and add cedar posts and a woven wire. This was in the mid to late 1950's. What you see here is the remnants of that wall.
Also the little room seen here as the entrance is new since the 1950's when I used to attend church here. My Grandfather, Grandmother and mother are buried here in the back part of the cemetery.