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Title: Acoma

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to the history and culture of the people of Acoma.

Tribal elders say that Acoma (sometimes spelled Akome, Acuo, Acuco, Ako and A’ku-me) means “a place that always was.” Archaeologists have found artifacts at digs on Acoma Mesa that speak of prehistoric times. Like its near neighbors Hopi and Zu...

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Title: Laguna

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

People from neighboring Acoma and other pueblos established Laguna Pueblo in the last years of the 1600s. In 1699, Governor Cubero of Nuevo México formally named the pueblo San José de la Laguna (“Saint Joseph of the Lake”). The name refers to ...

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Title: The Pajarito Plateau and Los Alamos

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

A description of the Pajarito Plateau and Los Alamos.

Millions of years ago the Jemez Mountains were formed by volcanic flows. Later eruptions of ash tuff, carved by wind and water, formed the Pajarito [Little Bird] Plateau on the east flank of the Jemez Mountains. The Rio Grande, flowing south through ...

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Title: Construction of the Belen Cutoff

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight; William Penner

A brief history of the construction of the Belen Cutoff and its effects.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (commonly known as the AT&SF) formed in Kansas in the mid-nineteenth century with plans to build a railroad to Colorado and New Mexico. The AT&SF crossed into New Mexico via Raton Pass in 1878 and built south...

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Title: Abo Canyon Is The Best Way

Author(s): F. Meredith Jones (Author)

F. Meredith Jones writes to James Dun indicating Abo Canyon is the only easy way from the eastern plains through the mountains to the Rio Grande.

Belen, New Mexico, May 31, 1902 Mr. James Dun, Chief Engineer System, Chicago, Illinois Dear Sir: Complying with your request of May 5th to look over the country and report if a line could be had from the northwest point of Wallace’s sur...

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Title: Dad Had Charge of the Commissary There

Author(s): Tom Seery (Author); Randy Dunson (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Tom Seery talks about growing in Abo Canyon during the construction of the railroad.

We had a wood floor. I remember Dad had charge of the commissary and there was quite a camp. When I was a kid, they’d come in at night, feed the horses and get them ready, and then they’d eat and they’d go to bed. And they’d get up the next m...

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Title: Get Cut-off Contracts

Author(s): Unknown (Author)

Construction contracts are awarded and work is about to re-start on the Belen Cutoff.

The Santa Fe New Mexican, May 25, 1905 GET CUT-OFF CONTRACTS Orman & Crook, of Pueblo, and the Lantry & Sons’ Company, of Strong City, Kansas to Do the Work. Denver dispatches say that Orman & Crook, the well known railroad contractors of ...

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Title: Proposed Bridge Over the Pecos River

Author(s): James Dun (Author)

James Dun writes to Lantry Sharp Contracting Company about the Santa Fe Railway’s plans to build a bridge over the Pecos River.

Chicago, Illinois, December 28, 1905 The Lantry Sharp Contracting Company, Gambel Building, Kansas City, Missouri Gentlemen: Replying to your letter of December 26, regarding Pecos River foundations, I enclose you plans and a copy of the s...

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Title: Anything Was Wrong With The Track We Had To Fix It

Author(s): Fidel Padilla (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Fidel Padilla talks about working on the Scholle section gang for the Santa Fe Railway near Mountainair, New Mexico.

My father was first at work here in 1919 in Abo and then they hired me after him. He worked for 10 cents an hour. I started to work in 1940 for the Santa Fe Railroad. Then my brother Elfido worked in here. We both worked together in Scholle, Belen. ...

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Title: The First Hispanic Telegraph Operator

Author(s): Felix Gabaldon (Author); Shawn Kelley (Oral Historian); William Penner (Editor)

Felix Gabaldon talks about being the first Hispanic to work in a depot on the Santa Fe Railway in eastern New Mexico.

My first job was in Abo, about three weeks, maybe, and then I bumped somebody in Mountainair. I was there three, four years, then I went to Fort Sumner, worked there another maybe six, seven months. From Fort Sumner, I went to Roswell then to Dexter....

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