Several Pueblo Indian villages dating back between 1050 and 1150 originally inhabited Santa Fe, the capitol of New Mexico. One of the earliest known settlements, considered today as downtown Santa Fe, was a cluster of homes centered on the location called “the plaza”. Named Ogapoge, this Native American village spread for half a mile to the south and west. The Santa Fe river - a seasonal water way – was once a year round stream until the 1700’s. The river was recognized in 2007 as the most endangered river in the United States according to the conservation group American Rivers.
The name “Santa Fe” literally translated from Spanish means “holy faith”. The full name when founded was “La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis”- translated means “The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi”.
In 1851, Jean Baptiste-Lamy arrived in Santa Fe and began construction of Saint Francis Cathedral and establishing El Colegio de San Miguel. This centrally located church, recently renovated is still a vibrant ministry of the catholic community in Santa Fe. El Colegio de San Miguel took 7 years to recruit Christian Brothers from France. A solid Catholic education was highly sought after by affluent young men from throughout the area- one of which was William H Bonney (aka Billy the kid). In March of 1862, the Confederate flag of General Henry Sibley flew over Santa Fe for a few short days until defeated by Union troops.
Santa Fe was originally envisioned as an important stop on the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. However, as tracks were laid into New Mexico, civil engineers concluded it to be more practical to go through Lamy (a small village south of the city of Santa Fe). A branch line was completed from Lamy to Santa Fe in 1880. Three original conductor homes made from red brick were erected for Railway personnel and still stand on the corner of Galisteo Street and Manhattan just across from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroads extended a narrow gauge, called the “Chili Line” from the nearby city of Espanola to Santa Fe in 1886. The result of bypassing Santa Fe however created a gradual economic decline. This economic decline was reversed in part when the creation of a number of resources for the arts and archaeology occurred.
Santa Fe became the headquarters for the School of American Archaeology mainly because the historic Palace of the Governors was provided for its homebase. The Museum of New Mexico was then established in 1909 as an agency of the school. Thus through the museum, the school took an early interest in promoting and preserving the artistic traditions of Southwestern Indians. Edger Lee Hewett (director of the school) and Kenneth M Chapman (an artist hired by Hewett), provided extensive support for Indian artists by offering studio facilities, as well as collecting and exhibiting their work. In 1922, the School sponsored the first Southwest Indian Fair, precursor of today’s world-renowned Santa Fe Indian Market which consistently features renowned artists like San Ildefonso black potter Maria Montoya Martinez.
1912 New Mexico became the 47thstate of the United State of America with Santa Fe as its capitol city. From1942-46, Los Alamos (40 minutes north of Santa Fe) was base to the Manhattan Project. Santa Fe assumed a vital role in providing support to non-essential military personnel with services, housing, provisions and entertainment. Manhattan Avenue (named after the project) is approximately three blocks south of Santa Fe’s plaza and connects to the rail yard district. This provided families with secure and convenient downtown Santa Fe housing while taking up residence in New Mexico and guarding Los Alamos. Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast located at 138 W Manhattan was at that time apartments which provided George Sanders (Robert Oppenheimers personal body guard), his wife and infant daughter a comfortable home (see photos).
Today Santa Fe, NM is a well known center for arts that reflect the multicultural character of its inhabitants and the city. Santa Fe is generally considered to be the second largest art center in the United States after New York City. The city and surrounding areas have a high concentration of artists, which have come over the decades to capture the natural beauty of the landscape and essence of Native American culture. A well known New Mexico based painter was Georgia O’Keeffe, who lived in Santa Fe, but primarily in Abiquiu (a small village 50 miles from Santa Fe in Northern New Mexico). The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in downtown Santa Fe is devoted to exhibitions of her work and associated artists or related themes. Opened in 2006, it holds over one thousand of her works in all media and is funded by a private foundation. O’Keeffe’s friend, well known western nature photographer Eliot Porter, died in Santa Fe.
Canyon Road, just a 5-minute stroll from Pueblo Bonito Inn is notorious for the large number and high quality of art galleries all within a mile stretch. Described by Santa Fe visitors as “an art lovers Disney land” this is a major destination for collectors, tourists and locals. Canyon Road Art Galleries showcase a wide variety of styles from contemporary to Southwestern to experimental and include but are not limited to European, Taos, Masters, and Native American pieces. Breath taking outdoor sculptures line the street and galleries feature notable sculptors connected with Santa Fe like Allen Houser, Doug Hyde (studied under Houser), and Glenna Goodacre. Is it a wonder that Santa Fe is a designated UNESCO Creative City, and is considered one the best places in the world to shop specifically for Native American Indian arts and crafts?
In 2011 Santa Fe, NM was voted #2 Destination by Conde Nast reader’s choice award and #5 Most Popular North American Travel Cities by Travel+Leisure Magazine for the 10th consecutive year.Santa Fe is undoubtedly one of the most unique US travel destinations offered to New Mexico visitors. Santa Fe tourists enjoy numerous activities and events including high quality arts and culture, top notch native cuisine, breathtaking natural beauty, nationally ranked spas and museums, world history, US history and New Mexico history just to mention a few. Nick named “the city different” for a reason, its a unique place every American should experience at least once in their lifetime. Be warned however, the lure of the relaxed, laid back “manana” culture is intoxicating. How else better to experience the old world charm of historic Santa Fe than in a 150 yr old adobe pueblo-style compound turned Santa b&b- Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Call us today 1-800-461-4599 for a memorable historic Santa Fe vacation visit!
Credits: wikitravel.org as directly connected to pages from hot links provided; Santa Fe Countys Talk of the Town (Sea Bird Publications inc).
New Mexico Chile Facts
Did you know 7,000 years ago chile originated in Bolivia & Peru? Or that Columbus introduced chile into Europe around 1650? Did you know Europeans thought it was a spice, something like black pepper then ingeniously named it Red Pepper? The spicy unique flavor of chili has taken hold of palates across the world and particularly those in America. Did you know the state of New Mexico leads the US in the production of chile? Well, if you didn’t and want to learn more- read on!
Chile is classified as a vegetable when green and as a spice when dried and ground into a powder. Green chile can contain up to 6 times more vitamin C than a Florida orange, while Red chile can contain two times more Vitamin A than a carrot. Red chile is said to be hotter than green because of its extended exposure to the sun.
People once traditionally dried chile on the ground or on roof tops (which can still be observed today). Approximately 100 year ago experimentation with methods to keep chile pods cleaner and away from birds resulted in today’s version of the Chile Ristra (chile pods hung on a string). This method proved beneficial to elongating the shelf life of the delightful crop. Thus began the tradition of hanging the ristra in front of ones home, which soon turned into the popular belief that this was a welcome sign to visitors. It’s also believed that hanging a chile ristra in front of your door brings good health and fortune to those who occupy the home. Chile has more recently become a popular decorative element inside the home. Creativity has spawned many craft item in various shapes, sizes and colors (red, green and yellow). Popular chile rista shapes consist of wreaths, crosses, and hearts that are frequently paired with colored corn, shredded husks and dried flowers to make beautiful home décor.
New Mexico Chile Traditions
End of August ushers in harvest time for chile farmers in New Mexico. Cities and communities throughout the state celebrate this important harvest with diverse, yet always tasty festivals like the popular Hatch Chile Festival in Hatch New Mexico held over Labor Day Weekend; the Whole Enchilada Festival held in Las Cruces late September; Santa Fe’s Wine & Chile Festival as well as the Fiesta de Santa Fe held in the Capitol city mid to late September to name a just few. Though chile peppers are small in stature they are a huge part of New Mexico’s heritage, culture and are a central part to most loved New Mexico traditions and celebrations. The sweet fiery scent of roasted chilies filling the late summer and crisp fall air bring welcomed comfort to visitors and locals alike.
Sample of a typical New Mexico Chile Recipe that is simple and freezes well follows: Note: *This recipe and others can be found in the “Red Chile Bible” a book available for purchase from Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast for $13.00 plus shipping/handling. Limited supplies available so order yours today 1-800-461-4599. Enjoy!
Pork with Chile Colorado*
3 Tbs. lard or vegetable oil 4 New Mexico chilies
1.5 lbs. boned pork shoulder, cut into 1” chunks
2 lg cloves garlic 1 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted & grounded
1 tsp. Mexican oregano ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt 2 cups rich chicken broth
Heat oil in large heavy pot and brown pork in batches over high heat. Remove to a plate. Wipe the dried chile with a damp cloth, discard the stems and seeds, and tear into pieces. Fry the chile in the hot oil until fragrant (about 5 minutes), stirring to prevent scorching. Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water, and soften (20 or 30 minutes). Put chile in a blender with about ½ cup of the soaking water and the garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Blend to a puree. Reheat the oil in the pot, and pour the puree into the hot oil. Sauté the puree, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Stir the stock into the puree, and then return the pork to the pot. Bring the stew to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and stew the meat slowly for about an hour. Remove the cover and continue simmering 30 minutes to an hour until the pork is very tender. Add more chicken stock, if necessary, to keep the meat moist. Serves 4.