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Santa Fe New Mexico Travel History: Pigeon’s Ranch House

Pueblo Bonito - a traditional southwest adobe inn
Pueblo Bonito b&b inn Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe New Mexico travel visitors- guests of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast love history and enjoy our recommendations in creating unique historic day trip experiences. The Pigeon’s Ranch House (info below) is easily viewed on a half of full day trip from home base location: Pueblo Bonito b&b inn- Santa Fe. In preparation for a great full day of New Mexico travel history exploration, we invite our guests to enjoy a truly historic breakfast fare featuring our famous Pueblo red chile pork tamales and secret family recipe green chile stew! (blog: history of chile and tamales). Pueblo Bonito exudes New Mexico history as we are a 159 yr old historic adobe pueblo estate (built 1860- see history)  celebrating 34 consecutive years of service and providing one of a  kind truly accurate historic adobe architectural lodging for todays Santa Fe history travelers. Head out from Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn south – about 20 minutes to the Pecos  National Monument. Make sure you request a guide book and take time to view video on Ancient Pecos Pueblo people. Then get directions prior to leaving Pecos Monument to the Battle Ground of Glorieta Pass (a gate access code is required from NPS

Frankie Casonova's in the village of Pecos
Frankie Casanova’s Restaurant

ranger at Pecos Nat Monument). On your way watch for Historic Markers along the road (you will have passed 3 on your way to Pecos- but will be able to see them on your return route home). NM historic markers are designated for the Santa Fe Trail; Route 66; Kolowski’s Stop and Battle of Glorieta Pass.
Lunch: Since you’re in/around the village of Pecos we recommend eating at Frankie Casonova’s (rustic wood cabin) which has a lot of character from the inside and out! Todays restaurant/coffee shop was once a salon; courthouse; tavern; and jail which we’ve been told has two cells in back! While driving around the Pecos area you will easily see Pigeon’s Ranch.

Pigeon's Ranch House in the 1840s
Pigeon’s Ranch House (1840’s)

Pigeon’s Ranch: The Pigeon’s Ranch house is a three room adobe structure sitting adjacent to State Highway 50 (also known as the Old Santa Fe Trail; Route 66)- just a 20 minute drive from Pueblo Bonito b&b Inn- Santa Fe, New Mexico. This intriguing and beautifully preserved historic ranch house sit on Glorieta land featuring nearby rugged slopes and countryside (once pastures and fields) now covered with abundant ponderosa, pinon, juniper, cottonwood, and under-brush.  

As early as 1815, this land was claimed as part of a Spanish land grant. The original construction date and builder of Pigeon Ranch house are not known yet it was standing in 1862 and owned by Alexander Pigeon (or Valle). 

What we know about Alexander Pigeon is that he was of French descent; born as Alexandre Valle near St. Louis in 1815 or so (various dates given for birth date); took

The beautifully preserved Pigeon Ranch house today
Pigeon Ranch House today

Pigeon as his name after mother married Hyacinth Pigeon of Carondelet, Missouri (now part of St. Louis). Alexander hired on as a hand within the Santa Fe Trail trade around the age of 15 and eventually came to Santa Fe (1842-3). He became a Santa Fe Trail trader as the 1850 census shows he lived with wife Carmen in Santa Fe and operated a frontier store or “grocery,” (selling mostly liquor). His favorite past times were gambling and land speculating and as such became very interested in speculating on land in the Pecos valley. Land records show that he was illiterate. At the time he established Pigeon’s ranch, he acquired an interest in the large but unconfirmed Spanish land grant adjoining the Pecos Pueblo grant. Around this time he began re-using his legal name, Alexander Valle. The grant would

become the Alexander Valle grant, on the north boundary of the Pecos Pueblo Grant adjacent modern Pecos village. This was confirmed by in 1860 by Congress and around 1865, Valle moved to a farm on the grant where he died June 2, 1880. Valle was ruined financially by the 1870s, either because of the war or his gambling habit. Later authors claimed Alexander Valle’s earlier use of the name Pigeon was the result of a nickname since he danced the fandango “pigeon-winged,” or that he spoke with a strong French accent making his conversations in “Pidgin English.” **

History of Pigeon's Ranch at the Battle of Glorietta Pass
Battle of Glorietta Pass NHP

**Courtesy of NHP Battle of Glorieta Pass; Pecos National Monument



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