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Las Vegas San Miguel County Visitors Guide

New Mexico













LAS VEGAS, NM 87701-4507 800.832.5947


The CasTanéda ~1898

Table of Contents 6-8

Historical Sketch of Las Vegas, NM, in the year 1880 and a Return to Las Vegas in the Year 1915 by Joseph A. Lordi


Lights! ... Camera! ... Action! ... Las Vegas! Meditations on Las Vegas Film History by Elmo Baca


Phantom of a Rail Town: The Chinese immigrant Experience in Las Vegas, NM, c. 1882 by Shane Flores & Bob Mishler


Pecos: San Miguel County’s Gem!


Faith, Hope & Charity


Calendar and Events


Recreation & Outdoors


A Double Dose of Fred Harvey in Las Vegas

50 52-53 55

The Pecos Valley: nature, history and the arts abound!

by Marcus C. Gottschalk

Ongoing & monthly events in Las Vegas and San Miguel County

Activities abound in Las Vegas & San Miguel County!

By Rosa Walston Latimer

National Wildlife Refuge Las Vegas • Maxwell • Mora - The northern New Mexico National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Las Vegas, The Early Years by Elmo Baca

Fort Union An important part of Northeast New Mexico history


Mora County


Corridor Map: Showing the Historic Districts of Plaza & Bridge Street; New Mexico Highlands University;

Our neighbor to the north at the base of Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Carnegie Park; Lincoln Park; Douglas Avenue & 6th Street; East Lincoln Avenue and Railroad Avenue


Lodging & Restaurants


City Map

In the City of Las Vegas; San Miguel and Mora Counties

Think big is better? Think again. Founded in 1835, Las Vegas claims to be “damn’ authentic.” During the heyday of the Santa Fe Trail, we were Americans’ entry to Old Mexico. In 1846, right in our Plaza, General Kearny announced New Mexico’s annexation to the United States. When New Mexico became a state in 1912, we were its biggest city, and we retain much of that history, with over 900 buildings listed on various historic registries. Now we are a small city with friendly, mostly locally owned businesses, with an emphasis on art and antiques. Browse through this Guide, and you will see there are lots of things to see and do, whether you are a history buff, movie buff, or a fisher, hunter, Andrea Gottschalk President, Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance

4  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

biker or hiker. You can walk the same streets once walked by Billy the Kid and Doc Holliday. Our Bridge Street has been named “One of the Ten Best Main Streets” in America. From silent films featuring cowboy Tom Mix, through “Easy Rider,” “Red Dawn,” “True Grit,” “No Country for Old Men” and the TV series “Longmire,” Las Vegas and San Miguel County have been featured locations for Hollywood since forever, We are surrounded by state and national monuments, parks, forests, and refuges. Mark your calendar for our 4th of July Fiestas and Heritage Week in August. You are invited, through this 2017 Visitors’ Guide, to discover what new adventures you can have down our old trails.

Welcome to the original Las Vegas! When visiting a place you expect only a portion of the many adventures you can experience in this very special city, Las Vegas. Las Vegas means the meadows, but the meadows are simply the prologue. Come here and find the tall grasses of the meadows and the wheel ruts of those who traveled along the Santa Fe Trail at the base of Hermits Peak which beckons you to climb to immerse yourself in the story of El Hermitano. Within a short radius of the city your expectations are exceeded because you’ve sauntered through the grass and within minutes you will be awe-inspired by a castle, the United World College. The castle caps the pine covered valley corridor where ywou can soak in a natural hot spring, cast a fishing rod, and hike the trails. Drive back into the city for a glimpse of over 900 places on the national historic register, each with a story to tell. Stimulate your taste buds in one of the many local restaurants and gathering places where you can enjoy a Las Vegas themed meal or beverage. Head 10 minutes to the north to Storrie Lake State Park for wind surfing, fishing, and boating and to watch the sun set on your incredible first day.

The romance of Las Vegas will envelop you as you walk through the city looking up to see architecture of eras. You can imagine where a diverse community built a fortress and continues to come together to celebrate its heritage which began in 1835 with many events, including its Fourth of July Fiestas. Your steps will place you where wagon progressed to train and where Fred Harvey found a place to open a five star hotel, currently being restored, where Carnegie’s philanthropy lives on in a library built in replication of the Monticello, and where iron horse and rider come together every year at the Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally. A stroll will lead you through a diversity of culture, architecture and true tales of Wild West happenings. Our city is the back lot to many a film and reinvents itself to leave its mark and talents on a booming industry. Welcome, we are glad you chose to experience the place where “friendly and welcoming” are ways of life and where you choose the intensity of your adventure. Sincerely,

Madame Mayor Tonita Gurulé-Girón.

2017 Las Vegas & San Miguel County Visitors Guide

Photography Dulany Photography Diamond E Stables Vincent A. Marquez Joseph A. Lordi Andy Kingsbury Reina Fernande Production Melissa Greene Andy Kingsbury

Contributing Writers Joseph A. Lordi Marcus C. Gottschalk Rosa Walston Latimer Robert Mishler Charles Strickfaden Elmo Baca Lee Einer Tiara Shorty Annette Velarde Rock Ulibarri

LVFIBA:; Guide:; 505-429-9447 Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. The 2017 Las Vegas and San Miguel County Visitors Guide is published by Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance, P.O. Box 2004, Las Vegas, NM 87701 Thanks to The City of Las Vegas Lodgers Tax Advisory Board. Thanks to The County of San Miguel Lodgers Tax Advisory Board. Front Cover Image: Special thanks to “Pepper” and Bart Everett of Diamond E Stables, Pecos, New Mexico Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  5

In 1880, H. T. Wilson wrote a brief narrative, a descriptive account of East and West Las Vegas as part of a larger work. He described a West Las Vegas at the height of its prosperity and an East Las Vegas at the beginning of its ‘golden age” that commenced with the arrival of the railroad in July, 1879. It is uncertain whether Wilson ever visited Las Vegas after 1880, but for the sake of argument, let’s say he did. What he would have seen was a town transformed. From its humble beginnings in 1835, the hamlet had become a major western town thanks to its strategic location along the Santa Fe Trail and later, the railroad. In fact, in the early 1900’s, Las Vegas was New Mexico’s largest town.

Historical Sketch of Las Vegas, New Mexico in the Year 1880 The eventful year just past has been almost a complete drought, and the early spring of 1880 opened with many blustering winds and severe sand storms. Las Vegas has grown to a population of 6,000, is the county-seat of San Miguel county, and now considered one of the first places of commercial importance in the Territory. Two or three million pounds of wool are shipped annually, and an average of fifteen cars of wool, hides, pelts, furs, copper and ores are sent East from here daily, while upwards of twenty-five cars of merchandise are received daily, for the merchants here, and shipments to other counties. The town is situated in the northeast portion of New Mexico, on the banks of the little river Rio Gallinas, in a quite fertile valley, being often styled the “City of the Meadows.” It consists of Upper, Lower, and East Las Vegas, or New Town, as the latter is usually called. We have seen Lower Las Vegas grow from the woods to a hamlet, thence to a place of fair population and wealth. The Plaza is the center of the town, and around it are the principal business houses, many of them carrying larger stocks of goods that are found in Eastern cities of four times its size, and which would make some wholesale houses of the States quail. Two banks, the First National and San Miguel National, front on the Plaza, as well as three hotels (1), two restaurants (2), several saloons and dwelling places. Verandas run the length of nearly every building, and stone or the bare earth form the most of the sidewalks. The houses are all of adobe (sun-dried brick), low flat roofs of oriental style, and except four, but one story high. About the center of the Plaza is the relic of the old well, the windmill having been torn down, and the well long out of use. It was the scene of another horrible sight this Spring, as on the night of February 9th the vigilantes hung one cow-boy to the windmill, and laid his two companions out beneath him, riddled with bullets, because of their murder of Joe Carson, a few weeks previous. The Plaza is the principal market for the produce of the farmers, and all public business transactions. Almost daily one will see large droves of burros standing around, loaded with wool, hides, or pelts, and long trains of freighters will drag across, bound for some of the vast range of country south, which is tributary to Las Vegas. Little, narrow, crooked streets lead out from the Plaza, and on all sides of town are scattered those queer little adobes, which give the place its ancient and foreign appearance to strangers. Several large and substantial dwellings have 6  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

lately been erected, but as of yet there are very few frame buildings in the place. A fine stone cathedral, a good sized Presbyterian church, the Jesuit college building, and convent of the Sisters of Loretto, are the remaining points of importance. The Daily and Weekly Gazette, and Monthly Eureka, are published in this part of town. The Daily Gazette, which was started by Mr. J. K. Koogler, last July, receives the Associated Press dispatches, and is a very enterprising and reliable paper. The greater population of this portion are Mexicans, though many Americans reside here, and have large business establishments. Upper Las Vegas has one or two fine, large residences, but is gone to decay. Across the river, over which a good bridge has been built, are lying for the most part upon a low, flat piece of ground, is East Las Vegas, or the New Town. Two of the largest commission houses in the Territory, which carry enormous stocks of everything, are here. About two hundred, mostly frame buildings, are now erected; many little shanties, several quite neat brick and wood residences, a fair sized hotel (3), two churches (4), livery stables, blacksmiths’ shops, and the depot, comprise this portion. The Daily Optic, by A. R. Kistler, a sprightly little afternoon paper, is issued this side of the river, and gives its readers a good account of the general local news. The Weekly Optic moved to Las Vegas from Otero, last July, and was made a daily last November. Everywhere the appearance of a new frontier town is presented. The general stores are small, and goods are stowed away with more regard to room than display. Saloons and restaurants are thickly interspersed along the two principal business streets. The greater portion of the rougher element which infested the town have left; the place has quieted down, and presents a goodly showing of thrift and enterprise. Lots are now quite saleable, and considerable building is going on in both East and West towns. In West Las Vegas, Raynold Bros. are having a beautiful stone block erected on the southeast corner of the Plaza, for their First National Bank, and when completed it will surpass any business building now in the Territory. A Masonic, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and a temperance lodge are orders fully established here, and there is also a pleasant and quite refined class of society, which is surprising to strangers coming in.

Duncan Opera House & Masonic Lodge

Center Block Building

St. Nicholas Hotel

A Return Visit to Las Vegas in the Year 1915 by Joseph A. Lordi The first thing Wilson noticed on his return to Las Vegas was the 1898 Mis- become known as Lion Park. Nearby was the Daily Optic newspaper building and sion-style depot at the foot of East Lincoln Avenue (originally called Center Street). the impressive Clement Block (1888), originally home of the San Miguel National On the north side of the new depot was the impressive 1898 California Mission-style Bank. Meandering up Sixth Street he passed the Union Block (1881), home of the Castañeda Hotel. One of the Santa Fe Railroad’s flagship hotels it was managed Graaf & Hayward grocery store and the IOOF building. Across Douglas Avenue by Fred Harvey who is credited with civilizing the dining needs of western travel- Wilson was impressed by two of New Mexico’s finest civic structures located on the ers. Entering the lobby Wilson noted the impressive front desk, adjacent newsstand, northeast corner. The Opera House, opened with a grand ball on September 12, and several tables and chairs for patrons, several of whom were reading newspapers 1886, housed a second floor stage used for theatrical and other social engagements. and smoking cigars. After checking in and enjoying a pleasant lunch in the elegant The Masonic Temple (1885) hosted meetings of various organizations including the white-tablecloth dining room he took a stroll around town. 1911 state republican convention, precursor to the 1912 admission of New Mexico as Across from the hotel he noted the general merchandise store of Strausse & Bacha- a state. Across the street Wilson noticed the loss of the impressive St. Nicholas Hotel rach and the Rawlins buildings, both known for their beautiful façades. In 1902, the where he had stayed on his 1880 visit to Las Vegas. In its place was the Crockett Rawlings building had become a dormitory for the famous Harvey Girls, single wom- Building (1899) and drug stores on each corner—O. G. Schaefer’s and E. G. Muren who worked the Castañeda’s dining room and lunch counter and were well known phey’s. Glancing up Sixth Street he saw the YMCA building and the towers of the for their impeccable service and attentiveness. Further down Railroad Avenue was East Las Vegas City Hall and fire department. the impressive 1882 Rosenthal Hall, the first opera house in Las Vegas, where many Wilson then boarded the No. 102 trolley bound for the Plaza in West Las Vesocial and fraternal events gas. In 1915, Las Vegas and were held. The building, like Albuquerque were the only many others, was constructtowns in New Mexico with ed after the devastating fire a trolley system. The horseof September 18, 1880 decdrawn trolley line which had imated Railroad Avenue and begun service in 1881 was Center Street. Twenty-seven electrified in 1903, a year original woodframe buildbefore automobiles began ings burned within the fire’s to appear locally. Traveling first hour. Their replacewest on Douglas Avenue the ments, like Rosenthal Hall, trolley passed countless merwere constructed of adobe, cantile establishments, their brick, stone and iron. goods prominently displayed Following the 1880 fire, in the windows; the two-stocommercial and residential ry Agua Pura Company construction began to exbuilding; and the La Voz pand to the north and west. del Pueblo building (a local Railroad Avenue and East Spanish-language newspaper Lincoln Avenue were the founded in 1889). Crossing heart of early East Las VeNinth Street he passed the gas’s commercial and busiimpressive Tudor-style Elks ness district, home to two Lodge, the first BPOE lodge thriving commission housin New Mexico; the Congrees, Browne & Manzanares, gation Montefiori, the first and Otero, Sellar & Co. synagogue in New Mexico; The Houghton building the Douglas Avenue School, Railroad Avenue (the first two-story brick building in New Town) graced East Lincoln Avenue along an imposing structure atop a hill; the California Mission style Armory; and the 1881 with the enlarged Wells-Fargo building and the Center Block (1899) now the home First Presbyterian Church. to the Central Drug Company. Wilson continued along a triangular patch of land Crossing over the Gallinas River on a 1910 concrete bridge that had replaced two past the rose-colored lion statue erected in 1886 by the Temperance ladies in what had previous ones, Wilson alighted at Gonzales Street. He immediately realized that the Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  7

Exchange Hotel & Buffalo Bar

old 1879 post office building which had been built by local pioneer photographer and one-time postmaster (1880-1885) James N. Furlong had been replaced following a 1912 fire. Further up Bridge Street were two new buildings on the north, the 1885-86 Stern and Nahm mercantile building and the 1883 Givins Block built by the local Singer Sewing Machine Company representative. Proceeding south on Gonzales he recognized the 1875 Loretto Academy which looked much as it did in 1880 with children milling around and nuns keeping a careful watch over them. Further along, the old Jesuit College was now being used by the Christian Brothers for overflow students from their De La Salle Institute for young boys on Valencia Street. Heading north on S. Pacific Street he spied the Casa Rotunda, the former home of Manuel Romero, now occupied by La Revista Catolica, a Jesuit Spanish-speaking newspaper. Across the way, on Chavez Street, was the old 1871 Presbyterian Church and mission school. He continued north past a lumberyard and hardware store, site of the 1850 Exchange Hotel and Buffalo Bar. This historic hotel had served as a stagecoach stop and for one month in 1862, when Santa Fe had fallen into Confederate hands, it had been the capitol of New Mexico Territory. On the southwest corner of the Plaza, where the original T. Romero & Brother building had been located, was a handsome building called the California Store. Turning west, Wilson revisited the beautiful Our Lady of Sorrows church, founded in 1836, which had originally stood on the site of the Dold-Wesche building on the Plaza’s southwest corner. The new church had been built of Anton Chico sandstone (circa 1870) and was, at the time, the largest stone church in New Mexico. Its beautiful Kilgan organ was a gift of local businessman Charles Blanchard. Next door to the church was the impressive 1885 county court house, the county seat having been moved to Las Vegas in 1864 from the village of San Miguel del Vado. Back on the west side of the Plaza was the two-story 1870 Dold-Wesche Territorial building with its second-story balcony and now known as “The Store that is Always Busy.” The proprietor, Ike Davis had recently been killed in a robbery. Continuing north on the Plaza’s west side, Wilson saw at the end of the block two unique structures—an 1895-96 Moorish-style building and an 1881 Italianate-style building, the latter had been the home of Leon Brothers, dealers in groceries, baked goods, and other provisions. The jewel of West Las Vegas, imposing on the northwest corner of the park, was the Plaza Hotel (1881-1882) built in the popular Italianate commercial style. The spacious hotel lobby had a grand staircase leading to the upper floors and 8  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

a decorative second floor iron balcony. Noting its fine dining room, Wilson realized it was time to head back to the Castaneda for dinner. Proceeding east on National he passed the multi-story Administrative and main building of the New Mexico Normal School, founded in 1893. It was an imposing building perched on a hill overlooking West Las Vegas. He hurried past the handsome Colorado Telephone building at Seventh Street anxious to reach the Castaneda. At Sixth Street he paused to admire the 1904 Carnegie Library, an elegant edifice to education built in the style of Jefferson’s Monticello situated in the center of a block-wide park. Lining the park were several elegant residences. The following day his old friend, Margarito Romero, a distinguished merchant, took him for a drive through Gallinas Canyon. They traveled north on Hot Springs Boulevard (once part of the old Santa Fe Trail) past the New Mexico State Hospital (1893), an asylum accommodating 100 patients that had been the inspiration of his brother, Benigno Romero, and Dr. Francisco Marron y Alonzo. The next stop was Montezuma-Hot Springs, home of the once-famous Hotel Montezuma that had closed in 1903. Heading north into the Gallinas River valley, Wilson noticed several dams constructed by the Agua Pura Company. During winter these ice ponds provided fresh ice to locals, local businesses, and the railroad, and was one of the largest ice-producing areas in the nation. In the distance to the north Wilson spied Hermit’s Peak a landmark that could be seen for miles around. Originally El Cerro Tecolote (Owl’s Peak), the mountain was renamed in honor of Giovanni Augustini, a hermit renowned for his holiness who had lived nearby from 1863 to 1867. Romero mentioned that he and other spiritual seekers made annual pilgrimages to the summit. But there was to be no hiking today for Wilson had to return to Las Vegas to catch the evening train. On the ride back into town Romero told Wilson about some local firsts that had occurred since Wilson’s last visit to Las Vegas: the first circus (1882); free mail delivery (1900); the first local motion picture making (1907), and the first movie house (1908). Before Romero dropped Wilson off at the Castaneda they drove to 920 Gallinas Street where a Tom Mix movie was being made at the studio of Romaine Fielding. The famous movie star was spending the year in town making several silent films, the beginning of Las Vegas’s history as a movie-making destination.

Our Lady of Sorrows c. 1836

Dold-Wesche Building 1908

CCHP - Places With A Past

Historic Homes & Buildings Tour featuring

Explore 9 historic properties - each with their own story to tell of adventurous spirits and restless souls! A self guided tour with docents at each property who will provide you with the history and ghost(s) within! Paranormals will be present to demonstrate their equipment and show you how they investigate the paranormal phenomena of a haunted building!

Saturday • August 5 • 9 am to 3 pm

Tickets: $25 per person • Call 505-425-8803 for more information / Thank you to our sponsors: Southwest Capital Bank, Charlie’s Spic ‘n Span, Plaza Hotel & Southwest Detours Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  9


It’s no coincidence that the iconic biker movie, Easy Rider, was filmed right here in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Motorcycle day trips from Las Vegas can be magnificent! The winding roads, scenery ranging from mountains to Great Plains and from forest to high desert, the wind in your face, and the fragrance of pine and juniper in your nostrils make the area a biker’s dream. Meet up with friends for breakfast at one of our many fine local eateries, and then hit the road for two-wheeled fun! Whether you’re touring the 518 to Taos, the 434 to Angel Fire, or the Turquoise Trail to Madrid, you’ll be treated to some fine riding on sparsely trafficked, winding roads with incredible views. Head north out of town on 518 and take the Sapello turn-off for a beautiful backroad cruise. After several miles you’ll come to another turn-off that heads towards Mora. Take it. You’ll have a great time on two-lane blacktop, bringing you through the traditional village of Ledoux, past Morphy Lake State Park and up in the mountains before you drop down into Mora. From Mora, you can take the 434 to Angel Fire. From there, you have your choice of heading west on 64 directly to Taos or turning right and touring “The Enchanted Circle” through Eagle’s Nest, Red River, Questa and Arroyo Honda before dropping back down into Taos.

160 Bridge Street ~ Las Vegas, NM

505-425-6113 • cell 505-617-6113 email:

World Treasures 1814 Plaza St. Las Vegas NM 505.426.8638 Teresa Victor manager - owner

Pottery • Jewelry Paintings • Kachinas Santos • Crosses Sculpture • Tin • Glass Jewelry Repair NM Soaps & Lotions Layaway Plan Free Gift Wrapping

Cerrillos Turquoise & Sterling Brooch by Tito Chavez `

Handmade Gold & Silver by Tito Chavez `

157 Bridge St. • 505-425-3745 • Hours: 10 to 5:30 Mon-Sat • Tito’s Gallery on Etsy & Facebook • Member LVFIBA 10  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

From Taos, you can take the 518 back to Las Vegas, through Sipapu, past the Ski Lodge, and through beautiful high-elevation mixed conifer forest, eventually dropping down into the Mora Valley. Time it right and you can catch the fall colors. You won’t be disappointed. Madrid, New Mexico, a quirky, colorful mining town, is an iconic destination for bikers for a variety of reasons including the turquoise trail itself, the summer music festivals, the many shops and galleries, and the topnotch drinking and dining establishments. You can take I-25 south to the Cerrillos Exit in Santa Fe and head to Madrid from there, but there’s a longer, better back door that I love. Follow the Old Las Vegas Highway out of Las Vegas. At the village of Rowe, go under the overpass. Continue south past the Pecos National Historical Park and into the village of Pecos. Hang a left at the stop sign, and take the back way to Glorietta. From there, you will get on I-25 for a short jaunt, after which you can take the Canyoncito exit, and head south. From there, turn off on 285 at Eldorado and ride several miles to State Route 41 on the right. This, after miles of near empty backroad riding, will bring you to the village of Gallisteo. Turn right on the Camino los Abuelos (road of the grandfathers,) and ride to the Turquoise trail, AKA Route 14. Turn left, and you will soon be motoring into Madrid. If you’re looking for a scenic ride that’s short and sweet, you can just head south on I-25 to State Route 3, through Ribera, Sena and other small villages along the Pecos to Villanueva State Park. Route 3 is only twenty miles out of town, and you can be in the Village of Villanueva or the State Park in less than an hour, having ridden alongside the river and seeing firsthand what old, rural New Mexico looks like. At day’s end, come on back to the Meadow City, relax with your friends at one of our many biker-friendly bars and restaurants, and get a well-deserved night’s sleep at one of our historic hotels. For more information:


Premium bison fiber socks, gloves, hats, rugs, leather goods & more NEW STORE! NEW MEXICO: 167 Bridge St. Las Vegas

TEXAS: 2000 U.S. Hwy 287 Goodnight (at County Rd 25) 915-247-6601

DID YOU KNOW . . . that the Dold-Wesche Mercantile Building (now Plaza Antiques) was formerly a grocery and general merchandise store owned by Ike Davis known as “The Store That’s Always Busy?”

Montezuma Inn & Suites 2020 North Grand Avenue Las Vegas, NM 87701 (505) 426-8000

New Moon fashions

“a destination clothing store” natural fibers - hats & scarves 2000 North Grand Avenue I Las Vegas, NM 87701 (505) 425-1967 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  11


San Miguel County

Photo courtesy of Vince A. Marquez

A hidden treasure of northeast New Mexico From its mountain peaks in the in the Sangre de Cristo to its eastern plains, San Miguel County offers unbridled beauty with some of the most breathtaking views in the state! There is something for everyone here in the great outdoors of northern New Mexico: hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, trail rides and more will entice you during the warmer months while snow skiing, sledding and ice skating will keep you warm in the winter. The Santa Fe National Forest and the Pecos Wilderness offer some of the best alpine stream fishing in the western U.S. From Pecos to Cowles along Hwy 63 you’ll find 20 miles of the Pecos River well-stocked with rainbow trout. Hiking in the summer will

Photo courtesy of Diamond E Stables

12  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

find you among wildflowers and in the fall you’ll bask in the glow of Aspen trees. Storrie Lake State Park, six miles north of Las Vegas, offers boating and windsurfing while Villanueva State Park, 31 miles southwest of Las Vegas offers fishing and camping along the Pecos River. McAllister Lake offers wildlife viewing from waterfowl to bald eagles. Conchas Lake, 72 miles southeast of Las Vegas offers two marinas for boating and fishing. So, come experience San Miguel County! Inhale the aroma of roasting pinion and green chile, savor authentic northern New Mexican cuisine and enjoy spectacular scenery from its mountains to its plains! Come fall in love with San Miguel County!

Photo courtesy of Vince A. Marquez


Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  13


PECOS National Historical Park Southwestern Gateway to Past and Present Thousands of years of vivid history is preserved at Pecos National Historical Park in northern New Mexico—a site that demonstrates to modern visitors the cultural exchange that has long been central to the Pecos Valley. Here remain vestiges of the pueblos and missions that lie on the east bank of Glorieta Creek near its junction with the Pecos River at the southern end of the Rocky Mountain chain, known as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Between those mountains and the flattopped, high cliffs of the Glorieta (or Rowe) Mesa is the Glorieta Pass, through which an unceasing chronicle of human culture has unfolded for millennia.

lay to the east, the Rio Grande Valley to the west. Whoever held sway here controlled migration and trade routes of an immense region. According to notations made by those who accompanied Coronado, the pueblo had as many as 500 warriors who could respond to any unfriendly incursions of the Apache and other Plains Indians, as well as to the Spaniards, at least for a time. This area also saw passage of the U.S. Army under General Kearny on its way to Santa Fe in 1846, as well as the DID YOU KNOW . . . Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. the windmill built in 1876 on With the acquisition of the the east side of the Plaza never Forked Lightning Ranch and struck water but was used as Glorieta battlefield units, Pecos a convenient gallows for legal National Monument became Peand, an more often illegal cos National Historical Park in hangings! 1990. One activity visitors are likely to see in the summer is the making Along the north side of the Glorieta Mesa or use of adobe bricks for preservation treatescarpment winds the long natural pass used ments at the church and the convento, which as a major travel route through history by the is the large complex of rooms south of the Indians, Spanish, and Americans. The pass is crucial to most of the stories told at the park; its elevation is never less than 6,000 feet and its summit (7,432 feet) is at the village of Glorieta. The Santa Fe Trail passed through here from 1821 to 1880, serving as a major commerce and travel route between Missouri and Santa Fe. The trail took many weeks to traverse in often inhospitable conditions. Interstate 25 now carries automobile traffic through the Glorieta Pass alongside this route and the railway which replaced it. Much further back in time, indigenous people navigated this route, and eventually Coronado’s expedition came through the pass in 1540-41. His soldiers encountered Cicuye, later Pecos, one of the most powerful of the northern New Mexico pueblos. A major reason for its dominance likely was the pueblo’s defensive location. The Great Plains 14  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

church that served as a monastery. Adobe is a traditional earthen building material that has been employed for thousands of years. The origin of the word can be traced to ancient Egyptian; from there it was adopted into Arabic and then Spanish. Types of earthen construction were previously used in the Southwest, but adobe brick technology was brought to this region during the Spanish Colonial period and remains in use today. The park offers guided ranger programs and special events all year. These include a Civil War Encampment, night sky programs, cultural demonstrators, Las Posadas - a beloved New Mexican holiday tradition and much more! For specifics about these occasions please check the Pecos NHP calendar web page at

Dr. Michael Palmer, DC, MS Dr. Nathalie Gravel, DC, MS, CCSP Chiropractic care for all of your family’s needs! 505-425-9341

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$0 Down Financing 30% Tax Credit

Lithium Batteries Available

DID YOU KNOW . . . that Jack Johnson trained for his world heavyweight boxing title against Jim Flynn on July 4, 1912, in the Romero de Baca House? (2007 N. Gonzales St.)




The NM Solar & Battery Authority!

Hold your event in this historic Las Vegas icon! Quinceañeras • Weddings M Meetings • Funerals • Reunions

Pam’s Event Center at The Palms Ballroom

225 Plaza Las Vegas, NM 87701

505-425-9612 505-425-

Family owned & operated since 1983


505-425-9612 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  15

Lights!...Camera!....Action!...Las Vegas! Meditations on Las Vegas Film History by Elmo Baca Ever since silent movie stars Romaine Fielding and Tom Mix discovered readymade sets in Las Vegas for four and five reelers in 1913,1914 and 1915, the town has embraced the movie industry in strange and surprising ways. Romaine Fielding’s work is nearly lost to history - his epic masterpiece The Golden God exploded in a warehouse fire - but his weird and fascinating interpretations of the West in Hiawatha’s Cross and The Rattlesnake, shot beneath the balconies and rocky ledges of the Montezuma Hotel, glow and flicker from a magic photoplay. Tom Mix arrived on the heels of Fielding’s romance with Las Vegas, and what a heroic profile he cut! contrast to the dandy Romaine. Ramrod straight, handsome, and easily bearing his trademark Montana highbrow hat, Mix always saved the girl (his real-life sweetheart and wife Virginia Forde) from runaway trains or tough hombres at the Vegas railroad depot or his movie yard on Gallinas Street (site of the former Gallinas Elementary school). darkness for fifty years, until the hippie ballad Easy Rider blew through town in fall 1968. Las Vegas slept through some fabulous Western epics during the midcentury, as Gallup and its proximity to “Indian Country” branded many Hollywood productions, even though Las Vegas could make a claim to some of the rowdiest outlaw legends of the frontier. The Dodge City Gang, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid and sheriff Pat Garrett created many “cinematic” episodes in Vegas, with shootouts, lynchings, and jailhouse interviews still begging for the silver screen. Captain America (Peter Fonda) and Billy ( Jack Nicholson) played postmodern biker drifters in their brief Las Vegas interlude, but their symbolic defiance has left a searing memory in the city and old-timers who remember the dudes on motorcycles weaving through a marching band on the old town Plaza. The innocence of Fielding and Mix was shot to smithereens. Finally the real life stage set for badasses and showdowns was being discovered for what it was by a slew of filmmakers in recent decades. Many a movie star, screenwriter and director have been lured Las Vegas' only cinema by Las Vegas’ varin the heart of Old Town ied streetscapes, historic buildings, 146 Bridge Street epic landscapes (across from El Rialto Restaurant) and picturesque charms. One of the most memorable productions shot here was the 1984 cold war fantasy Red Dawn, where a courageous if implausible guerrilla resistance group of teenagers including Patrick Visit our website for Swayze, Charlie upcoming features and advance tickets. Sheen, and C. Thomas Howell 505-434-4444 sabotage a Soviet like us on Facebook/IndigoTheater invasion of Amer-

16  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

ica. The large cast and crew, including other screen legends Powers Booth, Harry Dean Stanton, and Ben Johnson spent weeks in Las Vegas and mingled frequently with the locals. Memorial Middle School, the Ft. Union Drive-In and Douglas Avenue had their cameos in Red Dawn. Kevin Costner as Wyatt Earp (1994) courted his sweetheart on the porch of a red stone cottage at the southwest corner of Lincoln Park, nearly a century after New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt camped there with his beloved cavalry regiment at the First Rough Riders Reunion of 1899. As the Twentieth Century closed, two productions based on Southwestern literary classics came to town. Santa Fe author Cormac McCarthy’s border romance All The Pretty Horses (2000) captured scenes in nearby San Miguel on the Pecos River. Max Evans’ The Hi-Lo Country (1998), a memoir set in the hi-lo geography of northeastern New Mexico, featured a great cast including Oscar winners Penelope Cruz and Patricia Arquette, and heart throbs Woody Harrelson and Sam Elliot. Another well-known international star won an Oscar for a role he played in the 2007 production of No Country for Old Men. As the ruthless and efficient assassin Anton Chigurh, Javier Bardem roamed the streets of Las Vegas in pursuit of Josh Brolin’s character. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s classic novel, the film won a slew of Academy Awards including Best Picture. In the decade since No Country...., Las Vegas has become popular for television productions, most notably going on six seasons of Longmire. Bridge Street was transformed into its Nevada namesake in the pilot of Vegas (2012-13). House of Cards shot scenes in the vacant Castaneda Hotel last year. A new pilot called Midnight Texas premiered in 2016 portraying a small town where the real world and the supernatural collide. 2017 has welcomed the cast of Longmire back to Las Vegas for a final season and some final scenes. Cast members posted friendly notices on their social media pages declaring their affection for a wellknown filming location.



lig) The Rancher’s Daughter; Never Again; Local Color; The County Drugstore; Her Slight Mistake; The Race For A Gold Mine; Impersonation of Tom; Bad Man Bibbs; Wary Goes A Wooing; The Pony Girl and the Cowboy; Stage Coach; Sagebrush Tom; Western Masquerade. These are only a few of the Tom Mix Westerns set and produced in a location Mix said he’d love to live in forever, if only he could escape Hollywood. ROMAINE FIELDING, actor/director (1913-1914, Lubin) The Rattlesnake; Hiawanda’s Cross; Toll of Fear; The Golden God. Las Vegas is of particular interest to the film industry, as if offers a complete package of unique settings that cannot be found together anywhere else in the state. To the west, Las Vegas boasts breathtaking mountains and to the east, grassy plains; two lakes are within minutes of town; a castle sits in the hills; a historic drive in theatre is open to the public through the spring and summer months; homes and businesses range from Queen Anne, Bungalow, Richardsonian Romanesque, Italianate, New Mexico, Territorial, Pueblo Revival and Folk Renaissance Revival architecture; and the streets offer varied characteristics that have portrayed cities and towns from

Manhattan and Juarez. Las Vegas is truly a filmmaker’s playground! Las Vegas Film Commission

Las Vegas is a Place for Film by Tiara Shorty

Las Vegas, New Mexico is a quaint and charming town. It was the first of its name and one of the biggest boomtowns in the southwest. The town is rich in history with infamous outlaws, famous lawmen, and historic figures that once walked these streets or took refuge in some of the grandest hotels. Famous directors and actors have been mesmerized and left their imprint on Las Vegas. In 1913, director and producer Romaine Feilding laid the ground work for filming in Las Vegas. A variety of films have been shot in Las Vegas since 1913; Easy Rider, Red Dawn, Wyatt Earp, All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, Paul, Bless Me Ultima, Longmire, and much more. Las Vegas serves as a grand stage for film due to its old-fashioned and picturesque setting. The town that was once filled with shoot-outs, gambling, and outlaws has preserved the essence of the old Wild West that fascinates people. Adding to the appeal of Las Vegas, Jon Hendry, Business Agent of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 480 stated, “Las Vegas is where it all began. It is the original film center of the West. It continues to make great pictures, even Oscar winners, a century later”. The town of Las Vegas will continue to draw in the film industry due to its glamour and the film enthusiasts who live here. In downtown Douglas in the middle of March, the cast of the hit show Longmire took a break from filming the first episode of the final season to express their thoughts regarding Las Vegas. Robert Taylor portrays the clever, gritty, and enigmatic Sheriff Walter Longmire, who stated, “This is the real Las Vegas, I love working in the town, it is so good and alive and always interesting. The people are always friendly and welcoming. The Plaza Hotel is an icon in the West. I will keep coming back for the rest of my days”. Adam Bartley plays the wholehearted and underestimated Deputy Ferguson or “Ferg”, stated, “Las Vegas is a second home for us Longmire folks. We get excited to come up here every year. The people, the merchants, the old world feel. Las Vegas is a place I’ll always come back to. If you haven’t’ been to Las Vegas, New Mexico, then you’re missing out”. Bartley went on to say that Las Vegas is, “One of my favorite places to be in New Mexico”. Las Vegas is accepting of all genres of film and works well with production time frames and some films have shot the entirety of their production in Las Vegas. Some continue to return and often times, Las Vegas is the first stop on a productions way to stardom. Midnight Texas, a supernatural thriller, is set to air on NBC on July 25, 2017 and the pilot was filmed on Railroad Avenue in Las Vegas. Standing amongst the Castaneda Hotel and vintage buildings of Railroad Avenue, Midnight Texas built a church as a prop from their show. This church, which blends into the scenic and old setting, still resides on the property of the Castaneda Hotel. The residents of Las Vegas have since adopted the church as a part of their town and although production has changed to different locations, Las Vegas is Midnight Texas. Go back in time or step onto a real-life film studio, Las Vegas has so many splendors to offer. Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  17

Enjoy the beauty of the La Cueva National Historic District with the mid-18th century San Rafael Mission Church, the roller mill, the mercantile building, the Romero “Big House” and the historic acequia. Stroll through our gardens, relax on the porch, pick your own raspberries or visit us for lunch during the season, and shop for special gifts and our tasty raspberry products!

U-Pick It Raspberry Fields

Our field is open, field conditions and weather permitting, beginning in early August until the first frost, usually in October. Call ahead (1-866-281-1515 or 575-387-2900) or check our website for conditions.

La Cueva Greenhouses

Open May and June every day except Mondays. Growers on site to answer your horticulture questions. Plants are available at the Store after July 1.

La Cueva Cafe

Open for lunch August 1 through the end of the raspberry season. Open every day except Mondays, until 4:00 during the week and 5:00 on weekends. Yummy sandwiches, raspberry sundaes, delicious desserts.

Salman Ranch Store


The store is open year round. 9:00 – 4:00 January through May. (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) 9:00 – 5:00 June through December. Featuring our raspberry products, interesting food selections, unique gifts and souvenirs. Please visit our website for more information, or COME VISIT US for a memorable experience! Owned and Operated by La Cueva Partners, Ltd.

18  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

2 Ten

A Galeria of Art & Treasures

Art Gifts & Gourmet Foods Pendleton, Los Poblanos Lavender Longmire’s Red Pony Salsa Jewelry, Timeless Treasures LED Lighting 210 on the Plaza Las Vegas NM 87701 Linda Anderele Bill Anderle

505-652-0113 505-652-0114

108 Bridge Street 505.454.1050

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  19

Phantom of a Rail Town: The Chinese Immigrant Experience In Las Vegas, NM c. 1882 by Shane Flores and Bob Mishler The legal relationships of the Chinese in the American West during post-Civil War era included numerous complex issues....the right to own work in certain participate in the American constitutional system. One of the latter rights - the ability of the Chinese to testify in court - was resolved eventually in part by a landmark case: Territory of New Mexico v. Yee Shun (1882) ( John R. Wunder, NM Historical Review, July, 1990).

The question was, can a non-Christian Chinese take an oath to testify in court? Most western states refused testimony by Chinese unless they were subjected to extensive questioning about their “race,” culture and religious beliefs. If a Chinese litigant did not recognize the Christian “God,” testimony was denied. The constitutions in Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon and Texas accepted Chinese testimony but their legal documents were never tested in court. The Las Vegas incident and subsequent New Mexico Territory Supreme Court landmark decision changed the Chinese legal relationships in the West forever. It is likely that the earliest intrepid Chinese pioneers arrived in Las Vegas on the Santa Fe Trail. At least by the time of the arrival of the AT&SF Railroad in1879, Chinese laundrymen shops were operating in Las Vegas. Russell A. Kistler, editor of the Las Vegas Daily Optic, refers to a Chinese neighbor as “John Chinaman” (whose given name may have been Sing Wing) and reports a failed robbery in which John and his wife fought off a forced entry in the fall of 1879. The reference to a wife of John Chinaman is of particular interest. If she was of Chinese descent and living in Las Vegas that would not have been the norm since Chinese women are rarely recorded living outside California at this time. Of course, it is possible his wife was not Chinese; but, her ethnicity is not known. In general, 19th Century accounts of Chinese immigrants in America are meager. One reason for this may be that most Chinese came to America as

sojourners with the expectation of returning to their homeland after a few years work and income. This temporary residence expectation is one factor that could contribute to limited integration into American culture and few historical accounts of their presence and lifestyle. Kistler was a dedicated newspaperman and segregationist. He often displayed a bent for sensationalism in his writings, which may have inclined him to write about and exoticize his Chinese neighbors. For example, he records Chinese funerals taking place beyond the fairgrounds, their noisy street celebrations and even the size of one Chinese woman’s feet upon her arrival by train. He ranted about Chinese trash fires that disturbed his rest and the scourge of opium, particularly an opium den in Old Town (possibly on the south side of Bridge Street!) that he complained about but, curiously, never explicitly identified it location. Yee Shun was 23 years old and recently immigrated to America from China. He arrived by train in Las Vegas on the evening of February 24, 1882. However, within a few hours after his arrival, Yee Shun was handed over to Las Vegas Marshall, H.J. Franklin, and accused of murder. This was shortly after he had visited John Lee’s laundry at 7 Douglas East where three other local Chinese men had gathered for the evening after work. 20  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

Someone fired 2 gun shots at Jim Lee who was sitting near the fire. He lay dying on the floor while the others made a quick exit and scattered. A few days later, Yee Shun was arraigned before chief justice of the New Mexico Territory Supreme Court and charged with murder. John Lee, owner of the laundry where the murder occurred, was added to the indictment and mysteriously taken off again. Both plead not guilty. The trial began on August 6, 1882 in Las Vegas before a jury of twelve local “Mexican-Americans.” Jo Chinaman, John Lee’s laundry ironer, was a key witness against him, after initially denying his involvement. Yee Shun was found guilty and his appeal was, unexpectedly, denied. Jo Chinaman’s testimony against Yee Shun was upheld. For the first time in the West a Chinese resident did not have to declare a Judeo-Christian belief in order to be “fit” to take an oath and have his testimony accepted in a court of law. If it were not for Kistler, the little knowledge we have of these 19th Century Chinese immigrants to Las Vegas would probably have been lost, and their names forgotten.



Visit the City of Las Vegas Museum’s new exhibit, Phantom of a Rail Town: The Chinese Immigrant Experience In Las Vegas, NM c. 1882. Learn more about the appearance of Yee Shun, his trial, and the significance of this case in the West. In particular, learn about Russ Kistler’s own perspective as a local reporter and editor on this incident (Original: Friends of the City of Las Vegas Museum News, Winter, 2016, Volume 10, Issue 3) Las Vegas City Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection 727 Grand Avenue, Las Vegas, NM Tuesday-Saturday, 10-4





Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  21 DIX_Serf_Print_Ad_3.75x9.93.indd 1

3/27/2017 10:29:44 AM


PECOS A place of senses for people who value their sense of place


ometimes the best journey starts when you slow down. Sometimes you hear more in a quiet place. Have a high point in your life down in the valleys. Reach down deep inside yourself up on the ridge tops. Pecos is for people who want to explore the simpler, purer path. It isn’t a park and it doesn’t have a theme. It’s a village tucked into a river valley, with a horizon that scans mountains and meadows and mesas and plains. Pecos is for people who want to hear the beat of a bird’s wings and the wind in the high mountain forest. A place to feel the joy of leaving no tracks.

A place to remember what it’s like to be civilized in the wilderness. Pecos is a place to hike, fish, horseback ride and meditate. Pecos is a western saga, situated near an allweather pass where the west was lost and won time and time again. First came Pueblo and Plains Indians, then Spanish settlers, then traders on the Santa Fe Trail and then Confederate and Union soldiers. Pecos is an ancient place with modern amenities, a village of small, family-owned lodges, restaurants, shops and guiding services. Pecos is a place of

Photo courtesy of Diamond E Stables

senses for people who value their sense of place. Pecos is a gateway allowing travel from the Great Plains to Santa Fe through the southern Rocky Mountains. The trail was used by Indian tribes, Spanish settlers, traders on the Santa Fe Trail, Civil War soldiers and cruisers on Route 66. Today’s travelers take I-25 on their journey between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, New Mexico. Pecos-Glorieta Pass exit 299 and the Rowe exit 307 are both a scenic six mile drive to the center of Pecos.

PECOS WILDERNESS The United States Congress designated the Pecos Wilderness in 1964 and it now has a total of 223,000 acres. All of this wilderness is located in  New Mexico  and is managed by the Forest Service. Deep and narrow canyons, long and broad mesa tops, heavily forested slopes, and rugged ridges with peaks above timberline characterize the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of the Pecos Wilderness. This small mountain chain comprises the extreme southern extent of the Rocky Mountains, North Amer-

ica’s longest mountain chain, which extends north all the way into Canada. On the western side steep canyons drain toward the Rio Grande. In contrast, to the east lies the relatively gentle upper Pecos River Valley, an area of broad flat mesas and grassy meadows. There are restrictions pertaining to camping on most of the lakeshores in order to protect wilderness values. At least 15 of the lakes offer first-rate fishing, as do 150-plus miles of sparkling streams, where rainbow trout, brown trout, and the NM state fish, the Rio


Come ride the high country and enjoy endless views, mountain peaks, pristine rivers. Hourly horseback rides Sunset dinner rides Half day/Full day rides Overnight shing/photography/camping trips


Call: 505-500-7839

22  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY ATTRACTIONS Grande cutthroat trout can all be found. These waters head the Wild and Scenic Pecos River, for which the wilderness is named. The high country elevations range from 8,400 feet to 13,103 feet atop South Truchas Peak, the state’s second highest point. The scenery varies from 100-foot-drop waterfalls and crumbled talus slopes to dramatic rock cliffs, towering peaks, and wildflower meadows best caught in July and August. Engelmann spruce, corkbark fir, ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, white fir, limber pine, bristlecone pine, and aspen are the predomi-

nant timber species. Equally diverse is the wildlife, including elk, deer, bear, turkey, and one of America’s healthiest herds of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. The northern section includes about 25,000 acres in Carson National Forest, the least visited portion of the Wilderness. The rest of this large area lies in Santa Fe National Forest, with easy access from Santa Fe, Albuquerque and surrounding towns. Most hikers come during the summer months to explore the extensive system of trails.

Los Pinos Ranch


“Where the road ends and the trails begin”


Cowles, New Mexico • 45 miles from Santa Fe • 8,500 feet elevation


Fast Facts

Elevation: 6,945 feet Highest point: Truchas Peak, 13,103 feet Average temperature ranges January: 40º–19º July: 85º–50º Annual snowfall: 32 inches; Annual rainfall: 14 inches Pecos Wilderness Area: 223,000 acres


Cabin, lodge rentals, and guided fishing trips on historic fly fishing ranch. 505-757-2107; 975 Forest Road 92, Pecos, NM 87552


Year-round modern and summertime rustic cabins on the east bank of the Pecos River, scenic setting. WiFi, Dish TV 505-757-8752; 8 River Cabin Road, Pecos, NM 87552

PECOS CABINS:  (formerly Mark Rents Cabins)

Fully furnished cabins on the river with hot tubs, wifi & satellite TV. Call or email for reservations. Reservations: 505-757-2784; HC 74, Box 705, Pecos, NM 87552 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  23




#15 El Zócalo Art Gallery

Mule, Doc Holiday’s Dog and Billy the Kid’s Berry Splash, along with many more.

Located under Sheriff Longmire’s office, El Zócalo

#84 K-Bob of Las Vegas

Art Gallery has Longmire themed original art items

Come taste the “Rest for the Weary Trail Traveler” chicken

for purchase.

fried steak with a salad wagon.

#61 Furniture-N-More

#43 Semilla Natural Foods

Receive 10% off traditional arts, including Nuestra

Visit the Hermit’s Medicine Chest with over 150 herbs,

Señora de Dolores de Las Vegas Grandes and authentic

teas and spices. Local herbs, used for many generations,

wool weavings, colcha embroidery and tinwork.

including Osha Root and more.

#112 Greater Las Vegas–CAN, Inc.

#8 The Skillet

La Llorona–more than a myth, more than a legend–

The “Dirty Dave” cocktail. If Dirty Dave Rudebaugh were

perhaps it’s her maternal instincts, her love for Mother

around today he’d probably enjoy this exciting concoction

Earth. “Cultura Cura”…Take it with you!

of Red Bull, Goldschlager, and Jagermeister.

#18 Happenstance LLC

#63 The Dawg House

Putting Down Tracks. Learn how to knit and crochet

Come taste the “Vegas Dog Comb”, a special frito

railroad and trolley tracks. Supplies will be provided

pie dog.

for $10.

#83 Ulibarri Farms Candy Shoppe

#33 Love Musica

Take home Damn Authentic green chili pecan brittle, red

Take a music lesson to learn “Route 66” on guitar or any

chili peanut brittle and biscochito brittle, along with many

other instrument or vocally.

other treats. #105 2 Ten: A Galeria of Art & Treasures


With the purchase of a jar of Red Pony salsa and bloody


mary mix you will receive a free bag of chips.

#13 B-3 Come taste the juicy history of Las Vegas in the Billy the Kid and Cowboy BBQ burgers at B-3.


#109 Dick’s Pub and Restaurant

#23 Crow’s Nest Bed and Breakfast

Come have a Las Vegas themed cocktail at Dick’s Pub

Customers who call to make reservations in the Big Nose

and Restaurant. Cocktail list includes the Meadow City

Kate (yellow room), Dirty Dave Rudebaugh (blue room)

24  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

and Vicente Silva rooms will receive a 20% discount.

SERVICES #32 Divine Dental Centre

#25 Plaza Antiques Find your inner cowboy with western attire selections including cowboy boots, hats, buckles, belts, vests and

Doc “Holliday” Valdez, DDS is offering The Acequia Madre

chaps along with saddles, western décor, cow horns,

Special dental exam and consultation and The Santa Fe

and deer antlers.

Trail Special dental. #92 ECCSolar ECCSolar are the Solar Cowboys riding down from

#71 Unikat Fine Jewelry Receive 20% off the Montezuma Medallion and Las Vegas Silver Spoon at Unikat Fine Jewelry.

Hermits Peak packing their most popular grid-tied inverter, the Sunny Boy 3.8k, to shoot down your electric bills with solar photons. #67 Gil’s Lock & Key


“Road Runner Lockout” lockout services for residents

#57 Southwest Detours with Las Vegas

locked out of their homes and vehicles.

Harvey Girl Tours NM as you visit the Fred Harvey Hotels, Castaneda and

“Bridge St. Floor” 3.25” Douglas fir T&G flooring (not

Montezuma Castle. Receive 10% off the price of tours

CVG) finished with a clear UV cured protective coating

for groups of 4 or more.

to accent the wood’s natural beauty. #104 Tito’s Gallery Vicente Silva slept here! Visit the jail cells where Old

SHOPPING #46 Las Vegas First IBA

West desperados, including members of Vicente Silva’s Sociedad de Banditos de Nuevo Mexico hung out and did their evil deeds.

Joe Lordi’s book Las Vegas, New Mexico features 400 pages of 1,000 photographs of beautiful Las Vegas, NM. #81 Mineral Hill Jewelry


Mineral Hill Jewelry is offering a special gift set that


includes a necklace, earrings and a bracelet.


#60 Paper Trail 10% discount off of 2018 Las Vegas Historic


Postcards and Calendars.




Learn more about the Harvey Girls history in Las Vegas, #114 Old Wood, LLC

Charles Ilfeld Company store and Plaza Hotel 1883, Gottschalk Collection, Marcus Gottschalk

Faith, Hope and Charity by Marcus C. Gottschalk By virtue of residing in a vast number of countries throughout history, the Jewish folk are truly an international people. To visit extended families, the Jew was compelled to cross borders. The consequence was the emergence of the itinerant Jewish merchant, who became the archetypal middleman. When the Southwest was opened to economic development, there were few farmers crossing the country looking for verdant pastures in this largely inhospitable land. Instead, others saw the region’s commercial potential beyond the agricultural. Into this void of business activity arrived the pioneer merchant, including the Jewish merchant, with wagons not of homesteading provisions but rather full of industrial goods for sale.

point at Las Vegas either, with the Spiegelberg Brothers and Dittenhoefer & Cohen of Santa Fé, and the Jaffa Brothers of Trinidad developing interests here. The transcontinental railroad introduced another wave of Jewish merchants to Las Vegas in its New Town. The Rosenthals, Jacob Gross, Philip Holzman, Sol Floersheim, the Lewises, Julius Judell, Ike Bacharach, Jake Block, the Leveys, David Winternitz and others brought their expertise and tried to make Las Vegas into — as one newspaper imagined — the “Denver of the Southwest.” The Jewish merchant thrived in this Southwestern frontier boomtown, notably the Charles Ilfeld Company who were “Wholesalers of Everything” at the Great Emporium store on the Old Town Plaza. The three floors of the elevatored Great Emporium were declared to be the “largest and finest department house in all the Southwest.”

Onto the dusty plaza at Las Vegas the merchants of the sweeping interminable American economy blew. Streaming along the Santa Fe Road, now a network of routes in the American era of New Mexico, For a few decades, Las Vegas the merchants came to bring comhad become the commercial capimerce to the Southwest. The Rostal of the Southwest. Forty-two of enwalds, the Friedmans, the Kohns, the pioneer merchants established Adolf Letcher, Charles Ilfeld, Marthe first Jewish congregation in the cus Brunswick, Marcus ZuckerTerritory of New Mexico in 1884. Congregation Montefiore, Illustrated Las Vegas, George T. Gould, berg, Isidor Stern, Sigmund Nahm, The congregation was named after Las Vegas - Blake & Joquell, 1903, Marcus Gottschalk Jacob Hecht, Julius Graff, Jacob Moses Montefiore, the Sheriff of LonWeil, with other non-Jewish merchants transformed the little adobe don. In Europe, with religious principles threatening the Catholic lined outpost into a thriving center of wagon traffic. Other Jewish with excommunication, financial transactions that involved “usury,” merchants in New Mexico could not ignore the caravan launching or interest, were left to the Jew. Of those that successfully capitalized 26  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

on the banking profession, Moses Montefiore is exemplary. Italian born, he became one of twelve “Jew brokers” in London and the main stockbroker for N.M. Rothschild & Sons. A proto-Zionist, Montefiore traveled to the Holy Land numerous times, and funded a flour mill, a printing press, a textile factory and aided farming communities in the attempt to establish the first Jewish settlements outside the walls of Jerusalem, the New Yishuv. Having inspired so many, numerous congregations in the U.S. honored their synagogues with the Montefiore name. On September 26, 1886, the wood-framed Temple Montefiore was completed: the first Jewish house of prayer in the Territory. The secretary of the congregation, liquor merchant John H. Teitelbaum Moses Montefiore bill, Public Domain, Marcus Gottschalk dedicated the synagogue with the message that, Jews Joe and Milton Taichert were late in the mercantile migration to the city. The haberdashers were to involve themselves in Las Vegas’s traditional exports, wool and hides, and open the long-lived Taichert’s clothing store. Milton and his wife Frances Estrach carried the small congregation forward until the Temple Montefiore was sold in 1955. Later, their son and life-long resident Marvin maintained the Montefiore Cemetery through his adult life as a mitzvah to his parents.

CR Frances, Marvin and Milton Taichert at Marvins College Graduation 1955 Harvard University, CCHP Taichert Collection, Marcus Gottschalk

Today, the Temple is owned by the Catholic Church and is known as the St. Paul Newman Chapel. The Aseret ha-Dibrot, or Ten Commandments, still survive above the doorway on two wooden tablets. The Torah ark and the stained glass also appear to have endured the Temple relocation. The Temple Montefiore and its sizable congregation represent a time of prominence and wealth in Las Vegas history. Only a fragment of the event yet remains — the Montefiore Cemetery — as testament to the fascinating lives of these Jewish pioneers of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

We have been taught to remember our Creator in our youth. The recollections of our teachings are still fresh. The heroic deeds of our ancestors will never be blotted from the memory of Israel, who will forever perpetuate the teachings and practices of Faith, Hope and Charity. The congregation also founded a cemetery beside the Masonic and Odd Fellows cemeteries: organizations that many Jews were engaged in. Formed in 1887, the Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Society was an association dedicated to relieving the hardships of the poor, disadvantaged women, and to those that were new to the city with food, clothing and shelter, no matter their religious loyalties. A chapter of the B’nai Brith organization was commenced in 1902, which worked to advocate for the Jewish people politically and assisted those that were struggling in their community, particularly the impoverished member, the widow, and the orphan. The Montefiore congregation numbered over one hundred individuals for many years. But by the mid-1920s, the congregation dwindled to only a handful of assemblers. With the waning of Las Vegas’s significance in the American economy, the restless merchant moved on, and the Jews left Las Vegas. In the early 1920s, to make room for a post office, the Temple was literally picked up and moved five blocks away, losing much of its architectural character. The Taichert family carried the torch for the tiny Jewish community, until it was completely extinguished. Having arrived little more than a decade earlier, German

CR Temple Montefiore, CCHP Taichert Collection, Marcus Gottschalk

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  27

& BOWLING ! 209 PLAZA 454-4444

131 Bridge St. • Las Vegas NM


OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • 7 AM - 10 PM (under new management)


Welcome to Pino’s Restaurant!

Enjoy Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days a Week Plenty of room for your entire family Large comfortable booths • Big screen TV’s Hold your meeting here!

MEXICAN & AMERICAN FOOD 825 Mills Ave.,Las Vegas


(505) 454-1944

28  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

Tues.~Sat 7:30 am ~ 8:00 pm Sun. 7:30 am ~ 3:00pm


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65 Years of the Greatest Mexican & American Cuisine!



Beer & Cocktails Available

Dairy Queen Brazier 200 Columbia & Grand, Las Vegas, NM




Orange Julius

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1106 Grand Ave • Las Vegas • New Mexico Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  29


Tex Austin’s Forked When 20-year- old Clarence Van Nostrand left home in 1908, he reinvented himself for a life of adventure. He changed his name to John Van Austin and went by the nickname “Tex” Austin. Although born into a strict St. Louis household, he claimed to have been born and raised on a cattle ranch in Victoria, Texas. After working on New Mexico and Texas ranches and he briefly joined the Mexican Revolution.

P ecos V alley C owboy C hurch R odeo August 19 & 20, 2017

R odeo P arade

August 19, 10 am Main Street, Pecos

Photos courtesy of Dulany Photography

30  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

RODEO FIRST: Tex had big plans and started producing rodeos. From his first rodeo in El Paso in 1917 to his last in London, England, in 1934, Tex was known for his generosity and showmanship. When he produced the first Madison square Garden Rodeo in 1922, the prize money was a record $25,000. Tex had other “firsts”:First recorded indoor rodeo in Wichita, Kansas (1918); first rodeo ever held in Chicago Stadium (1926); and the first contest rodeo to go overseas. Some 114,000 people attended his 1924 rodeo in London’s Wembley Stadium. Everyone agreed that Tex was “possessed of tremendous charm and bluff ” and “spent his last dollar like it was a leaf and he owned the forest.” Tall and lanky, Tex was not considered a decent working cowhand by his cowboys, but “he did learn to wear a big hat and to sit his saddle as if born to the leath.

“Way Out West an’ a Little Bit South” In 1925, Tex bought up parcels of land on the old Pecos Pueblo Grant and called his 5,500 acre holdings The Forked Lightning Ranch. The remains of Kozlowski’s Stage Stop and Tavern on the Santa Fe Trail (1858–1880) became part of his new holdings, which Tex converted into ranch headquarters and a trading post. He hired architect John Gaw Meem to design and build the main ranch house on a bluff above the Pecos River. The assignment was one of Meem’s first. He later became famous throughout the Southwest for his “Pueblo Revival” buildings. All rooms in the rectangular house faced a grassy patio. Its defining touch was a huge, specially sculpted steer head mounted outside on the chimney. Tex’s advertising touted it as “the most complete, modern and comfortable ranch house in the West. The life of the romantic West is at its doors.” Tex hoped for a share of the growing East Coast tourist market to New Mexico. The ranch, after all was less than two days by train from Chicago: “Thirty-four hours, and you’re out where the West is—and will be for some time.” Train travelers got off at Rowe just a few miles down the road. For $125 a week, 18 guests sharing nine bedrooms received “all proper service . . . to insure the comfort and friendly atmosphere of a country home. . . . Feed—and how! . . . served ranch style . . . in big heaping dishes. Pitch till you win and no one keeps track of the helpings!” “Pack and chuck wagon trips to the high peaks” were a highlight of many available amusements. The Forked Lightning was a working cattle ranch too, reputed to run several thousand head of cattle on 100,000 acres of leased grazing land in the valley. One story had Tex taking the train to Chicago, finding a bar, and then complaining to patrons that he had all this cattle to go to Las Vegas, New Mexico, for loading on the train and no one to do the work. He found “dudes” who volunteered to take the trip to the Forked Lightning at their own expense just for the chance to be on a cattle drive. So he found


Lightning Ranch

paying customers for the ranch and got his cattle moved, too! The ranch only operated for seven years; the last guests left in May 1933. Tex had heavily mortgaged the ranch and couldn’t pay the debt. A year later, his attempt to produce another London rodeo fell on hard times. British animal rights groups tried to stop the show on the grounds that steer- wrestling was cruel. Though they failed, Tex lost over $20,000. After losing the ranch, Tex moved to Santa Fe and opened the Los Rancheros Restaurant near the Plaza. In October 1938 Tex committed suicide. Rumor at the time was he had been told he was going blind. Tex Austin, the “Daddy of Rodeo,” was named to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1976. In 1936, W. C. Currier bought the Forked Lightning Ranch, and five years later sold it to E. E. “Buddy” Fogelson, a Dallas oil man and rancher. Over the next 25 years, Mr. Fogelson purchased land to the south, expanding the ranch to 13,000 acres. The Forked Lightning became a small cattle ranch and Tex’s ranch house the Fogelson summer home. After Mr. Fogelson married the actress Greer Garson in 1949, the ranch house became a center for gracious entertaining. When Mr. Fogelson died in 1987, the Forked Lightning was divided along the old southern boundary line of Tex’s original Forked Lightning. Greer Garson Fogelson received the “old” Forked Lightning Ranch and Mr. Fogelson’s son inherited the southern portion. In January 1991, Mrs. Fogelson sold the Forked Lightning to The Conservation Fund, which donated it to the National Park Service to become part of Pecos National Historical Park. The ranch house has remained relatively unchanged. Tex’s Forked Lightning brand still marks the original fixtures in the living and dining rooms and the steer head still stares down the Pecos. It is not difficult to imagine the famous and not so famous gathered around the huge fireplace, sipping drinks on the wide front porch, or enjoying the sun on the patio—all basking in the warm atmosphere that welcomed many guests for more than 60 years. TO VISIT THE RANCH HOUSE: The areas around the Ranch House are currently closed to public use. Information on guided tours is available from Pecos NHP, PO Box 418, Pecos NM 87552, 505- 757-7241 This publication was produced with funds donated by Western National Parks Association.

Come enjoy great art in The Pecos valley just 20 minutes from downtown Santa Fe at the Pecos Studio Tour. We have quality restaurants, the historic Pecos Monument and hiking, fishing, and exposure to nature. Come make a day of it or just visit a few artists, either way a visit makes for a great day. September 16-17 10-5pm.

ATSF 2926 Steam Locomotive is Coming!

If you had lived in Las Vegas, New Mexico in the 1940’s you would well remember the incredible sounds and smells of steam locomotives charging through town, whistles blaring. As a kid, you probably knew when they were coming and rode your bikes to the rails to chase the train, probably the AT&SF El Capitan or the Super Chief; elegant trains packed with all sorts of notables, stopping in Las Vegas to let passengers explore, eat at the Fred Harvey restaurant in the Casteneda Hotel and perhaps spend an evening or two. Crews would change and the engine would be lubricated and serviced by the local ATSF employees. Well, get ready, Las Vegas, because next year the newly restored ATSF 2926 steam locomotive, a 4-8-4 Baldwin behemoth, will visit your town bringing steam enthusiasts from all over the world to tour, shop, and spend a night. This great locomotive made many trips through Las Vegas in her prime and it is fitting that she returns, reborn. She’s almost ready to run and The New Mexico Steam Locomotive & Railroad Historical Society in Albuquerque is the non-profit that has brought her back to life. Meetings have been held with Mayor Velarde and her staff to discuss plans for the trips and various associated themes. More news to come! Follow the restoration at the locomotive website or visit us on Wednesdays or Saturdays at 1833 8th St NW in Albuquerque. Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  31

32  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017







* Visit for more event details


Jun– JUL












HERITAGE WEEK Elks Drug Awareness News Heritage Week Family Day

MARK GARDNER Rough Rider Presentation






oct– nov












Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  | 33

Calendar of Events

ONGOING Art Exhibit at Gallery 140. Exhibits change monthly. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1-4pm, some Fridays until 7 pm. 140 Bridge St., Call 505-454-1085 or visit Glimpses of the Past. Presentations that encompass the natural, cultural, and historical resources of the Southwest on the third Thursday of every month. These are in partnership with the Friends of Fort Union National Monument & the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation. 7pm at LVCCHP, 116 Bridge Street, Las Vegas, NM 505-425-8803 or Astronomy Nights. NMHU Observatory located in the Ivan Hilton Schine & Technology Building. Dusk (approx. 8:30pm). Fridays. Free. Montezuma Castle Tours. Student-led 1-hour tours per academic calendar and student schedules, Saturdays at 1:00pm, United World College. Check the website for days: page.cfm?p=527 or on the Visit Our Campus page. Cineflix in Ilfeld. Free movies every Wednesday and Friday, 7:30pm. Go to movie listing For more info call 505-454-3238 LVNWR Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge Events 505-4253581 or; or Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, 505426-5958 or

Tri-County Farmers Market. 6th & University, 8am till sell out. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Salman Raspberry Ranch. Twenty-five miles north of Las Vegas, junction NM 518 and 442. U PICK Raspberry Field open mid-August until late October; nursery open May, June, and into July; display gardens open spring into autumn. Pecos National Historical Park. Memorial Day through Labor Day, 8am-6pm. Free daily scheduled tours include Ranger-led tours of Pecos Pueblo and Spanish Mission ruins. For other tours including Arrowhead Ruins, Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass, or Forked Lightning Ranch House, or special events including night sky programs, speaker series, and cultural demonstrations, Call the Visitor Center 505-757-7241 or www.nps.gwov/peco Storrie Lake State Park. For current schedule of events call 505-425-7278 or visit www. APRIL Weaving Dialogues: A Socially Engaged Art Project. Facilitated by ceramic artists Lauren Karle and Jeni Hansen Gard. An ongoing series of conversations interconnected by prompts that symbolically create one dialogue between different participants. TBA times/dates in June to be announced, the public will be invited to participate over coffee or tea at Las Vegas Arts Council’s Gallery 140, 140 Bridge Street, 505-425-1085 or

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5 World class master violinist Jack Glatzer, Kennedy Gallery Hall, 905 University, NMHU Campus, 7:30pm. 505-4251085, or visit Sponsored by Las Vegas Arts Council and generous donors.
 7 Fiesta de la Hispanidad Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus, 5:30pm. Tickets: $5. For additional information 505454-3238 15 UWC Spring Dance Concert Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus, 7:30pm. Tickets: TBA. For additional information 505454-3238 20 New Mexico Women in Film 2017 Film Festival, Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus, 5pm. Tickets: $15; seniors $10; students $5. For additional information 505-454-3238 23 NMHU Madrigal Choir, Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus, 3pm. Tickets: $5. For additional information 505-454-3238 MAY 7 Castañeda Concert Series at Historic Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus. Featuring Elizabeth Young, violin; Dana Winograd, cello; Ralph Marquez, percussion; Ronald Maltais, piano and Artistic Director. 3pm. Sponsored in part by Las Vegas Arts Council and generous donors. For additional information 505-454-3238 8-19 Student Art Competition and Exhibition, a juried exhibit of middle and high school student art. Public and homeschool
opening reception May 12, 5-7pm. Sponsored by Las Vegas Arts Council, at NMHU’s Burris Hall, 903 National Ave.

10-13  Flower Power. Annual Plant Sale by Las Vegas First IBA. Get a head start on your summer flower garden. 10am6pm. Behind Indigo Theatre, 146 Bridge Street, 505-425-6113 or 12 U.S. Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony. Join us as a group of individuals from around the globe take their Oath of Allegiance and become U. S. citizens on the grounds of Fort Union National Monument. I-25 north, exit 366, Watrous, NM. Call for times. 505-425-8025 or foun 12  Concert. UNM Ensemble presenting Mozart’s Vespers Mass. 6pm. OLOS Santuary, 403 Valencia 14 Mother’s Day Mariachi Concert & Comedy Show, featuring Carlos Medina y Los Gallos 7 Graviel de Plaza. Presented by Tri-County Family Justice Center of NE New Mexico. Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus, 2pm. Tickets: $12. For additional information 505-454-3238 20 Night Sky Photography Workshop. Pecos National Historic Park. Call the Visitor Center at 505-757-7241 27 Night Sky Astronomy. Come learn about the night skies over Fort Union and what makes them so special at the special night sky party. There will be a short presentation about astronomy and telescopes to look through. 7:30pm, Fort Union National Monument, I-25, exit 366, Watrous, NM. 505-4258025, ext. 232 or foun

JUNE 3 Night Sky Program/National Trails Day, Pecos National Historic Park. Call the Visitor Center at 505-757-7241 7-9 Junior Ranger Camp. June 7 (ages 7-8), June 8 (ages 9-10), June 9 (ages 11-12). EXPLORE. LEARN. PROTECT. Become a Junior Ranger! Geared for the youngest visitors, the Junior Ranger Camp is an all-day exploration of Fort Union’s unique cultural, natural, and military aspects. Enrollment begins May 1. 10am-4pm. Fort Union National Monument, I-25, exit 366, Watrous, NM. 505-4258025 or 10  Luna 13th Annual Car Show. Luna Community College Campus. Open to all makes and models of vehicles on wheels, plus music and food. 505-718-9560 10 Legacy and Lore Speaker Series: Presentation by Eric Blinman, Director of New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies. Pecos National Historic Park. Call the Visitor Center at 505-757-7241. 11  Concert. Taos Community Chorus presenting Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass, 4pm, OLOS Santuary, 403 Valencia 17 & 18  Fort Union Days. Adventure into Fort Union’s history in a two-day event filled with guest speakers, living history encampments, cannon and musket firing demonstrations, and guided tours that encompass the diversity of natural, cultural, and military resources of the Fort. This year’s event will

highlight the contributions and heritage of the Buffalo Soldier. 8am-5pm. Admission free. Fort Union National Monument, I-25, exit 366, Watrous, NM. 505-4258025, ext. 232 or foun June 30 thru July 4  Annual 4th of July Las Vegas Fiestas. Parade, food and artist vendors, live music, dancing and children’s activities. Plaza Park, 505-454-1401 or JULY Motorcycle Art at Gallery 140. See local art that celebrates bikes and bikers, the Rough Rider Rally, and the best of the biker culture. Las Vegas Arts Council’s Gallery 140, 140 Bridge Street, call 505-425-1085 or visit lasvegasartscouncil.ort 14, 21  Fridays al Fresco Music in the Park. A fun evening of live music and dancing at the Plaza Park gazebo. 5:30 – 7:30pm. Sponsored by Las Vegas First IBA. 505-426-9429 or 15  Missoula Children’s Theater presents Aladdin. Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU campus 7pm. Tickets may be purchased at the door, $10 for adults, $5 for 12 and under. 505-425-1085 www. 22 Night Sky Astronomy Come learn about the night skies over Fort Union and what makes them so special at this special night sky party. There will be a short presentation about astronomy and telescopes to look through. The presentation will start at 8pm.

Fort Union National MonumenI-25, exit 366, Watrous, NM. 505-425-8025, ext. 232 or www. 22-23  Mora Fiestas. Fiestas & rodeos in Mora off Hwy. 518, north of Las Vegas. Live music, dancing & more. 575-387-0237. 28-30  Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally. Local and regional rally activities. Plaza Park. 505-4292374 or AUGUST The Las Vegas Jewish Community – Then and Now. Las Vegas Arts Council’s Gallery 140, 140 Bridge Street 
Hours and reception TBD, call 505-425-1085 or visit 4, 11, 18, 15  Fridays al Fresco Music in the Park. A fun evening of live music and dancing at the Plaza Park gazebo. 5:30 – 7:30pm. Sponsored by Las Vegas First IBA. 505-426-9429 or 4-13  12th Annual Las Vegas Heritage Week. A variety of events including Places with a Past historic sites tour celebrating the cultural and architectural history of Las Vegas. For a complete listing of events, see page 38 of this guide. Las Vegas Citizens’ Committee for Historic Preservation, 505-4258803 or 5  Places with a Past historic sites tour. A self-guided tour of designated historical buildings chosen from Las Vegas’ 9 historic districts with on-site docents. 505-425-8803 or www.

6 Feast Day at Pecos Pueblo. Celebrating the historic ties between the village of Pecos and the Jemez Pueblo. Pecos National Historic Park. Call the Visitor center at 505-757-7241. 10-12  The 51th Annual San Miguel/Mora County Fair. Enjoy an old time country fair that includes animal judging, food and garden judging, competitions, a cowboy dance and much more! San Miguel County Fair Grounds, Hwy 65, Las Vegas. 505-454-1497 or 12  Fort Union Candelight Tours. Step under the stars of a large prairie frontier sky for our Candlelight Tours. The evening will have historical based skits once the sun goes down. Tours are limited to twenty per tour so please call ahead to reserve your spot. Reservations will be taken beginning July 15, 2017. Fort Union National Monument, Watrous, NM. I-25, exit 366. 505425-8025, ext. 232 or www.nps. gov/foun 19 & 20  Pecos Cowboy Church Rodeo. Fun rodeo events and Saturday parade. San Miguel Sheriff’s Posse Arena, 104 Hwy 63, Pecos, NM. 505-757-2631 or 24  Music from Angel Fire. New Mexico’s summer chamber music festival comes to Las Vegas! Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus, 7pm. For tickets and additional information call 505-454-3238. 25 National Park Service Founder’s Day. Pecos National Historic Park. 505-757-7241

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  35

FIESTA: Las Vegas Style It’s anticipated every year since 1888! Las Vegas throws a multiday Fiesta like no other to celebrate the Fourth of July. 2017 will not disappoint! The celebration lasts extra long this year with its soft kick-off on June 30 and a crescendo to a full blow-out extravaganza the evening of July 4th with Five Time Grammy Award winner “Little Joe y La Familia” and Fireworks.

26  39th Annual Peoples’ Faire and Music at Carnegie Library Park. Food, fun, live music, dance demonstrations, youth art experiences, non-profits with information and giveaways, and 60 artisan booths with incredible arts and crafts for sale. Carnegie Park, 6th and National, 10am-5pm. Las Vegas Arts Council, 505-4251085 or

16 First Fort & Arsenal Tours - Enclosed within the parameters of privately owned land, the First Fort Union/Arsenal site is only open to the public twice a year. Journey back into history to the beginnings of Fort Union and Arsenal site on this ranger guided tour. Tour times are 9am, 10:30am, 12:15pm and 2pm. Fort Union National Monument, Watrous, NM. I-25, exit 366. 505425-8025, ext. 232 or www.nps. gov/foun


16 & 17  Pecos Artist Studio Tour. Tour the work studios of artists exhibiting a variety of art mediums in Pecos, the Pecos Valley, and surrounding areas. 10-5 pm, 505-670-7045 or www.

The Winds of Change Collection, Sharon Stillwater. “Paintings of the winds of change that blow ceaselessly, moving us through the cycles of life.” Las Vegas Arts Council’s Gallery 140 at 140 Bridge Street, call 505-425-1085 or visit

You’ll want to reserve your rooms early because Las Vegas books back to back talent for multiple days of the celebration and the show is free! You’ll hear the NM Hispanic Music Association’s Female vocalist of the year, Brenda Ortega and a string of award winning talent with Las Vegas roots including the sensational Mariachi Cardinal, the talented award winning high school mariachi group, Gonzalo, Carlos Medina and many, many local, regional and internationally known musical and dance favorites. (Check out damnauthentic. com for the full Fiesta schedule as it becomes available.)

This year Las Vegas will attempt to record the longest Marcha! A traditional dance with no-age limit on skill or fun! We will honor our veterans in a Historic Plaza Ceremony; and we’ll crown La Reina de Fiesta (the queen) and honor her with a dance. Carnival lights will light up the nights and you will be able to line your belly with treats and a great meal or two in the local eateries who are offering Las Vegas themed plates and drinks. Athletic enthusiasts, if

a run through our beautiful City amidst a little competition is your cup of tea, Fiestas has an annual Southwest Capital 5K run, all-age runners sign up to run through meadows and mountains. For kids who are up for a lil fishing Fiestas offers a fishing derby with prizes for the youngest of anglers after a fishing lesson. Come make friends and you’ll keep coming back to our much anticipated annual reunion! For more information:

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1-4  Wagon Mound Bean Day. Four days of music, dances, BarBQ, rodeos and much more. Wagon Mound, NM. I-25 North of Las Vegas 575-447-1597 or 2 & 3  Cleveland Roller Millfest. Mill demonstrations, music, and food and art and crafts vendors. 9am. Cleveland Roller Mill, Hwy 518, Cleveland, NM. 575-387-2645 or www.angelfire. com/folk/roller_mill

30 National Public Lands Pecos National Historic Park. Call the Visitor Center at 505-757-7241 30  Tucumcari Fired Up Music Festival. An outdoor celebration with activities for the whole family. Live music, car & motorcycle show, live fire performance and fireworks. 3-9:00 pm, Historic Railraod Depot & Plaza in downtown Tucumcari. For more info: 575-461-3701 or OCTOBER

2 & 3  Raton Gate City Music Festival on historic First Street. All day entertainment with fun for the entire family. Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2, 10am10pm with headliner show in historic Shuler Theatre at 7pm. Sept. 3 hours 10am-5pm. For more info: www.

Los Artesanos de Las Vegas Grandes. The traditional folk artists of Las Vegas preserving the culture and integrity of Spanish Colonial art for the 21st century. Las Vegas Arts Council’s Gallery 140, 140 Bridge Street, call 505-425-1085 for hours or visit

9 & 10 Camp of Instruction ¡Soldados! ¡Adelante, marchen! Soldiers! Forward, march! March back into history and witness the training of Company “A” of the 3rd New Mexico Volunteer Infantry, one of many Union Hispanic regiments organized at Fort Union, which once defended the New Mexico Territory during the Civil War. Fort Union National Monument, Watrous, NM. I-25, exit 366. 505-425-8025, ext. 232 or

7 Legacy and Lore: Hispanic Heritage Month. Speaker Diana Molina presents Morena Moderna, Contemporary Visions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Pecos National Historic Park. Call the Visitor Center at 505-757-7241.

15 Mike Super - magic & illusion. General admission: TBA, NMHU students w/valid IDs: FREE. Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus, 7pm. For additional information 505-454-3238 16 Night Sky Program Pecos National Historic Park. Call the Visitor Center at 505-757-7241.

NOVEMBER 4, 11, 18, 25  Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge Fall Wildlife Drive. Adult and children’s events plus speakers and hikes. National Wildlife Refuge, 7 miles southeast of Las Vegas on Hwy 281. 505-425-3581 or 24 & 25  Annual Christmas Fair. Sala de Madrid, NMHU Campus. 10am-4pm to benefit Lorenzo Miguel Memorial Music Scholarship. 505-652-6943 or

12th Annual Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally Make the 12th Annual Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally your destination on July 28-30, 2017. This Bike Rally has become the most happening event this side of the Pecos since 2006! Every year on the last full weekend of July, motorcycle enthusiasts and onlookers come to Las Vegas to participate in and enjoy three days of activities and riding through some of the most historic and scenic country in New Mexico. Enjoy unique motorcycles, events, personalities and camaraderie in the tradition that was started by Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders over 100 years ago when they met for their first reunion right here in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Our historic Plaza Park and Bridge Street are closed off for bikes only, making for an impressive sight. While there, take in the free music, visit one of the many vendors - a new leather vest might suit you. Be a spectator or participate in the Bike Rodeo or donate blood during one of the biggest blood drives in New Mexico and receive a free Blood Drive t-shirt designed specifically for the Rally as a token of appreciation. So make your way to Las Vegas on the last full weekend of July for a memorable time that will keep you coming back for more!


Holiday Art Show and Sale. Gallery 140 at 140 Bridge St. Fine arts, crafts, and our beloved traditional art will be available at affordable prices, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1-4pm; our reception will coincide with the Annual Electric Light Parade, Sat., Dec. 2. 505454-1085, lasvegasarts.council. org

2  Annual Electric Light Parade. Enjoy Christmas floats decorated in a specific holiday theme & visit Santa afterward in Old Town’s Plaza Park. Begins at Baca and Second Street at dark. 800-832-5947 or

1  Holiday Historic Homes Tour. A self-guided tour of the inside and outside of beautifully decorated historic homes and buildings. 5-8pm. 505-425-8803 or for ticket info. 2  Annual Christmas Fair. Sala de Madrid, NMHU Campus. 10am-4pm to benefit Lorenzo Miguel Memorial Music Scholarship. 505-652-6943 or

Electric Fun!

The first weekend in December glows with anticipation beginning (Friday) with a Holiday Home Tour of a handful of historical places with trees and lit to impress in their Holiday finest. Saturday, Santa comes to Historic Plaza mid-day to the delight of

children and parents to visit and take photos. At sundown, the Electric Light Parade weaves its way through a historical haven of nearly 900 places on the national historic register. The streets are lined with mittens, hats and hot cocoa and a feeling of eager excitement. Every year a different theme comes to life in the many floats that shine and parade their way through the City. In previous years Christmas Carols and Christmas movies came to light. Plan your weekend in Las Vegas, visit the Las Vegas Rough Rider

Museum and jump start your holiday shopping in the many, many places that offer unique, handcrafted jewelry, antiques, home-made clothing and various art mediums. Allow time for a great meal and a cocktail ahead of the parade and you’ll want to spend the night and enjoy an easy Sunday with a late breakfast, a soak in the Hot Springs or a trip to Fort Union National Monument. We’re glad to be your host. For more information:

2018 Art Exhibit at Gallery 140. Exhibits change monthly. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1-4pm, some Fridays until 7 pm. Gallery 140, 140 Bridge Street, call 505-425-1085 or visit 1 Polar Bear Plunge. The traditional Polar Bear Plunge! Noon on New Year’s Day. Storrie Lake State Park off Hwy. 518. For more info 505-425-7278

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  37

Citizen’s Committee for Historic Preservation presents the

12th Annual Las Vegas Heritage Week • August 4-13




pare them. Come enjoy iced tea and check SATURDAY, AUGUST 12 out our herb room with over 150 herbs, spices Family Fun Day. Carnival games, craft activRay Drew Gallery. Art Exhibit, Donnelly Library, and teas. 510 University. 11am-12pm, Free ities hosted by Las Vegas Elks Club, with parNMHU Campus, 802 National Avenue, 505- Chaperito by Henrietta Christmas. History/ ticipation of Fort Union National Monument. 454-3401. Free genealogy of Chaperito Parish, Land Grant & Sponsored by Southwest Capital Bank. Lin-


Quilt Display Threadbear, 1813 Plaza 505-425- Ghost Town, time period of 1846-1957. Tome coln Park (7th & 8th Streets between Lincoln & on the Range. 247 Plaza. 1pm. Free Jackson). Free 6263. Free Kennedy Hall Gallery. Art Exhibit, NMHU Genealogy by Henrietta Christmas & Paul Rhetts - LPD Press. Discussion of Basic GeneCampus, University Avenue. Free alogy Checklist. 101 Tips and Tactics to find th Farmer’s Market 6 & University 8am till sell your family history. Tips and web links will be out. Both Saturdays and on Wednesday. provided for beginners and experienced reIndian Tour Display. 10am-3pm. Las Vegas searchers alike. Tome on the Range. 247 PlaCitizens’ Committee for Historic Preservation. za. 3pm. Free 116 Bridge Street. 505-425-8803. Leslie Poling-Kempes, author presentation. Las Vegas Jewish Community. “Then and Sponsored by Friends of Museum/City MuseNow” exhibit will explore the influence of and um. Ilfeld Auditorium, NMHU Campus. 4-6pm. contributions from the conversos and cryp- Admission $5, Friends Members $3 to-Jewish immigration on El Camino Real, Heritage Happy Hour. B-3 BBQ, Burgers & the Jewish pioneer merchants on the Santa Beer, 131 Bridge St., 4-6pm. Enjoy specials for Fe Trail, and the continuing contemporary Heritage Week participants. presence. The first synagogue in the territory, Temple Montefiore will be featured as well New Mexico Heroes. Poetry, music, monoas the Montefiore Cemetery, revealing roots logues. Performance of original works by/or that date back centuries. Las Vegas Arts about NM Veterans. Nat Gold Players. CharCouncil Gallery 140, 140 Bridge Street, Tues.- lie’s Event Center (tentative) 7p.m. Admission: general $15; students/seniors $12 Sat., 1-4 pm. Free FRIDAY, AUGUST 4


Art Show corresponding with Heritage Week. History of New Mexico by Thomas Chavez Opening reception at NMHU Kennedy Hall, UNM Press Illustrated history of NM combined with more than 200 photographs. Tome on 4-7pm. Refreshments. Free the Range, 247 Plaza. 2pm. Free Park Side Patio JC’s New York Pizza Dept., 209 Plaza. 4-6pm. Enjoy music from the park on FRIDAY, AUGUST 11 our wonderful outdoor patio. Specials for Las Vegas History. An informal conversation Heritage Week participants. with Andy Kingsbury about Joseph A. Lordi’s Heritage Happy Hour. B-3 BBQ, Burgers & new and informative book entitled Las VeBeer, 131 Bridge St. 4-6pm. Enjoy specials for gas, New Mexico. Plaza Antiques, 1805 Plaza, Heritage Week participants. 4-6pm. Free Fridays al Fresco. Music at Old Town Plaza Park Side Patio JC’s New York Pizza Dept., 209 Gazebo. 5:30-7:30 pm. Sponsored by Las Ve- Plaza. 4-6pm. Enjoy music from the park on gas First Independent Business Alliance. Free our wonderful outdoor patio. Specials for SATURDAY, AUGUST 5 Places with a Past. A self-guided tour of historic homes and buildings throughout Las Vegas with ghost stories. 9am-3pm. Tickets at LVCCHP Office, 116 Bridge Street. Admission $25.00. 505-425-8803.

Heritage Week participants.

Heritage Happy Hour. B-3 BBQ, Burgers & Beer, 131 Bridge St. 4-6pm. Enjoy specials for Heritage Week participants. Pioneer Dinner. IC Catholic Center, 500 National Avenue. 4:30–7:30pm. Admission $10.00

Local Herbs. Presentation by Semilla Natural Fridays al Fresco. Music at Old Town Plaza Foods. Locally grown herbs, what they look Gazebo. 5:30-7:30 pm. Sponsored by Las Veand smell like; and the correct to way pre- gas First Independent Business Alliance. Free

38  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

Heritage Antique/Junktique Market. Jackson side of Lincoln Park. 8am-4pm. Vendor booths $20, to benefit Our Lady of Sorrows Church Organ Restoration. To reserve space call 505-426-4547. Free to public La Partera by Fran Buss. Jesusita Aragon at 14 apprenticed to her grandmother and learned traditional Hispanic methods of assisting childbirth. Once the only source of medical care available in an isolated mountain area of NM. Tome on the Range, 247 Plaza 2pm. Free Old Time Las Vegas Art Show. View beautiful art, meet artists, live music & refreshments. El Zocolo Art Gallery. 1809 Plaza. 2-4pm. Free Las Vegas History. An informal conversation with Andy Kingsbury about Joseph A. Lordi’s new and informative book entitled Las Vegas, New Mexico. Plaza Antiques,1805 Plaza, 4-6pm. Free Fort Union Candlelight Tours. History of Ft. Fort Union National Monument. Buffalo Soldier story in the American West. 6:30-10:00 pm. Call for reservations. 505-425-8025. Free SUNDAY, AUGUST 6 Heritage Happy Hour. B-3 BBQ, Burgers & Beer, 131 Bridge St. 4-6pm. Enjoy specials for Heritage Week participants



B ACKYARD! Open Tues.-Sat. 10 to 4 pm

City of Las Vegas Museum & Rough Rider Memorial Collection 727 Grand Ave., Las Vegas, New Mexico 87701 • 505-426-3205

Remarkable Women of the American Southwest by Lesley Poling-Kempes Lesley Poling-Kempes will make a public presentation on remarkable women who journeyed west in the early 20th Century. These women were from the American east coast of genteel Victorian society, women who were formally educated, restless, inquisitive, adventuresome and seeking to expand their perceptions of the world and humankind. This presentation is derived from her award winning book Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women & p Their Adventures in the American Southwest (2015). The book is a very thorough investigation into the lives of Natalie Curtis, Carol Stanley, Alice Klauber, and Mary Cabot Wheelwright who left the comforts of Victorian society and ventured into the American Southwest. Lesl builds her narrative in the context of the very unique geophysical environment of the Southwest. She provides Lesley significant insight into the major sociocultural traditions of the times in her descriptions of the dynamic interactions between east coast European Americans, Native Americans and Spanish Americans. The women are acute observers, interpreters, recorders of life styles, communicators, in a word, they are accomplished researchers - not a common or readily acceptable activity for women at the time! Learn more about these women of the Southwest! Meet the author and interact with questions and answers. When 4:30 - 6:30 pm, Saturday, August 5, 2017 When: Where: Ilfield Auditorium on New Mexico Highlands University Campus, University Avenue Admission: $5 general public; $3 for Friends of the Musuem Membership Sponsors: Friends of the City of Las Vegas Museum; City of Las Vegas Museum and New Mexico Humanities Council

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  39


Schedule of Events: Thursday - August 10th, 2017 7:00 am to 11:00 am - Arrival and check in of ALL animals 9:00 am to 2:00 pm - Indoor Exhibits closed for judging 12:00 pm to finish - Weigh in Large Animals 1:00 pm - Mandatory Exhibitor Meeting 2:00 pm - Apple Pie Baking Contest 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm - Indoor exhibit hall open to public 6:00 pm - Pie Eating Contest

Friday - August 11th, 2017 8:00 am - Pig Show followed by goats, lambs, steers and heifers 8:00 am to 7:00 pm - Indoor exhibit hall open to public 1:00 pm - Small animal judging 3:00 pm - Horse Show 5:00 pm - Brenda Ortega (singing) A 6:00 pm - Arm Wrestling Contest 7:00 pm - Watermelon Eating Contest

Saturday – August 12th, 2017 8:00 am - Ranch Rodeo, Mudd Volleyball - $5.00 gate fee to all 8:00 am to 7:00 pm - Indoor exhibit hall open to public 9:00 am - Kiddy Kontest 3:00 pm - Awards Ceremony 3:00 pm - Junior Livestock Sale 6:00 pm - Buyers BBQ 8:00 pm - Dance (Wild Country)

e San Miguel/Mora County Fair Association is a non-proot association that works very hard each and every year to provide 4-H and FFA members from both San Miguel and Mora Counties a place to exhibit their work. eir exhibits consist of animals they raise, gardening, cooking, horsemanship, and their handy work, which may include leathercrafts. We would like to invite the community to come out to the Fairgrounds and enjoy a wide variety of events, such as Livestock Shows, Watermelon Eating Contest, Horse Show, Arm Wrestling Contest, Kiddy Contest, Mudd Volleyball, Pie Eating Contest, Jr. Livestock Sale, BBQ, and dance, along with a number of other activities and events. For further information contact our SM/MCFA President, Ted Roybal @ 575-760-0169. 40  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017



99¢ Large Drinks until 10am

*Tax not included. Includes Soft Drinks, Iced Teas, Slushes (excluding Real Ice Cream Slushes) and Limeades only. Add-Ins cost extra. Limited time only at participating SONIC Drive-Ins. TM & 2016 Sonic America’s Drive-In Brand Properties LLC.

1411 7TH STREET • LAS VEGAS, NM 505-425-9577 Breakfast & Main Menu Items Available All Day! Call In Orders Welcomed

DID YOU KNOW . . . On June 224, 1899, Teddy Roosevelt arrived at the Hotel Castaneda for the first reunion of the Rough Riders with the Castañeda being the headquarters for this annual event. Because many of the men were from New Mexico, Las Vegas was chosen for their first reunion.

Feed Mills

119 Bridge St. • Las Vegas NM 505-425-7272 • Open M-Sat. 9-5:30

Manufacturing Livestock Feed Since 1947 OFFICE & MILL: 1015 Gallinas Street, Las Vegas NM OPEN: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm • Saturday 8am-12 noon

425-6775 • Call Toll Free 1-800-533-1580

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  41

Recreation and Outdoors

BIRDING The Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge (LVNWR), established in 1965, is home to thousands of wintering and resting birds as they pass through northern New Mexico. The refuge is open year-round, seven days a week. Sundays in November, an additional wildlife drive is open allowing visitors into normally inaccessible areas of the Refuge. Canada geese, sandhill cranes, snow geese, golden and bald eagles are among the winter guests. Common sightings include prairie falcon, mule deer, coyote, bobcat and a variety of hawks and shore birds. A one-mile nature trail provides a look at native plant life and smaller bird life. For information on schedules, permits, and a birding list containing names of 244 bird species sighted since 1965, contact the LVNWR at 505- 425-3581 or visit: Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge sponsor interpretive programs throughout the year. For topics and program dates call Jan Arrott at 505-454-6115. Birding in the Upper Pecos Valley. One of the hidden gems of birding sites in New Mexico is the Upper Pecos River Valley. The Cowles area is home to many breeding species and is a corridor for migrants in the fall and spring. Mountain birds such as woodpeckers, sapsuckers, kinglets, crossbills, jays, finches, nuthatches and warblers abound. It is also one of New Mexico’s best places to find the delightful American Dipper as it forages in and along the rushing Pecos River. In late summer and early fall, blizzards of hummingbirds swarm area feeders. Fascinating birds and great scenery define birding in the Upper Pecos Valley! CAMPING Las Vegas is fortunate to have a backyard playground that features high forested mountains and lush wilderness areas. Tent campers will find sites that offer a range of recreational opportunities and services from Forest Service remote wilderness areas and designated campgrounds, to multiple State Park facilities, to private campgrounds. The Santa Fe National Forest offers public land for day use and overnight camping just 15 miles northwest of Las Vegas on SR 65 which leads to the tranquil Gallinas Canyon at the base of Hermit’s Peak. Other Forest Service sites near Las Vegas include Johnson Mesa, and El Porvenir campgrounds. The Pecos Canyon Corridor 35 miles east on I-25 (onto SR 63) lends itself to camping near the Pecos River at Field Tract, Holy Ghost, 42  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

Panchuela, and Jacks Creek campgrounds. The Congressional Designated Pecos Wilderness area consists of a 200,000+ acre tract that offers primitive camping opportunities throughout. For information call the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District at 505-757-6121 or 505-425-3534 or visit www. State Park camping sites are available at Storrie Lake, McAllister Lake, Morphy Lake, Coyote Creek, and Conchas Lake. These sites provide various amenities including picnic tables, fire pits, pavilions, and toilet and shower facilities for both RV and tent camping. Call New Mexico State Parks at 888-667-2757 or view the links at There are multiple private campgrounds in San Miguel County, like the KOA campground just 4 miles south of Las Vegas (505-454-0180), and the Pecos River Campground, 25 miles south of Las Vegas in San Jose. CROSS COUNTRY SKIING Folks seeking cross country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities will enjoy designated trails around the Sipapu and Angel Fire Ski Resorts (see contact information below), as well as the serenity of snow packed trails (used by hikers and backpackers in warmer months) in the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests. Weather permitting, the half-mile Riverwalk in the middle of Las Vegas between Mills and Grand Avenues offers a short run. Cross country ski classes at New Mexico Highlands University have used a variety of forest roads which are ideal during a snowy winter. Most of these sites are off NM 518 north of Las Vegas and include Agua Sarca Canyon (4 miles past Alamitos Creek), La Junta Canyon (one mile further past Alamitos Creek trail), Agua Piedra just past the community of Tres Ritos, Gallegos Trail #4 just beyond Sipapu Ski Area, Amole Canyon just 55 miles north of Las Vegas, and US Hill another 2 miles beyond Amole Canyon. Happily, the uphill trip starts where you leave your vehicle, while the return is mainly downhill with some opportunities for double poling. For safety’s sake, go in a small group and leave information about your route, expected time of return, vehicle description, and license plate with a responsible person. Be aware that many of these areas do not have cell phone coverage. Do not expect these areas to be maintained by the Forest Service. Carry water and a small saw to cut your way through downed saplings across the trail.

DOWNHILL SKIING Within an hour’s drive of Las Vegas are four of northern New Mexico’s best ski areas: Sipapu, Angel Fire, Santa Fe, and Taos Ski Resorts. Sipapu (the Indian word meaning the “little opening” in a ceremonial kiva), is known for its spectacular high mountain setting, narrow trails, and rustic lodges and cabins. This family-friendly resort is located 55 miles north of Las Vegas on NM 518 and has 37 runs at elevations of 8,350–9,200 feet. Information on season activities, ski rentals, rates, and lodging is available by calling 575-587-2240, or 800-587-2240 or Angel Fire Ski Resort, nestled in a beautiful alpine valley approximately 60 miles north of Las Vegas, sports 76 runs at elevations of 8,50010,500 feet, a variety of lodging options, restaurants, and bars. For more information call 800-633-7463 or For information about Santa Fe Ski Resort, located on Santa Fe national Forest lands, call 505-982-4429 or visit For a snow report call 505-983-9155. Taos Ski Resort, about 98 miles from Las Vegas, is on Carson National Forest lands. Find ski resort information at 866- 968-7386 or 575-7762291 or For Taos snow conditions call 866-968-7386 ext. 2202 or 575-776-2291 ext. 2202.

Photo courtesy of Vince A. Marquez

where players of varying abilities can test their skills. The 9-hole course is open to the public (weather permitting) from March 1st to November 30th and features a pro shop, electric cart rental, driving range, club rental, and private lessons by appointment. For information on tournaments, course fees, rentals, lessons, and other services contact 505-.425-7711 or visit Those interested in high country golfing can try Pendaries Village Golf Course 25 miles north of Las Vegas in Rociada. This beautiful 18- hole course is open to the public and well worth the drive. Electric carts and club rentals are available as well as private lessons with the resident golf pro. For more information call the pro shop 505-425-3561 or visit Lakeside golfing at Conchas Lake State Park, 76 miles southeast of Las Vegas on NM 104, features 9 holes and is open year round to the public. Pull carts, a club house with snacks, and a lock box for greens fees are available.

DISC GOLF The New Mexico Highlands University Disc Golf Course, located on the grounds of the Gene Torres Golf Course, is an 18 basket course where players of all abilities and ages can play. The course begins at the parking lot and utilizes the varied terrain of the area and is free to play. The clubhouse offers course maps and has discs for sale. For more information, call 505-920-3431. The Pendaries Village Golf Course has an 18 basket course available during the spring and fall. Other seasonal courses include Sipapu Disc Golf Course - 20 baskets, Angel Fire Disc Golf Course - 18 baskets and Taos Ski Valley Disc Golf Course - 18 baskets. Year-round courses include Two Gray Hares Disc Golf Course - 18 baskets, Picuris Pueblo Disc Golf Course - 27 baskets, Taos Roc Pit Disc Golf Course - 18 baskets, and Conchas Dam Disc Golf Course - 9 baskets. More information on all the courses and the game may be found at

FISHING Quality fishing abounds in all directions in San Miguel County, from secluded back country wilderness areas to easily reached popular spots. All skill levels will enjoy the beautiful northern New Mexico mountain scenery, clean air, moderate year round temperatures, sparkling trout and other game species. Prime fishing destinations include Storrie Lake, Morphy Lake State Park, Villanueva State Park, Conchas Lake State Park, El Porvenir, and the Gallinas and Pecos Rivers. A New Mexico fishing license is required for anyone over 12 years. Licenses for residents and non-residents may be purchased for a year, five days or one day. Contact the Department of Game and Fish 505-757- HIKING 6360 or visit for state fishing reports, copies of the state Las Vegas is only minutes from thousands of acres of natural counfishing regulations, and maps. tryside and forest areas that afford hikers and backpackers a variety of GOLF beautiful terrain and trails. One of the most popular trails in the Pecos The Gene Torres Golf Course of New Mexico Highlands University, Wilderness is Hermit’s Peak (Trail #223) which is a four mile climb. redesigned by noted golf course architect Jeffrey Brauer, is a links course At 10,238 feet it offers both a feeling of accomplishment as well as a

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  43

Wild West to Wild Outdoors by Annette Velarde

Wild West to Wild Life, Las Vegas has the habitat to inspire your outdoor adventure! Las Vegas, New Mexico is known for its unvarnished true tales of lawmen and lawlessness, but nature and the outdoors can be just as wild in every direction within minutes of Las Vegas. Set-up base camp in a local hotel or pitch a tent in the nearby wilderness for your outdoor escapade. To the East, the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge is yours for exploring in quiet observation and is a broadscape of Rocky Mountains, prairie, woodlands, lakes, wetlands and riparian areas. Eagles and various bird species, wild turkey, cranes, fish and larger game such as elk wander 8,600 acres. The same acreage where Pueblo Indians lived and where in the mid-1500’s Spanish conquistadors settled the region. Continue to immerse your senses with a quick trip to Storrie Lake State Park for fishing, boating, windsurfing and jet skiing, with camp grounds and shelters it’s a great place to base for a weekend with friends. For the hiker, Las Vegas presents Hermit’s Peak looming over the city at over 10,000 feet. Juan Maria d’Agostini, El Hermitano, made the peak his temporary home and the locals made him a spiritual legend. Climbing 4.25 miles with a gentle start and then tougher switchbacks leads you to the summit to take your breath away with its sweeping views. In this place you’ll enjoy the ponderosas, open space and the backdrop for scenes in the film, Red Dawn. You can even camp at the base of the climb. Mountain biking, jogging, hiking and a brisk walk are picturesque near the Montezuma Skating pond. Soon, this area will once again come to life to the pleasure of ice skaters, fisherman and those who seek to take a dip in the natural hot springs just minutes away. For the nature and outdoor lover, novice or skilled, for the horseback rider, the hiker or the walker the possibilities are endless to experience Las Vegas’ open air. For more information:

44  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

fantastic view of the plains to the east! Other popular hiking trails are Dispensas Trail #222, Gallinas Trail #216, and Porvenir Canyon Trail #247 which takes you into the Pecos Wilderness with 25 stream crossings in the first five miles. (Note: Avoid Porvenir Canyon during the spring runoff or during serious rainstorms.) Trails range from moderate to difficult depending on the experience and ability of hikers. Visitors can arrange for informal guided outings and field trips that include day hikes, overnights, backpacking and mountain climbing by contacting the Sierra Club at 505983-2703. Visit or call the Las Vegas Ranger District 505-425-3534 or Pecos Ranger District at 505-757-6121 for Forest Service maps of the area. Trail Guide to the Las Vegas Area (2nd edition) can be purchased in stores around Las Vegas including Tome on the Range and Tito’s Gallery in Old Town. Twenty trails are included in this guide. Be sure you carry enough water in this dry climate and do not depend on springs or streams unless you are prepared to treat this water to avoid becoming sick. The Forest Service has a program welcoming volunteers who work to keep trails in good condition. Call their office at 505-425-3534 if you would like to volunteer. For a short trek, try the Riverwalk, a paved trail along the Gallinas River which winds through the center of town between National Avenue on the south and Mills Avenue on the north, a distance of just over a half mile. Crossing Mills Avenue on the north to the paved walking track along Cinder Road adds 1 ½ miles. HORSEBACK RIDING There are many opportunities to experience the great outdoors on horseback. The Santa Fe and Carson National Forests offer most public opportunities for trail riding to popular destinations and loop trails that provide multiple day ventures. Designated access points into the Pecos Wilderness are Jacks Creek and Iron Gate Equestrian Campgrounds which also provide corrals, hitching rails, water picnic tables, and other convenient amenities for riders. Private guest ranches and camps boast unspoiled mountain areas and sparkling streams to be discovered on horseback. Guided outings of hourly, half day, full day rides, and pack trips are offered by Cow Creek Ranch (505-757-2107), Diamond E Stables (505) 500-7839, Los Pinos Ranch (505)-757-6213), and Terrero Riding Stables (505-431-1132) located in the Pecos, NM area. HOT SPRINGS abound in Northern New Mexico. Less than 10 minutes from Las Vegas on SR 65, bordering the grounds of the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West, are the rustic but soothing Montezuma Hot Springs, a popular haunt for locals. Originally part of the famous Montezuma Hotel, several natural hot springs are available to the public year round. Call 505-454-4245 for more information.

HUNTING Northern New Mexico’s hunting areas offer the avid sportsman a variety of game including elk, deer, bear, grouse, squirrel, turkey and mountain lion. Near Ocate, the Black Lake – Whites Peak area is a popular elk and deer hunting site and is accessible by vehicle. The Pecos Wilderness, a more challenging terrain, can only be reached by foot or on horseback. Visit the Santa Fe or Carson National Forest websites at for information. Hunting licenses are required and available through licensed vendors; however, applications to draw for limited licenses (antelope, elk, bighorn sheep and other species) can only be made by contacting the Game and Fish Department. Seasons vary from area to area so hunters should obtain the New Mexico Big Game and Turkey Seasons Proclamation which is a detailed journal of dates, laws and regulations governing the various hunts available. Proclamations are available from the Department of Game and Fish at 505-757-6360 or www.wildlife.

Pendaries Village

Perfectly located in northeastern New Mexico.

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MOUNTAIN BIKING Exploring San Miguel County by mountain bike enables visitors to experience the countryside from an entirely different perspective. Back roads open up to high country and ranch land for two wheel adventures into the Santa Fe National Forest. Free Travel Management Maps are available online at www.santafenationalforest .com, or at local offices in Las Vegas (1926 North 7th Street) or Pecos (32 Main Street). The Gallinas Canyon Recreation Area near Las Vegas offers similar biking experiences. For more information call 505-425-3534.

from Mills Avenue in the north, south to Grand Avenue. Walkers and bicyclists are regulars here as well. The Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, 5 miles east of Las Vegas off SR 104, is also used by and runners and cyclists. For more informatio n about the LVNWR call 505-4253581 or visit html.

SWIMMING New Mexico Highlands University offers an indoor swimming pool open to the public for adult lap swimming, 505-425-7511 or 505-454RUNNING 3073 as does the Abe Montoya Recreation Center, 505-426-1739 for a Popular jogging routes in town include the historic business and res- schedule and fees. idential districts as well as the Riverwalk along the Gallinas stretching

A Storrie for all Ages: Storrie Lake that is! by Lee Einer

Only four miles north of Las Vegas, Storrie Lake State Park provides visitors with numerous opportunities for camping and recreation. Hermits Peak and meadows provide the perfect stage for this watery haven. A ramp and dock provides access to the 1,100 acre lake for boats, canoes and catamarans. Being on the ecotone between the Great Plains and the Sangre de Cristos, there is plenty of wind, which makes Storrie a great place for sailboats and wind-surfers. Motorized boats are also allowed, as is water-skiing. Storrie Lake State Park is also a fine place to camp overnight. The park features 45 campsites, 22 of them with water and electric hookups, so whether you are roughing it in a pup tent or enjoying the comforts of an RV, you are accommodated. Other amenities include restrooms and showers, picnic shelters, picnic benches and grills, and a playground. The lake is stocked, and is home to several fish species including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, German browns, crappie, catfish and carp making it a great place to hone your fishing skills. Birdwatchers and other eco-tourists will enjoy the park; visitors can hike nature trails, take in the scenery, and get an exposure to the plains and riparian

habitats with a variety of vegetation ranging from cactus and yucca to native wildflowers. The park is a birding hotspot, with at least twenty bird species being sited here, including bald eagles, cormorants, herons and a variety of ducks and geese. You will also likely see other animals out on the nature trails, including cottontail rabbits, squirrels and the occasional mule deer. A visitor center in the park features historical exhibits about the Santa Fe Trail and other aspects of 19th century life in Las Vegas. For more information:

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  45

Art Essentials

· All Your Art Supply Needs · Frames & Framing · Special Orders Welcome · Gift Sets & Gift Certiicates Tues. - Wed. 10-5 urs. - Fri. 10-3 Saturday 10-4

DID YOU KNOW . . . the first telephone line in the territory of New Mexico was inaugurated in July 1879 for Charles Blanchard, an important San Fe Trail freighter, from his store, Santa on the Plaza to his home on Chavez Street.

Photo courtesy of Reina Fernandez

WINDSURFING/WATER SPORTS With over 70,500 acre feet of water, Conchas Lake is one of the most popular recreation sites for boating, waterskiing, and other water sports. Call 575-868-2270. For information on windsurfing at Storrie Lake call 505-425-7278. WORKOUT SPACES For those interested in outdoor exercise, Las Vegas has 22 public parks throughout the city. For local gyms and fitness classes see the Las Vegas yellow pages under “Health Clubs”. The Abe Montoya Recreation Center has a fitness center plus racquetball courts, a skate park, and basketball courts. Call 505-426-1739 or check the Las Vegas City website

When Art Speaks History by Rock Ulibarri Historian Howard Zinn authored the Peoples History of The United States. In his book he apologized for not knowing enough about the grassroots movements, people’s histories and struggles of the southwest. Casa de Cultura (local non-profit), took his statement as a challenge. They collected over 300 surveys of what events should be illustrated on a historical narrative. They then enlisted Casa member Rock Ulibarri to design and direct the production of the mural. We named the mural “The Peoples History of El Norte” (the north). Over three hundred youth from both local school districts (East and West) participated in this two year venture. The mural begins in the pre-European invasion time period at the Pecos rendezvous followed by the Spanish colonization period, the first war of independence in the Americas, the missionary period, the Texas invasion, the U.S. invasion, the long walk, Six

46  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

Vecinos de San Augustine, the coming of the railroad, land theft (Santa Fe Ring), resistance to the Ring (Las Gorras Blancas), NM Soldiers of WWI & WWII, segregation, music, culture, land battles (Reyes Lopez Tejerina), Dolores Huerta, Brown Berets at West High, Vietnam, and contemporary issues such as public lands and fracking. Many of the stories depicted are not in our traditional history books. Casa de Cultura felt compelled to proudly display and honor the many contributions made by the people of the north. It is worthy to note that all the contemporary issues symbolized on the last panel, were un-resolved when the mural was completed. After organizing the grassroots, every issue was resolved as a victory for the people of El Norte. Make time to visit this piece of art history at 7th Street and Douglas Ave. See and hear the full narrative at

Riverwalk Escape: Seconds Into Your Escape

coughs. Wild apples, roses, barberries and currants yielded their fruit in season. With its midway point at the bottom end of historic Bridge Street, it’s a great place to begin or end a morning of shopping or a get-together at one of our many area restaurants. The Hermits Peak Watershed Alliance has been working in cooperation with the City of Las Vegas to return sections of the Gallinas River and its riparian habitat to their natural state. The results are beautiful, and they help restore local water cycles as well. For more information: Photo courtesy of Reina Fernandez

Photo courtesy of Reina Fernandez

Extending from Independence Avenue to Mills Ave, Las Vegas’ Riverwalk offers something for everyone from fitness buffs to nature fans. Las Vegas is not known for its hectic pace, but if you want to “get away from it all”  you can take a peaceful walk along the Gallinas, right through the middle of town, and let the murmur of the river and the whisper of the wind in the trees carry your cares away. A paved walk alongside the river provides space for running jogging, bicycling, rollerskating and skateboarding, as well as a leisurely stroll. An assortment of exercise stations along the river allow those who are so inclined to mix up their exercise routines with push-ups, chin-ups, squats and even tai chi handwork. The habitat along the Gallinas is an attraction for nature lovers. A wetlands near Independence combines with riverside trees and shrubs to provide excellent avian habitat. If you are a birdwatcher, bring your binoculars and see how many species you can identify. Some like to drop their fishing line in the water at the deep pool beneath the pedestrian bridge between Independence and Bridge

Photo courtesy of Andy Kingsbury

by Lee Einer

Streets. You aren’t likely to catch any whoppers, but that may change once the Hermits Peak Watershed Alliance completes their restoration of the river in this area. The Riverwalk is also a good place to get acquainted with the many useful plants of the region. Much of what grows along the river was used in bygone times by the people of the area for food and medicine. Cottonwoods provided edible catkins in the spring, and wood for drums. Gum plant was used to treat skin ulcers and

DID YOU KNOW . . . that during the 1800’s a series of dams were built along the Gallinas to create ice ponds. About 50,000 tons of ice were cut annually making Las Vegas a major m ice-producing center and the Gallinas Valley one of the largest ice-cutting areas in the West.


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A Double Dose of Fred Harvey in Las Vegas by Rosa Walston Latimer


s visitors take in the impressive surroundings of Las Vegas, New Mexico they won’t be surprised to learn that well over one hundred years ago that same natural beauty so impressed Fred Harvey that he established two Harvey Houses here. Harvey built fine restaurants and luxury hotels along the Santa Fe Railway creating the first restaurant chain in the country. Other than at the Grand Canyon (El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge) no other single location had more than one Harvey House. Yet the Montezuma, originally built in 1881 six miles west of Las Vegas and the Castañeda, a luxurious trackside hotel built in 1899, still stand as prime examples of the Fred Harvey legacy. Both hotels have been essentially in continuous use throughout the years (Although not always as originally intended!) and have been saved from demolition, rebuilt, reborn and reimagined many times.

proof and halls were equipped with fire hoses in the event a fire did occur. Unfortunately, the hoses were not long enough to reach the turret of the hotel which is where a second, equally destructive fire ignited and once again rebuilding began. Two years later, a third building with 250 rooms was ready for guests. The Montezuma, seven thousand feet above sea level, was the first building in New Mexico to have elec-

MONTEZUMA The impressive Queen Anne-style Montezuma Harvey hotel was built by the Santa Fe Railroad and managed by Fred Harvey to accommodate those who came to enjoy the hot springs six miles west of Las Vegas. The railroad company also wanted to entice more passengers to travel by train to experience the soothing waters. The original building was tric lights and the first with an elevator. This Harvey House destroyed by fire but by 1884 another structure was ready for closed in 1903; however, through the years the structure has occupancy. The new building was advertised as being fire- served a variety of purposes including a Jesuit Monastery and a Baptist College. There are some reports that a portion of the building was the underground New Mexico headquarters of the Partido Naciona de La Raza Unida in the 1970s. One hundred years after the original sprawling hotel opened, the building and surrounding acreage became home to the U.S. campus of the United World College. Students of the boarding school, along with visitors, enjoy the same impressive view from the Montezuma’s sweeping porches that guests of Fred Harvey’s grand resort hotel enjoyed so many years ago. CASTAÑEDA The Mission Revival style Castañeda, currently being restored, was built trackside adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot in Las Vegas in 1899. Within six months after the building was finished, the hotel was headquarters of the first Rough Riders reunion and Teddy Roosevelt was an honored guest. The premiere Fred Harvey hotel on Railroad Avenue originally cost $110,000; furnishings were an additional $30,000. A Harvey newsstand filled one side of the lobby offering reading material, tobacco products and souvenirs. From the sprawling kitchen Harvey Girls served freshly prepared meals to over one hundred guests in the dining room and fifty diners in the lunch room. The large lobby of the Castañeda is still dominated by the sweeping staircase leading to the second floor rooms. Usually Harvey Girls lived on site on the second floor of a Harvey House; however, very few Harvey Girls lived at the Castañeda. Instead Castañeda 48  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

Harvey Girls were provided living accommodations across the street in the Rawlins Building. The Castañeda closed in 1948 and during the following years was alternately vacant and used as a boarding house; however, the courtyard continued to be a popular wedding site for decades. The former Harvey Hotel was purchased in 2014 by entrepreneur Allan Affeldt and work is underway to create a boutique hotel. Information regarding limited, student-led tours of the Montezuma is available at Private tours of the Montezuma, the Castañeda, Plaza Hotel and other historic sites in Las Vegas are available with Southwest Detours, www. You’ll find more information about Harvey

Houses and Harvey Girls in the book, Harvey Houses of New Mexico published by The History Press and available wherever books are sold. That book along with Harvey Houses of Texas and Harvey Houses of Kansas are part of a series of books written by Rosa Walston Latimer and published by The History Press. All of these books are available online and in book stores. Harvey Houses of Arizona is scheduled for a 2018 release.

The story of the winsome Harvey Girls and Harvey Houses in New Mexico, including the Montezuma and Castañeda right here in Las Vegas!

“...vibrates with memories, voices, and historical intimate pageturner.” -New Mexico magazine Harvey Houses of New Mexico Available locally at Rough Rider Antiques Plaza Hotel Gift Shop Tome on the Range Book Store or anywhere books are sold including

Also by Rosa Walston Latimer Harvey Houses of Texas Harvey Houses of Kansas Published by The History Press

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  49

National Wildlife Refuge Las Vegas • Maxwell • Mora Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge and Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area are three beautiful, rocky mountain, grassland refuges that form the Northern New Mexico National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Las Vegas NWR was established in 1965 to provide wintering and migration habitat for ducks and geese of the Central flyway, as well as other migratory bird species. This 8,672 acre refuge is open seven days a week to the public for wildlife observation and photography. While driving the 8 mile auto tour loop throughout the year you may see Sandhill Cranes, geese, the majestic Bald Eagle, and a variety of raptors, elk, or hear the howl of a

coyote. Whatever the season you can always enjoy the Gallinas Nature Trail which begins near a crumbling old rock homestead, drops down into a canyon and winds its way through Ponderosa pine and Juniper trees.

The refuge offers environmental education and interpretation programs to school groups and sponsors public events in conjunction with the Friends of Las Vegas NWR. Stop by the Headquarters for more information, Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Visit the Friends of Las Vegas NWR website at for an update of events or to become a member and invest time in a variety of projects designed to support and enhance your national treasure. Contact the refuge at 505-4253581 for more information. Maxwell NWR was established in 1965. This 3,700 acre refuge is a living illustration of a variety of concepts in land use. Restoration of the short grass prairie lands for the black-tailed prairie dog, farming for migratory birds, and management of invasive species are just a few examples of land management practices adopted by this refuge. Eleven miles of refuge roads provide plenty of wildlife observation and photography of Mule deer, White-tailed deer and Pronghorn. Early fall is a great time to experience a whirl of over 200 species of migrating birds.

The refuge is open year round to the public. Camping, fishing, and boating are permitted in designated areas from March 1st through October 31st,. The Visitor Center is open Monday – Friday as staff is available. Contact the Refuge Manager to find out about the newest events or for volunteer opportunities at 575-375-2331. Rio Mora NWR and Conservation Area, is a watershed level partnership effort in conjunction with a 4,224 acre Refuge. Located near Watrous, New Mexico this refuge meets several key objectives of the Americas Great Outdoors initiative to engage youth in outdoor education and recreation. This partnership driven conservation area initiative allows the Service to provide technical support to interested landowners throughout the Rio Mora watershed. Currently, the refuge is open for guided tours and organized pubic activities. For the latest information on this new refuge contact the Northern New Mexico National Wildlife Refuge Complex at 505-425-3581 for more information.

Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge is a 501(C)3 organization with members committed to preserving and enhancing the refuge through awareness, appreciation, conservation, science and education. The

group serves as a liaison between the Refuge and the public and contributes time, monies, materials, and services to support and complete projects/activities that address Refuge goals and objectives. Friends’ contributions assure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and wonder of the Las Vegas NWR. In addition to supporting the Las Vegas NWR, they also support Maxwell NWR and Rio Mora NWR and Conservation Area, other components of the Northern New Mexico NWR Complex. Friends provide educational programming targeted especially for youth as well as adult programs

50  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

designed to inform and stimulate thinking and action, monthly hikes, volunteer opportunities such as working with kids’ programs in schools, cleaning a hiking trail or weeding the pollinator garden, important tasks behind the scenes or strategic positions at special events like the annual Concert for the Birds, the Fall Flight Festival, and the Las Vegas Electric Light Parade. Visit us on Face Book FLVNWR or at Friends of Las Vegas NWR website at for an update of events or to become a member and invest time in a variety of projects designed to support and enhance all these national treasures. Contact the Refuge at 505-425-3581 or Friends at 505-426-5958 for more information.

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that in 1890 only two towns in New Mexico had trolley cars – Albuquerque and Las Vegas. By 1881, Las Vegas had horse-drawn streetcars, and in 1903, an electric trolley line was operating. The trolley ran from the railroad depot in East Las Vegas to the Plaza in West Las Vegas and was discontinued in 1927.

615 Grand Ave, Las Vegas, NM 87701 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  51

Las Vegas, The Early Years

Upper Las Vegas, Marcus Gottschalk

By Elmo Baca The dramatic rise of Las Vegas, New Mexico in the nineteenth century is an improbable American boomtown story. Unlike many American cities in the rapidly expanding United States, Las Vegas was not greatly blessed with rich mineral deposits of silver, gold, copper, coal or turquoise, or bountiful water, farmland or wildlife to attract settlers. It was however, a strategic watering place and river crossing along the Santa Fe Trail - a welcome resting spot after weeks of grueling and dangerous wagon caravan endurance through the vast buffalo plains. The steady flow of water from the Gallinas River - a creek really - trickles down from its source in the Sangre de Cristo mountain watershed, through craggy hidden canyons called El Porvenir (“the future”) and Montezuma and Evergreen, and drains into the foothills and the flatlands of cibolero country- once a vast buffalo commons. Water, which nourished the rich hunting and grazing lands of Las Vegas, offered the simplest and purest reason for new agrarian communities during the Mexican period of 182146. After a small group of determined nuevomexicano agrarian land grant petitioners laid out a plaza in 1835-36, a tiny ring of adobe structures emerged, embracing and cloaking the modest single nave church of Our Lady of Sorrows, a sanctuary now concealed within the present walls of a landmark Territorial style commercial building on the west plaza. The parish’s humble wooden whitewashed facade was the only symbolic reference to the spiritual aspirations of Las Vegas during the quarter-century Mexican Period (1821-1846). Hispano homesteads subsisted by trading vegetables, meat, milk and cheeses to the Santa Fe Trail traders. Local families engaged in the cibolero or buffalo hunting expeditions to the plains. Sometimes as many as 100 mounted hunters joined in the hunts, drying jerky meat in camps before returning home. Others worked the Comanchero trade, riding east to exchange manufactured goods such as mirrors, cloth and beads with Comanche Indians for buffalo robes and meat. Bartering for people - indentured servants for large households - was also common. The award of several large land grants by the Mexican government in Las Vegas and surrounding areas such as Tecolote and Anton Chico after 1821, as well as enormous grants to private individuals such as Pablo Montoya and Antonio Ortiz would grow contentious and litigious after the American occupation began in 1846. Spanish and Mexican community land grant provisions for common grazing lands and vacant lands reserved for later appropriation and adjudication would be tested and violated during later American government and judicial rulings. 52  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

Within just a few years after the plaza was founded, the first “estranjeros” or foreigners, were attracted to Las Vegas to seek their fortunes. Among the earliest “estranjero” entrepreneurs in Las Vegas were the brothers Julian and Antonio Donaldson, who in 1841 obtained a grant from the alcalde or village magistrate, for the hot springs property about six miles north of the plaza at the mouth of Gallinas Canyon. By the American takeover on August 15, 1846, they had built a small bathhouse at the springs which could be enjoyed for a small fee, and by 1856 they had built a larger six-room bathhouse which was seized by the U.S. Marshal for outstanding debts and sold to others. Before the Civil War, the Las Vegas region bore witness to repeated acts of American or Texan ambitions that punctuated a hardscrabble survival on the Southwestern frontier. The surging fortunes and expansion of the international trade of the Santa Fe Trail in the 1840s as well the gleam of gold in California influenced the consequential invasion march of General Steven Watts Kearny and the U.S. Army of the West into the Las Vegas plaza on August 15,1846. A two-year war with Mexico ensued that still resonates in this most northern border town of the southwestern United States. Kearny’s swift conquest of Las Vegas and New Mexico did not immediately usher in an American style plaza. Traditional Spanish and Mexican agricultural practices based upon ancient irrigation technologies of acequia ditches and community gardens prevailed throughout the colonial period. The plaza grew steadily in a defensive urban form, as adobe storefronts and mercantile buildings were connected together. Trail and road access to the plaza was closely guarded and restricted, especially at night. Greatly enhanced economic and commercial opportunities created by the military outposts such as nearby Fort Union and a new American Territorial government lured the first wave of entrepreneurs to Las Vegas as President Lincoln labored to preserve the Union. American capitalist philosophy proved to be a more powerful and pervasive assault on New Mexico than General Kearny’s Army of the West. Free trade across international borders introduced by the Santa Fe Trail shattered the highly protective and incestuous trading policies of the Spanish Colonial empire. The notion of privately owned real estate and furthermore speculation and profiteering in land exchanges was largely unknown in colonial New Mexico, and violated indigenous concepts of sacred and common lands. Mercantile trade leveraged and enhanced through capital loans, currency transfers, and other forms of indirect transaction was quickly implemented in frontier boomtowns such as Las Vegas and Santa Fe.

Taxation of private property in many cases was the most effective strategy to transfer land holdings from nuevomexicanos to the estranjeros. A colorful and polyglot community of pioneer merchants migrated to the Las Vegas plaza in the 1850s and 1860s. The New Mexico Territory and Union Army had narrowly thwarted a Confederate invasion force in 1862, and a revived Santa Fe Trail after 1865 promised great profits. Among these, Miguel Romero y Baca, John and Andres Dold, Francisco Lopez, Michel Desmarais, and German Jewish traders including Joseph and Emanuel Rosenwald, Charles Ilfeld, Marcus Brunswick and the Jaffa brothers skillfully exploited the exchange of livestock, grains, wood and produce to the U.S. Army and Missouri markets. The Las Vegas plaza after 1850 had a decidedly German cast of colorful traders, many younger bachelors who had left the old European country behind to seek opportunity and freedom in America. In typical migration patterns, brothers often led the vanguard to the United States, making the weeks long voyage on passenger steam ships, many landing in the ports of New York, Boston and Baltimore where they were welcomed by an uncle or friends of the family. From here, German Jews traveled and relocated to nearly every part of the huge continent. Joseph and Emanuel Rosenwald had discovered a peculiar and unique and highly opportune frontier trading bonanza in Las Vegas ripe for plucking. During the Mexican period, New Mexico had been exclusively provisioned by wagon caravans from Chihuahua, Mexico that followed the old Camino Real (“the Royal Road”) through Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos. The finished goods imported from Mexico, such as textiles and metal tools originated from deep within Mexico’s interior, and the supply train was slow, cumbersome and expensive. The new Santa Fe Trail broke the Chihuahua monopoly, effectively isolated Taos as a trading center in favor of Las Vegas, and most importantly welcomed American and foreign traders to a territory starved for new foods and luxury goods. With the emerging presence of numerous forts in New Mexico after 1848, and the status of Fort Union as the supply hub, by far outnumbering other outposts with 807 soldiers on site in 1865, Las Vegas merchants pioneered a new form of mercantile capitalism in New Mexico, based upon government currency drafts and agrarian barter, which financed the village’s transformation to a sophisticated urban center within a few short decades. Some native New Mexican entrepreneurs, such as José Albino Baca and Juan Maria Baca of Upper Las Vegas, prospered from the production of cattle, sheep or timber. The most prominent, Don José Albino Baca, built an imposing Territorial style house in the manner of a country villa in 1855 about three miles north of Las Vegas. Baca and his brothers erected several fine structures in “Upper Las Vegas.” A new breed led by Michel DesMarais, Marcus Brunswick, and John and Andres Dold, who arrived in the 1850s, took advantage of “middle man” trading, working many locations, partnerships, supply and exchange deals and swaps for profit. In an era and location with no banks, the pioneer merchants had to develop a continuous flow of credit back and forth from small producer all the way to major wholesalers “back East.” The Las Vegas merchants also mastered the perils and risks of the Santa Fe Trail, as large shipments could be “appropriated” by Indian attacks, greedy soldiers, or halted by harsh weather or natural disasters. “Forwarding” agents such as Otero and Sellars (owned in part by Miguel Otero Sr.) were stationed at key points along the Trail to store goods, supply staple commodities, repack caravans and

Montezuma Hot Springs ca. 1875, Marcus Gottschalk

send wagons forward. For these services, hearty commissions were paid. No one proved more adept at working all ends of the mercantile trade than Charles (called “Carl” by his friends) Ilfeld. Arriving as a young man of eighteen years old to New York from Homburg vor der Hohe, Germany in 1865, Ilfeld followed his brother Herman to New Mexico and Taos, where they were “sponsored” by the Elsberg and Amberg trading company of Santa Fe. Moving to Taos by fall of the same year, Ilfeld struck up a partnership with Adolph Letcher, an older trader from Baltimore, and the two embarked in business, quickly making friends with other local personalities such as Kit Carson, Lucien Maxwell and Ceran St. Vrain. Young Ilfeld’s business skills quickly became apparent, especially to Adolf Letcher. Although Letcher had largely capitalized the new company, Ilfeld proved himself early on, making a few “windfall” profits for the firm. By 1867, Letcher and Ilfeld realized that the glory days of Taos were behind them and decided to move to Las Vegas. Beaver pelts had been trapped out of the region by the 1840s and the mountain passes proved impossible for the larger Santa Fe Trail wagons. Sturdy burros were selected rather than wagons for the trek to Las Vegas in spring, 1867. By this time, Las Vegas’ fortunes were soaring, as its ever expanding trade area numbered over 30,000 residents by 1870. Las Vegas merchants serviced clients extending far into the cattle country of southeastern New Mexico and even to the mining fields of Grant County, where copper and silver were discovered.

South Plaza, ca. 1875, Marcus Gottschalk

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  53


Acupuncture Center Dr. Bernadette J. Luján MPA, DOM

New Mexico Highlands University Ray Drew|Burris Hall|Kennedy Hall

505 National Ave., Suite 2

Free consultations.

Most insurance plans accepted.

South of Carnegie Library in Las Vegas


DID YOU KNOW . . . of the many architectural styles in Las Vegas? To name a few: Queen Anne, Tudor Revival, Jacobean Revival, World’s Fair Classic, Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival, Mediterranean, Victorian Eclectic, California Mission, Romanesque and Territorial. Self Portrait in a Velvet Cap with Plume, Rembrandt, 1638 Dr. Robert Bell Permanent Collection of Art.

The galleries at New Mexico Highlands offer a visual celebration of works from European masters as well as regional and emerging artists. We invite you to explore the Dr. Robert Bell Collection, the region’s most extensive showcase of classical to contemporary prints. New Mexico Highlands is also home to two biannual international art conferences – Iron Tribe and Print, Printed, Printing – as well as a number of WPA murals. Exhibition information is online at




• FULL SERVICE OPTICAL LAB • FRAME REPAIR • SALES Franco D. Gallegos, ABOC Board Certified Optician Proprietor


54  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017 NMHU_visitor's guide_2017.indd 1

1/31/17 2:51 PM



An important part of Northeast New Mexico history Fort Union National Monument, a unit of the National Park Service, was established in 1954 and is the site of what was once the largest fort in the southwestern frontier. It preserves excellent adobe structural remains and remnants of wagon ruts on the Santa Fe Trail. The Santa Fe Trail developed from American Indian trade networks, ancient before the Spaniards arrived. It served the Spaniards of New Spain as a route of exploration, conquest, and trade with the Plains Indians. Later Americans exploring the Louisiana Purchase visited what is today New Mexico and recognized an isolated province starved for manufactured goods and eager for mercantile exchange. With Mexican Independence from Spain in 1821, the gates of trade opened wide. This commerce across the plains welded Missouri and New Mexico together through economic interdependence, trading and financial partnerships. By the time of the Mexican-American War (184648) New Mexico was already strongly attached to the United States through commerce and interests.

The end of the Mexican-American war brought large inhabited territories to the United States. In seeking the resources of these vast territories the region became a meeting place of many cultures. Fort Union was established in 1851 in order to secure commerce on the Santa Fe Trail, establish a federal presence in the new territory, and to further westward expansion. The fort served as symbol of national power in a vast new acquisition far removed from the eastern heartland, and the Santa Fe Trail changed from route of commerce to military lifeline. A decade after the founding of Fort Union the start of the Civil War brought a serious military threat to New Mexico, as the Confederacy sought the resources of the Southwest. In response Fort Union underwent significant changes in order to defend the territory and trail which it presided over. Fort Union would play a critical role in influencing the outcome of the Civil War and preventing confederate advance into the west. At the end of Civil War, the fort would finish construction on the 3rd Fort Union. This final fort composed of adobe and built by skilled craftsmen

would be the largest Military Installation west of the Mississippi River and provided both military and logistical functions. Troops out of the fort patrolled the trail and provided escorts for mail stages and wagons, and participated in campaigns against American Indians. The Quartermasters Depot and Arsenal provided arms and supplies to a network of forts throughout the southwest, keeping the Army’s role in westward expansion active. Fort Union also played a large part in the local economy as civilians were employed by each of the Depots, supplies were purchased from the surrounding community, and goods and supplies were transported along the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Union stayed in operation until the arrival of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad in 1879 slowly put an end to the Santa Fe Trail and Fort Union. On February 18, 1891, the Las Vegas Optic reported that “The last few days have told a terrible tale at Fort Union. Four days ago everything was in running order, now everything is upside down and inside out... The soldiers are busy packing government and private property.” Fort Union National Monument was established by community support in 1954 to tell the stories of the New Mexico Territory and the communities of Native Americans, Hispanos, and eastern soldiers and settlers that interacted here over 150 years ago. Surrounded by a sea of native prairie grasses, the park presents an authentic experience. A 1.6 mile trail and ranger led tours bring the fort to life as visitors walk among the fort ruins and stand in the remnants of the Santa Fe Trail. The park does not have an entrance fee. Visitors should wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat, and bring lunch and sunscreen. Glimpses of the Past presentations are held at 7pm, the 3rd Thursday of the month from March thru October. Enjoy presentations that encompass the bountiful natural, cultural, and historical resources of the Southwest. These are in partnership with the Friends of Fort Union National Monu-

ment – the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation. Presentations take place at 116 Bridge Street, Las Vegas, NM. Contact Fort Union for the complete presentation list. The park is open year round, 8am to 5pm Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends and 8am to 4pm the rest of the year. Fort Union National Monument is fee free. The park is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Twenty-eight miles from Las Vegas, and ninety miles from Santa Fe, the park is located 8 miles on NM 161 at Exit 366 on I25, Watrous, NM, 87753. For more information contact the park at (505)425-8025 or visit //www. and // (Santa Fe National Historic Trail). Also find us on Facebook For our 2017 Summer Events please see Calendar of Events in this guide, pages 34-37.

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  55


MORA COUNTY The Mora County landscape is defined by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on its western edge, the Mora River running the length of the County from west to east, and the open range land of central and eastern Mora. The mountains, with elevations up to 13,100 feet (Truchas Peak), offer excellent hunting of elk, deer, and other game. Likewise the many streams and lakes offer excellent fishing. Most of the current farming activity and most of Mora’s population are located in the Mora River Valley with ranching the main occupation in the eastern part of the County. Morphy Lake State Park: Morphy Lake State Park, at 8,000 ft among ponderosa pines and surrounded by mountains, offers excellent trout fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Due to its remote location and harsh winters, the park is closed Nov. 1-April 1. The park has plenty of camping and picnicking sites, and is ideal for primitive camping. There are no utilities or potable water. Only electric motors are allowed on the water, making a great place to launch a canoe or kayak. More information is available on the NM State Parks Division website: Lake State Park can be reached from a paved access road at Ledoux, about 4 miles south of Mora on SR 94. Fort Union National Monument is located on the ruins of historic Fort Union, the largest military installation of the 19th century Southwest. It is situated on the Santa Fe Trail and ruts from the wagons can still be seen today. One of its key purposes was to provide protec-

tion to travelers and traders on the Santa Fe Trail. Another was as the central supply installation, or quartermaster, for all other military posts in the Southwest. Today, only the ruins of the post’s buildings remain and the park service is preserving these ruins as an outdoor museum and as a memorial to the men and women who won this part of the West. Fort Union is located on SR 161, eight miles from I-25 exit 366, at Watrous, NM. Hours are 8am-5pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and 8am-4pm the rest of the year. For information call 505-425-8025 or visit Cleveland Roller Mill Museum: The Cleveland Roller Mill, situated on the Mora River just a few miles west of Mora, is a fully restored and operating water-powered flour mill from the days when the Mora Valley was the premiere wheat growing area of New Mexico. In its day, the Cleveland Mill was one of the largest mills in Northern New Mexico. Since 1987, on the Saturday and Sunday of the Labor Day weekend, the museum hosts a Millfest of arts and crafts, music, food, and historical presentations. Admission to the museum & grounds is free. During Millfest, the museum has a nominal charge of $3.00 for adults, $1.00 for youth 18 & under. The Cleveland Roller Mill is located in Cleveland, NM, near mile marker 31 on SR 518. It is open to the public on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10am-3pm. Call 505-387-2645 or visit www. La Cueva Mill/Salman Ranch: Salman Ranch and its buildings make up the La Cueva National Historic District. Significant struc-

56  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

tures include an historic roller mill, the San Rafael Mission church, and a period mercantile building. Visitors can shop the Salman Ranch Store which features Salman Ranch products and local crafts. The store is open 9am-5pm daily from June through December. From August through about mid-October, the Ranch operates its U-Pick-It raspberry farm. Call ahead 866-281-1515 or 575-387-2900 or check out our website for conditions at: www. Salman Ranch is located at La Cueva, at the intersection of SR 442 and 518, about five miles east of Mora. Victory Ranch alpaca ranch: Victory Ranch is a 110 acre ranch dedicated to the breeding and raising of alpacas with one of the largest and finest alpaca herds in the United States. For a nominal fee visitors can get a hands-on experience with the animals by participating in the regular feedings at 11am and 3pm each day. Victory Ranch also has a clothing and gift store featuring products from alpaca wool. Located one mile north of Mora on SR 434, the ranch is open 10am-4pm every day. Visit the Victory ranch website at www.victoryranch. com or call 575-387-2254. Mora Valley Spinning Mill: Tapetes de Lana was created in 1998 as a vocational training program for rural individuals in the art of weaving. We have worked in northeastern New Mexico, an area with a unique history tied to both Spain, Mexico and the indigenous people of this land. Here a high percentage of the population live below the poverty level, as is frequently the fate of rural communities. However, we believe that the rural lifestyle can


be sustaining, with or without large sums of money, and so intend to encourage self-sustenance in our rural communities, and thus assist those who wish to remain in their ancestral homes. Northern New Mexicans still enjoy a vibrant rural way of life. Now is the time to revive our lost traditions so that our people can remain within their families and communities, while simultaneously subsidizing their incomes. Tapetes de Lana is the name for our weaving gallery, local art center and factory direct yarn store on mainstreet in Mora in a renovated historic mercantile. We continue to provide training in weaving and a gallery space for weavers to sell their work. We also show and sell the work of local artists including potters, quilters, photographers, painters, woodworkers,

soap and salve makers, jewelers, knitters, crafters, and more! Our shop is filled with yarns made in our mill with local and regional fibers, in natural colors or dyed by hand. Mora Fiestas: The Fiestas take place annually the last weekend of July. On Friday evening the Fiestas Dance and crowning of the Fiestas Queen start off the weekend festivities. On Saturday at 10am is the Fiestas parade. The rodeo and street fair with food and entertainment continue through Sunday. Wagon Mound: Bean Day will observe its 107th year in 2017. It is an annual celebration with a rodeo, cook-offs, and dances, plus a free BBQ lunch. Bean Day is held on the Monday of Labor Day week.

St. Vrain Mill

funds needed to purchase the Mill which they did in June, 2015. The Foundation immediately commissioned an engineering study to determine how best deal with the Mill’s biggest problem- the north end of the building was slowing sinking causing a large crack in the east wall. Now with the engineering recommendation in hand, the Foundation’s fundraising efforts will be focused on funds to stabilize the foundation and begin the building restoration. The St. Vrain Mill reflects the dynamic history and life of the Mora community when it was a booming wheat producing center for Northern New Mexico in the later half of the 1900’s. The Mill’s preservation and restoration will result in a valuable asset and landmark for Mora and for New Mexico. Accordingly, its new purpose, after restoration, will be as a Mora Cultural Center whose possible uses include a small museum, arts and craft classroom space, and an outlet featuring the art and craft work of Mora citizens.

The St. Vrain Mill in Mora, New Mexico was built in 1864 by Ceran St. Vrain. It is a three story, stone structure on the Mora River in the center of town. Currently in disrepair, the building itself is all that remains of the working mill as most of the significant equipment was removed decades ago. In 1972 the mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places and in 2002 it was added to the List of Ten Most Endangered Historical Places in New Mexico. It is a significant part of the Mora Plaza Arts and Cultural Compound. In 2013, several members of the Mora community established “The Saint Vrain Mill Preservation and Historical Foundation” for the specific purpose of buying and restoring the Mill. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation registered in New Mexico with federal tax exempt status. By early 2015, the Foundation raised the

The St Vrain Mill Foundation invites you to join their efforts to restore the Mill. A more complete description of the Mill and the Foundation’s restoration plans can be found on their website: or call 575-387-5615

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  57

MainStreet de Las Vegas

has raised $1,100,000 for downtown projects resulting in $13,600,000 in private investment spent on renovation of buildings creating jobs and a more vibrant downtown (and thousands of volunteer hours spent on public projects)!

Visit Las Vegas’ historic one mile downtown and see the many building restorations! Witness the ‘before’ of 2 of our architectural treasures!

Contact 505.617.6800 or for information on state tax credits and business opportunities in Las Vegas! 58  |  Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017

For primary or specialist care, call 505-426-8010. When you need to see a primary care provider, pediatrician, orthopedic specialist or a general surgeon, just call Las Vegas Medical Group. We’ll schedule an appointment for you right here. And be sure to ask about preventive care services your health insurance may cover at no cost to you. Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans are welcome. Ask about same-day appointments, too. Visit for clinic hours by location.

Family Medicine • Internal Medicine • Pediatrics Orthopedics • General Surgery

Raymond Wietske Ortiz, M.D. Moore, FNP Internal Medicine Family Medicine

Primary Care

2515 Ridge Runner Road Las Vegas, NM

Robin Edward, M.D. Pediatrics

Nancy Wright, M.D. Pediatrics


501 7th Street Las Vegas, NM

Jeff Webb, PA-C Pediatrics

Chenthuran Mrugendra Deivaraju, M.D. Gandhi, M.D. Orthopedics General Surgery 

Surgical Specialists 108 Legion Drive Las Vegas, NM

Elizabeth Donaldson, FNP Family Medicine 

Walk-In Care

108 Legion Drive Suite D Las Vegas, NM

Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  59 96723_ALTA_PCP_7_625x9_93c.indd 1

3/28/17 5:23 PM

DID YOU KNOW . . . Las Vegas had a Brass Band, a Military Band, the Las Vegas Orchestra and various Theatre Troupes within the decades of the 1880s and 1920s. 1920

Las Vegas RV & Storage 504 Harris Rd., Las Vegas , NM 87701


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Serving Las Vegas & surrounding areas over 30 Years!

DID YOU KNOW . . . The first hotel in Montezuma was the 1862 Adobe Hotel, which was then replaced by the Hot Springs Hotel in 1879. One of the most famous early guests was Jesse James, who was registered there from July 26 to 29, 1879.


Quick Lube Center 14 Pt Service-Lube & Oil Pkg CARS • TRUCKS • DIESELS • MOTORHOMES

No Appointment Necessary M-F 8AM-5PM; Sat 8AM-2PM

RENT FROM US! JOIN OUR LOYALTY PROGRAM! • Lumber • Plumbing • Electrical • Paint • Tools • Hardware • Glass • Stihl Outdoor Power Tools • Serving Contractors & Home Owners • UPS shipping headquarters! On behalf of the Sonchar family and the staff at BTU Do it center:


1900 Grand Avenue

ank You!

900 Mills Ave., Las Vegas, NM · 425-9329 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  61

DID YOU KNOW . . . On June 224, 1899, Teddy Roosevelt arrived at the Hotel Castaneda for the first reunion of the Rough Riders with the Castañeda being the headquarters for this annual event. Because many of the men were from New Mexico, Las Vegas was chosen for their first reunion.

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REGAL MOTEL Independently Owned & Operated Your Hosts:

Mina & Kartik

(505) 454-1456

fax: (505) 216-9191

1809 N. Grand Ave. Las Vegas, NM 87701

816 S. Grand Ave., Las Vegas, NM 87701 Special Rates Available!

DID YOU KNOW . . . the Masonic Temple, built in 1894-95, 1894-9 is one of the finest surviving examples of Richardsonian Romanesque style in New Mexico and was designed by Rapp & Rapp. The second floor once housed the Montezuma Club, a group of wealthy bachelors.

Our Guests Love Our Hotel & They Love the ‘Original’ Las Vegas!


Enjoy Fresh Hot Breakfast Buffet Each Morning


Play in our beautiful indoor pool & jacuzzi


505-425-7398 · 615 DOUGLAS

Call for reservations

(505)426-8182 Toll Free 866/424-7868 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co. Visitors Guide 2017  |  63

Las Vegas • New Mexico

A photo history book on Las Vegas & San Miguel County

Creating a definitive visual history of Las Vegas has been the goal of this new book on Las Vegas. This endeavor began with two previous 128-page grayscale paperbound volumes on Las Vegas in 2010 and 2012. Because the books had been well received the author, Joseph A. Lordi, began to work on a third volume. But, after much thought and consideration he decided to publish all his new material and that from the first two books into one larger comprehensive volume. And, in order to make the work more visually appealing several color images where included. Unlike other important histories of Las Vegas, this work is primarily a visual history. It uses old photographs, stereoscopic view cards, lantern slides, pre-1930 postcards, and the author’s photographs. To date there has not been a comparable book. There are several interesting, but limited, histories but no definitive visual histories. There are a few photographic works but with little or no detailed history. This work combines the best aspects of those two worlds. The goal of the book is to combine important historical facts about the town with relevant photographic images. As for statistics, this 9x12 416-page hardbound volume does not fall within the typical book format. There are over 950 grayscale images, 5 two-page grayscale images, 50 color images, and several maps. The color images are used before and after the eight chapter headings. The word count of the entire book is over 55,000 words. The chapters include: The Plaza and Bridge Street, Old Town and El Distrito de las Escuelas, Douglas Avenue and the Sixth Street Business District, Grand Avenue and the Railroad District, Social and Cultural Institutions, North New Town and the Lincoln Park Area Residences, New Mexico Highlands University, San Miguel County and the Surrounding Area, Early Las Vegas Photographers, and an Appendix of the most important view postcards of Las Vegas and vicinity, a Bibliography, and an Index. The cost of the book is $49.95 and will be available at Plaza Antiques, Plaza Hotel, Unikat, Paper Trail, Blowin’ in the Wind, Semilla, CCHP, and other Las Vegas locations.

DID YOU KNOW . . . that train traffic in Las Vegas peaked in 1908 with eight passenger trains arriving and departing each day. Freight traffic, was also significant, with 52,000 cars per month passing through Las Vegas.

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1. Plaza Park 2. Police Station 3. Gallinas River 4. NM Highlands University 5. Carnegie Park

6. Lincoln Park 7. Railroad Ave. & La Castaneda 8. Visitors Center / Historic Train Depot 9. City Museum and Rough Rider Collection 10. Bridge Street

DID YOU KNOW . . . that between 1879 and 1884, Las Vegas was a rather lawless town and many colorful characters passed through including Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, Pat Garrett, Jesses James and his killer, Robert Ford. Las Vegas was known as the ‘Wildest of the Wild West!’

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Hotels, Motels, RV Parks in Las Vegas Best Western Budget Inn Comfort Inn Crow’s Nest B&B Days Inn El Camino Motel El Fidel Hotel Historic Plaza Holiday Inn Knights Inn Knights Rest Las Vegas KOA Palomino Regal Sunshine Super 8 Thunderbird Town House Vegas RV Park

2020 N Grand Ave.   1216 Grand Ave.   2500 N Grand Ave.  524 Columbia   2000 N Grand Ave.  1152 N. Grand Ave. 500 Douglas Ave. 230 Plaza      816 Grand Ave.    1152 N Grand Ave.  1101 N. Grand Ave. HCR 31 1330 N Grand Ave.  1809 N Grand Ave.  1201 N Grand Ave.  2029 N Grand Ave.  400 S Grand Ave   1215 N Grand Ave.  504 Harris Rd.

426-8000 425-9357 425-1100 425-2623 425-1967 425-5994 425-6761 425-3591 426-8182 425-5994 425-9395 454-0180 425-3548 454-1456 425-3506 425-5288 454-1471 425-6717 425-5640

San Miguel & Mora Co. Pendaries RV Resort Mora Inn & RV Park Sierra Bonita RV Park

3 Park Place, Rociada 765 NM Hwy. 518, Cleveland Hwy. 434, MM17.5, Guadalupita

505-454-8304 575-387-5230 575-224-0610

Photo courtesy of Vince A. Marquez

Restaurants in Las Vegas & Surrounding Area Abraham’s Tiendita, 151 Bridge St., 425-0930 Arby’s, 1711 7th St., 425-5448 B-3 BBQ, Burgers, Beer, 131 Bridge St. Blake’s Lota Burger, 2302 7th St., 425-8460 Borracho’s 139 Bridge St., 505-615-3561 Burger King, 1355 Grand Ave., 425-9113 Canelas Restaurant, Hwy. 50, Pecos 505-757-3016 Casa de Herrera Restaurant, Hwy. 63, Pecos 505-757-6740 Charlie’s Spic & Span Bakery & Café, 715 Douglas Ave., 426-1921 Dairy Queen Brazier, 200 Columbia Ave., 454-0745 Dairy Queen Sandoval’s, 2408 7th St., 425-6682 Daylight Donuts, 3001 Hot Spring Blvd., 454-0453 Dick’s Pub & Restaurant, 705 Douglas Ave., 425-8261 Domino’s Pizza, 611 Mills, 425-3030 El Burro, 324 S. Grand Ave., 426-7150; 426-6134 El Encanto, 1816 Plaza, 454-9195 El Fidel Restaurant, 510 Douglas Ave., 425-6659 El Rialto, 141 Bridge St., 454-0037 El Sombero, 825 Mills Ave., 425-3705 Einstein Bros. Bagels, 800 National Ave., 426-2029 Frankie’s at the Casanova, 12 So.Main St., Pecos 505-757-3322 Hatcha’s Restaurant, 330 Main, Mora 575-387-9299 Hillcrest Restaurant, 1106 Grand Ave., 425-7211 J’s Juice-N-Go, 613 Mills Ave., 429-7215 JC’s New York Pizza, 209 Plaza, 454-4444 Johnny’s Mexican Kitchen, 717 Grand Ave., 454-1769 K-Bob’s, 1803 7th St., 425-6322 Kentucky Fried Chicken, 1139 Grand Ave., 425-3815

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Kika’s Cafe, 232 Glorieta Hwy., Pecos 505-757-2900 Kocina de Raphael, 610 Legion Dr., 454-1667 Kristy’s Korner Kafe, 765 Hwy 518, Cleveland, 575-387-5230 La Fiesta, 1814 7th St., 454-9828 Little Caesars, 1604 7th St., 505-425-9522 Little Moon Chinese Restaurant, 1217 Grand Ave., 425-0939 Little Saigon, 2001 N Grand Ave., 454-1842 Mary Ann’s Famous Burritos, 528 S. Grand Ave., 426-8929 McDonald’s, 1501 7th St., 454-1103 Old Town Oriental Foods, 250 Mills Ave., 426-8500 Pancho’s Roadside Café, 1154 Grand Ave., 454-8169 Pedro’s Bakery, 525 Grand Ave., 454-9142 Pendaries Lodge, Hwy 94 & 105, Rociada, 425-3561 Pino’s Family Restaurant, 1901 N. Grand Ave., 454-1944 Pizza Hut/Wing St., 1615 7th St., 425-9322 Plaza Hotel Restaurant, 230 Old Town Plaza, 425-3591 Rene’s 50’s Diner, 346 NM-518, Mora, 575-387-5066 Smiling Faces, 331 Grand Ave., 426-8143 Sonic Drive In, 1411 7th St., 425-9577 Subway (Walmart), 2609 7th St., 454-1800 Subway, 2401 7th St., 454-6363 Taco Bell, 1415 7th St., 426-8236 The Dawg House, 518 Douglas Ave., 505-617-0152 Theresa’s Tamales, Hwy. 518 MM33, Cleveland, 575-387-2754 The Skillet, 619 12th St., 505-563-0477 Traveler’s Cafe, 1814 Plaza, 426-8638 Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, 1561w 7th St., 426-8180



NM 518

EXIT 347


Las Vegas



EXIT 345

Riverwalk Main Street Arteries MainStreet Corridor EXIT 343

I-25 Interstate                   


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We are shovel ready!

We’ve always been Las Vegas’ leading bank, but now we’re New Mexico’s leading bank!

Southwest Capital Bank

622 Douglas Ave., Las Vegas, NM 505.425.7565

2017 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co, NM Visitors Guide  
2017 Las Vegas & San Miguel Co, NM Visitors Guide  

Annual Visitors Guide produced by Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance. Includes Calendar of Events, Maps, History, Editorials, and...