Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What’s Up Your Family Tree?

Make history again by sharing your family photos, diaries, letters, and other historic memorabilia or family ephemera with Friends of the City of Las Vegas Museum.

Just in time for New Mexico’s centennial, the Friends will be publishing a photographic history of the first century of Las Vegas entitled: Las Vegas, NM: Boomtown on the Southwestern Frontier, and would like your family to be a part of it. So, get into the attics and basements of Las Vegas! Call your tias and abuelas to see what’s in their shoeboxes and family Bibles!

In addition, historian and contributing editor, Elmo Baca is seeking to include brief essays and other literary expressions from the general public to help explore the major themes to be included in the book. Submissions will be accepted through Friday, April 1, 2011.

For detailed information and submission guidelines call the Museum at 426.3205.

Nancy Colalillo, member, committee on Las Vegas, NM: Boomtown on the Southwestern Frontier

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coming Home - at the Museum

Coming Home — War, Work, and Wanderings is a series of interviews recorded during the Fiestas. New Mexico Highlands University Media Arts Department interns Ben Jeremiad and Becca Glenn recorded and edited the interviews. They compiled an eight minute video that tells a story of leaving, being gone, and coming home to Las Vegas.

The video premiered for Heritage Week. It can be seen on the new gallery computer. at the Museum. Watch for the Friends of the Museum Newsletter to learn more about this video and the Oral History Project.

Coming Home: Stories of War Work and Wanderings from Lauren Addario on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Heritage Week 2010

There’s something for everyone during Heritage Week 2010, celebrating the history & cultures of Las Vegas, New Mexico:

Las Vegas and New Mexico Highlands History exhibit at Ray Drew Gallery, all week

Meadow City Camera Club Sacred Places exhibit of historic religious sites at CCHP, all week, reception Sat, Aug 14, 1-3 pm

Art on the Santa Fe Trail exhibit at El Zocalo Gallery, all week, receptions Sat, Aug 7 & 14, 2-5 pm

Heritage Quilt exhibit at Threadbear, all week

Exhibit featuring “outsider” artist Martin Montoya at Plaza Antiques

Fridays al Fresco, music in the Plaza, Fri, Aug 6, 5-7 pm and Fri, Aug 13, 5-9 pm

Bambi Doe Blake handmade doll exhibit, Plaza Antiques, , Fri, Aug 6, 5-6 pm

Open house, 50th Class Reunions of Immaculate Conception, West, Robertson High Schools, Fri, Aug 6

Crazy Heart + 2nd feature at Ft Union Drive-in, $12, Fri, Aug 6 & Sat, Aug 7

Places with a Past: Historic Homes & Buildings Tour, 10-4 pm, Sat, Aug 7, Tickets $20

Dwelling Places: Las Vegas Arts Council Invitational Art Exhibit, reception 5-7 pm + Cipriano Vigil performs,
Sat, Aug 7

Ecumenical service at the Plaza gazebo, 1 pm, Sun, Aug 8

Blessing of the Waters procession begins at the Plaza gazebo, 1:30, Sun, Aug 8

Mayor Ortiz proclaims the 175th anniversary of Las Vegas at the Plaza gazebo, 2 pm, Sun, Aug 8

Chautauqua: Capitan Rafael Chacon at the Plaza Hotel Ballroom, 3 pm, Sun, Aug 8, free

Red Dawn and Convoy presented by the Rolling Road Show at Ft Union Drive-in, Sun, Aug 8, free

Children’s Literary Camp at Rio Gallinas School, 8:30-noon, $25, Mon, Tues, Weds, Aug 9-11,
Ages 8-11, boys & girls

Adobe Preservation Practices presented by Ft Union National Monument at CCHP, 7 pm, Mon, Aug 9

Traditional Spanish Dinner at Immaculate Conception School, 5-7 pm, $7.50, Tues, Aug 10

Traditional Spanish & Cowboy Music program at Immaculate Conception School Auditorium,
7 pm
, $7.50, Tues, Aug 10

Salsa Dancing in the Plaza, 4pm, Wed, Aug 11

Footlights in the Foothills: A Glimpse of Las Vegas’ Theatrical Past at Plaza Hotel, Cocktails, 6 pm, Dinner 7 pm, Performance 8 pm, Tickets $21 includes dinner and performance, Wed, Aug 11

Las Vegas Movie Location Festival at Ilfeld Auditorium, 7:30 pm, Wed, Aug 11 & 8 pm, Fri, Aug 13

Noontime land grant discussion with local historian Hilario Rubio at City Museum, Thurs, Aug 12

1st New Mexico Volunteers living history group presentation of military drills in Spanish presented by Ft Union National Monument at CCHP, 7 pm, Thurs, Aug 12

Walking & Bus Tour of Old & New Las Vegas, lunch at Masonic Temple, lecture on Rapp & Rapp Architects, 9 am-1 pm, Fri, Aug 13, Tickets $20

Opening reception of Beisman Collection at Donnelly Library, NMHU, 2-4 pm, Fri, Aug 13

Over the Edge 3 by Nat Gold Players at Sala de Madrid, NMHU, 7 pm, Fri, Aug 13 & Sat, Aug 14, 3 pm, Sun, Aug 15, Tickets $10

Easy Rider + 2nd feature at Ft Union Drive-in, Fri, Aug 13 & Sat, Aug 14, $12

Peoples Faire at Carnegie Park, 10-5, Sat, Aug 14 & Sun, Aug 15 Arts Crafts Music Food Entertainment

Walking Tour of Bridge Street & Old Town Plaza, meet at CCHP, 11 am, Sat, Aug 14

Second Saturday Art Walk, Wine Tasting, Gallery Openings, merchants’ specials, Sat, Aug 14

Monday, June 14, 2010

Preserving Memories

Photographs capture and, with care, can preserve precious memories. But over time, too much light, the chemicals and acids in some papers, and oils from too much handling, can destroy photographs. In addition, although the moment may be visually preserved, the names of people, places, and events may be forgotten.

Here are a few tips for preserving memories captured in snapshots.
Storage: Individual photographs, like snapshots, are best stored unmounted in clear polypropylene sleeves. If you want handy access to the photos, make your own album by using sleeves with pre-punched holes and storing them in chemically stable binders. For old albums, from which photographs cannot be removed, interweave sheets of acid-free archival tissue paper between photographs that face each other. Store albums in alkaline/buffered boxes to protect them from dust, light, and pollutants.

Identification: Keep a record of the people, places, and dates for each photo, but not on the back. Write a note on archival paper and store it in the sleeve behind the photo. It is best to use pencil. Writing on the back of the photo is not recommended because the chemicals in inks and some pencils will damage the photographic emulsion. If you use standard paper for your notes, store them outside the photo sleeve.

Pat Romero
Research Specialist

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The best laid plans…

Starting around the turn of the 20th century, plenty of people in the area thought the future of Las Vegas lay in the agricultural fields surrounding town, put under the plow by means of irrigation. The Las Vegas Irrigation Project, proposed and explored in 1912, included dammed reservoirs and canals from five miles north of town to just south of Romeroville. James Hand, owner of the Placita Ranch near Los Alamitos began the Ten Lakes Project. He proposed to divide his 75,000 acre property into parcels of 5,000 acres each, available to homesteaders. Lake Isabel and Lake David are remnants of the project. The Van Houten Plan, 26 miles north of town, would divert Mora River water to the Cherry Valley reservoir, then out to farm fields. The Camfield Project, abandoned in 1912 would irrigate fields close to Las Vegas, through Gallinas water stored in the Sanguijuela Reservoir. Revived and revised in 1916 as the Storrie Project, the association incorporated in 1922, but was out of business by 1926. Farmers left after failures due to devastating effects, other than lack of water, in this semi-arid climate — wind, hail, and late freezes. Since 1926, the Storrie Project has reinvented itself several times. The current allocation of land and water is a far cry from the original concept, but, it’s one with staying power.

Linda Gegick
Museum Adminstrator

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Highway Eighty Five revisited

Prior to 1952, Grand Avenue was a 2 lane road, barely paved, with wide planting strips dense with trees, separating sidewalks from traffic. The Las Vegas Urban Highway project of that year transformed Highway 85 from a small town throughway to a modern highway. The improvements included new mercury vapor lights, wider lanes that eliminated the tree lined strips and added a median divider.

The latest project to enhance Grand Avenue has begun. Over the next six months, the orange barrels will be out between National and Tilden Avenues. At times the Museum may be a challenge to access, but we are not anticipating any reduction in public visiting hours. Parking will continue to be available along National Avenue and Fourth Street. On the positive side, the building will benefit directly from some of the intended improvements. The sidewalks along Grand Avenue will be widened, putting more distance between our historic building and traffic. Transitions between sidewalks, paths, and landings will be eased and repaired. Renovated storm inlets will make those rivers of runoff along the curb after a summer thunderstorm a thing of the past. The Museum will be easier to find with the proposed signage along Grand. And that middle median will be back.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meta L. Christy

The Museum receives an average of three to six enquiries per week from individuals, scholars, and even Public Broadcasting System’s show “The History Detectives.” The most recent enquiry came from the New Mexico State Preservation Division (NMSPD) for information on Meta L. Christy, D. O., believed to be the first Black female osteopathic surgeon in the United States and perhaps the world.

Meta Christy (1895-1968) moved to Las Vegas, New Mexico, in the early 1930s and set up a practice in her home on Sulzbacher Street. Born in Kokomo, Indiana, Christy graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1921. She was the first minority student to graduate from that college. She was practicing medicine at the same address in 1967, a year before she died. She is buried in the Masonic Cemetery.

The NMSPD, under the Historic Women Marker Initiative, is considering placing a roadside marker in Las Vegas near Christy’s home and office.

Pat Romero
Museum Assistant/Research Specialist