The Chronicles of Grant County

This column will feature items that relate somehow to Grant County - the name of a street in the case of the first one, and maybe other streets, or the name of a building or whatever catches the fancy of the contributor, Richard Donough. Readers are encouraged to send him topics of interest to them, so he can do the research and write an article.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

pinos altos head frame at old gold mine at pinos altos library of congress may of 1940 russell lee 65The head frame at an old gold mine at Pinos Altos. (The photo was produced by Russell Lee and provided courtesy of the Library of Congress, May of 1940.)

As noted in a previous edition of The Chronicles Of Grant County, Pinos Altos – "Tall Pines" in the Spanish language – was initially known by Spanish and Mexican people coming through the area as "Pino Alto" – "Tall Pine." The name "Pinos Altos" appears in print starting in 1863. In that year, the Santa Fe Gazette reported about "…the gold, silver, copper and other mines of Pinos Altos…" on April 25, 1863.

Why exactly the name went from singular to plural regarding pine trees is not known.

Mining was key to the development of Pinos Altos. Prospectors came from throughout the West (especially California), from Mexico, and from other regions to strike it rich. Some succeeded.

The main mining boom in Pinos Altos lasted about ten years.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Pinos Altos When It Was Pino Alto

pinos altos steve douglas flickr january 20 2013 50A winter scene in Pinos Altos. (The photo was provided courtesy of Steve Douglas through Flickr, January 20, 2013.)

Pinos Altos – "Tall Pines" in the Spanish language – was initially known by Spanish and Mexican coming through the area as "Pino Alto" – "Tall Pine." The name given to the area by the Apache people – the local folks who considered this home before settlement by outsiders – is not known.

On October 29, 1860, the Mesilla Times reported that a major gold discovery occurred at the "Pino Alto Mines." This, according to a letter to the editor that was published in the Santa-Fe Gazette on November 17, 1860. The news report indicated that there was "...gold in a branch of the Rio Gila [Gila River]...There is some difference of opinion as to what branch of the Gila the discovery was made upon, but, from our knowledge of the geography of the country, we think it is what is known on old Spanish maps, as the Rio San Joaquin, and more recently as the Rio Prieto."

Ten days earlier, the Daily National Democrat of Marysville, California, reported on the same dispatch from Mesilla; this dispatch was indicated that the initial news article was in published on the October 18th. "The amount of gold dust brought...is as follows: Second trip, $4,000; third trip, $1,500; fourth trip, $5,000; sixth trip, $1,000," according to the dispatch.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Faywood After It Became Faywood

faywood desert sunrise yucca mike lewinski december 19 2015 65A yucca stood tall during a desert sunrise in Faywood. (The photograph was provided through Flickr by Mike Lewinski, December 19, 2015.)

A yucca stood tall during a desert sunrise in Faywood. (The photograph was provided through Flickr by Mike Lewinski, December 19, 2015.)

On February 28, 1900, The Las Vegas Daily Optic reported that "T. C. McDermott of Edgerton, Minnesota, was the recent purchaser of the equity of the personal property of the Hudson Hot Springs and sanitarium company down in Grant County."

About a week later, on March 7, 1900, the Santa Fe New Mexican included a news article on its front page that stated that "The Casa del Consuelo at Hudson Hot Springs, Grant County, has been reopened by T. C. McDermott...He has Chicago and Minnesota capitalists interested with him in the Hudson springs property, and will make it one of the leading resorts of the southwest..." In the Spanish language, "Casa del Consuelo" is translated to "House of Comfort" in the English language.

A few months later, on July 27, 1900, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that "The name of the hotel Casa del Consuelo at Hudson Hot Springs has been changed by Manager McDermott to 'Faywood' and will be so known in the future."

The Chronicles Of Grant County

faywood map 1909 usgs green circle"Warm Springs" (in the green circle) was one of the names given to what is now the Faywood area of Grant County. The Faywood Rail Station (not shown on this map) was located farther south in Luna County. (This map was provided courtesy of the United States Geological Survey, 1909.)

Natural hot springs brought people to a section of Grant County long before Grant County existed. Prior to the area becoming known as "Faywood," it was known by other names. Among them: "Warm Springs," "Hudson," "Hudson Hot Springs," and "Hudson's Hot Springs." At the time of settlement by people from outside the region, the Apache lived here and the land was still part of Doña Ana County. (This ground did not become Grant County until 1868.)

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Saint Lawrence – San Lorenzo

san lorenzo historic district new mexico historic preservation division national archives 1984 church three 50The San Lorenzo Roman Catholic Mission Church is seen to the left in this photograph. (The photo was provided courtesy of the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division and The U S National Archives and Records Administration, 1984.)

San Lorenzo in Grant County was named after Saint Lawrence. ("San Lorenzo" is "Saint Lawrence" in the Spanish language.) In a previous edition of The Chronicles Of Grant County, the history of the town was detailed. In this edition, the story of Saint Lawrence – the man – is recalled so that local folks may also know that aspect of history.

Few people might think of saints as comedians, yet Lawrence showed humor in the face of horror.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

San Lorenzo Historic District

san lorenzo historic district new mexico historic preservation division national archives 1987 oneThis photograph is looking north across the Mimbres Valley towards the San Lorenzo Historic District. (The photograph was provided courtesy of the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division and The U S National Archives and Records Administration, 1987.)

In 1987, the State of New Mexico and local folks asked the Federal government to designate much of San Lorenzo as an historic district. The U S government agreed and the San Lorenzo Historic District was created in 1988.

The District includes lands along "...the west side of Galaz Street and two blocks east of Galaz [Street] from one-half block south of G Street to one-half block north of D Street," according to the Nomination Form for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places submitted by the State of New Mexico Historic Preservation Division.

"Nearly all buildings in the District are constructed of adobe walls and corrugated metal roofs and fall into the New Mexico Vernacular category," the Nomination Form detailed. "...N. Y. Ancheta established San Lorenzo in 1869. Ancheta was originally from Sonora and most of the other settlers [then from Pinos Altos] were [originally] from the State of Chihuahua. They dug an irrigation ditch that first year to water this the widest portion of the Mimbres Valley. The village was located just above the irrigation ditch, beside the most desirable location in the valley…The linear organization of the settlement along Galaz Street is typical of many, if not most, Hispanic farming villages of the period in northern Mexico and Hispanic New Mexico."

The Chronicles Of Grant County

san lorenzo steve douglas december 16 2012 65san lorenzo steve douglas december 16 2012 65San Lorenzo is a rural community in eastern Grant County. "The Mimbres River is behind the tree line and Acklin Hill is in the background," according to the caption for this photograph of San Lorenzo. (The photograph was provided through Flickr by Steve Douglas, December 16, 2012.) [Editor's Note: The editor manipulated this photo to get rid of the over saturation and unreal colors.]

San Lorenzo is a small community located in eastern Grant County. The community's name is the Spanish wording for "Saint Lawrence." Prior to the community's establishment, this area was part of the Apache Nation.

Approximately eighty acres of land in the area are included in the San Lorenzo Historic District. The Nomination Form for San Lorenzo to be considered for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, a form submitted on September 10, 1987, by the State of New Mexico, stated that "The mining towns of Pinos Altos and Silver City, established in the early 1860s, are the only permanent settlements in Grant County which predate the occupation of the Mimbres Valley in 1869 and 1870."

According to the Nomination Form, San Lorenzo was founded by a group of nineteen miners and their families from Pinos Altos in 1869. At that time, the Nomination Form stated that an irrigation ditch was built and farming began here in the upper Mimbres Valley. "Corn, potatoes and vegetables were the first major food stuffs," according to this document. "Hay and alfalfa were widely grown for livestock to supplement the gramma grass of the surrounding hills. Apples, peaches, grapes and other fruit began to be planted in the early 1870s."

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Scholarships – Part Four

scholarships part four

One of the largest sources of scholarships in the United States are scholarships provided by the Federal government to students receiving an education at the U S military service academies. Young people who are American citizens living in Grant County may want to consider these educational opportunities. Congressional nominations as well as nominations by the Vice President of the U S are required for consideration to be admitted to three of the five military service academies: the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York; the United States Air Force Academy, north of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Congressional nominations are required for consideration to be admitted to the U S Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. The U S Coast Guard Academy, located in New London, Connecticut, does not require congressional nominations or nominations from the Vice President as part of its admissions process.

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