Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Martinez Hacienda; the trading center of historical Taos.

The last stop we made in Taos was probably my favorite; 
the Martinez Hacienda which was built in 1804 by Severino Martinez.

Warning; this is a really long post!

The Sante Fe Trail splits into two paths in Cimmaron, KS; the desert trail which was shorter but dangerous and the mountain trail which was safer but longer. The SFT merges together again right north of Taos, NM. For travelers in the 1800's, Taos was probably the largest town they had seen for months. And because of the influx of travelers the Martinez Hacienda grew into a trading and mercantile center where practically everyone went to do business. Martinez often sent expeditions to Mexico to buy and trade for goods.

I had read about the hacienda before we arrived but was still surprised at how small and simple the facade seemed. Were we at the right place?

Everyone but the kids had to stoop to enter. This door isn't the original entrance to the hacienda; the original entrance was on the perpendicular side to the right of us. It was large enough for a wagon to have driven in but has since been barred from people entering or exiting.  

After going through the gift shop (of course) and paying our admission, we entered a square courtyard with a well. The hacienda was built as a fortress with only one entrance, no exterior windows and a well inside to ward off attacks by Comanche and Apache raiders. Although there was snow on the ground it was a very pleasant  bright, warm day. I could have sat out in the sunshine in the courtyard all day long!

There were are a total of twenty one rooms in the hacienda but I won't bore you with shots of all of them. These was the main living quarters for the family. All the children would have slept, ate, studied and played in this room. The parents had their own bedroom. Good for them!

This was the weaving room!!! I've always wanted to have a loom of my own so I really enjoyed this room. There were at least five floor rooms and various tools displayed. Look at the far wall behind Yap. Do you see the two black rectangles? Those are carding combs (with metal teeth) used to clean and straighten wool fibers before they are spun. Now, look the the left and you'll see two cross shapes on the wall.

Those are wool carding paddles using teasel thistles. I've never seen anything like that before!

Of course there were rooms displaying common farming and blacksmith's tools. Here's Officer explaining how to harvest wheat.

I wouldn't mind having a kitchen like this; the fireplace was awesome!
(I spared you the picture)

Okay, I's the kitchen fireplace. Again with the fireplaces! I'm thinking of building a southwest style fireplace in my house. Do you think DR would notice mud in the living room carpet? Nah, probably not!

The granary.

There was a second courtyard in the hacienda. The layout was two squares butted against one another.
The double doors was the blacksmith shop but visitors are only allowed to look through a pane of glass into that room.

One room displayed the many religious icons and artifacts that would have been common for southwest families, especially wealthy families, to have owned at the time. There was also a chapel in the hacienda used by the family.

We had to practically drag my sister and brother in law out of this room. There was a display of 8 - 10 guns that were very old and in rough shape. The bottom gun's wooden stock had at one time started to fall apart so wet rawhide was wrapped around it and allowed to dry and shrink to hold the pieces together.

The next gun pictures are for my dad. Get online Dad this is for you!
This was Jim Bridger's gun and it was repaired by wire in three places.

Even without a flash it's hard to get a good photo in a display case but I hope you get the idea Dad.
It was a long weekend.
My monkeys got drug through three states, countless museums and restaurants.

They stayed up too late, ate too much junk food and got bored with all the walking we did.

But I think that even they had a good time and will remember this vacation for a very long time. Not only do I like to take lots of pictures, when we visit places like this, for the memories but I'm hoping my kids will get excited when they look through these photos years from now and want to learn about Taos all over again.

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