Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oldest House

On Sunday, my eldest son, his girlfriend, and I drove up to Santa Fe to see the Santa Fe Indian Market. We drove around until we could find a parking space in one of the public parking lots and then we walked towards the Plaza.

Along the way, we passed the Oldest House. I had visited it many years ago and then it was closed up for several years. To my pleasant surprise, the museum was newly fixed up and open for viewing. We went inside and I took some photos that I can now show you.

According to Funtrivia: The Oldest House in America is found across from the Mission San Miguel in Santa Fe New Mexico. Portions of it date from 1610. As with all adobe structures, the walls have been patched and replaced constantly, so how much of the building actually dates to 1610 is open to question. The Palace of the Governors, also in Santa Fe, may also be dated to the same time, and is listed as the oldest public building in America. But it was also a residence, if an official one. It, too, is adobe, so it might be more accurate to refer to the site rather than the building as the oldest. 

See here for some excellent photos of the Oldest House from hubpages. 

All old houses have ghost stories and this one is no exception.

Here is a photo of the spirit rising above the casket.

And supposedly, here is the gruesome headless skeleton of Juan Espinosa. The other time I visited the house, the casket was covered with a blanket like the photograph above, so you couldn't view the remains.

You can see the size of the place with the next two photographs, using the chile ristra (hanging dried chiles) as a guide. 

The rooms are actually very cosy looking and the depth of the window casement shows how thick the walls are.

Although the walls were freshly stuccoed and painted, the ceiling was scary! I'm not sure I would want to walk in the upstairs rooms. 

Here's another view from outside. Across the street is the Oldest Church,

the San Miguel Mission Church. The altar was built by Indians from Mexico in 1610 and mass is still celebrated every Sunday. See here for some interesting information about it. For example: Its immense walls and massive carved beams known as vigas and used to support roofs in adobe construction along with the carefully built corbel-arches that serve the same purpose define San Miguel Mission. The frontage of San Miguel Mission is fairly simple yet beautiful and defined by a wide and arched wooden doorway and two large bell towers on either side with high, shuttered windows topped with large, red crosses. San Miguel Mission has four sub-floors underneath the main floor where some of the bodies of the more important residents are buried and under the Sanctuary four priests' bodies lie who died while faithfully serving the beloved church. General Manual Armijo, the last governor of New Mexico is also buried on the premises.

More to come...


Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Neat pictures. I enjoy visiting things like that. And the Indian Market is one of my favorites. You were fortunate to find a parking place given the number of people who attend.

Looking forward to more pictures.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How ironic. Just before I came over here, someone in one of the groups I moderate did a post with photos and a video, on their weekend visit to the Santa Fe Market.
Made me think about our first time visiting the market years ago. All I remember was how crowded it was and all the walking we did. lol!
I've never been to the Oldest House before. Looks like a neat place to visit.


Ed said...

Neat place, lots of history in that town..:-)

IJN said...

Great post on Santa Fe! Thanks. I'm writing to request permission to use a couple of your photos (Mr. Espinoza's skeleton and an exterior of the Oldest House) in my own blog (Bloodontherainbow.com)for a post based on my recent trip to Santa Fe, which will deal with the ghosts of that great city. I'll glady give credit to you.

Chris Leppek

Fantastyk Voyager said...

No problem Chris, I only wish they were clearer.

IJN said...

Muchos Gracias!