Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So send me a letter, Day 1

After leaving Hatch
we headed down the highway towards Las Cruces. But first, we made a side trip to Mesilla. They grow lots of cotton in this area.

 We stopped by the remnants of Ft. Selden. Established to protect settlers and travelers from desperados and  Apache Indians, Douglas McArthur lived here in the 1880's when his father was stationed at the post.

Soon after the fort, I came upon this sign. I never even knew this place existed. 
Here's some more information on the colony.
"The object raise up the children where they shall not witness drunkenness, crime, and profanity; where they may be taught, on the kindergarten system, all kinds of trades and useful occupations, with a time to sing, a time to dance, a time to play, a time to work, and a time to pray.  They will be taught the universal brotherhood, and to have faith in Jehovih, their creator; to be non-resistants, to abjure war, to practise the commandments and to do good....  In fact, the plan described in Oahspe, the new Bible, will be carried out."                               -From the first Convention of Faithists, 1883
An experiment in communal living so unusual that it is sometimes called unique, took place near Las Cruces, New Mexico, over a hundred years ago, and yet it has remained almost unknown among area residents until the last few years.  Shalam Colony was a utopian community for children established  six miles northwest of Las Cruces in the fall of 1884 by John B. Newbrough and a group of his religious followers from New York who called themselves Faithists.(from the website)

Here's what the Colony used to look like.
First building in colony

There wasn't much else to see so we drove on to Las Cruces.

 I thought the underpass of the freeway was very pretty.

Las Cruces has lots of really cool decorated water tanks.

We actually did find one letterbox at this railroad station which is now a museum.

Here's the caboose.

I thought this person's transportation was rather unique, a converted hearse.

These were some murals along the roadway.

Aren't the Organ Mountains pretty?

As you can see from the above photo, the sun was setting, so we hurried to the hotel and settled in for the night. Buddha gets worried when he travels so he often chooses to lay on my suitcase.

More to follow...

So Send Me a Letter - song: Tumble and Twirl, artist: David Bowie, album: Tonight


Ed said...

Very cool post..:-)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I hope New Mexico never runs out of water, because I really would like to live there someday. A friend of mine who is a retired psychologist has told me that she thinks I'd be right at home in or near Taos. I have an appreciation for art and wide open spaces.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love New Mexico bridges!
Looks like a fun road trip.