Shirley Cushing Flint and Richard Flint, historians
Corrales Speaker May Series explores the Coronado Expedition of
Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint, historians and Spanish
paleographers, are among the foremost authorities on the Coronado
Expedition. They have spent nearly 30 years studying the Coronado
Expedition and the peoples it met, as well as the contexts that
shaped the behaviors of both groups. They have conducted research
in Mexico, Spain, and the United States and have directed two conferences
on the expedition.
No Settlement, No Conquest: A History of the Coronado Entrada
(2008) is Dr. Richard Flint’s newest book on the subject and
will be highlighted in this Speaker’s Series lecture "Understanding
the Coronado Expedition, 1539-1542," on May 22 at 7:00 p.m.
It explores why things happened and sheds new light on crucial events
of the past. Important implications for the twenty-first century
are also revealed.
The Coronado Entrada of 1539-42 marked the earliest large-scale
contact between Europeans and Native Americans in what is now the
American Southwest and northwest Mexico. The Entrada established
a historical watershed, a cusp between history and prehistory. The
Flint’s extensive research and archaeological investigations
along the Entrada route reshapes our understanding of the expedition,
exposes past misinformation, and explores important elements previously
unknown or ignored. Interesting facts, including the size of the
Entrada and where its support came from, will be covered.
Separately and in collaboration, the Flints have published many
articles as well as three books, including Great Cruelties Have
Been Reported: The 1544 Investigation of the Coronado Expedition
Richard Flint holds a Ph.D. in Colonial Latin American and Western
U.S. History from UNM. He is a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of
numerous grants and awards. Shirley Cushing Flint holds an MA in
American Studies from NM Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM.
The Flint’s presentation will takes place in the Old San
Ysidro Church on Old Church Road across from Casa San Ysidro in
Corrales. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations
Mountain wildflowers of the Southern Rockies and Central New Mexico
Linum lewisii Pursh
—CAROLYN DODSON AND WILLIAM W. DUNMIRE
Sky blue saucer-shaped flowers wave in the breeze on slender,
tall stems. Dark veins line the five delicate petals of the inch-wide
flowers. The two-foot-tall unbranched stems rising from a woody
base bear narrow leaves and a loose flower cluster. Stands of blue
flax are splendid morning sights, but by afternoon, the delicate
petals have fallen, leaving only green sepals on the stems and fallen
blue petals on the ground. Blue flax blooms in early summer in dry
meadows from piñon-juniper to the Douglas-fir zone.
DISCOVERY OF BLUE FLAX
When Meriwether Lewis, leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition,
first encountered blue flax, he recognized that “the bark
of the stem is thick and strong and appears as if it would make
excellent flax.” Indeed, pre-Columbian Native Americans used
blue flax fiber for weaving and making fishing line. Frederick Pursh,
who gave the botanical name to the plant, noted, “Flowers
large, blue, a very good perennial, and it might probably become
a useful plant if cultivated.” Today, blue flax is available
in nurseries throughout the West.
Flax seeds contain prussic acid, a substance with medicinal properties.
Indians incorporated blue flax seeds in their medicine kit, and
European flax has long been known to have curative powers. In the
eighth century, no less an authority than Charlemagne decreed that
flax seeds should be consumed in order to maintain good health.
Excerpted from Mountain Wildflowers of the Southern
Rockies, by Carolyn Dodson and William W. Dunmire. Published by
University of New Mexico Press.
El Rinconcito español
• Aquellos son ricos que tienen amigos.
Rich are those who have friends.
• Bolsa sin dinero, llámala cuero.
An empty purse is only leather.
• Cada uno extiende la pierna hasta donde alcanza la
Everyone stretches his leg as far as the blanket reaches.
Submitted by www.sospanyol.com,
Placitas—Spanish instruction that focuses on oral communication
Coronado State Monument offers variety of events
The Friends of Coronado State Monument are sponsoring a tin punching
workshop at the Monument on Saturday, May 10 from 10:00 a.m. to
2:00 p.m. The workshop will be instructed by tinsmith Jason Younis
y Delgado. Jason learned tin punching from his grandmother Angelina
Martinez and today continues the craft of five family generations.
Most of his tools were given to him by his grandmother, and he makes
punches to reproduce designs of seventeenth-century Spanish Colonial
tinwork, incorporating his own unique imagery and drawing from traditional
family patterns and historical tinwork. The cost of the workshop
is $75, including a sheet of tin. Tools are provided. For more information,
please contact Jason at (505) 385-3525.
At a special gourd workshop on May 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.,
create birdhouses, bird feeders, masks, folk-art chickens, Southwestern
dolls, or whatever interests you. Decorate gourds with Native American
or Hispanic designs or your own imagination. We supply glue, paint,
beads, feathers, and other materials. Receive one practice buffalo
gourd with admission. A selection of gourds for additional projects
will be available for purchase at nominal prices. Come yourself
or bring the whole family. Please bring your imagination and a sack
lunch. The cost for the workshop is $20 per person. Reservations
are required. Please call Pat at 822-8571 to register.
At a workshop on May 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., learn the
art of flint knapping, or how the Native Americans made arrowheads
and spear points from obsidian. The cost is $30 for instruction
and materials. You will keep the arrowheads, scrapers, and points
you make. To keep a toolkit (including goggles, gloves, a leather
pad to work on, a leather hand pad, and tools) as well as extra
workable stone, there will be an additional fee of $20. For over
twenty years, workshop instructor Luther Rivera has made the tools
of our American Indian ancestors. Honored with the New Mexico Heritage
Preservation Award in 2001, he has also received awards from the
Forest Service and an Achievement Award from the Archaeology Society
of Albuquerque for making historically accurate arrowhead and point
reproductions. This workshop is for adults only, and is limited
to twenty participants. To reserve your space, please call Pat at
822-8571. Please bring a lunch and water.
On May 22 at 7:00 p.m., Friends of Coronado State Monument will
sponsor a presentation by Dr. Brad Vierra, renowned archeologist
and author, entitled “Archaeological remains of the Coronado
expedition: A sixteenth-century campsite in the Tiguex.” The
lecture will discuss the only fully-documented archaeological excavation
that can be attributed to the Coronado expedition. Admission is
$5 per person.
All workshops will be held at the Coronado State Monument, 485
Kuaua Road, located about a mile off I-25, exit 242, just west of
the town of Bernalillo on Highway 550.
Jubilee Community Garden grows local food and
Would you like to grow some of your own food this summer, right
here in Placitas? Would you like some fresh squash and tomatoes
and peppers and beans this fall? Would you enjoy having others share
the work and fun? Are you interested in learning more about vegetable
gardening in New Mexico’s high desert? Are you yearning to
reconnect with Mother Earth? If so, the Jubilee Community Garden
is the place for you.
Sponsored by the Earth Care Fellowship and Grounds Committee of
Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, and located in the village of
Placitas on Highway 165 directly across from the Church, the quarter-acre
Jubilee Garden welcomes everyone interested in working together
to grow healthy vegetables for their family and our community. This
year we hope to cooperatively harvest a thousand pounds or more
of various fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Right now, we are
organically enhancing the soil with charcoal ash and other homeopathic
supplements. As the weeks go by, we will be experimenting with old
and new practices of weed control, irrigating carefully via the
acequia system to conserve precious water, and all the while working
cooperatively with our neighbors to make the labor fun and productive.
The slogan of César Chávez and the farm labors, “Si,
Se Puede” (“Yes, We Can”) might be appropriate
for us this year as food and fuel prices rise and millions more
innocent people face unnecessary hunger around the world, as well
as right here close to home. During World War II, millions of Americans
planted small “Victory Gardens” at home and made important
contributions to our country. We can and do grow victory gardens
even here in the dry mountains of New Mexico. Just a few square
feet outside your door, the water from your roof or sink or shower,
composted kitchen scraps, some seeds or plants, and the interest
and care of a human being can yield hundreds of pounds of food.
This is the spirit of the Jubilee Garden. Please join us in this
adventure in good stewardship of the land.
For more information or to get involved with the Jubilee Community
Garden, contact Dan Gips, Garden Coordinator (by phone at 867-4801
or email email@example.com)
or Max Ellingson (771-9328), chair of the Grounds Committee at Las
Placitas Presbyterian Church. Monday is our day for watering via
the acequia. Saturday is usually a work day in the garden. But your
participation is welcome whenever you have time
Public examines new Placitas library plan offered
Public takes first look at new Placitas library design concept
—ANNE FROST AND GAIL DELLA PELLE
On Saturday, April 19, SMPC Architects provided the community with
our first look at a possible design concept for the new Placitas
Community Library. About fifty Placiteños gathered in the
Placitas Elementary School Gym to discuss rough floor plans, elevations,
and topographic models of the site and building. Actually having
something to look at made the new library more real in everyone’s
minds and generated quite a lot of enthusiasm. The reaction to the
two phased concept was quite favorable with most questions and concerns
centered on the potential uses of the multipurpose room and the
children’s area. Other concerns included softening the edges
of the building to blend with the land and Placitas style, energy
efficiency, solar gain and water harvesting. The architects took
careful notes and all suggestions will be considered for inclusion
in the more detailed Schematic Design. The Schematic will be completed
in early June and presented for feedback from the Library Board
and Building Committees. After that the long process of construction
drawings will begin. Construction should begin before the end of
As many know, this site was chosen by Sandoval County because it
was centrally located, affordable, and near another community facility.
Because Sandoval County owns the land and is willing to act as the
Library’s fiscal agent, PCL, a non- profit, is able to make
use of the State and Federal funds allocated for this project. This
site gives us beautiful views of the Sandias, Cabezon and Mount
Taylor, all of which are being incorporated into the design. This
will increase the number of indoor and outdoor spaces the community
will have to enjoy while attending functions or using library resources.
On May 10 and 11, we will have our Mother’s Day Book and
Plant Sale, (plant sale on Saturday only). There will be hundreds
of titles; fiction, non-fiction, chiildren’s, science, old
and rare, priced 25 cents and up. On Sunday, you can fill a grocery
bag for one low price. Choose from xeric and rabbit-proof perennials,
heirloom vegetables and ‘pots of color’ to brighten
your patio. All proceeds benefit the PCL.
May Library Events and hours:
May 10-11: 9-4— Book and Plant Sale
May 1: 10:00 am, Thursday--Preschool Story Time
May 21: 3:00 pm, Wednesday— Bilingual Story time for ages
May 31: 10-2— El día de los niños/ El día
de los libros
June 5: 9 am, Thursday—Summer Reading Program, each Thursday
Library Book Group meets at 4:00 p.m. the first Monday of the
May title: Raising Ourselves by Velma Wallis
June title: Sixteen Pleasures, by Robert Hellenga
Call to verify date and location, 867-3355.
Library Hours: Tuesday 10-7 Wednesday, Saturday 10-4, Thursday
Visit us at 1 Tierra Madre or call 867-3355, website: placitaslibrary.com.
The Boss Saloon gambling and concert hall was at
115-1/2 Railroad Avenue. The St. Louis Restaurant was to the left
of it. The railroad workers and cowboys brought cash to Albuquerque.
Gambling and saloons were open twenty-four hours a day.
University of New Mexico student protests the war
in Vietnam in 1972.
History of Albuquerque told through historic photos
From its founding in 1706 as a Spanish outpost to its place along
Route 66, Albuquerque has been an integral part of the fabric of
United States history. The story of the “Duke City”
reflects both a diverse and progressive spirit, and a unique culture
that is the foundation of the city’s present-day prosperity.
With fact-filled photo captions and chapter introductions by author
Sandra Fye, Historic Photos of Albuquerque rediscovers the fascinating
past of the largest city in New Mexico through nearly two hundred
rare photographs culled from the University of New Mexico Center
for Southwest Research and the Albuquerque Museum, and showcased
with exceptional clarity and beauty.
In scenes of events from parades to politics, celebrations to sporting
events, “Old Town” to “New Town,” and much
more, Albuquerque shines through the decades in glorious black-and-white
photography, displayed in a large format.
“I feel the pictures and information in the book will pique
interest in different aspects of Albuquerque history,” Fye
says. “Photos tend to spark everyone’s imagination and
make them curious about the people and places in them.”
Historic Photos of Albuquerque is part of Turner Publishing’s
Historic Photos series. These books, highlighting the history of
the great cities across America, have been acclaimed as a staple
in the collection of anyone who loves history.
For further information, visit www.turnerpublishing.com
or call (615) 255-2665. (Refer to ISBN 13: 978-1-59625-376-0).
Winter runoff welcomed, but could pose problems
On April 12, U.S. Senator Pete Domenici said he has asked federal
agencies that manage Rio Grande water resources to carefully monitor
the levee system on the river as it experiences its strongest winter
runoff in years.
Domenici said he welcomed the snowpack that now allows for a healthy
flow in the river, but said the use of this water must be balanced
with the need to properly and safely manage the flows in the Rio
Last week, Domenici asked General Robert L. Van Antwerp, chief
of the Army Corps of Engineers, for an engineering opinion regarding
the levees on the Rio Grande. Owned by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy
District, the levees have reached the end of their economic life
and need additional work.
Domenici has raised concerns about the President’s FY 2009
budget for the Corps, which eliminates funding for Albuquerque levee
evaluations and for Rio Grande bosque restoration, as well as construction
funding for eight projects, including the middle Rio Grande flood
control, northern New Mexico acequias, the Central New Mexico Infrastructure
Program (Bernalillo, Valencia, and Sandoval counties), and tribal
Sandoval County Historical Society hosts May events
New Mexico famed architect John Gaw Meem designed the Coronado
State Monument as part of the New Deal. Meem is regarded as one
of the most important and influential architects to have worked
in New Mexico. On Sunday, May 18 at 2:00 p.m., Meem expert and architect
Luis “G.L.” Castillo will discuss this famous architect’s
role in the construction of this state monument and other buildings
constructed during this era.
Also speaking that day will be author Richard Melzer, who wrote
Coming of Age in the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation
Corps Experience in New Mexico, 1933 - 1942.
Both talks will last about forty-five minutes and the audience
will be invited to tour the monument after the talks. Refreshments
will be served.
On view at the monument will be a small exhibition from the Painted
Kiva #3 with its frescos by Zia Pueblo artist Ma Pe Wi (1902 - 1973),
whose works are in museums from Dartmouth to Tucson. The reconstruction
of Kiva #3 and commissioning of Ma Pe Wi’s murals for it were
paid for in part through WPA artist projects.
The lectures and exhibit are sponsored by the Friends of Coronado
State Monument, Sandoval County Historical Society, and Coronado
State Monument. The event takes place at the Sandoval County Historical
Society Building on Edmund Road, off US Highway 550 (adjacent to
Coronado State Monument). For more information, call Scott Smith,
Monument Manager, at (505) 867-5351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When and how the acequias of Las Placitas were
—VIVIAN B. DELARA
The original village of Placitas, referred to in history books
as the old village of San Jose de Las Huertas (St. Joseph of the
Gardens), was one mile north of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church.
The original twenty-one families led a very hard life and depended
on their crops and livestock to live. Water was their lifeblood.
The water came from a spring called El Ojo de La Rosa Castilla (Spring
of the Spanish Rose). They constructed an acequia system that they
used for everything, including bathing, drinking, and cooking. They
also used this precious water for irrigation and to make the adobes
for constructing their homes, which usually consisted of two rooms.
With the Indian Revolt in 1680, these twenty-one families were
asked to vacate their homes and stay with relatives in Bernalillo
or Algodones so they could seek safety from all the Indian raids
and killing. The settlers complied, but only with deep regret and
with a fierce determination to return as soon as conditions allowed.
A dozen or so years passed before they started moving back to San
Jose. They continued living there for many years.
In 1765, the families petitioned the King of Spain for a land grant,
which was customary among the Spanish at that time. The actual granting
of the land took place on January 13, 1768. With a small ceremony,
the residents took quiet possession of San Antonio de Las Huertas
The land grant extended from the red hills (known as the S turns)
to a high point in the Sandias, then to a watering hole known as
Uña de Gato (Nail of the Cat, a thorny plant) near the boundaries
of El Tejon (The Badger, now known as Diamond Tail) north and including
what is now known as Indian Flats and back down into Ranchos de
Placitas and La Mesa. Placiteños planted crops way into El
Cañón and as far up as what is known today as the
Las Huertas Picnic Grounds.
There were—and still are—nine springs on the ridge
east of the village, so many of these families decided to build
their homes here. The ridge was called La Cuchilla (Blade) de Lupe.
These nine springs are still owned by The San Antonio de Las Huertas
Land Grant and provide water for today’s village population.
Placiteños built four earthen reservoirs called El Tanque
del Oso (Bear), El Tanque de la Ciruela (Plum), El Tanquecito and
El Tanque del Cañón. El Tanque del Cañón’s
water came from the mountain creek.
The acequias (irrigation ditches) in the village were excavated
around 1840. Altogether, they measured about six miles. The acequias
in the village measured about three miles. Every spring, before
crops were planted, all the men in Placitas would clean all the
springs and clear the acequias of old growth and debris. The cleaning
process would take two weekends of hard labor. When the job was
completed, the men would carry the mayordomo (ditch rider) on their
shoulders and take him back up the hill to where they had started
cleaning. Everyone in town would join them and there they would
thank God for the water and they would bless it. It is said that
they would also pour grape wine into the ditch from the wine made
the year before.
After the blessing, there would be a big celebration with food
that the women had prepared for the festivities. The festivities
continued with a dance that lasted long into the night at the town
dance hall, near San Antonio Catholic Church in the village.
Today we continue to enjoy the fruits of our forefather’s
labor. Placiteños have been around for 250 years and more.
Of course today, our drinking water comes to us in pipes and is
treated according to the requirements of the State of New Mexico,
but we use the acequias for irrigation. This village is unusual,
as it is one of few villages that still have earthen ditches to
water their crops and trees. It is also unique that the water comes
from springs instead of from a well. We will continue to pray that
this precious water continues to give us life for another 250 years.