An adobe chapel in Los Ranchos, New Mexico, 1938.

A Pictorial History of New Mexico

curated from public archives
and personal collections

The historic pictures in this archive chronicle life in 19th and early 20th-century New Mexico. Old photographs, vintage documents and ephemera, and other materials form a narrative of the people, places, and events that have shaped New Mexico's cultural identity.

Feb 7, 2018

Black & white photograph from 1938 of an adobe chapel in Los Ranchos, New Mexico.

A beautiful black and white photograph from 1938 of a chapel in Los Ranchos, New Mexico. The photographer is unknown. The village of Los Ranchos was founded in the Spanish Colonial period, originally organized around a plaza called San Jose de Los Ranchos. From 1850 to 1854, after New Mexico became a United States territory, the village was the seat of Bernalillo County.

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Jan 30, 2018

Two women step down from a brick sidewalk in front of the adobe Hotel Alvarado in Albuquerque, New Mexico, into a dirt street lined with street car rails.

The Hotel Alvarado opened in May, 1902. Designed by Charles F. Whittlesey, with the interior designed by Mary Colter, it was the first building in New Mexico designed in the Spanish-Colonial style adopted by the Santa Fe Railroad. The hotel included a gift shop, railroad depot and offices, and a restaurant that could accommodate up to 200 passengers. It was hoped that the the hotel would attract the wealthier classes to stop in Albuquerque on their travels west. For many years the Hotel Alvarado was known for its luxury, but with the decline in railroad travel in the United States, the hotel fell on hard times and was destroyed in 1969. It was eventually replaced by the Alvarado Transportation Center, designed to be reminiscent of the Hotel Alvarado.

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Jan 26, 2018

1940 photo shows traditional female mud plasterer re-mudding the exterior of an adobe house.

Spanish-American woman replastering an adobe building in Chamisal, New Mexico, in July of 1940. Enjaradoras are traditional female mud plasterers, responsible for the annual replastering of adobe homes and buildings. This exterior plastering is necessary to protect adobe bricks from weather, and must be maintained regularly.

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Jan 22, 2018

A photo from 1940 shows traditional female mud plasterers re-mudding the exterior of an adobe building.

Spanish-American women replastering an adobe building in Chamisal, New Mexico, in 1940. Enjaradoras are traditional female mud plasterers, responsible for the annual replastering of adobe homes and buildings. This exterior plastering is necessary to protect adobe bricks from weather, and must be maintained regularly.

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Jan 10, 2018

1940s postcard shows the Moon Cafe, address listed as 2316 W. Central Ave, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A 1940s postcard from the Moon Cafe at 2316 W. Central Avenue, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Typical of businesses on Route 66, signs in the windows advertise "Curios and Indian Jewelry." The back of the postcard reads "We Never Close. Dinner and short orders 24 hours a day. Eight first class Motels within two blocks."

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