Sunday, July 5, 2015

Martinez Hacienda

Wednesday July 1, 2015

Severino Martinez purchased this property 2 miles
south of the Taos plaza in 1804. The original structure was four rooms,
and was expanded as he became more successful. It has thick adobe walls.
There are no exterior windows. This served as a protective fortress.

He married Maria del Carmen Santisteban in 1787.
They had six children, who all survived the death of their parents.

The structure has two courtyards and 21 rooms. In times of threat
or attack by the plains tribes, livestock could be brought in through 
a larger gate and protected within the inner courtyard.

The hacienda was a working farm and ranch with Navajo and Ute
workers for ranch and agricultural work.
 His wife also managed 30 Native American servants.
The hacienda was also a final stop for trading during the Spanish Colonial
period. Trade occurred with goods between Mexico City, Santa Fe and Taos.
Taos still hosts the annual Taos Trade Fair at the Martinez Hacienda,
honoring the past when times of truce were needed to facilitate trade
among tribes, Spanish settlers, and mountain men.

His son, Antonio Jose Martinez, studied to be a priest in Mexico,
and returned to serve Taos as spiritual leader from 1826 to 1867.
Severino Martinez died in 1827.

Padre Antonio Jose Martinez

The Martinez family held onto the property until 1931. It fell into disrepair.
Reconstruction began in 1961. 

It was sold to the Kit Carson Foundation in 1969 or 1972. 
It was fully restored to its 1820 state by 1982.

We started by crossing the river on the property.

We passed the small animal stall for animals such as 
sheep and goats. It is on the other side of the bridge.

The restored Martinez Hacienda stands as representation
of the history of Spanish Colonial New Mexico,
complete with an old ox cart in front of it.

The front courtyard has several rooms of the museum,
which we saw after wandering around the back rooms.
The front courtyard had more grass on it.

Working in a clockwise fashion, the first room in the front courtyard
hosted a museum display of photographs. We passed through the arches
into the back courtyard area.

The next room was a room used for a local quilting group.
Nobody was in the room at the time of my visit, but quilts

are on the walls and their frame was raised up.

We moved onto the weaving room,
where I was able to get some better photos.
During Spanish Colonial times, weaving was a way to make
rugs and blankets. Items such as socks were also made with dyed wool.

They had a variety of looms in the room, including a smaller
portable or child loom.
Carding comes and other items used to turn wool into yarn
were displayed on the walls.

Older woven pieces were on the walls along with socks
and the frame used to help size them while they were made.

The Rio Grande style of rugs and blankets created by Hispanic weavers
tends to work mostly with stripes.

Ella stood on the table near the smallest loom, 
determining it to be a modern enough piece to safely touch
in the museum.

Voir also enjoyed this room. She posed in front of the
striped rug on the wall and in front of the old foundation
displayed on the wall behind the larger loom.

We stepped out the door to the back courtyard.

The next room had retablos (painted images of saints)
and dressed statues of faith, death, marriage, and life.

These symbols and art are used to express
the religious path of early Catholics.

Voir, Ella and Amaya cringed at the figure
representing the "Grim Reaper".

There were a few rooms with guns, leather, buffalo and beaver trapping,
and important aspects of trade and life in early New Mexico,
but we did not find them as appealing.

We quickly moved in the kitchen with its display of natural
dishes, bowls and foods.

The kitchen also had a "shepherd's bed" near the kiva fire.
Shepherd could bring young lambs born early when it was cold,

or ill to sleep along a bunk attached the wall and fireplace to keep warm.

The small cot hanging from the ceiling was used as a cradle
for infants. The swing could be tied to a woman rocking and back
and forth with the grinding stones as she ground corn and rocked the baby
at the same time.

Our tour brought us into a room that displayed
items and the process for early trade.
I can image travelers bringing goods for trade

also enjoying the time to socialize, play cards,
and negotiate for what they want and what they are looking for.

Then joy of joys!!!
We found Josefina and stuff we could TOUCH!!!
Author Valerie Tripp used the Martinez Hacienda

and living history museum El Rancho de Las Golondrinas
for her research in the Josefina stories.

I bet many children have happily discovered this corner
where they could play, look at "Josefina's World"
and play dress up.

The bedside table, miniature chile ristras, black pot,
and bound sticks are a part of Josefina's AG collection.
I have them at home, but the girls were happy to play with them
and pose with them in an authentic setting.
The brown pot is not a part of Josefina's AG collection,
but fits in as a Pueblo piece.

As we continued, we found a room that looked much like Josefina's room.
I was happy to see the bed with the sleigh style frame.

The window sill demonstrates a good example of what happens
with adobe. Adobe bricks were made in frames and dried in the sun.
The same adobe was used as a mortar to attach the bricks together as they
were built into walls. Adobe was then used like stucco is used to cover
over the bricks. As a natural earth based building material, it erodes with the weather.
Annual repairs were made by adding more adobe to the walls.
They continued to grow thicker and thicker until a full restoration was done.
Thick adobe walls keeps rooms cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
They also have a protective quality to them.

We worked our way back to the rooms in the front courtyard.
The above bedroom and a similar bedroom are located in the front courtyard.

I took some more photos and made sure I had done
everything I wanted to do before leaving.
One sidebar item of interest is this wood framed donkey.
I wondered what it was used for and why it was in the front
courtyard near the hallway.

I discovered the secret of the donkey as I searched 
for online photos to supplement mine for this blog entry.
It is used to demonstrate how the smaller carts
were meant to be pulled by donkeys!

It was an interesting and enjoyable visit to the hacienda.
There were just a few more things to see before leaving.

There are two horno ovens on the property.
Fires are built inside the hornos. The fire is allowed

to burn down to ashes. The ashes are cleaned out,
and the remaining heat in the oven is used to cook
foods like breads.

Near the river, there is an area that can be used by
the mountain men as a camp out area during the trade fair.
There is an area for fires and for gatherings where people
can sit in a circle on the logs.
There also is a log target in the back used for ax throwing events.

The adobe playhouse is a treasure in this area.
I believe it was built as a community project

having children as helpers as they learned about adobe
and how adobe houses were built.

Ella, Amaya and Voir wanted to pose in front of this house
that was almost their size!

We were back at the bridge over the river,
and it was time to leave and look forward
to our next adventure.

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