By SHARON SNYDER
Los Alamos Historical Society
When Peggy Pond Church first saw the site where her father would one day open a school for boys, she was 12 years old. She remembered it in later years as “not much more than a homesteader’s farmhouse, a few sheds, and a muddy puddle of water.”
That mud puddle would one day become a centerpiece for Los Alamos. What were the events in the life of Ashley Pond, the small body of water?
The first mention of the shallow depression that would become Ashley Pond dates to the homesteading era, which began on the Pajarito Plateau in the 1880s. Water was scarce for the homesteaders, who learned dryland farming techniques. They depended on rain water and snowmelt and often hauled water from sources miles away. When rains came, the depression would collect water, and homesteaders nearby would bring their livestock to the temporary pond, a depression that became known as the Stock Watering Tank.
These articles are written by the Los Alamos Historical Society Staff. Many of these articles were originally published by the