Shopping in Los Alamos
On Facebook we went #InsideTheArchives to explore some of the history of Los Alamos retail. Click through to explore historic photos and artifacts from businesses and shopping in the past.
Another #InsideTheArchives post originally from our Facebook page, @LosAlamosHistory. Henry S. Buckman owned a sawmill named the Buckman Set located in the Jemez Mountains. His logging business, from 1898–1902, required him to develop roads leading from the Rio Grande to his site. In that short time, according to Historic Transportation Routes on the Pajarito Plateau by Dorothy Hoard, "Buckman built (or reconstructed) and maintained a bridge over the Rio Grande. He built (or rebuilt) a road up the 700-foot wall of White Rock Canyon and 11 miles over the mesas. He built his sawmill at the base of the mountains near Water Canyon (now S-Site) and employed a large crew." (pgs. 16–17, LA-UR-06-3550)
Living and Working in Fuller Lodge
Here's another #InsideTheArchives post from our Facebook page, this one focusing on people whose lives intersected with Fuller Lodge: the waitresses of The Lodge hotel. In our society it is rare to live and work in the same location (although this is now the case for many us during this time of COVID-19). The Lodge had a restaurant and bar which served meals to its guests. The waitresses who served the meals for The Lodge lived there as well. There is even some mystery involved because we have conflicting sources about where the staff bedrooms were located in Fuller Lodge.
Los Alamos Movie Theaters
Earlier this summer, we reflected on the closure of the Reel Deal Theater with an #InsideTheArchives post on Facebook exploring the history of movie theaters in our community. Since the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos has had six separate theaters with some of those being acquired by different owners and renamed. Our Archives has a number of photographs, newspaper articles, and paper artifacts (such as the Zia Co. calendar you can see with this post) that show or reference these local theaters. Many people remember these places as centers for fun, entertainment, and socialization as they grew up.
Are Playgrounds Historic?
Absolutely! Here's an #InsideTheArchives post from our Facebook account that looks at a couple of historic photographs from two local playgrounds alongside a collection of current photos from this year. These snapshots give us changes to the structures over the years. These can inform us about what interested kids at the time, what was considered safe, and show us what has changed or remained over time in our community. Each photograph gives us a glimpse of life from that year in Los Alamos history. Do you have any photographs or objects that reflect what Los Alamos life is like?
By SHARON SNYDER
Los Alamos Historical Society
Fuller Lodge, the venerable log building and the heart of our town, was actually named Edward P. Fuller Lodge, and this is the story of how it got its name.
The Lodge, as it is called most of the time, was designed by noted Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem and opened its doors to Los Alamos Ranch School students, masters and staff in 1929, but the story that inspired the name began several years earlier.
The Ranch School was the dream of Ashley Pond Jr., but dreams almost always need money to become a reality. In the beginning, Pond partnered with friend and homesteader Harold Brook, who agreed to develop the school on his land. However, Brook was fighting tuberculosis, and it became clear that the partnership arrangement couldn’t last, so Brook sold out to Pond.
Understanding that he couldn’t run the school alone, Pond hired director A.J. Connell, a forest ranger and Boy Scout master in Santa Fe.
They made the most of some existing wooden buildings and constructed a two-story log structure that became known as the Big House, but the dream soon required more. It was clear that more money would be needed to pay the mortgage and develop the school.
Pond was the son of a noted attorney in Michigan and had grown up in a circle of wealthy and prominent people, so he returned to his boyhood home to find a benefactor. In Grand Rapids he found the right man in Philo Fuller, a longtime friend of the Pond family.
-Fuller was the mayor of Grand Rapids and a successful businessman in lumber and furniture manufacturing. He was willing to enter into a financial agreement, but he tailored the deal to also benefit his son, Edward Philo Fuller.
Edward had polio as a child, and it left him with impaired speech and a weak leg. The defects made him feel uncomfortable in his family’s business and social landscape. In Ashley Pond’s request, Philo Fuller saw a way to help his son as well as his friend.
These articles are written by the Los Alamos Historical Society Staff. Many of these articles were originally published by the