This month we are exploring #InsideTheArchives to rediscover a lost Los Alamos locale: Higgins Park. Do you recognize the name? Have you heard stories of this Manhattan Project-era park?
A snippet from Craig Martin’s “Los Alamos Place Names” gives us a brief glimpse into the construction and history of this little-remembered location:
“At the end of 9th Street, directly behind the barracks, the MPs [Military Police] built a set of steep wooden stairs leading to a level bench about halfway down the north wall of Los Alamos Canyon. On the bench, in the shade of towering ponderosa pines, were stone fireplaces—some carved directly from tuff boulders tumbled from the cliffs—and a picnic pavilion. In summer of 1946 the labor of men combined to the stockade built the stairs and park … the small park was naturally called MP Picnic Grounds by the civilian population. The Army, however, called the facility Higgins Park for Captain Higgins, a commander of the MPs in 1945.” Los Alamos Place Names, pages 78–80.
A secret park for the secret city. Even though the location is long abandoned it still captures the imagination to think of MPs and their friends climbing that winding staircase to enjoy some time of community together.
If you have any reminiscences of Higgins Park or have heard stories about it, we would love to have you share those with us.
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These articles are written by the Los Alamos Historical Society Staff. Many of these articles were originally published by the