Elephant Butte Inn and Spa

Elephant Butte Inn Blog


Posted December 22, 2012




By Travelin’ Jack

Twas the Night Before Dog-Mas

And All Through the Dog House

Not a Critter was A-Stirring,

Not even a Squeaky Toy Mouse.


The Puppies and Kittens Were All Snug in Their Beds

With Visions of Chew Bones and Catnip in Their Heads.

Their stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care

In the Hope that SAINT PAWS Soon Would be There.


Mama Cat in her Holiday Collar

And Me-Travelin’ Jack in My St. Nick Cap

Had Just Settled Down

For a Cozy Winter’s Cat Nap.


When OUT on the Lawn there Arose a Great Clatter,

I Sprang from My Dog Bed to See What Was the Matter!                        

And WHAT to my Wondering Pup Eyes Just Appears

But a Miniature Dog Sleigh and Eight Tiny Dog Dears!


With a 4-Footed Driver who was Set On a Cause

I knew in a Dog Blink, it must be SAINT PAWS!

More Rapid than Greyhounds, on Target They Came

He  Barked out in Dog-Talk and Called Them by Name.


“Now Fido, Now Fluffy, Now Fifi and Fred

On Roxie, On Rascal, On Rover and Red!

To the Top O’ the Dog House, To the Top O’ the Wall

Now Dash Away, Dash Away, Dash Away All!”


Then to the Top of the Roof those Dog Dears They Flew

With a Sleigh Full of Dog Toys And SAINT PAWS Too!

As I Drew in My Pup Nose and was Hopping Around

Down the Chimney Came SAINT PAWS with a Bounce & A Bound.


He was Dressed in His Dog Fur from Front Paw to Back Foot

And That Dog Fur was Tarnished with Ashes and Soot.

A Back Pack of Pet Treats was Strapped on His Back

And He Looked Like a Pup Peddler Just Opening His Pack.


His eyes How They Sparkled, His Whiskers How Merry!

His Face Fur All Fluffy, His Nose Like a BlackBerry.

His Dog Smile was Drawn Up like a Howl-iday Bow

And the Beard on His Chin was White Like the Snow.


SAINT PAWS was Chubby & Plump, A Right Jolly ol’ Pup

And I Said When He Spied Me “Hey Ol’ Paws-What’s Up?”

With a Wink of His Eye and a Cock of His Head

He Soon Let Travelin’ Jack Know I Had Nothing to Dread.


He Barked not a Word, but Went Straight to His Work

He Filled All the Pups’ & Kitties’ Stockings Then Turned with a Jerk

Laying a Paw Aside of His Puppy Dog Nose

And Giving a “YIP” Up the Chimney He Rose.


He Jumped in His Sleigh to His Dog Dears Shouted out a Loud BARK

And Away They All Flew, Enroute to a Nearby Dog Park.

But I Heard Him Dog-sclaim as He Drove Out of Sight………





TRAVELIN’ JACK dedicates this Pup-Poem to ALL the Puppies and Kitties Waiting for A Forever Family.  Don’t YOU need a new family member this Holiday Season? If You Can’t Adopt, then Support Your Local Animal Charity. 
THANK YOU…. & HAPPY HOWL-IDAYS!                                                                          

Arrey and Derry

Posted December 19, 2012

The southern part of Sierra County along the Rio Grande is noted for its emphasis on agriculture.  As early as the 1870s this area was settled by Hispanic farmers and ranchers.  They were attracted to the abundance of water and a long growing season.  They established the small communities of Derry and Arrey.  Arrey was named El Bonito by the first homesteaders in the 1880s.  The town's name was changed to Arrey (a-Ray) to honor Urbano Arrey, who became the first postmaster in 1901.  Derry, originally named Loma Parda (Gray Mountain) was settled in 1869.  The name Derry was chosen to honor a soldier who had served in the U.S. Army with the father of a local farmer.


Cutter, New Mexico

Posted December 17, 2012

Cutter was originally a railroad station constructed 11 miles south of Engle as another water stop for the railroad.  It was primarily a shipping point for ore from the Caballo Mountains and Hillsboro and for transporting supplies through the Palomas Gap to the west side of the Rio Grande.  Cutter reached a population of 3,500 during the mining boom of the 1890s.  The last original building was torn down in 1956.  A new settlement has sprung up centered around the established ranches.  The only remains of the original town of Cutter is one railroad sign.


Posted December 16, 2012

Engle was founded in 1879 as a station on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. Most likely, it was named after R .L. Engle, a railroad construction engineer.
Engle thrived as a cattle town and shipping point for ore and supplies. C
onstruction of Elephant Butte Dam (1911-1916) brought new jobs to town, increasing its population to 500. After the dam was completed, though, the town rapidly shrank to 200 in 1919 and 75 in 1926. In 1945, the area east of town was restricted by the U.S. government when the White Sands Missile Range was created. A further blow to the town's economy happened as ranchers began shipping their cattle by truck instead of railroad. Engle was nearly deserted by the late 1960s. Today, a few original buildings remain such as this photo of the Community Church that once was a schoolhouse.


More on Jornada del Muerto

Posted December 15, 2012

Jornada del Muerto separated from the Rio Grande for 90 miles to avoid the steep canyons just west of the river. The flatlands east of Caballo Mountains were easily traversed by the wagons and livestock. Water holes were spaced about 10 miles apart and were frequently dry. Often, the wagon trains traveled at night to avoid the sun's parching heat. It took more than a week to cross the Jornada and the travelers were vulnerable to hostile attack.


Jornada del Muerto

Posted December 14, 2012

Jornada del Muerto, the "Journey of the Dead Man" was a desolate and dangerous 90 mile segment of El Camino Real del Tierra Adentro, "The Royal Road to the Interior." This road was one of four principal trade and transportation routes the Spanish built which radiated from Mexico City. For over 400 years, these roads formed a busy network used by wagons, mule trains and foot traffic. Separate routes connected Mexico City to the seaports of Veracruz and Acapulco. A portion of Jornada del Muerto passes through Sierra County east of the Caballo Mountains and west of the San Andreas Mountains.


Monticello, New Mexico

Posted December 8, 2012

Monticello was originally named Canada Alamosa ("Canyon of the Cottonwoods") and was settled by ranchers and farmers in 1856.  It was built in a square to protect residents from Apache attacks.  Remnants of the surrounding adobe walls can still be seen.  The town weas renamed in 1881 when a post office was established by the first postmaster, Aristide Bourguet.  He named the town after Monticello, New York.  Placita and Monticello today are home to several organic farms.  These farms produce highly regarded products such as fruits and vegetables, herbal health and beauty products and balsamic vinegar.

Las Placitas, NM

Posted December 6, 2012

Las Placitas ("Little Plazas") is located 2 miles south of Monticello along the Canada Alamosa River.  It was settled in the 1840s by the Sedillo family, whose descendants still live there.  San Lorenzo Catholic Church, built in 1916 still stands. The original schoolhouse, a dance hall and several houses also remain.  During peak years, more than 1,000 families lived in Monticello Canyon, which contains both Monticello and Las Placitas.  Today, there are fewer than 100 families.


Posted December 3, 2012

Cuchillo was founded in the 1850s by Hispanic farmers and ranchers.  It was named for nearby Cuchillo Negro ("Black Knife") Creek, which took its name from a local Apache Chief.

During the mining boom of the 1880s and 1890s, stage and freight lines ran between the railroad station in Engle to the silver mines at Winston, Chloride and Hermosa.  As a mid-point between these locations, Cuchillo was a natural choice for a stage stop.  In that era, it was a thriving agricultural community and was well-suited to resupply the men and horses.  The end of the mining boom plus a series of devastating floods on the Cuchillo Negro Creek greatly reduced the town.  Today, it is a small village with some farms and ranches.  

This photo is of the San Jose Mission in Cuchillo.

Chloride Pioneer Store Museum

Posted December 1, 2012

The Pioneer Store Museum in Chloride is located in the original 1880 log building. Featured are the original store fixtures, includinjg the cash register, safe, silver-nickel showcases and much of the pre-1900 merchandise. Also on display...
are artifacts from early mining activities in the nearby mountains, many photographs, town site records and personal papers and possessions of the pre-1900 residents. Also included are tributes to two of the town's most famous residents: Raymond Schmidt and Cassie Hobbs.



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