. . . 428 pages of mystery, adventure, and romance at a thrilling roller-coaster ride pace.

Set against the backdrop of territorial days in New Mexico, a Gibson Girl heroine and an unforgettable cast of characters sift through clues on two continents in their search for truth, justice, and love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Casas de Antano -- Houses of Yesteryear

The state of New Mexico is celebrating it's centennial year of statehood throughout 2012.  Festivities that were held on January 6th -- the hundredth anniversary of the day the territory became a state -- were just the beginning.  We are being treated each month to awesome historical events.

This past weekend, Las Crucens had the opportunity to tour seven historic adobe homes and buildings that were standing in 1912.  Each of these properties has been well preserved and offered a glimpse in the living standards that existed before statehood occurred.

Since Lily's story continues from Tierra Red into the sequel, Illusions, it was a special treat for me to tour homes she might have visited or places in which special events were held.  The home above dates from the 1850s.

This was the home of Samuel F. Bean, a relative of the well-known historical figure Judge Roy Bean, and was built in the early 1890's.  It has been lovingly restored and is still recognizable from an 1892 photograph.

Perhaps the most astonishing example of early 1900 architecture in Las Cruces, the above 1907 photo is of the H. B. Holt House.  It was designed by Henry C. Trost, a contemporary architect of Frank Lloyd Wright.  The interior of this home is exactly the same as it was when built and has extraordinary architectural elements throughout.

This is the Frank Amador house which was built in 1905.  The eighteen-inch thick adobe walls, twelve-foot ceilings, original fir floors, and an ornate marble fireplace mantle are original features.  Hidden by the trees in this photo is a widow's walk on the roof.

All these homes,the Amador Hotel (which is being restored at the moment), and the Nestor Armijo House (which dates from 1877 and is also under restoration) were simply amazing to visit.  When I imagined the house that Lily Preston built on the edge of town in 1898, I envisioned spacious rooms with many large windows.  I was delighted to discover that all of these homes on tour had the same features.

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