Every town has a unique history. Travel to any municipality on the map and within its city limits there are stories and events that give the place its identity.
It is no wonder then that a town’s history is a prized possession, and a lot of work is put into ensuring the memory of past events and individuals does not fade away.
It could be argued that nowhere is that work more prevalent or diligent than in Los Alamos because let’s face it: this town has a lot of stories and a lot of big events happened on the Hill.
Monday, volunteers with the Los Alamos History Museum took members of the Los Alamos County Historical Preservation Advisory Board (HPAB) on a brief tour of Los Alamos’s past: from the ancestral ruins that sit just outside of Central Park Square to the tree-lined Bathtub Row where all the head honchos lived during the Manhattan Project.
HPAB Chair Leslie Linke said Los Alamos is a Certified Local Government.
According to a Los Alamos County Community Development Department brochure, the U.S. Department of Interior and the National Park Service gave the County this distinction. The certification forms a partnership between Los Alamos and the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division; it allows the County through HPAB to apply for grants to maintain and preserve properties that are cultural or historic.
The Board’s Education and Outreach program helps to ensure continued certification as a Certified Local Government, Linke said. Additionally it is a chance to spread the word about the work the Los Alamos Historical Society and HPAB do.
“The board is working on education and outreach because (it) wants the community to know who we are and what we do,” Linke said.
The hope also is for the two organizations to expand collaboration, she said.
“We’re doing more and more together,” Linke said. “The opportunities are great.”
She explained, in a nutshell, the HPAB focuses on facilities, properties and buildings and the Historic Society addresses stories, people and artifacts and interprets them for the public.
Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Elizabeth Martineau agreed that collaboration between the two entities is a positive step.
“Our two organizations are kind of kindred spirits,” Martineau said. “I think in a lot of ways we are connected.”
She added that she sees a lot of chances to do outreach. There’s a lot of power in places, Martineau said, and the Historical Society would like to get people inside as many historic places as possible.