Image from the D.H. Lawerence Ranch. Courtesy/taoscf.org
The historic D.H. Lawrence Ranch in Taos County will now be open to the public, thanks to a cooperative agreement between the University of New Mexico (UNM), D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance and the Taos Community Foundation (TCF).
The ranch, which has been closed to the public since 2010, is accessible 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through October.
The Taos Community Foundation established a grant to hire a UNM staff member who will provide public tours and information of the property. The Taos-based D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance also is working with UNM-Taos to create a volunteer docent program to staff the ranch on a regular basis. In fact, UNM-Taos is offering a course designed to acquaint prospective docent volunteers with the ranch and the writer.
D.H. Lawrence was a renowned 19th century writer revered for his extraordinary achievements in other artistic forms including travel writing, journalism, drama, and painting, among others. Nine of his oil paintings have been on display in the La Fonda Hotel in Taos since his death. Lawrence is best known for his works, Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
Lawrence and his wife Frieda came to Taos at the invitation of socialite Mabel Dodge Lujan. The Lawrences owned and lived at the ranch during their visits to Taos in the 1920s. After Lawrence’s death in 1930, Frieda Lawrence returned to New Mexico, later giving the Kiowa Ranch to UNM for educational, cultural and recreational purposes.
The 160-acre ranch, also known as the Kiowa Ranch, has been an important part of the Hispanic, Anglo and Native American cultures of northern New Mexico. It is one of the most sought after sites for visitors, second only to Taos Pueblo. The ranch is located on Lobo Mountain at an altitude of 8,500 feet.
The non-profit D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance is a group of local citizens and admirers of D.H. Lawrence’s work, who believe that the Ranch should be preserved as a memorial to his legacy as a writer, historical figure, and cultural magnet.
The Alliance includes members of the local Pueblo, Hispanic, and Anglo communities. It is supported and sponsored by the Taos Community Foundation, a local philanthropic organization. Members of the Friends of D.H. Lawrence, an international literary association are involved, along with local landowners and business people.
The ranch is 20 miles north of Taos off Highway 522, just south of San Cristobal. Visitors should prepare to make a right turn after mile marker 10; signs mark the rest of the way.