‘Four Hundred Years at 109 East Palace’ Subject of History Frontiers Lecture

109 East Palace during the Manhattan Project. Courtesy/voicesofthemanhattanproject.org


The address of 109 East Palace Avenue in Santa Fe is well-known for its role in the Manhattan Project. It is the office where the gatekeeper, Dorothy McKibbin, met the scientists and other workers who were on their way to Los Alamos for the top-secret WWII project.

John Ruminer will speak on the history of the site at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Fuller Lodge. The talk is the final one in the Historical Society’s 2013-2014 lecture series, History Frontiers, sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank. It is free and open to the public. The lecture will take place immediately after the annual membership meeting of the Historical Society, which begins at 6:15 p.m. with a pizza and an ice cream social.

The history of the site goes back 400 years and includes some of the most colorful characters in New Mexico’s past. Delving into records from the Spanish, Mexican, and American periods of New Mexico history, Ruminer has traced the ownership history of the property that served as a gateway to Los Alamos during World War II. Ruminer, who has written a Los Alamos Historical Society “Nutshell” publication on 109 East Palace, will tell the tales.

Ruminer is a nearly lifelong resident of Los Alamos who graduated from Los Alamos High School and is retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Los Alamos Historical Society and as chair of the Historic Properties Committee.


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