Taos County Historical Society Resumes Lecture Program

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

TCHS News:

The Taos County Historical Society (TCHS) announces the resumption of its monthly lecture program with a Zoom presentation “Olla Bearers and Indian Detours: New Mexico Indians as Tourist Attractions” at 2 p.m., Aug. 1.

This illustrated lecture by Joseph D. Sabatini is presented in partnership with the Historical Society of New Mexico and their Speaker’s Bureau.

The Zoom presentation explores how promoters created romantic and stereotyped images of Native American communities “little changed since Coronado first viewed them” to entice tourists to New Mexico. Through books, postcards, pamphlets, maps pageants and brochures promoters and the State Tourist Bureau successfully grew the tourism industry. Among these entrepreneurs were Charles Lummis, the Santa Fe Railway, the Fred Harvey Company, Erna Fergusson, J.R. Willis and Ward Hicks.

Their efforts and viewpoints had mixed consequences for the “colorful” natives and their tribes. Indian Detours were culturally oriented excursions lasting two or three days. These guided tours departed from Albuquerque or Lamy and tourists were taken by private car or bus on an escorted overland adventure.

Joseph D. Sabatini came to New Mexico as a VISTA Volunteer working in Sandoval County. Following five years at UNM School of Law Library, he joined the Albuquerque Public Library in 1973 as Head of Reference. He served as Main Library manager from 1980 to July of 2000 when he became the Library manger at Special Collections the regional history and genealogy branch. Following his retirement in December 2008, he volunteers in the Archives/Library of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and is active in the Near North Valley Neighborhood Association.

The Historical Society of New Mexico is a 501c(3) dedicated to increasing the knowledge of New Mexico history, disseminating information on New Mexico history and encouraging preservation of historic objects and property. Visit www.hsnm.org for more information and membership. The Taos County Historical Society is a 501c(3) membership organization formed in 1952 for the purpose of “… preserving the history of the Taos area…” The Society encourages and supports historic preservation, published a periodic newsletter Ayer Y Hoy an offers monthly lecture programs. Membership is open to anyone upon the payment of dues. Visit www.taoscountyhistoricalsociety.org more additional information and membership.


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