Monday December 13, 1999

TEXAS At Townsend's death, San Antonio newspapers noted he was the last American born in Texas when it was still part of Mexico.

COLORADO More and more people are climbing aboard Colorado's many short-line tourist railroads searching for their history.


From: Roger A. Moore Moore Anthropological Research A Dec.12, 1999 Farmington (NM) Daily Times article states the county's first jail is for sale. The building must be removed because the owner wants to develop the property. A number of former inmates are buried on the property, however, no one on the article seemed to be concerned about this in relation to commercial development of the property.

[Ed note -- probably Anglo and Indian inmates are buried there] Conversos, Crypto-Jews or Anusim left Spain for remote areas in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Pockets of Anusim remain, and many still practice traditional Sephardic ways of life.

UTAH An incarceration facility is to be built atop a shortcut of the trail trod by the Donner-Reed Party en route to its tragic destiny. "Finding out too late" is a common refrain in the campaign to save historic trail corridors from development.

NEVADA Plodding in the footsteps of the '49ers across the Nevada desert, I feel the ghost of Israel Lord tap me on the shoulder. There, standing above me in High Rock Canyon, is a large, volcanic rock that looks like the profile of a prospector's face -- just as Lord described it during the Gold Rush of 1849.

ARIZONA A public workshop will be held Monday evening to discuss the status of Tombstone's Historic District as a National Historic Landmark (NHL). A fact-finding mission will include an assessment of what historic preservation projects are needed, and an effort to determine whether enough funding is available for the projects. The Agua Fria National Monument is 40,000 acres of archeological sites threatened by urban sprawl and pothunters. Clues to an ancient civilization are resting 5 feet beneath a future runway in Phoenix. Armed with ear plugs to soften the hum of jet engines, a team of archaeologists is searching for clues to a prehistoric Hohokam Indian community that lived more than 1,000 years ago. A powwow involving more than 100 Native American tribes has grown to such proportions that it will be televised. Proceeds from the event will go to the Creation Women's Circle Charitable Trust, a non-profit Tucson organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and promote Native American culture and traditions. Screen porches in early Tucson kept away bugs, early daylight, frequent dust storms and, sometimes, rain. With the development of air conditioning, major changes occurred in plans for homes built in desert areas. No longer were screen porches included in them. The arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1877 forever changed patterns of transportation. Steamboats continued to travel to ports upriver, but voyages from Yuma to the mouth of the Colorado became nearly non-existent after 1877.

CYBERIA Brister said not long ago, he received a call from a man in New York who has a PhD in anthropology, asking for "any position, even sweeping floors" just so he could break into the museum business. The further west American Indians were pushed, the more Washington became the center of Indian affairs, and the more urgent it became to tribal leaders to make their way eastward. It's not a stretch, in fact, to say that American Indians were the most active petitioners and lobbyists of the 19th century. Rod Coronado thinks a national indigenous peoples museum is nice, but wishes the government is as concerned with preserving indigenous people themselves as it is with culture.