TEXAS An important pocket of San Antonio's history, Ellis Alley was the place from which the Black East Side," a community of well-kept homes and African-American entrepreneurs, evolved. Thanks to Neighborhoods Acting Together, VIA, the San Antonio Conservation Society, the Texas Historical Commission and the Historic Preservation and Economic Development offices, it will be spared. In the treeless Texas Panhandle, all cooking and heating was done by fireplace, fire pit, or wood-burning stove. Fuel was a problem, but prairie coal could be bought at one dollar per load and piled in small houses and kept dry. According to Texas historian Lewis Nordyke, not all prairie coal was the same. It was graded as to quality - round browns were superior and more desirable, but a hardy family could warm and cook with white flats.

NEW MEXICO The Cañoncito Navajos were allies of the Americans and had not been at war with them, but they were some of the first Navajos brought to Fort Sumner. By some historical accounts, relations among the bands were unfriendly at Fort Sumner. Historians say the rift began after 1820 when the Cañoncito/Cebolleta Navajos became allies with the Spanish. Under an 1846 alliance, for instance, the Cañoncito Navajos supported the Mexicans against other Navajo bands. THREE SILVER CITY RESIDENTS RECALL AN ERA OF HARD TIMES 07/11/99 SILVER CITY, N.M. BY STACEY HEARN LAS CRUCES SUN-NEWS With new metal buildings popping up on every corner here, it's hard to distinguish this southern New Mexico city from other towns and remember its rich history. It is difficult to think back to a time when adobe homes were built by the homeowner's two hands and a plot of land sold for $300 because the owner felt a kinship to the buyer. Yet there are citizens in Silver City who have lived here since the early 1900s and whose families migrated here in the late 1800s. Their stories transport a person to the days when Silver City was little more than an unnamed miners' camp, and Spanish was the prevalent language. In June, three of these longtime residents spoke to Dr. Sheila Seshan's Immigration in the Southwest class at Western New Mexico University.

ARIZONA The Smithsonian Institution has shelved an offer to lend artifacts to a Scottsdale museum, because officials are angry that the museum's name is being bandied about in a Scottsdale redevelopment election. The prestigious Smithsonian suspended talks with Scottsdale's Museum of Progress until after a Sept. 7 vote. The letter, from Smithsonian Secretary I. Michael Heyman, says it had been implied that the Smithsonian is "endorsing one side or another in various political and land development issues."

UTAH,1249,100010746,00.html? Mike Foley says he's found wagon paths where thousands came and continued on to Utah 150 years ago. Using divining rods, he's also found row upon row of unmarked graves at the site of the first major camp along the Mormon trail from Nauvoo, Illinois to the West.

NEVADA From the Indians who lived along the Stillwater Marsh to the immigrants who cross the 40 Mile Desert, the natural history of Churchill County will be chronicled in a new interactive museum exhibit. The Churchill County Museum Association plans the exhibit this fall thanks to a recent $152,300 grant from the Reno-based E.L. Wiegand Foundation. It will focus on three facets - the marsh itself, the tribes that lived there and the immigrants who crossed the frontier 150 years ago.

CALIFORNIA Archaeologists are sorting through tens of thousands of artifacts recovered from the National Park Service's Crissy Field restoration project. The artifacts that best illustrate Presidio life - and that of the Native Americans who preceded the soldiers - will be displayed at a community environmental education center by the marshland, which opens to the public in mid-2000. Grivetti and his team created a time line of over 400 years that traces the eating habits and food creations of Native Americans, colonists, pioneers, 49ers, soldiers in the World Wars, and the generations of the late-20th century. By highlighting the 10 enduring foods of the American diet (beef, chicken, turkey, pork, wheat, corn, potatoes, beans, greens and apples), the show demonstrates how the great American Melting Pot has adapted to create a national culinary heritage.

CYBERIA Neanderthals were human, say many palaeoanthropologists. This orthodoxy has now been challenged by an archaeologist from the University of New England, Armidale. Writing this month in the prestigious Journal of Human Evolution, Dr Rob Gargett argues that there is no good archaeological evidence that Neanderthals ever buried their dead. In his controversial paper, he re-examines the published data on supposed burials in five major cave sites in Israel, France and Syria, and concludes that natural causes for the preservation and position of the skeletons cannot be ruled out.,2107,69926-110556-783000-0,00.html According to ancient-textiles researcher Elizabeth Wayland Barber, about 11,000 years ago, when our Stone Age ancestors were selecting the sheep that responded best to domestication, an unintended result was that they also ended up with sheep with woollier coats. By around 4000 B.C., the coat had become woolly enough to use for textiles. With the advent of spinning and weaving, shepherds found they could make use of the live animals by taking their fleece. The live animals, in effect, had become more useful than dead ones. Our ancestors achieved the equivalent of living on investment interest rather liquidating capital. See "Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years" July 9, 1999 ARCHAEOLOGY: Relics unearthed on memory lane By Andrew Taylor, Utilities Correspondent. The Highways Agency has spent at least £10m on archaeological works since 1993. Private sector developers hire Andrew Fitzpatrick, project manager of Wessex Archaeology, to assess the risk of projects being delayed by archaeological excavations. This risk may then be priced into bids. The Patterson-Hartmans survey examined the architectural character and historical background of individual La Grande buildings erected between 1891 and 1955. The survey revealed La Grande's long-forgotten Chinatown, a place where mob violence, bigotry, gunplay and tong wars once were an unfortunate fact of life. Assembling a "social history" to accompany the architectural research was no small task. La Grande sometimes is termed "a town without a history" because most of its early newspapers and cemeteries have been obliterated. By mid-July, males are on the move, looking for mates. They have a very high profile when they do that. They will cross roads and may travel for miles in hopes of finding a female. As a result of their amorous preoccupation, many end up flattened on highways. [ And this is why the alternatives -- field schools and Pecos Conference -- became popular... ]