COLORADO The ranch has been in the hands of the Schmid family for five generations and was designated as a "Centennial Farm" by the Colorado Historical Society and is home to more than a dozen historic buildings and barns. The County was awarded a grant of $10,750 by the CHS several months ago to conduct a historic inventory of the buildings and seek designation for them on the Colorado or National Register of Historic Places. When those activities are completed, the ranch will become eligible for additional historic preservation grants to repair ranch structures.

NEW MEXICO "It was sort of an old-fashioned field camp where you actually live by the site," said assistant professor Bill Walker, who teaches Southwestern Archaeology at NMSU. Walker, along with James Skibo, an Illinois State University associate professor of anthropology, organized the project -- which they call "La Frontera" -- to conduct research on the cultures which were in the area about 800 years ago. The plan was to excavate a 14th-century adobe pueblo and two ball courts which were discovered in the early 1980s. But then they discovered a third ball court. "We kind of stumbled on it by accident," Skibo said. "It was a big breakthrough." Walker and Skibo believe the ball courts played a significant role in the lives of the Animas Phase people -- perhaps even had some kind of religious significance. "It was a sport, but also a re-creation of the creation of the world," Walker said. "Where the players were sort of like gods. Their activity in the game may have been modeled on some sort of religious story." In March, the Albuquerque City Council passed a resolution that ordered the creation of a statue of Oņate to commemorate 400 years of Hispanic settlement in New Mexico. Oņate and his group of Spanish settlers arrived in 1598. He was the first Spanish governor in what is now New Mexico. Oņate became a controversial figure during last year's 400th anniversary celebration of his arrival. Many New Mexicans, including some Hispanics, objected to a statue commemorating Oņate because of his brutal treatment of Acoma Pueblo. After two of his men were killed at Acoma Pueblo, he ordered the feet of several Acoma warriors cut off.

CULTURAL TOURISM TO BE TOPIC OF PUBLIC HEARINGS 07/28/99 SANTA FE (AP) _ State agencies plan to explore the potential for cultural tourism throughout New Mexico. Cultural tourism is aimed at luring people to events and sites that have special artistic and cultural value, such as Indian dances, archaeological ruins and walking tours of historic neighborhoods. The state Department of Tourism, Office of Cultural Affairs and Economic Development Department plan a series of meetings throughout the state to look at such tourism. The first is set for Aug. 3 in Las Vegas. The meetings will culminate in a report for the 1999 Governor's Conference on Tourism Oct. 13-15 in Silver City. In addition, a statewide conference on cultural tourism is being planned for next spring. Other meetings are set for Aug. 11 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, Aug. 17 at the Inn at the Butte in Elephant Butte, Aug. 25 at San Juan College in Farmington, Aug. 31 at Roswell's Convention and Civic Center and Sept. 8 at Anthony's on the Delta in Espanola.


CLARKDALE'S RUINS PROVIDE WINDOW TO MISSING CULTURE 07/28/99 CLARKDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Commanding a rocky promontory in the Verde Valley, Tuzigoot National Monument offers visitors a window into the life of a long-vanished tribe that called it home for 300 years. Tuzigoot, Apache for "crooked water," is all that remains of a village the prehistoric Sinaguan people built and occupied between 1125 and 1450. According to Park Ranger John Reid, no one knows why they abandoned the site, seemingly rich in farmland, water and game. "There's no direct evidence of warfare or major conflict, but we don't have a lot to go on," he said. "Perhaps they were using up soil nutrients or other resources, or it may have been due to disease or politics, or a combination of reasons." In any case, the Sinaguans moved away over a period of years in the mid 1400s, leaving the pueblo's structures to fall in on themselves. Today, staff continues stabilizing the ruins through the "Vanishing Treasures" program. Weekdays, they're busy shoring up structures the ancients built using local river rocks and clay mortar. Roofs were log beams covered with thick twig matting and grass thatch. Some of those were floors for rooms above. The original pueblo, which was two stories high in places, had 77 ground-floor rooms. Walls 24-30 inches thick separated them. Each room was home to a family, who entered by way of a ladder through an opening in their roof. Amenities included cotton clothes, hides from deer and other local animals, a hearth under the roof opening, woven baskets, pottery vessels and pet macaws from northern Mexico. Reid and Park Ranger Jose Castillo give interpretive talks about the Sinaguan people and their village _ really a city in its day _ at regular intervals. They lead visitors along the steep trail to the ruins, calling attention to various features and explaining how the ancients lived. For school tours, Castillo carries dried corn in his pocket. He sprinkles a few kernels on a Sinaguan metate (bottom of a stone corn grinder) and rubs them into meal with a smaller stone mano. "Kids get a kick out of seeing how people used to grind corn for bread," Reid said. "They find out it was really work." At the top of the pueblo is a reconstructed room showing the interior juniper-beam support poles, ceiling and mud-plastered walls. It's a cool spot on a hot summer afternoon. A climb up the ladder yields a rooftop view of the surrounding Verde Valley, lush from monsoon rains, and of Jerome, a historic town clinging to the distant mountainside. Another Tuzigoot trail, which is wheelchair accessible, goes to an area overlooking marshes where Sinaguans tended their crops. It's a port of call for migrating birds now, and tourists bring binoculars to watch for favorites. Recently, Reid planted seeds from heirloom plants the Sinaguans are known to have cultivated. Several varieties, including popcorn, will soon be emerging from a raised bed in front of the center, providing yet another glimpse into Sinaguan life. PHOENIX -- Ruins treasured by archaeologists for their potential to help explain major cultural changes in Arizona's late prehistory are on the mind of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt. The former Arizona governor is weighing whether Perry Mesa and Black Canyon, a Tucson-sized plateau and canyon area in southeastern Yavapai County in central Arizona, should get new federal protection. Babbitt discussed the area during a July 14 reception in Phoenix, telling attendees that the 180-square mile area located between Black Canyon City and Cordes Junction is special because of the hundreds of prehistoric sites that dot its landscape, nearly all federally owned. "The great thing is that the leaders of our nation are recognizing Route 66 and its heritage. This is just a beginning. It's very exciting," said Angel Delgadillo, a Seligman barber and founder of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. The Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering will be held Aug. 12-14 in Prescott. This year, more than 100 applicants vied for a spot at the event at the Sharlot Hall Museum. A swell of opposition is forming to the $15 million project from a group of American Indians who say the proposed location of the telescopes will ruin the sanctity of a religious gathering place. The sweat lodge site is about 1,000 yards from a 12-acre parcel in the Santa Ritas where the Smithsonian Institution hopes to build its Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System. William Strader of Tucson is convinced this building near Picacho Peak was a stagecoach stop for the Southern Pacific Mail and Stage Line. They believe it is the last standing stagecoach stop for the short-lived Southern Pacific Mail and Stage Line that operated during the late 1870s and early 1880s as the railroad was making its way eastward from Yuma. The long-awaited Chiricahua Regional Museum opened its doors for the first time on Saturday, at 10 a.m. The museum is located inside the former Valley Hardware Store, although the location is a temporary one. A new building is expected to open in two years. In attendance was a group of Mescalero Indians, who were also descendants of Cochise, and Head of Indian Affairs Tony Cohorn, of Willcox.

NEVADA In an effort to preserve Las Vegas' rich past, city officials are completing written guidelines that will set design and development standards for the Las Vegas High School Historical District.

CALIFORNIA The Historical Society is busy with its first major fund-raising project, geared at getting pioneer Hastie's first bus r unning. It's 12-passenger Chevrolet Stage Coach.

CYBERIA Over the next few days, hundreds of people will gather in Bozeman to learn about the historical, cultural and social importance of the Bozeman Trail. For the first time ever, the Montana historical society is hosting the "Bozeman Trail Heritage Conference." As the legend went, the four-engine plane crashed into a mountain in southeastern Alaska on a cool, clear night 50 years ago. And, though never confirmed, rumor had it that the plane carried gold bullion from China. The legend has been passed down through generations of pilots at Northwestern Airlines and has gnawed at Millican, 42, who lives nearby in Anchorage. So five years ago, when he heard that recent glacial movements may have made the wreckage accessible, he and a buddy, Delta Airlines pilot Kevin McGregor, 44, finally decided to go hunting.,1575,SAV-9907290236,00.html The small, 100-year-old glass bottle with the words "Dr. King's new discovery" etched into its side, might cause some to scratch their heads and wonder what medical breakthrough the good doctor was on to. But John Staeck knows better. "It was probably liquor," the College of DuPage archeology professor said, fingering what once likely contained patent medicine. The drink, consisting almost entirely of alcohol, was popular among 19th Century laborers to cure them of whatever was ailing them at the moment. The bottle now sits atop a cafeteria-length table--alongside 70,000 other artifacts--in a nearby barn, part of a major archeological undertaking that Staeck says is unique in the Midwest. "We believe there is nothing in the Midwest that has ever been done to this degree," Staeck said. "When this ends, we hope to have the most extensive study of 19th Century farms in the Midwest."