The April issue, for example, devoted a two-page spread to a PTA program put on by the children in Copperfield. One segment of the program highlighted Latino youngsters: "A Puerto R i m dance was presented by little Miss Jennie Rosa in full costume.. The pageantry of Mexican life and religion portrayed by Lawrence Lovato and Rubio Lopez was inspiring.
This was followed by 'Mariachis' or troubadours singing and concluded with a Mexican 'hat-dance. Another photograph on a picture spread in the center of the magazine showed Rubio Lopez and Eloy Vigil holding U. Lawrence Lovato, wife of a Mines employee. In June Kennescope reported on the annual Cinco de Mayo festivities, one of the big ethnic celebrations in Bingham Canyon each year. The magazine reminded readers that the May 5 anniversary of Mexican independence from the French was as important to people of Mexican heritage as July 4 to Americans of all backgrounds.
Mine company families and many guests, including Mayor Dispenza and his wife, had attended the program. As usual, there was dancing, singing, and 'an excellent Mexican meal. The achievements of children in school were often noted in the magazine. For example, Edward Aguayo, a senior at Bingham High School, was recognized for his outstanding athletic endeavors, scholastic achievement, and participation in student affairs.
A son of Jesus Aguayo, a flagman at the mine, Edward was named to the all-region football team in his senior year, served as student manager of boys' athletics at BHS, was sergeant-at-arms of the Prospectors Club, and more. The mine workers themselves were also recognized in articles and pictures. Pablo Lozano, for instance, was shown at the controls of a tram that hauled hundreds of workers into the mine each day. A native of Mexico, Lozano said he was very happy with his job and liked the U. Salvador Guitierrez, a trackman at the mine for nine years, had an unusual claim to fame, according to a light-hearted photo feature in Kennescope: "When he wears his broad-brimmed hat and glasses, his fellow-miners think him a dead ringer for Harry S.
Truman," the former president. When asked about his political affiliation, Guitierrez "grinned his best Harry S. Truman just a working man. For example, in April a special awards dinner honored those with 20 and 30 years of service with Utah Copper. Among the year veterans were trackman Felix Gonzales and tram operator Juventino Ramirez. Those honored for 20 years included trackman Fidel Gallegos, repair machinist Paz F.
Gallegos, welder Tony M. Gallegos, shop tool operator Alex Montoya, and precipitation plant worker Juan Villalobos. The distinctive characteristic of Utah's Latinos in this period, according to Mayer, was their varied origins, including Mexican immigrant, Mexican American, Puerto Rican , and South and Central American. Prejudice and discrimination were undoubtedly facts of their lives.
That Kennescope emphasized positive aspects of its "melting pot" work crew is understandable. Given that, however, the magazine remains an important source of historical data on the state's largest ethnic minority. Helen 2. They quickly learned that camp meetings attracted fewer patrons than church schools. So, wherever local school terms were haphazard, books in short supply, and teachers poorly trained which included most everywhere in the territory , Mormon and non-Mormon parents alike enrolled their children in the alternative Methodist, Presbyterian, or Episcopalian grade and secondary schools.
Many a nonMormon church built in early Utah served a double purpose as a schoolhouse. But by the end of the century Utah saw a decline in Protestant evangelistic fervor. One contributing factor was the Manifesto officially ending the Mormons' practice of plural marriage-a reform Protestants had eagerly worked toward. Another factor was the very success of the Protestant schools in preparing the way for a public school system mandated by the Utah Territorial Legislature in the s.
A third factor was the Panic of followed by nearly a decade of severe depression. This greatly affected the ability of eastern congregations to support Utah and other missions fmancially. Thus a new phase of Utah Protestantism began: the era of community churches. The Green River Presbyterian Church represents this phase. The wooden Victorian Gothic chapel was built in just as Green River, Emery County, was becoming a distinct community. A settlement had actually existed at this favorable crossing of the Green River since , when a mail route was begun between Ouray, Colorado, and Salina in Sevier County, Utah.
In about residents began calling their settlement Green River. Due largely to the railroad but also to a budding peach industry, Green River saw considerable growth between and Citizens elected their first town council, platted a new townsite, officially incorporated, and built a metal-truss wagon bridge over the river. The Reverend J. McGillivray established the town's first church: Green River Presbyterian. But non-Mormons were a minority in almost every Utah town, and Green River was no exception.
To assemble a congregation the little church had to draw its 29 members from eight denominations. This was not uncommon for Utah Protestant bodies. Usually they maintained loose ties with a sponsoring sect that provided financial and pastoral support. Davis who was the prime mover behind a chapel. The church project received wide support. A local development company, Green River more. Land and Townsite, donated five lots totaling just under an acre at West Third Avenue. Characterized as Late Gothic Revival, their design stipulated a stone foundation and a cross-shaped wooden superstructure with a tower surrounded by four battlements at the fore of the projecting wing.
By summer members were using the building, and it was dedicated that October. For the next 50 years, one full-time Presbyterian minister or another ministered to the Green River congregation. But by the Utah Presbytery could no longer provide such support, and the Green River congregation officially reorganized as a community church. In they added four classrooms and a storage room to their building.
In they painted the church white with gold trim and replaced the roof. Green River Presbyterian Church survives as a beautifid example of a turn-of-the-century Protestant community church in Utah. With her baby on her hip, Nancy, who had just turned 18 a few days earlier, became the first woman, other than Native Americans, to walk on Utah soil. The year was and the Kelsey clan, often on the move, once again had itching feet.
A letter from a Dr. Marsh in California praising the new land excited many Missourians yearning for a great adventure. However, when spring came only a small group gathered at Sapling Grove near Weston, Missouri, to actually make the trip. Among them were several members of the extended Kelsey family, including Nancy, her husband Ben, and their daughter Martha Ann.
Known as the Bartleson-Bidwell company, this group followed dim traces of the new Oregon Trail. Then they were on their own. Seven long, weary months would pass before they arrived at Sutter's Fort in California. Nancy would also earn the distinction of being the first white woman to cross the Sierra Nevada. After crossing South Pass in Wyoming, some families in the company began to worry about going to California.
No one knew the route, and wagon trains had never gone there before. Oregon-at the end of a lcnown road and more settled every year-sounded safer. By the time they reached Soda Springs, all the families had decided to abandon the California dream-all that is but Ben and Nancy. Nancy bid farewell to her in-laws and became the only woman among the 31 men who turned south into the unknown country that was to eventually become Utah.
Surely it was rash for a woman to venture on so perilous a journey, but that did not seem to occur to Nancy. Most of the young men were adventurous and willing to take risks, but this was no ordinary lark for a young woman in The travelers knew absolutely nothing of the terrain ahead. In fact, they were so ignorant of western geography that some had brought boat-building equipment so that when they came upon the Great Salt Lake they wuld build a boat and float down its outlet to the ocean!
The advice they got from Fort Hall, where some of the men had gone for provisions, was no better than their own strange notions. No one knew the territory well enough to be their guide. The people at the post could only tell them to be careful not to turn west too soon or they would become lost and perhaps perish in the canyons and chasms below the Snake River and not to go too far south or they would perish of thirst on the salty desert. The small party continued south along the Bear River.
They had heard from mountain men about Cache Valley and hoped to stop and hunt there, but somehow they went right through it without realizing where they were. They continued on through the 'gates" of the Bear River and then had to take a long detour to find a place to cross the salty, undrinkable Malad River whose banks were impossibly steep for wagons. After finally reachink a place to ford, they again turned south toward the Great Salt Lake. They could see nothing before them "but extensive arid plains, glimmering with heat and salt," wrote John Bidwell.
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They were desperate for water. As Nancy and the men skirted the northern end of the Great Salt Lake, the only feed for the animals was coated with salt, and water at the few springs was also somewhat salty. In their search for good water they camped on a hill on August 23 and got their first full view of the Great Salt Lake to the south. The location offered little water, however, and their animals strayed off in search of something to drink and had to be rounded up.
On August 24 they camped near numerous springs, a bit salty, but drinkable. The salt clung in lumps to the grass, and the travelers gathered lumps ranging from the size of a pea to a hen's egg. Following an old Indian trail they hoped would lead to water, they fought their way through sage and wormwood but found no water, though they searched until ten o'clock at night.
In the morning light, they continued on toward a green spot five miles away in a small canyon. To Nancy's great joy the water and grass were excellent. For 10 days the immigrants rested there while scouts tried to locate a route to the Humboldt River.
Friendly Native Americans came to this campsite to trade. Although the scouts had not yet returned, the party moved on because their oxen had eaten all the grass. Slowly they moved southwest around the northern end of the Great Salt Lake. It was early September, but the weather had turned very cold with ice freezing in their water buckets. At last, on September 9, the scouts rode into camp with word that Mary's River, now called the Humboldt, was only five days away.
The Kelseys' oxen, weaker by the day, had difficulty pulling the wagons. The weather warmed, and Ben decided the wagons must be left. At what was likely Owl Spring, about eight miles west of Lucin, Nancy parted with her wagon home. Ben fashioned packs for the horses to carry food and other necessities, and the young couple trudged on. Nancy's adventurous journey continued across Nevada and over the Sierra Nevada. Hunger dogged every step, and the specter of winter loomed over the mountains. Tattered, exhausted, and with nothing but their lives, they at last arrived at Sutter's Fort in December.
Fellow traveler Joseph Chiles later wrote of the indomitable Nancy: "Her cheerful nature and kind heart brought many a ray of sunshine through clouds that gathered round a company of so many weary travelers. She bore the fatigue of the journey with so much heroism, patience and kindness that there still exists a warmth in every heart for the mother and child, that were always forming silvery linings for every dark cloud that assailed them.
Nunis, Jr. He found Salt Lake City to be a very quiet settlement consisting of only two blocks of houses joined as two forts. Most of these strangers were peaceable, stopping only long enough to earn money to get to the coast. Many even attended a Mormon meeting or two. However, the city also attracted a small cadre of gentile and Mormon rabble-rousers. Soon local authorities deemed it necessary to form a corps of watchmen who could keep the peace day and night.
In his diary, John related the formation of this force. He noted that at the close of a public meeting i. An hour and day were appointed for these men to meet with Brigham Young, Jedediah M. Grant, and other citykhurch officials to obtain their commissions and instructions. Young convened the police meeting by stating: "The time has come to have a company of Police officers to watch over this city.
I have made a selection of 40 men such as I can trust-when one of these men is on duty I can keep [secure]-the city is poor, not able to pay you much now; so we must have economy and after which we hope to do better. Perhaps the qualifications of the other 39 were similar to John's. He had had prior experience in the Nauvoo Legion having been admitted at 15 since he was large for his age , and he was steady and sober.
During this meeting John, along with the other men, took an oath of office. He learned that his duties were to see that all people observed the city ordinances and broke no territorial laws and to be on duty at all times and to "put down iniquity whenever we find it as we are passing around and about our work. President Young admitted this was "too small pay for men being broke of their rest. But be of good courage," he said, "for you shall be blessed. Serve my boys the same way. John served as a Salt Lake City police officer for four years. He later wrote that many incidents occurred during his tour of duty, but 'I have not time to write it.
Besides his hour volunteer vigilance-a duty faed 'while we are about our own businessm-John served one-half night of watch duty per week, taking the irregular hours in stride. Night work "would scarce ever hinder me from my daily labor," he noted. Numerous candy manufacturers may well have been a significant reason for the high usage. Nine wholesale candy producers in the state used over 3. The Startup Candy Company of Provo was recognized as one of the largest confectionery makers in the West.
It had its beginnings in London and Manchester, England, with William Startup who made "cough candy" and other candy products in the basement of his retail store. His son William Daw Startup assisted him until when he immigrated to America. The year-old brought his candy-making skills and some tools, including scales, with him and bought more equipment in Philadelphia.
Moving to Provo in , they built a home and a small factory in which they started making candy in William's career was short-lived, however. In January , he was struck by a stone cooling slab that ruptured a blood vessel; he died 10 days later. With four young children, Hagar continued to make candy on a small scale for several years, teaching her sons the business. One son, George, would inject new life into the company in Employed as a typesetter for the Daily Enquirer, George worked hard and gave his paycheck to his widowed mother to help support the family. With his savings he went full time into the candy-making business.
His equipment initially consisted of one stone candy slab, four iron edging bars, a pair of candy shears, a candy drop machine, several candy hooks, and a few pans, according to an early Provo historian. He rented a small frame building on Center Street and opened for business in A summer storm nearly ruined his first batch of candy when water ran through the leaky roof. Legend has it that George grabbed a handful of gum and chewed vigorously as he scrambled to plug some of the leaks in the iron roof with wads of gum. His brothers, Walter and William, joined a partnership with George and the enterprise took off.
In they produced the Opera Bar, possibly American's first candy bar-layers of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry creams covered with chocolate. Startup also became famous for 'clear toys" made from clear, red, yellow, or green hard candy molded in the shapes of animals, trains, and Santas to delight children. Other products included chocolates, chewing gum, and a variety of confectionery delicacies. In the brothers began construction of a huge factory complex at Sixth South and First West in Provo, near the railroad tracks for easy transport.
The facility eventually included a box plant with a printing press to decorate the fancy boxes. Packaging added to the fame of the candies. The wmpany was proud of its fancy boxes, folding cartons, and tin containers. With their printing press, the Startups produced millions of printed box wrappers, colorful labels, advertising pictures and signs, promotional calendars, decorated boxes, and various novelties. Utah artist Samuel Jepperson painted pictures to be used as premiums with the candy orders. George Startup was gifted in the use, repair, and invention of machinery and made many improvements in the manufacturing line.
Besides modem equipment, the company was ahead of its time in labor practices. The welfare of employees was an important concern. During a time when many employers exploited their workers, the company tried to create a comfortable and healthful working environment. It provided life insurance for workers and offered employees a profitsharing bonus based on merit. In contrast to the opposition of many manufacturers, George Startup lobbied the Legislature in for a minimum-wage bill for female workers. The business prospered and in the s reached its zenith, wholesaling its products throughout the West and into the eastern U.
The company employed workers and 15 salesmen. In sales totaled about half a million dollars.
But the Great Depression hit the wmpany with tremendous force. People could not afford the luxury of candy. As the company struggled to survive, Walter bought out the interests of his brothers George and William. Despite his effort to save the business, the bank repossessed the buildings. As soon as he could accumulate the cash, Walter bought back the north building of the factory complex, the box plant, and continued producing candy there.
Sugar was virtually impossible to buy during World War 11, and the wmpany faced another challenge. Most products had to be discontinued. However, molasses wuld be obtained in small quantities. Sugar-would crystalize from the molasses, and the Startup family was able to make a few fudge candy bars to sell.
Thus the factory kept going on a day-to-day basis. Fine hand-dipped chocolates, clear candy toys, suckers, and a variety of other quality candies are still produced by the century-old Startup Candy Company of Provo, Utah. Sources: Interviews with Harry W. Startup, Jr. But Clark was a quiet, rather unassuming sheepman caring for his flock rather than a wilderness adventurer, and so he did not become known as Frank 'Bear Killer" Clark with a host of legends attached to his name.
He was born too late for that. And before that he had killed a lot of brown bears that were bothering his sheep.
Clark was born in a cabin on Henderson Creek in Idaho in Like many children of that time he had few educational opportunities, but he did attend a school at East Portage, Box Elder County, Utah, for a short time. He was, though, an avid student of nature as he worked on the open range from about age In he started to herd sheep in the forests of Cache County.
His most famous exploit, the killing of Old Ephraim, was evidently recounted many times but never to Clark's satisfaction. Some accounts were probably too dramatic to suit his taste. He wrote his own version of the story for Lee Kay, editor of the Utah Fish and Game Bulletin, who published it in the September issue.
When Clark moved into the Cache area it was 'infested" with brown and grizzly bears. Many of them killed sheep, and he recalled that one summer sheep from one herd were lost to bears. In alone he killed 13 of the predators. But one bear proved elusive: ' Old Ephraim.. Old Ephraim was well known, mainly because everyone who saw his tracks recognized him. He had one deformed toe. Many weird tales were told about him.
He was supposed to have ranged all the way from northern Utah to the Snake River. Clark said that the dreaded bear rarely killed more than one sheep at a time and that he "never seemed to pick on the same herd twice in succession, but roamed around for several miles in the proximity of the spring where he bathed and would take only one or two sheep from each separate camp.
The bear had scooped out a pool in a 1ittI. On more. He was awakened that night "by the most unearthly sound I have ever heard. He followed the tracks and the bear's roar until 'there came rushing out of the creek bottom the giant form of Old Ephraim walking on his hind feet. He was carrying on his front foot the large trap that weighed 27 pounds and the 15 feet of log chain neatly wrapped around his right forearm. As he came towards me, it chilled me to the very bone and for several paces I didn't even attempt to shoot. Finally, more out of fear than any other passion, I opened up with my small caliber rifle and pumped six shots into him.
He fell at my feet dead, and as I looked at the giant form of Old Ephraim I suddenly became sorry that I had killed this giant bear. In its torment it had 'cut down" quaking aspen up to six inches in diameter in its path. Old Ephraim's body was buried near Clark's camp 'until it was unearthed and his skull sent to the Smithsonian Institute [sic] where it remains today. Later, Nephi J. Bott also wrote a song about the bear that pictured it as a temble killer in league with the devil. Other writers added many dramatic details not found in Clark's version of his exploit, and one can see why he wanted to tell the story his way.
Young recounted it, for example: The bear staggered after each rifle shot but moved relentlessly toward Clark, its muzzle covered with froth! Then Clark heard his dog, Jenny, barking wildly and nipping at the bear's heels; this brief diversion gave him time to steady his rifle against a tree and place a fatal seventh shot using his last shell! The next day Clark's herding companion, Sam,returned to camp, and they examined the fallen giant only to find that 'two of Clark's bullets had actually pierced the heartwonota serious enough wound, according to Young, to fell an enraged grizzly.
Clark and Sam buried the bear because its presence, even though dead, alarmed the horses. Clark did not try to capitalize on the killing of Old Ephraim or the alleged 43 bears he killed while herding sheep. Moreover, his attempt to set the record straight in did not succeed in stopping others since his time from adding dramatic details to his story. Young, ed. But Brigham Young, favoring an agrarian rather than mining economy, firmly discouraged them: 'If you Elders of Israel want to go to the gold mines, go and be damned. So church leaders outfitted companies of 'gold missionaries" whose assignment was to send back the precious California metal so the church could buy badly needed machinery and equipment from the East.
These missionaries no doubt kept a percentage of their pickings to wver wsts and provide for their families in Utah. In addition to those called to the task, a number of Mormon miners selected themselves. Some had mustered out of the Mormon Battalion and stopped long enough in the Sierra Nevada to dig some quick cash before continuing to Utah.
Others were boys itching for a chance to make their fortunes and not very pleased with prospects in the Great Basin. They could not see the harm in spending just one summer in California. Three such young men were the brothers J. Wellington and David Seely, and a brother-inlaw, Edwin Pettit. Their story shows the interplay between early Mormons' intense community loyalty and their frontier-like independence and drive to make good.
It also shows that although Brigham Young's words appear to have allowed no room for individual choice, he actually tolerated a fair amount of deviance from his directives. Both Seelys were young married men who had crossed the plains with their aging parents. The first two years in Salt Lake Valley, watching their wives and small children go hungry, must have hit them hard.
When asked to sign on as teamsters, they jumped at the opportunity. Their employer was a man named Pomeroy who had brought a wagon train of merchandise from the States to trade for oxen which he intended to sell in California. Private merchandising was acceptable in Mormondom as long as a merchant honored local currency and did not gouge. The Pomeroy train left for California in November , about the same time as several church trains. It consisted of 50 wagons, each with two drivers and four oxen.
In addition, it had a considerable cattle herd. Some of the animals had come from the East earlier that year while others were fresh Utah stock. Each of the young Utahns found himself responsible for 40 to 50 cattle. Even traveling along the southern route they soon encountered rain, mud, and snow over six inches deep. By the time the company reached what is now the Califomia border, according to Edwin's journal, the more.
At first he would have to leave 2 behind, then 5, and finally 19 in one day. At Mud Lake northwest of present-day Baker , Pomeroy consolidated to 7 wagons, burning the other Here the Seely party, no longer needed, opted to leave the slower-moving Pomeroy. Other companies fared as poorly. Pomeroy had wme upon an independent band, lost and starving in the desert; the Seelys joined and assisted this group, which was also headed for the gold fields.
Pratt as passenger. Pratt's journal describes problems similar to Pomeroy's. They mined only three months. By August, Wellington Seely was ill and all three men were homesick and discouraged. These Utah gold seekers had the same experience as the vast majority of other forty-niners. The likely result of this venture was that the young men decided Brigham Young was not as dumb as they had thought.
Ultimately, two of them would to settle down in Sanpete County and raise sheep and alfalfa. The other, David Seely, had gotten a whiff of the California climate and would never again be content in Utah. Snow, but Hannah did have two books published while she was still living in Cambridgeshire, England, and she had long corresponded with Eliza Cook,a voguish British poet of the midth century. In addition to writing poetry King kept journals-sometimes more than one.
At some point, she or her granddaughter synthesized the various diaries into one chronological typescript. Besides her journals, Hannah was an avid letter writer, producing effusive epistles to family and friends whom she considered kindred spirits in the love of Christian literature. In , three years after arriving in Utah, King wrote, 'The Californian mail came in [today].
How delightful a letter is to me, penned by sincere and congenial spirits. Such have been my panacea through life.. She received the typical schooling two years for a Victorian female or "village girl" as she called herself. But Hannah had a predilection for culture that was enhanced by her friendship with the earl's daughter Charlotte Goldolphin Osborne , marriage to a member of the minor gentry, and self-education through reading and associating with other book lovers.
At age 17 Hannah wed Thomas King, the year-old son of a neighboring landowner. Thomas had courted her faithfully every Thursday and Sunday since she was But her father did not really like the young man, and Hannah herself was unenthusiastic.
Then at age 16 she and her mother enjoyed a whirlwind visit to London parties at the invitation of an aunt and uncle who "lived in good style and their circle was tonish! Although she refused him, the experience made her appreciate Thomas's devotion, despite her feeling that they were intellectually and spiritually mismatched. She admitted that his being an only son and sure to inherit the eight-room King cottage and fields influend her thinking. For six years after her marriage to Thomas King, Hannah gave birth almost annually. Two babies apparently died shortly after birth and one child at 14 months of "an affection of the brain.
They eventually had 11 children, but only four lived to maturity. Hannah commented, "I had lost so many that the remnant were doubly dear to me.. Hannah matured into an upper-middle-class English matron. Despite the responsibilities of housekeeping, supervising two servants and a governess, helping her mother, and taking in a widowed daughter with five children, she maintained a circle of friends with whom she exchanged letters, books, and Bible verses. They included the local bookstore owner, the popular poet Eliza Cook, and a bachelor mysteriously referred to in Hannah's journal as R.
Dowton whose death in left her bereft. Hannah often found solace for her grief in writing, but faced with many tragedies she began to feel as if her world were collapsing around her. In , when a dressmaker told her about Mormonism, Hannah converted within a few weeks. By she and her four surviving children, along with a very reluctant Thomas, left England for Utah. Settling in Salt Lake City, the Kings spent most of their remaining money on a house.
Everything cost more than they had expected, and they were soon broke. Thomas,a fiftyish gentleman farmer, knew nothing about making a living, so Hannah opened a school in their home and persuaded Brigham Young to give son Thomas Owen a job. Life in Utah brought its frustrations: neighbors who considered Hannah uppity for her highbrow English manner and Reformation preaching that offended her for its low-church, hellfire-and-damnation tenor.
But on the whole, Hannah was satisfied with her new life. She replaced her old circle of literati with the Mormon Polysophical Society, whose members read and discussed their own and others' essays and poems. The flowers and the large lemon-shaped fruits are worth a glance. If they do not occur on the south side of the plant, it has been transplanted and turned. The evidence is as trustworthy as the presence of moss on the north side of a tree in the forest.
The barrel cacti, the opuntias, acacias, the ocotillos, along with the creosote and mesquite already mentioned, have a way of growing along together in what is called a plant society. These all belong in the bottom layer of the cake called the Lower Sonoran Zone, which is best seen on the Rio Grande mesas near El Paso. The layer next above it comprises the foothill country of the Upper Sonoran Zone, which includes most of the state of New Mexico. It is exhibited all along the Continental Divide in the southwest part of the state but nowhere so well as in the Fort Bayard Reservation.
There a tract, protected for three generations from woodcutting, fires, and intensive grazing, offers a large-scale picture of the lovely land that once was New Mexico. There the character and amount of vegetation astounds the visitor who is familiar with only the close-picked, parched aspect of the landscape that generally borders the main highways. When seen from the air, the very color of the grass-mantled earth is many shades lighter than that of the bare overgrazed ranges a few miles to the south.
And the difference can be seen by anybody. The dwarfed, rounded little junipers properly enough called cedars leave the traveler unprepared to believe that they will anywhere become respectable forest trees. Yet in the Burro Mountains, the alligator-bark species, finest of them all, reaches a diameter of five feet and an age of about years. The wood has an extraordinary fragrance, and its smoke tells the neighbors for blocks around that you are warming yourself at the fireplace.
Another notable thing about the wood is its resistance to decay in the earth. I have removed pieces of it from subterranean ruins of the Mimbres culture which, according to the best archaeological opinion, are some eight hundred years old. The yuccas deserve a story by themselves. One small, unimpressive species greets you on the meadows at the foot of Raton Pass; others have to be searched out along high limestone ridges where the foothills are deciding to become mountains.
The one chosen for our state flower is the tall yucca Yucca elata , a superb species best seen along the Continental Divide near Silver City. The genus reaches its greatest size in the grotesque Joshua tree, which never fails to attract the eye on the Mohave desert in California. The century plant has a name that always gets attention. But let us 21 be sure we mean the same thing. Rightly, it means the mescal, the favorite food of the Mescalero Apaches.
Besides these two names, it is called also maguey and, no doubt, Spanish dagger along with various other spine-tipped plants. All of which clinches the argument for a name which for all users is a certain designation for one object and only one. It is not just because botanists like to appear learned that they call this plant Agave parryi. That title is as descriptive as middle C for one key on the piano, and in the same way international. An insurance man might make an inference from the name.
The plant is a big compact cluster or rosette of rigid, upward-pointing, spadelike leaves, each four or five inches in width and each tipped with a vicious, stout thorn. Year after year the plant just sits there by a boulder, unnoticed. I question whether anything alive on the desert has a better life expectancy. As far as my observations go, it has no diseases. It is invincible to drouth. Freezing does not harm it, and fire cannot burn it—although a yucca even when green will flame up like a torch. No hungry old cow can crop it, and no rodent gnaws it, at least not enough to do harm.
And since the Indians have gone on reservations, no human uses it. So it stays there. In fact, nothing less than a caterpillar can leave a dent on it—not, of course, the caterpillar that eats young tomato plants, but the Caterpillar that pulls heavy road machinery. The plant just does not die before maturity, it would seem. A remarkable organism, indeed! But after many, many years, depending on the amount of moisture it receives, it makes up its mind to flower. In one tremendous effort, it shoots up a twelve-foot flower stalk at the rate of several inches a day.
The blossoming is a final, dramatic, beautiful gesture, for by the time the flowers have withered, the great tenacious plant has turned to a ghastly purple and is dead. On the high slopes where the last yuccas end and only a few junipers remain in the race for survival, the yellow pines come in to mark off what is called the Transition Zone.
The pines need no description, no printed promotion. The traveler, any traveler, can appreciate them although he might not be stirred to the slightest interest by the lovely yuccas. Among the ponderosa pines takes place most of the hunting, most of the camping, much of the picnicking. There is no 22 danger that the tourist will overlook the pine belt and the pines for they are probably the most numerous tree in New Mexico. Above them, the classifications are less clearly defined and ecologists are less inclined to agree on zonation. The Canadian Zone, if we settle on that name, occurs only in small areas on the map, and most of them north of Santa Fe.
These are high ridges and island peaks that tower high enough to tempt the Engelmann spruces. Yet some of these islands occur as far south as the Mogollon Mountains and thus bring Canadian Zone scenes almost to the Mexican border. Engelmann spruce forests may be associated with the 10,foot level. The blue spruce is very similar, perhaps only a subspecies, but it comes in a little lower.
The Engelmann makes a dense forest hardly allowing invaders, but the blue is more tolerant, less austere. It loves the water and is the natural companion of chill, cascading trout streams. Though fond of shadow, it seems to grow equally well where the narrow canyons widen and admit the sunshine upon the tiny meadows of lush grass, cranesbill, velvety red cinquefoils, lupines, and yellow columbines. And when one of these miniature openings is fringed with spruces whose pointed tips rise sharp against a curtain of azure with its white cumulus clouds, there you have the loveliest vista in the mountains.
Though nature lovers usually find the life zones more fascinating than any other aspect of plants in the mountains, there is one other much more important. It is the misuse, injury, and destruction of native plant life. Because scientists are generally alert to the conservation of what is useful 23 and beautiful in natural resources, I venture to bring up the matter here. A useful case history is provided by Silver City, New Mexico.opquemmeterlas.ml/legend-of-isis-2-volume-1.php
Innovative Process Development in Metallurgical Industry
It was founded in the early seventies as a silver camp, which would fairly guarantee a certain amount of reckless haste and rowdy carelessness. Point two was its location on a foothill watershed only twenty-seven square miles in area. Point three was an extreme concentration of livestock near the town. Point four was the fact that the annual rainfall was crowded mainly into July, August, and a part of September. Mines are naturally users of timber. Obviously, shafts and tunnels have to be timbered. More than that, little smelters nestled back among the hills were also hungry for wood.
All these matters were naturally, if not actually, inevitable under the circumstances. The massive ore wagons and freight wagons had to be drawn by four- to ten-horse teams—and the horses kept on eating. Then because it was also a ranching country, each cowboy had to keep a remuda of saddle horses—and they ate too. Also, the few cows that provided milk for the children grazed hungrily over the stony slopes.
Most of all, the range cattle, which had no provender at all except that which the competitive, half-starved steers could provide for themselves, overgrazed every square foot of pasturage down to the bare soil. The cow that got there first got the grass. That passed as land management, which proves that some statesmen then were about as wise as some of the Wizards of Washington now. But the advent of fences caused the cutting of millions of fence posts where none should have been cut. When the grass went, its roots went, and when its roots went, there was nothing to hold the soil, and then it, too, started to go.
And go it did.
Kennecott Mine: A Pictorial Journey of the 1900's Copper Mine
The best explanation I can find of that hole is that earth was taken out of it to form adobe bricks for the walls of houses and corrals that clay did make good adobe! Then the parallel gullies proceeded to wash out deeper and create a middle ridge or high center on which axles got stuck. Since there was nobody responsible for making a new road, there was no choice except to move over and form another track and use it until in turn it became unusable.
By this simple kind of destruction, the old Santa Fe Trail, it is said, reached a width of a hundred feet. But the water descending the slope kept increasing its destructive velocity as the denuded ground approached the bareness of a tin roof. Villagers observed that the hole in their Main Street was becoming a waterfall after each rain, and that the ruin was passing into a big-time operation. The town built a dam to restrain the floods. It washed out in the first one. Soon Main Street followed it down the drain, which by this time was already a hideous gash in the earth many miles long and twenty feet deep.
Then the water began on a really different scale of destruction. It gives no hint at that time of the famous Big Ditch—the only name that Main Street, Silver City has had now for the last forty years. In , the Soil Conservation Service went to work in earnest, made the watershed a demonstration area, and spent a third of a million dollars there in a short time. In the New Mexico Magazine for August , the really incredible story of the Big Ditch is exactly documented with old photographs and newspaper clippings.
After a friendship of many years with old-time miners and ranchers at Silver City, I would not point an accusing finger at one of them. I appeal, however, for a greater vigilance over plant life and soils nowadays from everybody. In such protected areas as the Fort Bayard Reservation, the U. National Forest enclosures, and the frontier cemeteries, the imagination can visualize a New Mexico that is far different from what is here today—a close-picked, hard-used land where unwise woodcutting has continued through much of the last three centuries and where the thin ranges have been required to support in the last century alone perhaps more than one hundred million cows, sheep, and horses.
The magnitude of the cause accounts for the magnitude of the effect. A good many years ago, I wrote as the concluding paragraph to Sky Determines what seemed to some exaggerated praise for my adopted homeland. I believed the words true in , and I stand my ground now. Perhaps nowhere in the world is the natural setting nobler than in New Mexico—more beautiful with spacious desert, sky, mountain; more varied in rich, energizing climate, more dramatic in its human procession, more mellow with age-old charm.
Endowed with sunshine that stimulates, and winter chill that toughens; with silence and majestic desert color that offer a spiritual companionship, it has enough. Here, if anywhere is air, earth, sky fit to constitute a gracious homeland, not alone for those who study and create, but as well for those who play, for those who sit still to brood and dream. Narrow-leaf cottonwoods line the stream, and shrubs of the Upper Sonoran Zone cover the hillside slopes. Some of these animals are considered game animals; others may be pests, since they prey upon or destroy what mankind regards as its own.
The coyote which takes a sheep from the small herder is wicked indeed in the eyes of the sheepman. Predatoriness on all living things by other things has gone on since time began and will continue—mankind being not the least predator. A good definition is that composed by the late Judge C. The elk and deer, being highly adaptable, may be found from the Alpine tundra of the higher mountains clear out into the creosote desert.
Deer occur in four separate subspecies: the Rocky Mountain and the desert mule deer, the western whitetail, and the Sonoran fantail deer, which is also a whitetail. These animals may be found all the way from the dense coniferous forests of the north with perpetual gloom and cold to the sun-scorched granite mountains such as the Florida and the Organ mountains of southern New Mexico; from great towering granite spires to the folded blocks of limestone such as comprise the Big Hatchets, the Guadalupe, and the San Andres mountains.
The javelina, or little wild pig, lives along the watercourses in the south west part of the state. Its thin spiky hair gives it little or no protection against cold, and only in the balmier parts of New Mexico does it feel at home. The desert bighorn sheep, as distinguished from his cousin the Rocky Mountain bighorn, goes around on a sun-scorched, ocotillo-covered limestone-rubble slope in the full glare of the sun and lies down to take his afternoon siesta.
The Rocky Mountain bighorn, on the other hand, with his preference for cooler climates does not shun even the dense spruce timber at the very top of the Sandia Mountains as the hideout for his afternoon rest. Photo courtesy of Forest Service , U. Pack train on a wilderness trail. The most popular big game animals in New Mexico are the mule deer in either of the two subspecies. Every fall, beginning in late October and extending ordinarily through December, more than , hunters take to the woods for their chance of bringing home the sought-after mule deer.
A hunter may shoot his mule deer at the Alpine tundra timber line, out in the blazing heat of the creosote desert, or among the rock crags of some of the southern desert mountains. He will find his quarry a worthy opponent. Shy, wild, and with terrific eyesight and hearing, these animals provide a true challenge. Elk and antelope, as well as bighorn sheep, are hunted by special licenses only, since their numbers do not warrant a general open season. These special licenses are much sought after and are ordinarily made available by application and a public drawing in the fall.
The javelina, confined to our southwestern counties, is also hunted by special license. It is noteworthy that although New Mexico had protected them for many years, the javelina did not increase its numbers. As a matter of fact, the natural losses applied against any game species are going to be in effect no matter whether hunting is permitted or not, the hunting being merely subtracted from what would be lost to nature anyhow. Our state mammal, the black bear, is found throughout the wooded areas of the state and occasionally wanders out into the plains or down into the desert mountains of the south.
Bears are hunted avidly in the fall by sportsmen with dog packs before the regular big game seasons begin, when the use of dogs is prohibited. They are again hunted during the big game seasons by anyone bearing the proper license, but no packs of dogs are allowed. This is to prohibit the possibility of dogs being used to pursue elk, deer, or wild turkey, an illegal act in New Mexico. New Mexico is fortunate in having a tremendous diversity of both upland game and waterfowl, and big game and small game for her people.
Importantly, the game resources are spread out through every county in the state. New Mexico ranks among the first five in the total number of birds found within its boundaries. More than species of birds live within the state. These range all the way from the tiny mites of the bird kingdom, the hummingbirds, weighing less than an ounce, to the great white whistling swan, weighing up to 25 pounds, or the Merriam turkey, which may weigh close to Of the six species of quail found in the United States, New Mexico has four and may possess the fifth, since the mountain quail of the western coast have been introduced into this state and still occur on the west slopes of the Sacramento Mountains near Tularosa.
Five species of doves found throughout the state from the highest coniferous forest down into the scorching heat of the creosote desert are the Inca dove, ground dove, mourning dove, white-winged dove, and the bandtail pigeon, all of them close relatives. Of these, only two, the mourning dove and the white-winged dove, are commonly hunted as game species. An unexplained and precipitous decline struck the bandtail pigeon 29 about ten or twelve years ago, from which it apparently has never recovered.
Although hunting was undoubtedly part of the pressure exercised against these birds, it in no way accounted for their sudden and dramatic decline in numbers. This decline may gradually be reversed, since more and more of these birds are being seen. It is well known that animals with a high reproductive capacity can endure much heavier losses to their population than can those with low or very limited reproduction, such as the bandtail, which normally lays only a single egg. The mourning dove, on the other hand, lays two eggs at a time and may raise as many as five or more broods in one year.
Take this one step further with the scaled or Gambel quail, which may lay up to 12 or 15 eggs, and it can readily be seen that the population of bandtail pigeons can never endure the losses that the much more prolific mourning dove and quail can. The same might be said by comparison of elk and deer.
Elk do not bear their first young until their third year, and then the cow may not bear young but alternate years until her seventh or eighth year; by that time she has begun to decline in vigor; in her total life she may not produce more than four or five calves. Thus, deer have a considerably greater reproductive potential than do elk or bighorn sheep, which have one young at a time.
The fleet-footed antelope of the open rolling plains is another example of fairly high reproductive capacity, since they breed earlier than do deer and normally bear twins. Antelope are confined to the more open country where their prodigious running ability and marvelous eyesight stand in good stead in protecting them against their natural enemies. The wild turkey, classified by law in New Mexico as big game, is found throughout the mountainous areas of the state, not excepting some of the desert ranges.
New Mexico is one of two states fortunate enough to possess three of the five forms of the wild turkey known to the United States: the Merriam turkey, found in the higher elevations of the mountainous areas, usually the ponderosa forest; the Rio Grande turkey, confined to the watercourses of the eastern plains; and the fairly rare Mexican turkey, found in the Animas and Peloncillo mountains of extreme southwestern New Mexico.
In Hildalgo County these mountains are actually largely Mexican in both flora and fauna. Some of the rarest, most beautiful birds of North America are also found in this area and nowhere else in the United States with the exception of southeastern Arizona. Our most abundant game bird, the mourning dove, is found in every county of the state and nests from the coniferous forests of the north and the higher mountains of the south clear out into the plains where there is not a tree in sight for miles.
Doves are extremely adaptable and very prolific. They provide the finest kind of sport shooting and are avidly sought, particularly by shotgun enthusiasts of the eastern and southern parts of the state. Scaled quail are found throughout New Mexico, being absent only 30 in elevations above feet. Even there, they periodically occur but are ordinarily driven back by winter snow. Gambel quail are found throughout the river courses of the Rio Grande Valley, the San Juan Valley, and the southwestern watercourses.
Quail hunting is one of the most popular sports in New Mexico and many thousands of hunters can hardly wait from one season to the next. New Mexico is in the heart of the scaled quail country and provides some of the finest shooting to be had anywhere. Migratory waterfowl, while not considered abundant, are not uncommon in this state, known more for its aridity than for its rivers and lakes. Ducks commonly found in New Mexico in abundance are teal, both green-winged and blue-winged as well as the lesser-known cinnamon teal, mallards, widgeon, pintails, gadwall, scaups, canvasbacks, redheads, and other species.
In addition, New Mexico plays winter home to many thousands of the lesser sandhill crane which is confined to the river valleys and open plains of the eastern part of the state, particularly the southeastern counties. A smaller population of the greater sandhill crane is found in the Rio Grande Valley and near Columbus. The small snow goose is likewise confined mostly to major river courses.
The larger Canada geese are found particularly in the middle Rio Grande Valley where extensive development has been made by both state and federal agencies to encourage the use and the presence of bands of geese. New Mexico is unique in that it was the first state in many years to be able to open a hunting season on the lesser sandhill crane. This bird is comparatively abundant, the total population probably being in excess of ,, with the vast majority of these birds wintering in west Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico.
They occasionally cause heavy depredation to grain crops in the southeastern part of the state, and hunting has been partly justified on the basis that the large wintering flocks might be broken up and depredation spread over a larger area for less individual effect. These birds are tall, wild, and shy. They are hard to hunt, even more so than geese, and although strenuous efforts have been made, not too many of them are bagged.
One should not overlook the tremendous opportunity for sport hunting of unprotected species, such as the various rabbits, the mountain lions and bobcats, and coyotes. The wolf is now very rare in New Mexico. Wolves are large, effective predators and are incompatible 31 with the cattle-raising industry. Since they have a fondness for beef, the hand of the cattleman is raised against them.
The mountain lion prefers his natural prey of deer, mule deer being the principal victims. The bobcat preys on deer and on many of the small wild animals, rabbits in particular. These predators, when run and hunted with a pack of dogs, provide a fascinating sport which is growing in popularity. The calls imitate the distressed cry of rabbits and other creatures which to the predator means a meal close at hand.
Everything from mountain lions to red-tailed hawks have been hunted by this procedure, and it can be very successful in bagging quarry. This type of hunting has value in that it can be enjoyed at any time of the year throughout the state and with a minimum of time and effort. Hunting is a conservation practice that, wisely administered, results in wholesome out-of-door recreation and brings many tons of high protein food of highest quality to the table.
Nature nowhere in her economy locks up a resource and throws away the key—we should be no less wise. Long gone are the buffalo which once roamed the High Plains of eastern New Mexico. Exotic animals, imported and stocked along the rugged canyon of the Canadian River above Conchas Reservoir, are the Barbary sheep with their magnificent coiled horns. Beavers dam some of the mountain streams, badgers and skunks can be seen from the highways, and amid the forests are squirrels and porcupines, while high on rock slopes, the Rocky Mountain woodchuck and the gray rock cony dash from ledge to ledge.
The white-tailed ptarmigan also haunts these high crags, and lower down the mountain, bluebirds nest. Hawks, eagles, magpies, jays, ravens, orioles, wrens, sparrows, warblers, finches, and many other birds of endless variety soar over canyon, forest, and sand-dune desert. Most notable of all is the crested roadrunner, the chapparal cock or paisano of Mexico and the state bird. In between racing with horsemen or automobiles, the slender roadrunner cocks his head, strikes swiftly and victoriously, then swallows his victim, which can be a small rattlesnake, whole.
Snakes there are aplenty. Mostly, they are nonpoisonous, such as the garter snake, glass snake, puff adder, ring-necked snake, the coachwhip, the Mexican blacksnake, and the large western bullsnake. The small but very venomous coral snake is rare, but common among rocks and near streams are the large western diamondback rattlesnake, the prairie rattlers, and the less common green or blacktailed rattlesnake. Every sun-warmed rock has its scampering lizard, and nearby are horned toads, dry-land terrapins, tortoises, tarantulas, centipedes, vinegarroons, scorpions, and spiders. Of these latter desert animals, only the black widow spider is poisonous.
Black or darkly colored subspecies of mice, plains wood rats, 32 kangaroo rats, and rock squirrels live on the black lava, whereas white or pale counterparts of these animals live among the white gypsum dunes. The dwellers in the hills and plains of New Mexico are as varied as the hills and plains; they add their color and movement to the scenes of the Land of Enchantment. Merely one geologic era ago, marine waters covered the state, and storm-tossed waves ruled where now the hot sun beats down on dry sands and cacti a mile above sea level.
A story spelled out in stone, the geologic history. The rocks determine. Eons ago, it began; one billion, two billion, or perhaps even more billions of years ago. A history whose beginnings have been lost owing to destruction of its earliest records. A history, written in the rocks, that is divided into four general parts fig.
The oldest rocks, more than m. The Paleozoic rocks, to m. This was the Period of Invertebrates, animals without backbones. Mesozoic rocks, 70 to m.
Western Magazine Digest: December
And rocks of the Cenozoic Era, 70 m. So let us begin the story at the dawn of the Cenozoic, and return to the earlier geologic chapters later. The mountains, the plains, the rivers, and the lakes all are transitory features of the landscape, created during the recent part of the Cenozoic Era, and all doomed to destruction in the near future, geologically speaking. Gone were the late Mesozoic seas; never again during our lifetime nor the lifetime of many future generations will marine waters roll over New Mexico, and sea-spawned creatures rule.
For the first two thirds of the Cenozoic, the Paleogene Period 25 to 70 m. Large areas were exposed to the harsh erosion of stream and wind. The landscape looked as parts of southwestern New Mexico do today—tall rugged mountain ranges scattered in isolated patches amid wide gravelly plains. But the climate was more humid, and while no large through rivers are known, local great swamps and lakes lay on the plains in debris-trapping lowlands. Scenery in north-central New Mexico fig. Coarse-grained gravels were stacked up at the edges of the mountains, but out in the adjoining lowlands, floodplain sands and varicolored lake-bed clays settled.
Volcanic rocks, the Espinaso beds, overlie the Galisteo but are not much younger in age. Reddish rocks of the Galisteo Formation crop out along U.
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Silicified wood, chiefly of pines but with some oak and poplar, is abundant in the Galisteo Formation. Large logs, up to 6 feet in diameter and feet long, have been found. In the great swamps of the Raton Basin, where the climate was much like that of Georgia today, tall reeds, water lilies, fig trees, palm trees, magnolias, and sycamores grew in profusion, and contributed to the thick coal beds now mined there.
The early ages of the Cenozoic saw the spectacular rise of the mammals to dominance over reptiles on land; numerous remains of the early mammals are found in the Nacimiento and San Jose formations, including the famous Puerco and Torrejon faunas—as well as many clams, snails, fish, turtles, crocodiles, snakes, and birds. The redbeds of the Baca Formation were laid down on the north flank of low mountains that extended intermittently from somewhere near Quemado toward Socorro. Some ancient hills near present-day Sierra Blanca shed rock fragments that accumulated near Capitan as the varicolored Cub Mountain Formation.
Deeply eroded uplands northwest of Elephant Butte Reservoir supplied gravels and sands that mingled with andesitic volcanic debris as the upper part of the McRae Formation in central Sierra County. Many of the weathered greenish and purplish volcanic rocks in southwestern New Mexico were extruded at this time, and beneath the surface these molten magmas hot liquefied rocks cut into older rocks.
The last phase of the Paleogene Period, about 25 to 40 m. Almost the entire southwestern quarter of the state literally exploded, with volcanic eruptions on a grand scale. These lava flows, rock breccias, ashes, pumice, and associated intrusives molten rocks that did not make it to the surface form the Datil-Mogollon plateau—at least miles in diameter—as part of the Datil Formation, which locally is miles thick, and made up the main mass of many other ranges near the Mexican border.
Sierra Blanca 12, feet altitude northeast of Alamogordo is a huge, isolated volcanic mass of late Paleogene age. Figure 3. East-west cross section of Rio Grande graben near Santa Fe. This widespread volcanic activity continued into the Neogene Period which began about 25 m. Rhyolites, pumice, and perlite in the southwest, as well as in other parts of the state, covered wide areas. Mount Taylor, towering up to 11, feet near Grants and visible on the western skyline from Albuquerque, is a Neogene volcanic pile, as are parts of the Sangre de Cristo range northeast of Taos. Shiprock and Cabezon Peak, landmarks in northwestern New Mexico, are volcanic necks—the eroded cores of ancient volcanoes.
Volcanic ash scattered over the western parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas was blown from this volcano. Capulin Mountain, east of Raton, is a huge recent cinder cone and is surrounded by numerous basaltic lava flows that cap the High Plains from Raton eastward to Clayton. The very fresh black basalt flows near Carrizozo and in the valley of Rio San Jose near Grants are probably less than years old. Many of the present-day mountains were uplifted in early Neogene time, following the climax of the great volcanic eruptions. This uplifting, in many instances, took place along one side of huge mountain masses, forming tilted fault blocks like the Sandia, Manzano, San Andres, and Sacramento mountains.
This was an earth-shaking event! However, the uplifting took place slowly, and indeed is continuing today as the Albuquerque area, along with the Rio Grande Valley southward to Socorro, is one of the most active earthquake areas in the state. A tremendous irregular graben, now followed by the Rio Grande, cut north-south across the state.
Geologists label it the Rio Grande structural depression fig. Much brightly tinted silicified wood is found in these beds, and literally freight-car loads of mammalian remains have been shipped to museums from outcrops near Espanola. In the basins amid the mountains of southwestern New Mexico, similar sands and gravels of the Gila Conglomerate filled low areas. East of the mountains of central New Mexico that form a north-south chain of ranges from Raton to Carlsbad, thin gravels of the Ogallala Formation were dumped onto the western edges of the High Plains.
In northwestern New Mexico, isolated mesas are topped by the Chuska and Bidahochi formations; similar sands, silts, and clays washed from adjoining highlands. The final episodes of landscape formation occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch, the recent glacial period. Mountain valley glaciers occupied some of the higher parts of the state, as far southward as Sierra Blanca; large lakes filled many of the closed basins, such as those near Estancia and south of Lordsburg; the Carrizozo and Grants basalt flows were extruded; the final tremendous explosions of Valle Grande spread volcanic ash over large regions; sands, gravels, and clays were eroded and deposited by streams and in lakes; and sand dunes were heaped up in many areas.
The glistening white gypsum dunes fig. The Rio Grande, in its present valley, probably is only as old as mid-Pleistocene, born during late uplift of its headwater mountains, the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo ranges in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico—initiated by floods of meltwaters from waning mountain glaciers.
Some of the lower terraces benches along the Rio Grande are very young, being dated by radiocarbon methods at b. Until shackled by Elephant Butte Dam in , and smaller dams up and down the valley, the Rio Grande switched its course with every large springtime flood. Even with these man-made controls, the Rio carves new channels during floods and covers flooded fields with silt as the high waters recede. The highest points in New Mexico are in the north-central region.
Snow lingers on these 39 lofty spires all year around except during an especially hot August. Highest peaks—they must be capped by the youngest rocks. But no, the quartzites and gneisses, hard rocks made up of quartz and feldspar, that hold up these pinnacles against the attack of water and ice are among the oldest rocks known in the Southwest—perhaps as much as two billion years old. How did these ancient rocks form? What did New Mexico look like during the dawn of geologic history? The record in stone is fragmentary. But about two billion or so years back, thick masses of quartz sandstone were laid down in north-central New Mexico, as well as vast lenses of mud, and some beds of feldspar-rich sandstone.
Volcanic activity was intense; huge flows of rhyolite and andesite were poured out over most of the state, and these in turn, along with the muddy and sandy sediments, were intruded by enormous masses of hot granite. Mile-high mountains were formed, and during the stretch of this early geologic time, called the Precambrian Era, the high peaks were eroded by rain, wind, and sun until some were worn down to featureless plains sloping toward the ancient ancestral oceans. As seen in Tijeras Canyon east of Albuquerque, the bulk of the ancient rocks are gray to pinkish granite and granite gneiss, speckled by crystals of biotite, microcline, orthoclase, and quartz.
Quartzites hardened sandstones , greenstone, and foliated mica schists fig. Locally, pegmatite dikes, a late-cooling, large-crystal stage of the granites, crisscross the granite and contain excellent crystals of quartz, feldspar, and mica, as well as less common minerals. The famous Harding pegmatite near Dixon, about forty miles north of Santa Fe, contains beryl, columbite-tantalite, lepidolite mica, spodumene, and other rare minerals.
Some of these crystals are ten feet in length! There are some primitive types of plant and animal life known from Precambrian rocks outside of New Mexico but the earliest beds that contain abundant fossils are those of Cambrian age, to m. Cambrian rocks in New Mexico are in the Bliss Sandstone, a reddish brown iron-rich bed, 50 to feet thick, that occurs only in the southern part of the state.
There it can be seen, for example, along the bold east-facing escarpment of the San Andres Mountains or the west-facing cliffs of the Caballo Mountains, as a dark band resting on the pinkish Precambrian granitic rocks. It is a shallow-sea sand, deposited on the northeastern edge of the Cambrian seas. Scattered amid the brown-stained quartz, red hematite, and green glauconite are broken shells of trilobites and primitive brachiopods. Northern New Mexico was a low, broad island during Cambrian time, a source of some of the sands in the Bliss Sandstone.
During the Ordovician Period, to m. The Ordovician seas teemed with invertebrate life. Fifteen-foot-long cephalopods, as much as a foot in diameter, ruled the shallow salt-water bottoms, munching on the abundant trilobites and the moss animals, the bryozoans. Numerous brachiopods, corals, snails, and clams also thrived, with many of the Ordovician carbonate-rock beds literally being made up of these fossil remains.
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Near El Paso, these limy fossiliferous beds are nearly feet thick, but they thin northward to a knife edge in thickness near Mockingbird Gap at the north end of the San Andres Mountains. Parts of northwestern New Mexico may have been low islands exposed to the sun and erosion during Ordovician time, but most of the state was probably within an extensive shallow ocean. Later, erosion removed the Ordovician rocks from central and northern New Mexico. Silurian strata, the brown Fusselman Dolomite, deposited during the middle of that period to m. The extent of these middle Silurian seas is not known, but most of central and northern New Mexico was undergoing erosion during late Silurian time.
The northward thinning of the Fusselman Dolomite is due chiefly to this erosion, evidenced by the knobby, ridged and channeled top surface of the Fusselman. Brachiopods and corals are the most abundant fossils in the Fusselman Dolomite; elsewhere, Silurian rocks are known for the sea scorpions or eurypterids, which attained a length of nine feet, and for the complete remains of primitive fishes.
During early and middle Devonian time to m. Fossiliferous Devonian rocks are unknown in the north-central part of the state but occur beneath the surface in the Four Corners region of northwestern New Mexico and the adjoining states. These rocks are of late Devonian age and consist of lower dolomite and sandstone, middle shale and dolomite, and the upper Ouray Limestone.
In southern New Mexico, a uniform blanket of dark limy muds, called the Percha Shale, was deposited during late Devonian time. This shale marks a great change from the limestones of earlier ages. In part, it is of black muds deposited in widespread or in local stagnant basins and in part calcareous fossiliferous muds in which abundant invertebrate life was buried. The clay and quartz silt that make up the rocks were a weathered residuum that had accumulated, during the long period of late Silurian and early and middle Devonian times, on the lowland of central and northern New Mexico.
Except in the stagnant basins, invertebrate life was prolific, brachiopods, bryozoans, and corals being especially numerous. Fossil fish remnants, chiefly teeth, are abundant in some of the sandy units, and outside of New Mexico the earliest amphibians occur in upper Devonian rocks.
The 42 oldest definitely known assemblage of land plants occurs in the Devonian, and forests containing forty-foot-high trees spread over the uplands. Mississippian rocks to m. Subsequent erosion removed much of the Mississippian beds in northern New Mexico. The remnants, less than feet thick in most places, are of lower sandy and shaly beds overlain by massive crinoidal limestones, the Arroyo Penasco Formation of the Nacimiento and Sandia mountains and the Tererro Formation of the Sangre de Cristo range east of Santa Fe.
In southern New Mexico, the Mississippian beds are thick and widespread, being more than feet in thickness in the southwestern panhandle. There the rock units are the Escabrosa Limestone of the southwest or the Lake Valley Limestone of the south-central part of the state. These are massive fossiliferous limestones precipitated in shallow extensive seas abounding with invertebrate life. Huge gardens of the sea lilies, crinoids, spread over the area, their remains mingled with those of lacy moss animals, the bryozoans, and with brachiopods and corals.
Locally, as in the region of the Sacramento and San Andres mountains and Black Range, moundlike fossil reefs, called bioherms, were built. Some of these bioherms in the Sacramento Mountains are mounds of fossiliferous limestones feet high and several thousand feet in diameter. One can stand at the base of these huge limestone hills and almost hear the ancient waves breaking against the reef and see the dying struggle of the brachiopod fig.
To the south, beginning near the present site of White Sands, dark cherty limestones were laid down in stagnant waters, to become the Rancheria Limestone. This black to reddish brown siliceous limestone is more than feet thick near El Paso. There its thin beds break down into slabs that resemble a jumbled woodpile. Northern New Mexico was above sea level during late Mississippian time; in some areas caves developed in the porous limestones, and in other places the limestones were eroded to a residuum of chert and red clay. The land must have looked like the karst areas of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois today—with lost rivers flowing into sink holes, numerous caves, and many underground rivers.
Only the southernmost part of the state was awash in the late Mississippian seas, and in these salt waters, rocks of the Helms and Paradise formations settled. They are typical nearshore beds of yellowish limy sandstone, green limy shales, and brown sandy oolitic limestones. Plant fossils occur intermingled with marine animal remains; the plant fragments were washed into the shallow seas from the land areas of the central and northern parts of the state.
The Pennsylvanian Period to m. Previously, northern New Mexico had been an emergent lowland or barely awash in shallow waters, while to the south shallow but extensive seas held sway, the spawning ground of the vertebrates and invertebrates that evolved between and m. But mountains were built during the Pennsylvanian, and the whole pattern of land and sea was altered. The sun rose on north-south aligned ranges interspersed with north-south-trending seas fig. Somewhere north of Albuquerque a mighty range of mountains, the Uncompahgre Range, arose to shed rock debris into adjoining ocean basins.
Rocks eroded from this landmass were dumped westward into the Orogrande basin which occupied the region near the present-day White Sands; there as much as feet of beds accumulated—impure sandstones, dark shales, fragmental limestones, and even some gypsum during the end phase of Pennsylvanian sedimentation. Rocks filled the Delaware basin in southeastern New Mexico—limestones, sandstones, and black shales that now produce oil and gas. In northwestern New Mexico west of Grants and mostly west of the Zuni Mountains, a low land area, the Zuni Islands, was the source of eroded residuum released into an ocean channelway that ran north-northwest through central New Mexico from El Paso to Farmington.
And in the northeast, granite hills of the Sierra Grande Arch stood above the shallow Pennsylvanian seas. Amid the clastic limestones, black shale, gypsum, and salt of this basin are oil-bearing lenses. Extensive swamps and marshes, the habitat of peat and ultimately coal, were almost lacking in New Mexico. Thus, only thin scattered lenses of coal occur in the Pennsylvanian beds of the state. The lands of this period were covered by tree ferns, scale trees, horsetail 44 rushes, and primitive conifers.
In the shallow seas, the dominant invertebrates were fusulinids fig. Abundant cockroaches, large dragonflies, and spiders swarmed over the land. The Permian Period to m. Floods of red sand and clay, washed from the rotting hills, wiped out the seas of northern and central New Mexico, and intertongued southward with marine limestones. Wherever the redbeds crop out, their dark reddish brown hue, speckled and striped with spots and streaks of green, enlivens the drab gray-and-brown landscape.
Some of the reddish coloring is from angular grains of red to orange feldspar, but most is in thin brilliantly tinted skins of hematite that coat the sand grains and saturate the clays. In northern and central New Mexico, amphibians and other primitive vertebrate animals lived amid the red soils and sands; their bones and imprints have been preserved on thin flat slabs of sandstone that now decorate sidewalks and patios.
The early Permian seashore, where limy muds beyond the surf intermingled with red sandy muds swept from the north, vacillated somewhere north of Alamogordo with each sea-level change. Amid the breakers, and as submarine banks in the shallow waters, reefs grew—moundlike masses of shell debris and calcite mud trapped among frondlike calcareous algae. By the middle of Permian time, the southern Colorado mountains had been worn down to low hills that lay north of an extensive sea covering most of New Mexico. From Santa Fe south to White Sands and southeastward almost to Carlsbad, very shallow marine waters were alternately stifled by pale-red sandy muds or evaporated by the sun.
The results were alternating beds of pale-red sandstone, gypsum, and silty dolomitic limestone, called the Yeso Formation. Locally, as near Carrizozo, thick deposits of rock salt also were precipitated, and the Yeso there is about feet thick. At this time, the Delaware basin of southeastern New Mexico saw the beginning of its most spectacular events, the building of the Capitan and Goat Seep reefs. While the pale-red sands, gypsum, halite, and dolomitic limestones of the 46 Yeso Formation were laid down to the north and northwest, the Delaware basin was rimmed by a low, broad bank of fossil-hash calcite sand, now called the Victorio Peak Limestone.
In the basin, in deep stagnant waters, black sandy limestone and black shale of the Bone Spring Formation were deposited. A sheet of white quartz sand filled the late Yeso seas; the resulting Glorieta Sandstone, about feet thick, prominently caps Glorieta Mesa. Broad seas then spread over all but northern New Mexico and a thick to feet persistent marine unit, the San Andres Limestone, was laid down.
Much oil is produced in southeastern New Mexico from this dark-gray unit of limestones and dolomites. The rich agricultural region stretching from Roswell to Artesia depends on underground water gained from the San Andres Limestone, water that falls as rain and snow on the Sacramento Mountains, seeps underground into the cracks and caverns within the San Andres, and flows eastward downslope to the Pecos Valley.
The delicate balance between land and sea swung upward at the end of San Andres time as these late Permian seas retreated to southern New Mexico. The deep Delaware basin was the only persistent marine body of water. It was rimmed by magnificent towering barrier reefs, the Goat Seep and Capitan reefs that now are host to Carlsbad Caverns. These reefs were similar to the present-day Great Barrier Reef of Australia, except that the Capitan and Goat Seep reefs surrounded an inland sea whereas the Australian reef borders a continent.
The Capitan reef is about miles long, and other than oceanward channels cut through to the south, completely encircled the 10,square-mile Delaware basin. At its heyday, the Capitan reef was barely awash, and teeming with life, in contrast to the silent, stagnant deeps of the Delaware basin which were about feet below sea level only a few miles away from the barrier reef. On the steep slope into the basin, huge slump blocks of fossiliferous reef limestone slid, mingling with fossil-hash sand.
The Delaware basin was a marine feature throughout Late Paleozoic time; its northwestern border is now marked by the southeast-trending front of the Guadalupe Mountains southeast of Carlsbad; its north edge was east-northeast of Carlsbad, and it extended southward into West Texas. Landward, away from the Delaware basin, the rocks change from massive, thick, light-gray limestones of the reefs into thin units of thin-bedded dolomite, then abruptly into alternating beds of gypsum and redbeds, the Artesia Group of rocks, and finally, marking the distant shorelines, into thin units of red mudstone and 47 red sandstone, the Bernal Formation.
Latest Permian time saw the dramatic end of the Paleozoic Era. Most of New Mexico was uplifted above sea level, with only the Delaware basin remaining as a land-locked sea, much like the Caspian Sea today, but with channels open periodically southward to the ocean. The rocks of this waning part of the Permian are called the Ochoan Series ; they show an abrupt and striking change from the underlying Carlsbad reef limestones and associated black basin-filling limestones up into the laminated gypsum-anhydrite of the basal Ochoan rocks, the Castile formation.
Normal marine conditions ended almost instantaneously. Excess of evaporation lowered the water level of the inland sea; the accumulated brine concentrated salty sea water killed the life on and near the Capitan reef, and thick beds of anhydrite were precipitated. The lowest beds of the Ochoan Series, the Castile Anhydrite, and the overlying Salado Salt, mostly filled the deep depression that was the Delaware basin; the upper beds, the Rustler Dolomite and Dewey Lake Redbeds, lap over the edges of the basin and in places rest irregularly upon the Capitan limestone.
These are unusual rocks. The Castile about feet thick is thinly banded, with thicker bands laminae, thin layers of light-gray gypsum-anhydrite alternating with thin laminae of dark-brown calcite fig. This lamination is believed due to annual changes, the brown calcite being precipitated during the summer and the gray anhydrite during the winter. Addition of water to anhydrite has changed it to gypsum wherever ground water penetrated the laminae. The Salado Salt, about feet thick, is almost entirely of rock salt halite , with important interbeds of potassium-rich minerals—red sylvite, gray langbeinite, brownish bitter-tasting carnallite, and pale-red polyhalite.
The arid period of Salado Salt evaporation changed slightly as the dolomites and anhydrites of the Rustler Dolomite were laid down in the last drying moments geologically speaking of the Permian. Then as the seas retreated to the south, the fine-grained red sands and silts of the Dewey Lake Redbeds were spread as a thin blanket over the low lands basking under the hot Permian sun. This was a time of dying; whole races of vertebrate and invertebrate animals were wiped out, to be known today only from their fossil remains. As the dim unmarked episode of latest Permian time merged into the Triassic, an inkling of coming life was recorded in the rocks.
The amphibians were more modern types, and they gave rise to the most striking of early land animals, the reptiles. This was the beginning of the conquest of the land by the reptiles, which culminated later in the dinosaurs, and was aided by the retreat of shallow seas from the continents, a change survived chiefly by the species adapted to living on land.
The Mesozoic Era dawned in New Mexico on extensive plains, except for a northwest-trending range in the extreme north-central part of the state. During this, the early part of the Triassic Period to m. Uplands arose in late Triassic time in southwestern New Mexico. Along with mountains in south-central Colorado, these highlands were torn apart by water and wind, and the detritus was swept into sheets of brightly colored sand and shale. These beds are thickest about feet along the New Mexico—Texas line east of Roswell and in west-central New Mexico near Grants extending westward into northeastern Arizona.
The northwestern rocks are the Chinle Formation overlain by the redbeds of the Wingate Sandstone. The Chinle Formation is of special scenic interest as its beds contain the silicified trees so well shown at Petrified Forest National Monument. These varicolored rocks—red, purple, green, and gray—also decorate the Painted Desert area, the wide valley of Rio San Jose east of Laguna, and flank Interstate 40 U. Highway 66 from the Texas line westward almost 49 to Clines Corners.
In contrast to the underlying marine Paleozoic rocks, these Triassic beds were deposited on land by streams and in shallow lakes.