Friday, November 28, 2008

Kit Carson's home in Taos, New Mexico

Sunday (Nov 16) we visited Taos, New Mexico. First, we visited the nationally famed Taos Pueblo which I will post on my blog later. But first I wanted to share our experience about our visit to the Kit Carson home and museum.

We visited this place at least once before, probably back in 1969 or 1972. Additional improvements and restoration have been made since then, and I don't really recall too much about it from back then. I've highlighted a link in the previous paragraph in case you would like to read more about this place.

Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson was born Christmas Eve, 1809 in Missouri. But he ran away when he was 16; he had heard adventure stories from his brothers and others about the Santa Fe Trail and wanted to head west like many other young men desired to do. So at the age of 17 he became a part-time resident of Taos, New Mexico.

[Be sure to click on the photos to see a larger view.]
This photo shows the entrance into the museum via the courtyard. Note some blankets are hanging off to the right. Also note the turquoise colored door and window frames - typical of southwestern culture.

This is the horno, an adobe outdoor oven, also located in the courtyard. The courtyard was a place where much of the daily activities took place and where the children would play when outdoors. If you take a close look you will notice within the adobe that pieces of straw are showing. That is one of the "ingredients" for making adobe.

This photo shows the front of the house which faces what was known as Taos Canyon Road, and is now called Kit Carson Road. Again you can see the door and window frames painted in turquoise.

This sign was located on the side of the house just before entering the courtyard. It gives a brief summary on Kit Carson and the number of years he and his third wife occupied this house.

7 comments:

Linda in Erie said...

I really like that turquoise blue color on the doors and windows. The Indians were really good at finding ways to make things. The clay and straw buildings last a long time. My hometown in a little foothill city in California used to have a "Kit Carson Parade" every summer. They stopped it back in the 70s because the Hell's Angels showed up and ruined it. It cost too much for policemen. I wonder if Kit Carson ever came to California.

Ruth said...

Your New Mexico posts have been interesting. Looks like a place I would want to add to a winter trip.

KGMom said...

Mary--we were in Santa Fe several years ago (my husband was attending a conference there). One day we drove up to Taos. Sadly, (for us) the pueblo was closed for native American ceremonies.
But we walked around Taos--very charming. I don't think, though, that I could afford to live there.
I also recall the scenes you described in Santa Fe--the Governor's Plaza, jewelry sellers, Georgia O'Keefe museum. No construction at that time.

Shellmo said...

The adobe oven was so interesting to look at - loved it. Thank you for sharing some history on Kit Carson - now I need to read up some more....my mind is failing me!

Mary C said...

Hi Linda. That's a shame that the parade had to be discontinued. Yes, Kit Carson helped John C Fremont in his expedition to California. Here is a link you might want to check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit_Carson

Hi Ruth. You would not regret a trip to New Mexico. It truly is the Land of Enchantment. Much to see and do no matter where you visit.

Hi Donna. I'm sure glad you got the chance to tour around Taos and Santa Fe (without construction!). I think you're right about not being able to afford to live in either Santa Fe or Taos. Back in the late 60s and early 70s there were a lot of potential artists (and hippies) who more or less found a way to live off the land. And I wouldn't doubt it if several of them are now able to afford the prices there. Albuquerque is so much more affordable. I do hope someday you'll get the chance to visit the Taos Pueblo village - it would certainly be worth the trip.

Hi Shelley. I'm glad you enjoyed my post. Stay tuned for more!

Kathiesbirds said...

I saw a PBS Special about Kit Carson. He was an amazing man. What fun to visit his home.

Mary C said...

Kathie, you'll be able to visit this, too, whenever you get to Santa Fe. It's only a block or two from the O'Keefe Museum.

 

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