The East Mountain Historical Society’s map of historic sites and landmarks, many of which no longer exist, is on display at the East Mountain Library in Tijeras through June.
“Mapping Our Vanishing Past” is a six-by-six foot map covering an area stretching north to the San Pedro Mountains, south to Chilili, west through Tijeras Canyon and east to Stanley.
It includes vanished and some existing highways and roads, churches, post offices, schools, dance halls, ruins, acequias, springs, old railroad beds, stage coach routes and more.
The map grew out of the East Mountain Historical Society’s award-winning New Mexico Centennial Oral History Project in 2012, during which many old-timers talked about growing up in places like Uña de Gato (Cat’s Claw) or Venus (precursor to Edgewood), and members realized that many of these places had vanished and should be recorded in map form. The display at the library also includes two panels of photographs of local residents who have been interviewed by the historical society over the years.
Since the creation of the map, the Historical Society has printed glove-box and poster-sized versions of it, which are available for purchase at select local outlets and via the group’s website at eastmountainhistory.org. The personal-size version of the map has been updated to include more sites and the pathway of a historic balloon flight. A copy of the updated map is also available for viewing at the library, and community members who have ideas for other sites of interest are encouraged to leave with the library a note explaining what should be added and how they may be contacted.
Information that appears on the map was gathered over a period of more than a year through volunteer research by historical society members, with community input. The exhibit-sized traveling display version of the map was printed by the East Mountain Historical Society with a grant from the Historical Society of New Mexico. After its time at the library, the map will travel to the Moriarty Historical Society museum for display.
For more information about the all-volunteer East Mountain Historical Society, visit eastmountainhistory.org.