Conchas Dam hits 70 years

By Ryn Gargulinski: Freedom Newspapers Conchas Dam is having a birthday. The dam, 32 miles northwest of Tucumcari, began construction on July 23, 1935. A celebration is planned for 10 a.m. on Friday at Conchas Lake State Park’s Core of Engineers Park. The celebration will include presentations, photography, historical films, tours of the dam — […]

An infamous day at Ricardo post office

By Don McAlavy: CNJ columnist The community of Ricardo, now lost to just memory, was 13 miles southwest of Fort Sumner. The Santa Fe Railroad put in a depot and a water station there when the Belen Cutoff was built. By 1908, a small town had sprung up and many wannabe settlers came to find […]

WWII railroad battalion trained in Clovis

By Don McAlavy On the windy afternoon of April 25, 1942, at Camp William C. Reid on the south edge of Clovis, the Stars and Stripes were raised during a small but impressive ceremony and the 713th Railway Operation Battalion was born. The U.S. Army, realizing the major role rail transportation was to play in […]

On the road to salvation

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Doug McGimpsey (left) Gary Ford (center) and pastor Art Evans each played a role in the crosses being erected in Broadview. There are three crosses on the roadside, including one 30 feet high and two others 24 feet tall. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ staff writer During a car ride home, Trenton […]

The secret archives of boyhood projects

Bob Huber You’ve probably never heard of the World War II coastal fortifications on Long Island known as the Marginal Line, built to keep the European forces of evil in check. Frankly, I hadn’t either until recently when secret archives of that great project were opened to me. What happened was… Two patriots, Don and […]

A.L. Gurley: Pioneer entrepreneur

One of the busier pioneers who helped in the making of Clovis was A. L. Gurley. He made his fortune in broomcorn and oil. Success in oil was the tricky part! This is how it came about: First he married his childhood sweetheart, Myrtle Poor, in Purdy, Mo. That was in 1903. They headed west […]

N.M. pioneers present for Texico’s start

Don McAlavy Back in 1943, Ira Taylor and his wife had an auction of their livestock and property near Texico. “Colonel” Dick Dosher conducted the auction that Jan. 6. It was announced that the Taylors were writing the final chapter for the residents of Texico’s undisputed original pioneer family. They were pulling up stakes after […]

Merritt family built long-standing legacy

Don McAlavy: Clovis historian The Merritt legacy: That’s what Daisy Gertrude Merritt and her husband Charles left Clovis, and that’s what her talented son, Dr. Dean Merritt left his family, friends, and Clovis. The story began when Charles, from Kansas, married Daisy Gertrude, from Missouri. She was 23 and he was 50. Because of his […]

CNJ readers snow how to handle the weather

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Josh Martinez of Clovis sails through the air toward a patch of snow Saturday, after being unexpectedly separated from his skateboard. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth. Project: Reader Reaction Project: Reader Reaction participants were recently asked for snow stories. Some responses: “I spent most of my elementary school years in North Dakota, so snow days […]

Clovis’ grand estates still cropping up

By Don McAlavy Clovis’ big, expensive homes are an indicator of the growth of the city, most of which has been to the north and east after World War II. In the early days of Clovis, the big homes were primarily built on Gidding Street, from the 300 block to East Seventh Street. Maybe that’s […]