Alamgordo-ART - History

Alamgordo-ART - History

Alamogordo

A city in southern New Mexico about 100 miles north northeast of El Paso, Tex. Alamogordo is the seat of government for Otero County. Nearby Holloman Air Force Base, then known as Alamogordo Air Base, was the site of the first man-induced atomic explosion on 16 July 1945.

(ART) 26: dp. 5,200, 1. 491'8"- b. 81'0"; dr. 5'8" (1.); cpl. 120;cl. ARD-12)

ARD-26—a non-self-propelled floating dry dock completed in 1944 at Oakland, Calif., by the Pacific Bridge Co.—was commissioned on 15 June 1944, Lt. Comdr. Irving B. Smith, USN (Ret. ) in command. The drydock completed outfitting at Oakland an] training at Tiburon, Calif., between mid-June and late August. On 3 September, she was taken in tow for the voyage west. En route to the Marianas, the dry dock made layovers of ten and seven days respectively at Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok. She arrived at Guam on 24 October and reported for duty with Service Squadron (ServRon) 11. Not long thereafter, however, she was assigned temporarily to ServRon 10.

During her more than eight months at Guam, ARD-26 repaired warships damaged in the Leyte, Luzon, and Okinawa campaigns. While carrying out that mission, she reported to several different organizational entities, including ServRon 12 ServRon 10, and the Naval Operating Base (NOB), Guam. In the second week in July 1945, the floating dry dock was towed to the Ryukyus where she transported equipment between various locations around Okinawa and docked warships for repairs. Her duty at Okinawa lasted until mid-August at which time she headed back to the Marianas. ARD-26 resumed her repair duties at Guam on 22 August 1945 and remained so employed for the next 17 years. In the latter part of 1962, the dry dock was towed back to the west coast of the United States. She was placed out of service in October 1962 and was berthed with the San Diego Group Pacific Reserve Fleet.

ARD-26 did not remain inactive for long. Towed to the east coast in 1964, she underwent conversion to a medium auxiliary repair dry dock at Baltimore by the Bethlehem Steel Corp. ARD-26 was named Alamogordo on 22 March 1965 and simultaneously redesignated ARDM-2. She was placed in service again on 3 August 1965. Alamogordo then moved south to Charleston S.C., where she became a support unit for Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 18. She has continued to provide repair services to the boats of SubRon 18 at Charleston for more than two decades. As of the beginning of 1986, she was still active at Charleston.


Angelina Flowing Ivy, Wood and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture Artist Rene Sepulveda available at artistrenesepulveda.com or at Roadrunner Emporium & Fine Arts Gallery Alamogordo New Mexico

“Angelina” Flowing Ivy, Abstract Wooden Basket and Lava Rock Natural Native American Inspired Sculpture by Artist Rene Sepulveda

“Angelina” A Flowing Ivy, Abstract Wood Basket and Lava Rock Natural Sculpture by the Artist Rene Sepulveda was crafted as a piece to honor his 80-year-old aunt Bertha Angelina Sepulveda Rommel.
The historic symbolism of ivy, central to the sculpture by Rene Sepulveda as it reaches out of the wooden basket deals with connections of family, because of its propensity to interweave in growth. Ever furrowing and intertwining, the ivy is an example of the twists and turns our relationships and family connections take – but also a testimony to the long-lasting connections and bonds we form that last over the years. Ivy is further considered a symbol of survival and determination for the same reasons. It seems to be virtually indestructible and will often return after it has suffered damage or has been severely cut back symbolic of the indestructability of family.

This is an example of the human spirit and the strength we all have, to carry on regardless of how harrowing our setbacks may have been.

The basket is one of humankind’s oldest art forms, and it is certainly an ethnic and cultural icon filled with myth and motif, religion and symbolism, and decoration as well as usefulness. Taping in the artist Native American heritage of his ancestors he felt a wooden pieced basket was an essential part of this sculpture due to its symbolism and history as a not to his family roots. The Native Americans may well have left the greatest legacy to the world of baskets. The Indians of Arizona and New Mexico made basket-molded pottery from 5000 to 1000 B.C. as part of the earliest basket heritage. Their baskets (many of which have survived in gravesites) are heralded as a pure art form and one that was created not only by a primitive people but also by women. Basketry extended into the making of many other materials the Indians used daily including fishing nets, animal and fish snares, cooking utensils that were so finely woven that they were waterproof, ceremonial costumes and baskets, and even plaques. The Hopi, Apache, and other Pueblo tribes made coiled baskets with bold decorations and geometric patterns of both dyed and natural fibers. Thus, the bold geometric coloring and shape of the basket crafted into this artistic sculptured work by Rene Sepulveda.

The wood of which the basket hangs is of fallen branches that were gathered near the Apache Mescalero tribal basin and symbolize the strength of eternity. This strength lives on and transcends life and death representing the timeless strength of family.

The 5000-year-old lava rock of which is the sculptures base is composed of rock from the Valley of the Fire lava flow originating at Little Black Peak in Southern New Mexico. The selection of this material as the base was to signify the strength of the earth from deep within, as lava flows deep within the earth and periodically erupts, so do the emotional ties of a family. Those ties and emotional connections are buried deep and carry from one generation to the next, and on occasion erupt to show their true inner strength and strong bonds as the foundation of family.

Finally, the piece is capped with a metal Zia symbol. Given that this artistic creation was conceptualized, crafted and created with natural elements of New Mexico, Artist Rene Sepulveda found it only fitting to cap the piece with the Zia symbol which is sacred to the original people of New Mexico, from the Zia Pueblo and who regard the sun as sacred. Four is a sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the points radiating from the circle.

The number four is embodied in:
The compass (north, south, east, and west)
The seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter)
The periods of each day (morning, noon, evening and night)
The stages of life (childhood, youth, middle years and elderhood)
The sacred aspects one must develop (a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the well-being of others)

That final aspect in symbolism of the Zia is what ties this artistic creation of Rene Sepulveda, entitled Angeline, together in each of those characteristics that speak of his aunt. She has always been one from youth to age 80 of strong body, clear mind, pure spirit and devotion to her family as well as the well-being of others.

Each component of this work of art independently is of beauty, but when combined into a sculptured work named “Angelina,” from the heart and mind of the Artist, Rene Sepulveda one sees it spiritual relevance and reverence to family, presented as a visual piece of artistic beauty.

Available to be seen as part of the Valley of The Fire Collection Exhibition of Works of Artist Rene Sepulveda at 2nd Life Boutique and Gallery at Roadrunner Emporium and Fine Art Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico and is available online to ship for free anywhere in the US at https://www.etsy.com/listing/1007837864


Bill Swartz Crossing America for Charity Stops By Roadrunner Emporium & Fine Arts Gallery, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Dateline: Alamogordo, New Mexico, June 8, 2021

In case you missed the jovial guy on a bike zipping around Alamogordo yesterday, you missed a man of commitment and compassion.

Meet Mike Swartz. While some people have sat back and complained during this dark period of Covid-19 and the new awakening as we come out of it, there are some individuals that didn’t just sit back in self pity but some individuals set a goal and a path forward to help the greater good of their community and followed through on that path forward in enlightenment and action.A view of Bill Swartz journey

Mike Swartz is one of those individuals. He is bicycling across America from Harbor New Jersey to San Diego to raise awareness and funds for charity. His solo ride of about 4000 miles in total down the east coast and across the country is to raise money for Bell Socialization Services which began in 1966 as “The Bell Club,” a social gathering for people being discharged from local psychiatric hospitals into the greater York, PA community. Created with support of the York chapter of Mental Health America and a financial donation from the York Jaycees, early Bell programs included meals and activities hosted by churches and organizations such as the Catholic Women’s Club, the Jewish War Veteran’s Auxilliary, the Jaycees Wives, etc., as well as dances, presentations, and outings.

The organization then engaged to enrich mental health services, in 1977, programs were also added to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities , and in 1986, the agency added shelter services to meet the needs of York County’s homeless families.

Over the years Bell services continued to evolve and expand and, today, about 2,500 people are served each year through dozens of programs offering an array of housing and basic living supports, guided by our Vision, Mission, & Values. Many Bell programs are licensed and/or accredited to meet strict standards of quality care. With more than 50 properties throughout York and Adams counties, people using Bell services are an integral part of the greater community.

You can follow along the remaining parts of Mr. Swartz journey and read his commentary and blog over his encounters along the way ata variety of social media pages which are devoted to this bicycle ride. ‍ You’ll see photos, video clips and stories about my experiences and the interesting folks I meet as I bicycle across America.
* FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/coasttocoastbicycleride/
* INSTAGRAM: @billswartz3
* WEBSITE for this COASTtoCOASTbicycleride: www.thisclearbluesky.com

We were fortunate to meet this jovial man at Roadrunner Emporium on New York Avenue yesterday. He explained his journey and his passion and moved us with his experiences.

Mr Swartz said he was attracted to the street and to come into Roadrunner Emporium as he heard John a Lennon’s famous “Imagine” being coming from the Emporium and he knew from that inspiring sound he had to check out the Emporium and the historic New York Avenue. Proving once again “music unites us.”Artist Dalia Lopez Halloway and Author Chris Edwards Photographed by Bill Swartz on His Journey

His journey reminds us all that there are good people out there, not just sitting back but taking action from the darkness to bring light to causes and issues that are important to the community and the nation at large.

Humanity is out there if we just keep our eyes open and look for it. Good luck Mr. Swartz.

And to make a donation to the charity follow the link attached:

To learn more about the charity he is supporting visit:

To see a FOX News Clip on his journey visit The Fox 43 TV news affiliates video clip that gives a good overview of this coast to coast bicycle ride fundraiser and the charity for which I’m riding:

STAY CONNECTED! SUBSCRIBE TO FREE EMAIL UPDATES FROM 2ND LIFE MEDIA ALAMOGORDO


Tularosa Basin Museum of History

After spending the morning out at White Sands, we next drove a few blocks to the Tularosa Basin Museum, which is owned and operated by the Tularosa Basin Historical Society. As we entered a charming woman greeted us and gave us a brief overview of the museum and invited us to spend as much time as we wanted perusing its exhibits.

The prize item in the collection is a 47-star U. S. flag. New Mexico was admitted to the union as the 47th state on January 6, 1912, followed by Arizona as the 48th state on February 14, 1912.

The museum collection holds personal accounts, relics and photographs of local history, as well as a bison trophy head, a display devoted to Holloman Air Force Base, an exhibit containing items recovered from the Manhattan Project Trinity Test Site and artifacts from prehistoric Native American tribes that were found in caves above Alamogordo.

The collection includes over 3,000 historical photographs of the local area and an archive of historical documents and a nice display of pottery from the La Luz Pottery Factory, a former factory in La Luz, New Mexico. The site there includes three houses, an adobe warehouse and kiln, a clay processing plant, and storerooms, which were built circa 1929. The factory, founded by Rowland Hazard, made roof and floor tiles as well as pots until it closed down in 1942. The complex has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since May 29, 1979.

We closed out our visit by stopping at the museum gift shop, which sits in a room that formerly housed the building’s pharmacy and soda fountain.


Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Camped in a 35” motorhome. We are self-contained so cannot comment on restrooms/shower facilities.
Site #2. Water and electric site – dump station on site. Love this Park, will return.

Pros –
- Spectacular views of the mountains and valley – gorgeous cactus landscape
- Very quiet
- Sites are quite spacious.
- Convenient to White Sands Nat’l Park
- Hiking trails in the park.
Cons –
- none

Here by chance or happy accident and managed to grab the last campsite for a couple of nights. They have several short guided tours offered by docents/volunteers and they are worth it. One of the tours (offered three times a week when I went) was of the old homestead of Oliver Lee. You cannot reach this place (locked gate as you have to go through private land to get there) without a guide. History of this old homestead and the lives of Mr. Lee and his family was very interesting. They intersect with the life of Billy the Kid and others.

The hike up the mountain (from 0.6 miles – to first viewpoint to 5.5 miles [one way], all the way from Chihuahua desert to Ponderosas) is challenging and beautiful but what is the most interesting about it is that you are walking on the same path the Mogollon Indians created centuries ago (they were thought to be in the area until 1450)…

Finally, you can learn about a French man (Frenchy) who developed the area you are now camping on. He had an orchard and 400 heads of cattle because he had water. You can follow up the canyon to see the water source.

Some historical artifacts can be seen at the visitor center as well. Worth the visit if it is open. Some of the tours start from there.

Lastly, it was the staff who made this stay wonderful. Friendly, knowledgeable, and very helpful. I tried to book it for another stay in three weeks and it’s already booked up. I guess I was lucky to find the last campsite… Plan before you come to this place, but I can see why it fills up quickly.


The economy within Alamogordo, Otero County and New Mexico was damaged by the COVID-19 crisis in 2020 and into the beginning months of 2021. Productivity plunged, new business development, licensing, and recruitment all but stopped and unemployment spiked. Mandated shutdowns, social distancing, and altered consumption patterns has resulted in many businesses adjusting work hours, some closing permanently and several laying off workers, modifying working conditions to include more automation and less need for employees.

Do not blame the governor and those outside of Alamogordo the issue of the thousands of square feet of vacant and not rented retail space began in Alamogordo long before Covid-19. Self-reflection and holding local political leaders accountable are where solutions begin. We can blame the Democrats Democrats blame the Republicans, but the fact is the ownership of local jobs and education issues and the solutions to each can only come from within Alamogordo and Otero County. Help in the form of Federal Grants and State Grants can assist but first the local political and business machine must own up to creating a roadmap, accept responsibility for past sins, quit blaming others and remedy the issue with a collaborative, solutions driven resolution towards jobs growth and long-term economic prosperity. Call center recruitment is a 20 th Century solution that is a failed path to jobs growth. Tourism, specialty retail, arts, culture and fitness that takes advantage of the local features of nature are the key to local prosperity.

Just look at the expanded self-check checkout lines at Lowes Grocery Store, Albertsons, Walmart, and McDonalds. Jobs are not being lost locally due to immigrants taking low wage jobs, jobs are being lost due to automation, a business community that is not adapting to changing retail trends and political leadership that must collaborate with small business owners via incentives, tax rebates, and state and federal block grants.

For Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico to move forward and replace lost jobs and incomes, the region needs small business entrepreneurs to fill the void with business startups of businesses that can capitalize on the local resources, tourism, fitness, arts and culture.

During the economic downturn a decade ago, the business startup rate fell and never fully recovered, which contributed to a slow recovery. Alamogordo had its business peak during the 70’s and has had a slow drain and a lack of consensus among the political leadership and the business community to end the economic drain.

The business community also suffers in recruiting due to the downward spiral of the public school system in rankings. In the 1960’s Alamogordo ranked in the top 10 school systems in the US in achievement pay and rankings. Today Alamogordo High ranks in the bottom 1/3 of US High Schools, no longer offers most vocational educational training programs of the 60’s and 70’s and the poverty rate among students is at a record high. The high school is feeling additional pressure and a loss of students and community support due to the proliferation of religious based private educational institutions that pull students from the public system, offer inconsistent curriculums and compete thus lowering even more the pull of funds available to the public education system and further depressing jobs recruitment of large corporate jobs into the area.

The startup rate of small business growth has trended downward since the 1980s. That is troubling because startups play crucial roles in the local economy and the sales tax base that funds local services. Small business entrepreneurs create the most net new jobs in most communities and Alamogordo would not be unique. They are a key source of innovation because new products and services offerings are often pioneered by new companies. And they challenge dominant firms, which helps to restrain prices and expand consumer choices as witnessed locally by the growth of Walmart and the closure of so many small businesses to include more recently several at the local mall such as Penny’s etc.

This Alamogordo Town News spotlight suggests that state and local policymakers should slash regulatory barriers to startup businesses. The state of New Mexico State should repeal certificate of need requirements, liberalize occupational licensing and restaurant alcohol licensing, liberalize licensing requirements of ex-felons and quick start the business licensing of legalized marijuana and hemp businesses.

The Alamogordo city and county government should collaborate on reducing small business owner property tax rates and provide sales tax holidays to small business owners to encourage business growth, sales, and entrepreneurship. The city should implement online permitting and licensing application for new businesses and make a commitment to turn licenses within 5 business days of application. The cities of Southern New Mexico should also liberalize zoning rules for home‐​based businesses and encourage their growth and that of food trucks and locally crafted arts, crafts, and food items.

US trends that are trickling into New Mexico, Ortero County and Alamogordo.

In recent years in the United States, entrepreneurship and business growth and adaptability have trended downward. An indicator of this is the decline in the startup rate for employer businesses, as calculated from the Census Bureau’s “business dynamics” data.

During the economic downturn that began in 2008 and we clawed out of by 2010, the startup rate for new businesses fell below the shutdown rate for several years. Alamogordo was not immune to that trends and the bounce back has never materialized in Alamogordo’s retail sector as witnessed by the many empty retail storefronts on 10 th Street, the New York Avenue District and on the White Sands inner city corridor.

The new business startup rate has not fully recovered from the decline, which is one reason why it has taken many years for the unemployment rate to fall to its pre‐​recession low and is now spiked during Covid with questions of its rebound. Political leaders and struggling business recruitment like to point blame for unemployment on liberal unemployment compensation, closures mandated by the governor and deflect responsibility locally for the lack of incentivizing business development and lack of commitment to small business entrepreneurship incubation.

Per the CATO Institute, business permitting, and licensing is a challenge for startups in the restaurant industry, which is the largest industry for new businesses aside from professional services. There are about 650,000 restaurants in the United States and about half are not part of chains. Restaurants employ more than 12 million people. In 2020, the industry was hit hard by the pandemic and government‐​mandated shutdowns. A September 2020 survey found that more than 100,000 restaurants may close permanently.

State fees for alcohol licenses range from about $100 to more than $6,000. But there are 18 states that impose on‐​premises license caps, which limit the number of licenses for each municipality generally based on per capita formulas. Such caps create shortages — often severe shortages — with the result that licenses sell on the secondary market for vastly inflated prices, often hundreds of thousands of dollars. The restrictions on hard alcohol licenses are typically more severe than restrictions for beer and wine licenses. In big cities, full liquor licenses can cost up to $250,000 in California, $750,000 in Florida, $400,000 in Indiana, $320,000 in Montana, and $975,000 in New Mexico. If Alamogordo wants to get serious about catering to tourism and creating real jobs it needs to work with the state assembly and the governor on a process to better procure liquor licenses for Southern New Mexico at a more affordable rate. Further collaboration in efforts begin with the City Commission addressing the concerns of liquor license costs and the few numbers available to Southern New Mexico via the assembly and via the state Liquor Control Board. A resolution of concern is a first step and needs to be taken by the mayor and the city commission.

The complexity of permitting, licensing, and zoning rules, and the discretion it gives to officials, makes it a breeding ground for corruption in many municipalities. Corruption is exacerbated by artificial caps that limit the supply of valuable permits and licenses and by slow bureaucracies that incentivize businesses to bribe officials in order to speed approvals.

Corruption favors incumbent and politically connected and existing businesses at the expense of new and independent businesses. One expert noted on marijuana licenses that “A statewide cap tends to benefit well‐​connected and well‐​capitalized applicants such as large publicly traded companies while excluding smaller entrepreneurs and resulting in less choice and availability in the marketplace.” The lessons from alcohol licensing and the abuse seen needs to be noted as the regulations around marijuana are being debated at the state and local levels.

The 2020 pandemic caused the shutdown of many businesses and threw millions of people out of work nationwide and thousands in southern New Mexico. As the economy rebuilds in 2021, it needs startup new businesses especially in services, tourism, fitness and the arts to create jobs and pursue new post‐​pandemic opportunities.

Startup businesses in the arts, fitness and tourist related realms add value to Alamogordo and Southern New Mexico as well as the state and nation.

To speed economic recovery and support long‐​term growth, governments should remove regulatory barriers to startups.

State and local governments should review all occupational licensing rules and regulations and repeal those that fail cost‐​benefit tests. States should accept licenses issued by other states, explore whether licenses can be replaced by private certification, and reduce the costs and time requirements for needed licenses. States and local governments should repeal most licensing boards as they are detrimental to new business growth. The state and local governments should repeal laws around licensing of ex-felons and encourage them to gain full professional employment rather than punitive long term punishment post incarceration.

Bureaucratic processes should be much faster and more transparent, and most licensing should be done online, automated with status updates available online for transparency reasons. It makes no sense that entrepreneurs burn through cash for months on end waiting for government approvals before they can open their businesses. There is no excuse in small towns and cities in New Mexico nor anywhere in the US that business licenses should take more than two weeks to be executed given the real time data that is in front of everyone via the interconnected web of the internet we live in today.

“Business Dynamics Statistics,” U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/bds.html “Federal Policies in Response to Declining Entrepreneurship,” Congressional Budget Office, December 29, 2020. The CBO estimates are based on data from “Business Dynamics Statistics.” The CATO Institute, Elizabeth Weber Handwerker, Peter B. Meyer, Joseph Piacentini, Michael Schultz, and Leo Sveikauskas, “Employment Recovery in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2020. And see Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker, https://tracktherecovery.org


For the most current course information, go to the online course schedule.

Use the NMSU Course Schedule look up tool (web version) to view classes online. This search tool shows courses offered on all NMSU Campuses by term and subject and will allow you to see the numbers of seats available and the number of students enrolled for each class. Please note that this link will take you to an NMSU Las Cruces Campus web page, select Alamogordo Campus to see what we offer.

Course Listing Information

Below are charts to help you understand the information in the course schedule.

FALL/SPRING SEMESTER SECTION INFORMATION The class section designator contains information regarding Alamogordo Classes. The letter A stands for the Alamogordo Campus. Number definitions:
A01-A19 Sixteen week (full semester) onsite classes
A20-A26 Sixteen week web classes
A27-A29 Sixteen week hybrid classes
A30-A39 Independent study classes
A40-A49 1st eight week onsite classes
A50-A56 1st eight week web classes
A57-A59 1st eight week hybrid classes
A60-A69 2nd eight week onsite classes
A70-A76 2nd eight week web classes
A77-A79 2nd eight week hybrid classes
A80-A89 Short courses – onsite
A90-A96 Short courses – web
A97-A99 Short courses – hybrid
TIME: Military Time (24 hour clock) is used to avoid confusion between day and evening classes.
12 Hour 24 Hour
1 a.m. 0100
2 a.m. 0200
3 a.m. 0300
4 a.m. 0400
5 a.m. 0500
6 a.m. 0600
7 a.m. 0700
8 a.m. 0800
9 a.m. 0900
10 a.m. 1000
11 a.m. 1100
12 Noon 1200
12 Hour 24 Hour
1 p.m. 1300
2 p.m. 1400
3 p.m. 1500
4 p.m. 1600
5 p.m. 1700
6 p.m. 1800
7 p.m. 1900
8 p.m. 2000
9 p.m. 2100
10 p.m. 2200
11 p.m. 2300
12 Midnight 2400
BUILDING/LOCATION ABBREVIATIONS
AL means Alamogordo Campus S means location is an off campus site.
Abbreviation Location
ALAC Art Center
ALCB Classroom Building
ALFA Rohovec Fine Arts
ALFO Faculty Office Building
ALSC Science Center Building
ALTC Tays Center
ALTE Technical Education Building
ALTL Townsend Library
S-ADS Academy Del Sol
S-ALGC Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center
S-ALHA Holloman Air Force Base
S-ALHS Alamogordo Senior High School
ALONWB Online/web-based classes
ALNCR No Classroom Required

BE BOLD. Shape the Future.
Alamogordo

NMSU Alamogordo
2400 Scenic Drive
Alamogordo, NM 88310
575.439.3600


Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway

The Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway was built as a branch line for the El Paso and Northeastern Railway (EP&NE). Construction began from the EP&NE connection at Alamogordo, New Mexico, in 1898 to reach the Sacramento Mountain fir and spruce forests to the east. Sawmills were built in Alamogordo to mill lumber for extension of the EP&NE to reach the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. The railroad reached Cloudcroft, New Mexico, in 1900, where a lodge was built for summer tourists to enjoy the cool mountain air. Cloudcroft was laid out in several villages so tourists might avoid associating too closely with loggers and railway workers. [1] The railway was extended from Cloudcroft to the small community of Russia, New Mexico, in 1903 and several branches were built to reach timber for the Alamogordo Lumber Company. [2]

Climbing from the Tularosa Basin of the later Trinity Test Site and White Sands Missile Range into the Sacramento Mountain fault block escarpments required numerous trestles, switchbacks and grades as steep as 6.4 %. The work was supervised by Horace Sumner, whose experience in Colorado included construction of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad. The result has been described as a standard gauge railroad built to narrow gauge standards. [1] It was one of the most spectacular railroads of the American west. [2]

Milepost Station Elevation [1]
0 Alamogordo 4,320 feet (1,320 m)
6 La Luz 4,836 feet (1,474 m)
15.8 High Rolls 6,550 feet (2,000 m)
Wooten 7,111 feet (2,167 m)
20.6 Toboggan 7,728 feet (2,355 m)
26.2 Cloudcroft 8,600 feet (2,600 m)
32 Russia 9,076 feet (2,766 m)

The climb began in La Luz Canyon and reached Fresnel Canyon using trestles and two 36-degree curves. It climbed into Salado Canyon through a double horseshoe of 30-degree curves on a 4.2 percent grade to reach High Rolls. From Toboggan the line used a switchback with two trestles on a 22-degree curve with a 6 percent grade. The first trestle was 108 feet (33 m) and the second was 200 feet (61 m). The line then crossed Bailey's Canyon over a 30-degree curve on a 198 feet (60 m) trestle and a 28-degree curve on a 261-foot (80 m) trestle. The following 323-foot (98 m) trestle 52 feet (16 m) over Mexican Canyon still stands as a historic landmark. The final canyon before Cloudcroft required a 338-foot (103 m) trestle 41 feet (12 m) high supporting two 30-degree reverse curves. The climb to Cloudcroft was scheduled to take 2 hours and 50 minutes, and the descent back to Alamogordo took 2 hours and 25 minutes. As many as five daily excursion trains from El Paso, Texas, (with a $3 fare in 1907) were scheduled through the summer months, and one or two daily round trips provided passenger and mail service through the winter. [1]

The line became part of the Phelps Dodge El Paso and Southwestern Railroad in 1905 and was leased by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1924. Summer excursions from El Paso were discontinued in 1930 and passenger and mail service ended in 1938. Freight service ended in 1947 [2] and the line was dismantled through the summer of 1948, one half century after it had been built. The railroad owned one combine car, four open-sided excursion cars, and five cabooses in addition to the five wood-burning locomotives listed below. Additional 2-8-0s were used during Phelps Dodge control and the Southern Pacific roster included 107 logging flatcars formerly owned by the lumber companies. [1]

Number Type Builder Works number Date Notes [1]
99 4-truck Shay locomotive Lima 1893 8/1907 Built as Norfolk and Western #1 renumbered # 56. To EP&SW 5 April 1917. [3] Too large for track. Sold to Red River Lumber Company, California in 1920 [4]
101 2-8-2 Tank locomotive Baldwin 16103 8/1898 rebuilt as Southern Pacific class SE-1 0-8-0 # 1300 scrapped 1934
102 2-4-2 Tank locomotive Baldwin 13361 3/1893 built for the World's Columbian Exposition became Phelps Dodge subsidiary Ferrocarril Nacozari # 25 in 1906
103 2-8-0 Baldwin 16494 3/1899 sold as Cloudcroft Lumber and Land Company # 1 in 1924 and became George E. Breece Lumber Company # 1 in 1926
104 2-8-0 Baldwin 17107 11/1899 became Southern Pacific class C-14 # 2504 scrapped 1935
105 4-truck Shay locomotive Lima 673 3/1902 sold as Ferrocarril Mexicano # 110 in 1905

In addition to the above-listed locomotives owned by the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway main line, the following lumber company Shay locomotives operated over logging branches:


Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Camped in a 35” motorhome. We are self-contained so cannot comment on restrooms/shower facilities.
Site #2. Water and electric site – dump station on site. Love this Park, will return.

Pros –
- Spectacular views of the mountains and valley – gorgeous cactus landscape
- Very quiet
- Sites are quite spacious.
- Convenient to White Sands Nat’l Park
- Hiking trails in the park.
Cons –
- none

Here by chance or happy accident and managed to grab the last campsite for a couple of nights. They have several short guided tours offered by docents/volunteers and they are worth it. One of the tours (offered three times a week when I went) was of the old homestead of Oliver Lee. You cannot reach this place (locked gate as you have to go through private land to get there) without a guide. History of this old homestead and the lives of Mr. Lee and his family was very interesting. They intersect with the life of Billy the Kid and others.

The hike up the mountain (from 0.6 miles – to first viewpoint to 5.5 miles [one way], all the way from Chihuahua desert to Ponderosas) is challenging and beautiful but what is the most interesting about it is that you are walking on the same path the Mogollon Indians created centuries ago (they were thought to be in the area until 1450)…

Finally, you can learn about a French man (Frenchy) who developed the area you are now camping on. He had an orchard and 400 heads of cattle because he had water. You can follow up the canyon to see the water source.

Some historical artifacts can be seen at the visitor center as well. Worth the visit if it is open. Some of the tours start from there.

Lastly, it was the staff who made this stay wonderful. Friendly, knowledgeable, and very helpful. I tried to book it for another stay in three weeks and it’s already booked up. I guess I was lucky to find the last campsite… Plan before you come to this place, but I can see why it fills up quickly.


Pleasant surprise

We chose this park for convenience, not for the park itself. We liked it so much that we extended our stay. It's a great location for exploring the area. It's close to Alamogordo for supplies. The park itself is really pleasant - in the Chihuahuan desert at the base of Dog Canyon. The campsites are well spaced and have great views. The facilities are immaculate. We would definitely stay here again.

Though it is a bit tough to level out at some campsites, the view is worth the trouble. Absolutely gorgeous area and full hookups are available, W/E/S. No cable or wifi, though we picked up local tv stations. Quiet as can be and parking spots are not close together at all. A really nice get-away!

The park visitor center has a nice collection of artifacts and interpretive displays that tell the history of the area, specifically Dog Canyon. The nature trail winds along the creekbed with shade from cottonwoods - a very pretty area. For the adventurous, there's a hike up to the canyon walls, but it's not for the casual visitor. Nice campground area with paved roads.

It's relatively small but has some nice trails and campsites. The volunteers are friendly and the park is kept clean. I was not impressed with the shower pressure/function but the bathrooms were clean. There isn't much shade, making tent camping uncomfortable with the New Mexico sun.

On our way from San Diego County to Dallas, Texas we stopped here for 4 nights and, if we weren't on a schedule, I could have stayed longer.

Beautiful views, beautiful trails, beautiful stars, nice large sites. There is nothing bad I can say about this campground.

The sites are far apart with plenty of room for children and pets. Each site has a nice rubber coated picnic table. There are softly lit trails from each site to the restrooms.

We took our dogs on a short hike down to the arroyo that has a small spring that runs year round. There are a couple small 2-3' deep ponds that my dogs loved. The water was cool but not too cold for wading or taking a dip.

There is another trail I can't review as it's too long and steep for me to walk but many other campers seemed to enjoy it.

Even on the weekend, with the campground pretty full it was soooo quiet.

I believe there are only a few sites that are reservable and we were in one on them but all the sites are beautiful, clean and inviting.

If you're looking for someplace to camp around Alamogordo, I highly recommend Oliver Lee Campground.


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