Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Old Pigeon Ranch, New Mexico

I have to admit that when I looked at this card, my first thought was, "Where are the old pigeons?" Well I did a little homework and found that Frenchman Alexander Valle built Pigeon Ranch in the early 1820's. The ranch got its name because of the "pigeon-English" (broken-English) that Valle spoke. The ranch became a very important site along the Santa Fe Trail, serving as a stagecoach stop, U.S. Post Office and a trading post. In March of 1862, Pigeon Ranch and the surrounding area was the site of the biggest and bloodiest battle of the Civil War in the Southwest.

In 1924, Thomas "Tommie" Greer bought the Pigeon Ranch and turned it into a tourist attraction. Greer, being the "showman" that he was, claimed that the well on the ranch was "the oldest in the U.S.", a claim that is unfounded. He added trained bears (looks safe to me!) to the ranch to try to lure even more tourists.

By the 1940's the Tommie and his bears were gone. Today all that's left of the ranch is one building that sits precariously close to New Mexico's Hwy 50.


  1. Thanks for the great background. It's a definitely amusing subject. Too bad about the disappearing location.

  2. Good card and interesting story behind it. Good sleuthing Steve!