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Bridge Street, College Street & the Old Santa Fe Trail

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St. Michael’s College in Santa Fe during the 19th Century.

When I was growing up in Santa Fe back in the 1960s the Old Santa Fe Trail was known as College Street. The La Sallian Christian Brothers opened St. Michael’s College for boys and young men in Santa Fe in 1859 on that street. Their mission was to continue the work of its founder St. John-Baptist de Salle, who opened his first school in 1679 in Reims, France. The college later changed its name to St. Michael’ High School and in 1969, when Loretto Academy for girls closed, it became a coed school. The Christian Brothers opened a four year college in 1947 in Santa Fe, which was formally called St. Michael’s College and later changed to the College of Santa Fe, it closed in 2009.

A 1934 photograph of the Santa Fe Christian Brothers.

Barrio de Analco

Santa Fe’s barrio de Analco.

Prior to the arrival of the Christian Brothers in 1859, the street was named Bridge Street. The city gave it that name because of the bridge that crossed the Santa Fe river. All three names were for a street that remains one of the most historic streets in the country. The area is known as the Barrio de Analco, which means on the other side of the river in Nahuatl. The neighborhood was settled over 400 years ago. In the 1970s the street was changed to Old Santa Fe Trail because it’s on the original route of the Santa Fe Trail. The San Miguel Mission, which is the oldest church in the United States, is located on that historic street.