Canyon Road’s Ancient History

Pinion shipment on Canyon Road at the turn o the 20th century.

The Spaniards named El Camino del Cañón in 1598. Canyon Road provided the indigenous population with water and fertile soil for centuries. The trail that ended at Canyon Road began in the community of Pecos on the other side of the mountain. The pathway provided a way for different Indian tribes to trade with each other. Spanish-speaking families lived in the homes on Canyon Road at the turn of the twentieth century. The background of these homes features Picacho Peak, Atalaya, Sun Mountain and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Through the 1970s Canyon Road continued as a vibrant Santa Fe neighborhood.  Cristo Rey Church, Gormely’s grocery store, the Armenta and Rios wood yards were full of life. Other businesses included the Rael tamale factory and Santa Fe’s first gay bar, Claude’s Bar and Lounge.

First Art Center for Santa Fe

Since the early part of the twentieth century the name Canyon Road has become synonymous with art. Early artists that lived and worked there include the tinsmith Francisco “Kiki” Delgado and Olive Rush. An advocate of social justice, Rush began the first Religious Society of Friends in her home on Canyon Road. Since her death in 1966 the Quaker heritage that Rush emanated has become an integral part of Santa Fe. The first gallery began in 1956 on Canyon Road. The sculptor Andrea “Drew” Bacigalupa opened his gallery that year on El Camino del Cañón.

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