The Dudrow & Bears Transfer Corral in 1881 was a family-run business. Charles W. Dudrow, came to Santa Fe between 1869 and 1872. He had been a driver for the Barlow and Sanderson stage lines that ran from Pueblo, Colorado, to Santa Fe. When he arrived in Santa Fe he married Cora Bear and became a business partner with her father, Samuel Bear. They opened Dudrow & Bear Ice, Transfer and Livery. The business was located near the train depot and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
Long before the Dudrow transfer station Our Lady of Guadalupe mission church dominated the area. Originally built in 1777 on the banks of the Santa Fe River, the church closed in 1826 when it fell into disrepair. A new 575-pound bell complimented the church remodel in the 1850s. The altar screen included a replica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The painting came to Santa Fe by ox train in 1783. The Santuario de Guadalupe is the oldest continuously standing shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the United States.
A hundred years after the original structure was completed, the old mission-style building was radically changed. After its alteration it resembled a typical east-coast church, with a steeple painted bright orange. The spire was centered above the entry instead of at the southeast corner where the bell tower once stood. Gothic-style windows were built into the walls and a white picket fence was erected to enclose the churchyard. One reason given for these drastic changes was the arrival of many English-speaking Catholics from the east, who brought their building style with them.
Railroad Comes to Santa Fe
The eastern edge of the Santuario grounds has also withstood many changes. In 1889, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad offered narrow-gauge rail service between Santa Fe and Denver out of a nearby depot. The line closed its service in 1941. Once it closed the train rails and ties were torn from the Santuario’s property line along Guadalupe Street.