Legendary Locals of Santa Fe

By Ana Pacheco

Founded in 1610, Santa Fe has been a beacon for those yearning for adventure, a different way of life, a place of expression, and the opportunity to meld the old with the new. Designated America’s first United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Creative City in 2005, Legendary Locals of Santa Fe pays tribute to a diverse group of individuals, who through different eras have contributed to the city’s vitality. The book features two hundred profiles of both historic and contemporary people in Santa Fe.

Pages: 128


In 1912 New Mexico became the 47th state in the nation with Santa Fe as its state capital. Like the rest of the nation, Santa Fe was impacted by the Great Depression in 1929 and the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. Government programs like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), brought relief, not only to the citizens of Santa Fe, but to the thousands of people who passed through on their way to California in search of work. In 1943 during World War II, and the dawn of the Atomic age got its start in Santa Fe when the Manhattan Project opened an office on Palace Avenue as a check point for scientists and military personnel on their way up to “the Hill,” at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

After World War II the population of Santa Fe doubled in size to almost 50,000 people. Returning soldiers took advantage of the G.I. Bill and received education and technical training, prosperity followed with different types of industry, from manufacturers to bankers starting businesses. New housing developments were built to accommodate the growing population. In 1956 the Santa Fe Opera was founded by John Crosby placing it on the map for classical music aficionados who trek to Santa Fe from around the world each summer to experience professional opera. Also in 1956, the Bacigalupa Studio of Gian Andrea was the first art gallery to open on Canyon Road, paving the way for Santa Fe, which has the distinction as having one of the highest per-capita-ratio of art galleries in the nation.

In the 1960s during the Viet Nam War the hippies moved to Santa Fe seeking an alternate way of life and continued to shape the city. By the mid 1980s Santa Fe’s charm and ambiance goes mainstream and major media outlets start to market the town as the “Crown Jewel of the Southwest.” Promoted for its temperate climate, breathtaking vistas, and as a cultural and cosmopolitan haven, people from all over, clamor to be a part of the “City Different,” and move to Santa Fe.