White Swan Laundry a Cerrillos Road Mainstay

Henry Pick in 2010.

If you’re an old-timer here in Santa Fe you’ll remember the White Swan Laundry that was located on Cerrillos Road. The business proprietor, Henry Pick, Jr. featured in this photo, died on Saturday, July 25 at the age of 90. He and his wife Peggy had been married for 68 years. Henry and Peggy were personal friends of mine.

Cerrillos Road Mainstay

White Swan Laundry began operations on Cerrillos Road in 1950. Prior to World War II the business was located on Alameda Avenue. During its heyday White Swan Laundry was one of the largest employers in Santa Fe. They serviced St. Vincent Hospital, the Indian Hospital and all of the restaurants in town. His step brother Sam was Henry’s business partner until 1984. Then Sam Pick became the mayor of Santa Fe. In 2010 Henry and Sam Pick were named Santa Fe Living Treasures.

Henry Pick with his son Mike at the White Swan Laundry in the 1980s.

Oldest Unsolved Murder Mystery

The four Pick brothers: Leo, Marcel, Emil and Henry immigrated to New Mexico from Austria during the 19th century.  Henry Pick, Sr. was murdered in 1934 while transporting the payroll from their general store in Tererro near Pecos. To this day, the murder is New Mexico’s oldest unsolved crime. After that incident the Pick brothers moved to Santa Fe and began the White Swan Laundry.

Business Leader

Henry Pick was very active in the business community. He was a member of the Rotary Club for over forty years and also served as its president in 1979. It pleased him to no end that in 2010 the Rotary Club presented him with the honorary “Fabulously Un-Serious Nutcase Award. ” Henry will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

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