For the second day of class, Dr. Herring led our group on an excursion to the Martinez Hacienda, which was built during the Spanish Colonial Period. It is one of the few northern New Mexico style “Great Houses” remaining in the American Southwest. Built in 1804 by Severino Martin, this fortress-like building with massive adobe walls became an important trade center for the northern boundary of the Spanish Empire.
This Hacienda also was the headquarters for an extensive ranching and farming operation. The original building has been restored and converted into a museum. The hacienda’s twenty-one rooms surround two courtyards that provided us with a rare glimpse of the rugged frontier life and times of the early 1800s. We were amazed at the simplicity of things. Some of us bought traditional arts and crafts from the region at the gift shop before heading back to camp.