Picture That!

AlleyAtTheCounterShe hasn’t been taking very many photographs around here lately. The lighting is just terrible since they are gone during all the peak daylight hours and the weekends have been mostly dark and cloudy. So, you’ll have to forgive us for not posting any recent, adorable, feline photos.

We do have some pictures that we think you might find interesting though. Somehow, through the years, these almost one-hundred-six-year-old photographs fell into their hands. (If you click the photos and go to Flickr, you can view a larger version of each one, by choosing the “all sizes” option.)







These are photos of Roswell, New Mexico, during the Pecos Flood of 1904. The condition of the photos isn’t pristine, clearly. Still, it is amazing how much detail can be seen, considering the technology used and the age of the pictures. In the last photo in the lower right hand corner, you can see the photographer’s studio, Walton’s Views.

While He and She don’t know much about how they came to have these photos, and there are few references to the flood and the photographer on the internet, she did find the following.

It is said that the remains of Billy the Kid (William H. Bonney) and the wooden marker from his grave were washed away by this flood as it overtook the Fort Sumner Cemetary where he was buried. The current marker for his grave is only an estimate of where the remains actually lie.

Another reference to the flood from an article at the time stated that compared to all the devastation to the land, the loss of property was small, and there were no reported fatalities.

There was very little information on the photographer on-line. She could only find this reference to “New Mexico Photographer William R. Walton” in this auction for two photos from the same event. We suppose Mr. Walton did not have a website for his studio.

Even though She was able to find few references and supporting documentation, it was still exciting to know they had possession of these articles from a significant historical event.

In trying to decide exactly what to do with the photos that would honor them in the way they should be, she decided to contact the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives to see if they would be interested in having the photographs to assure their preservation. The response she received is positve. Now, she just has to contact them by phone to arrange how to get them there.

Just think, this humble little household in Central Alabama may be crucial in restoring these interesting bits of history to their rightful place.They regret they haven’t been taken better care of through the years, but are hopeful someone will find them as fascinating as they do.




5 thoughts on “Picture That!

  1. How interesting!

    The people look so dressed up to just be moving around in town in a flood. I looked that date up on my perpetual calendar and found that September 30, 1904 is a Friday. Maybe they were all going into town to have a good weekend.

    The signs on the stores are very clear. I had to go to FLICKR to see the studio. I really enjoyed viewing this photographs; thank you for sharing.

    I think it is very kind of you to want to give them to New Mexico State archives; it is a great gift.


  2. How interesting, indeed! I was thinking of you donating them to a museum, but the state archives us a much better idea.

    Take care & have a good weekend.


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