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Explore the Centuries-Old Traditions of Corrales with Their Historical Society

By Elisha Neubauer

Corrales is a community with rich beginnings, a heavy past, and plenty of history to boot. Members of this intriguing area realized this, and in 1974, formed the Corrales Historical Society to protect, preserve, and catalogue this history. Still going strong forty-two years later, the Corrales Historical Society is now a driving feature in the preservation of the town's back-story.

"The Corrales Historical Society was formed in 1974 primarily to save the 1868 San Ysidro Church that had been abandoned and de-sanctified by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in the 1960s," explains Mary Davis, Head of Corrales Historical Society's Archives Committee. The church was saved, renovated, and now operated and maintained by the Society. It is a focal point of the community; a host to concerts, art shows, celebrations, meetings, weddings, tours of the building, and workshops.

"The Society sponsors its celebration of Corrales history each May (this year on May 14th from 10-4) and has a growing collection of local historic photographs, interviews with Corrales old-timers on video or audiocassette, and files of articles and manuscripts related to Corrales history," Davis details. "The Society's docent program and its Archives Committee are open to anyone interested in Corrales history."

While the San Ysidro Church is a spectacle in its own right, there is so much more to historic Corrales. Casa San Ysidro is a renovated adobe with an outstanding collection of New Mexican artifacts, currently operated and maintained by the Albuquerque Museum. "Other places of interest are two privately-owned historic adobes open to the public- the old Tijuana Bar and Perea's Restaurant built perhaps before 1800, and Prized Possessions, a unique antique store housed in the 1911 Society Hall," Davis tells us.

She continues, listing Casa Vieja, and the Corrales Bosque wildlife preserve- a 662-acre cottonwood forest managed by the village. The preserve has recently been declared an 'Important Bird Area' by the by the National Audubon Society. According to Davis, over 250 birds have been located in the area, as well as beavers, skunks, porcupines, muskrats, and coyotes. "Other major public events include the artist studio tour in early May and the Harvest Festival in mid-October," states Davis.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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