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A look back at the week Jan. 22-28

Aztec baseball team, 1895. (The Henry Jackson Collection, Aztec Museum)
This Week in History

The following is a recap of local events for this time period throughout history.

40 years ago (1984)

Safeway is going to build a new $3.25-million store in Aztec. A sign announcing the store went up late Tuesday afternoon, and construction is to begin in early April. It’s scheduled to open in early October. The new store will contain 30,000 square feet and will have three times more sales floor space than the present one, said manager Joe Schnurr. Plans so far are for that floor space to include a bakery and deli. The store will be on N. Main Ave. to the south of the present store, which was built in the late 1950s. The old store will be razed when the new one is completed, and its area added to the parking lot. “I’m very excited,” said Schnurr. “I can hardly wait. I’d like to get out there and take the first shovelful of dirt myself.”

Aztec Independent Review

50 years ago (1974)

An effort was launched by a number of citizens this last week to get the Independent Party of New Mexico a spot on the county ballot via the petition route. The first organization meeting was held in Aztec at the Chamber office Tuesday night with 12 men present. The meeting was called by Richard Fitz of Farmington, county chairman, and Claudio Chavez, vice chairman. Two years ago this party organization had George Wallace to head the ticket and provide leadership. Apparently Wallace has selected to stay with the Democrat party this time and wield influence there. The consensus at the Tuesday meeting was that the Independent movement this year would concentrate on building strength at the Court House level over the nation.

Aztec Independent Review

75 years ago (1949)

There was a twenty percent increase last year during December over December 1947, says Custodian Irving Townsend. During December 1948 there were 341 people in 104 cars from 23 states, China and Switzerland visiting the ruins, the Custodian said. And by the way, Mr. Townsend added, “Now is a good time to buy a year’s pass to the Aztec Ruins. A pass that may be used any number of times during the next twelve months costs only 60 cents.”

Aztec Independent Review

100 years ago (1924)

“Owners of dairy cattle in all the communities in the county are signing petitions that will be sent to the Sanitary Board of the state of New Mexico, asking the Board to supervise the testing of our dairy cattle for tuberculosis,” says County Agent Paul Meade, “and when this is done we will be able to establish a quarantine against cattle shipped into our county and issue a clean bill of health to anyone who desires to ship cattle out of the state. The testing will probably be done some time in the spring. It is highly important that all men owning dairy cows, no matter how small the number, have this done. It will not cost the owner anything extra, as he is paying for this service whether he gets it or not. Any condemned animals will be killed and the owner reimbursed about two-thirds the value. In other words, a man is getting part payment for a worthless animal. It is contrary to the laws of the state of New Mexico to sell any milk from cows that have not been tested and known to be free from tuberculosis, and surely no one would care to feed his own family with milk from such a cow, so there is no argument against this movement.”

San Juan Review

110 years ago (1914)

In regard to the building of a bridge across the San Juan River at Farmington, two conflicting statements have come to our notice. “This will increase the business of Farmington 50 per cent” and “It connects a dry strip of sandy Indian reservation with the town of Farmington that has no future value in development.” We desire to do our sister town justice in this matter and will appreciate a statement of the true value of this bridge to Farmington. Publicity in this matter can but work for the good of all. Let us hear from Farmington residents.

San Juan Democrat

120 years ago (1904)

Eight loads of lumber arrived Friday for the Hammond Ditch. Work will commence as soon as the weather permits. Work is in progress on the McKenzie Townsend ditch. It will cover 1800 acres.

Farmington Times Hustler

This Week in Local History is compiled by Debi Tracy Olsen, local journalist and member of the Aztec Museum Board of Directors. The stories are pulled from newspaper archives and are reprinted as they appeared, errors and all.