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This Week in History

(Photo from the Henry Jackson Collection at the Aztec Museum)Turkey shoot participant displays his winning target and turkey prize in 1950.

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

41 years ago (1982)

The long-awaited referendum on beer and wine licenses for restaurants will take place Jan. 11. The date was set by resolution of the Aztec City Commission Tuesday night. The referendum will decide whether beer and wine licenses for restaurants will be allowed in the city … The referendum Is coming about because of a petition drive initiated last spring by Anita Keravel, owner at the time of Old Towne Café, now Chalo’s Mexican Foods.

Aztec Independent Review

50 years ago (1973)

Apple Buyer Takes Basin Surplus; Says Wine Popularity Creates New Demand -- It is good news when a cash crop surplus finds a buyer, and double good news when said buyer paints a picture of improved and expanded market for the future. Apple growers of the Basin, who do not have cold storage facilities, have been holding a sizeable portion of their bumper crop and wondering how you go about eating tons of apples. Last week an agent of the Speas Co. of Kansas City, Mo., came along, announced that Speas needed all the apples they could find, and proceeded to buy up the San Juan County surplus. “Like finding a small pot of gold at the rainbow’s end,” exulted one orchardist … One of the big market breakthroughs is due to the surge in popularity of wines in the United States. The demand for apples created by wine consumption is equal to the total demand for all other uses heretofore.

Aztec Independent Review

75 years ago (1948)

Approximately 2500 Christmas trees will be sold in the next two weeks from areas within the San Juan National Forest above the Vallecito Reservoir, according to Ranger Dan O. Weddle, Bayfield. Sales are being made to Boy Scouts and civic organizations at Durango, Bayfield, Ignacio, Aztec, Farmington and Shiprock. The trees will be put under Forest Service supervision to allow more room for crowded trees to grow.

Aztec Independent Review

100 years ago (1923)

With buoyant spirit born of nearby oil fields and Navajo Indians and the impulse of optimism beating strong, the town of Farmington is spreading eagle wings in imitation of the great American bird, with purpose of immediate and continued expansion in various ways. “Real estate is moving” without assistance from winds originating on the great Indian reservation to the south, numerous lots having recently passed to newcomers of speculative bent. While building operations are not extensive, a campaign of structural improvements is incubating, its growth, however, depending largely on the development of local oil fields and construction of the proposed northern outlet railroad.

San Juan Review

110 years ago (1913)

James T. Fay, who has done more in the interest of immorality in this town and county than any other ten men, was convicted of defrauding the government in the United States court at Santa Fe Friday. The conviction came out of the distillery cases which were started here about a year ago. The case involved the taking of two gallons of whiskey out of barrels in the warehouse upon which revenue had not been paid. The case lasted two days and was hard fought. The defense contended that the liquor was taken for samples and was returned when Fay’s attention was called to the fact that he had taken more than the law allowed. The jury was out only an hour and brought in a verdict of guilty. The minimum sentence will be six months in the penitentiary and $500 fine. The maximum will be three years and $1,500. His sentence had not been given so far as we were able to learn at the time of going to press.

Farmington Times Hustler

120 years ago (1903)

Mrs. A.M. Pinkney and her mother, Mrs. Wise, arrived home on Tuesday’s stage from Hoquiam, Washington, where they went in July for a year’s visit with Mrs. Pinkney’s brother, Ed Wise, but they had such a longing for New Mexico sunshine that they cut their visit short and returned home. They say Mr. and Mrs. Wise are not having good health in their new home and will make a change soon. It is only a question of time till they will be back in sunny San Juan. They all come back.

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.