Old Route 66, New Mexico

Ricki Boyer
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Route 66 aficionados may well know the name of Seligman from the town in Arizona that shares the name. They may not know, however, the origin of the name. The Seligmans were, in fact, well-known regional traders in the Southwest even before the era of Route 66, and in 1922 they constructed an adobe trading post in the town of Domingo, adjacent to the Santa Fe Railroad and a small highway that four years later would become a short-lived alignment of Route 66.

The two-story building, which features a curved parapet in the Mission Revival style, was constructed just to the north of an older trading post that dates to 1880; the new owners used this older structure as a warehouse. A small stucco residence with a narrow porch sits to the south of the 1880 building. The trading post is adjacent to the New Mexico Rail Runner Express stop on the pueblo. It was consumed by a fire in 2001. Pueblo officials expect the revitalized trading post to generate 30 jobs. Plans for the site include a restaurant and other services for Rail Runner commuters, tourists, and local residents.

The dilapidated building still bears a faded sign that proclaims “where real Indians trade” and was on Historic Route 66 and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rail line. That made it a well-known tourist stop for the Southwest Chief and motorists. Dignitaries, including President John F. Kennedy, visited the spot as well.

The trading post was listed on the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties in 1997 and on the National Register of Historic Properties in 1998. Tony Tortalita, governor of Kewa Pueblo, said the trading post has been an icon of the pueblo’s history and the plan is to use it to showcase its culture and traditions through arts and crafts.

Ricki Boyer

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