Living history museum in northern NM seeking donations for repairs after storms | KOB 4
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Living history museum in northern NM seeking donations for repairs after storms

Kassi Nelson
August 03, 2018 10:42 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. – El Rancho De Las Golondrinas is a place that takes visitors back in time to give them a unique look at Spanish colonial culture.

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The 200-acre museum in La Cienega is well loved across our state, and visited by 20,000 school children a year.

“We have about 37 buildings, log buildings, adobe buildings and we try to represent them as historically accurate as we can,” Assistant Museum Director Sean Paloheimo said.

At the ranch, Mother Nature’s beauty is everywhere. But last Monday she left her mark on the historic museum in a different way.

“The floodwater here from the base of the creek where it’s flowing now was probably about 15 to 20 feet high, and in some areas deeper,” he said.

Now, the nonprofit is dealing with the aftermath of a severe storm that hit Santa Fe last Monday. It left homes, buildings and roads across the city damaged, and a lot of that water rushed south to La Cienega—turning the stream on the museum’s property into a fast-moving wall of water.

“I know in my 15 years working here I’ve never seen the water get this high,” Paloheimo said.

Workers at the museum have spent days and thousands of dollars removing debris and making repairs. They’ve rebuilt a bridge and a road that were completely taken out by the water’s force and removed debris, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

Fences need repairing and a massive log jam remains in the creek. It’s so big, it could take a crane to remove it.

Now they’re asking for the community’s help. It’s going to take thousands more dollars to finish the work. While the task in front of them is huge, Paloheimo said it could have been worse.

“We feel for our neighbors in the valley who sustained damage to vehicles and homes when really what we're trying to reestablish as a museum is just the aesthetic and the beauty that we have.”

The Museum seeks donations marked “Flood Damage.” They can be sent to El Rancho de las Golondrinas, 334 Los Pinos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507, Attn:  Kathy Carey, Director of Development.

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Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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