Organ, New mexico

"The mining camp of Organ (elevation 5,084 feet) was not officially established as a community until 1883 although there had been mining activity since the late 1840s. President Chester A. Arthur granted the 40-acre parcel of land under congressional approval through a federal land grant to the Organ Mining Corporation in 1883. Actual mining in the Organ townsite was prohibited. The town's greatest population was around eighteen hundred at the turn of the century. At that time, Organ had seven saloons, a Catholic church, a two-teacher schoolhouse, two smelters, two general stores and a tunnel jail that was originally a powder magazine. New Organ is a modern day community on U.S. 70 with many of its residents presently employed at the White Sands Missile Base."

"Today, numbering about 100 households, Organ is under the direct jurisdiction of Doña Ana County and the County Probate Judge as directed in the presidential order of 1883, because it was never incorporated. The state government recognizes Organ as an independent community under New Mexico State House Bill 523 of the 44th State Legislature in 1999, which recognized "Traditional Historic Communities." For this reason, Organ cannot be annexed by any municipality according to the provisions directed under this house bill."

"The Organ Community Center was improved in 2008 and is still located on land of the original town square. The roads are paved and improvements are still ongoing through the supervision of Dona Ana County. The Organ Post Office is in full operation and Organ still has a few businesses. The cemetery remains in use and is called the "Slumbering Mountain Cemetery" with newer and historic graves."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pat Garrett at Organ Court

Pat Garrett's ranch was here, and he was murdered (Wayne Brazel confessed to it but questions remain) on his way from Organ to Las Cruces, 11 miles away.

"Deacon Jim" Miller (far left in photo) may have murdered Pat Garrett in a paid hit, he was later lynched in Oklahoma for a different murder.

For hot links to some very good articles on the Pat Garrett murder, look over to the right of the page.

Organ's General Store at 15825 'B' St. between 3rd and 4th

For soda or snacks, or antiques and interesting odds and ends, and some friendly humor from the proprietor, head to the Organ supermarket.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Organ's exotic pest, the Oryx

Organ Mountains viewed from this (east) side of Las Cruces and a view of Organ community

Organ, as seen from the Mountains

Very good hiking video and information for the Organ Mountains

Space Murals Museum

UFOs and Organ

This is from the site

29 June 1947 13:15
Organ, New Mexico, USA

Rocket experts see silver saucer in northwest sky fly rapidly to the north at 9000 feet altitude. Explanation: Balloon.
A 1:15 p.m. four rocket experts saw a silver saucer in the sky over Organ, New Mexico . It flew off to the north at 9,000 feet altitude.

An unidentified object was sighted, but with appearance and behavior that most likely would have a conventional explanation. One silver disc was observed by four witnesses near a missile for 48 seconds (Kauke; Zohm).

Organ Mercantile Museum (and cafe)

Slumbering Mountain Cemetery (still used today)

The Civil War in the Organ area

The Confederacy in 1861

Retreat from Fort Fillmore (Text from the Branigan Cultural Center)
"On July 25, 1861, Confederate Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor and 250 Texas Volunteers marched into Mesilla. Union troops, stationed in nearby Fort Fillmore, engaged Baylor but were unable to oust the Confederate troops. Defeated, the Union soldiers retreated back to the fort. That night, Major Isaac Lynde ordered the fort's supplies and equipment destroyed to keep them from Confederate hands. At daybreak, Lynde's troops along with 100 women and children began a retreat to Fort Stanton, a hundred miles to the northeast of Fort Fillmore. About noon, Baylor's men caught up with them at San Augustin Springs, where Major Lynde surrendered."

Pvt Jefferson Haley Ake, Rapp's Co, 4th TX Cav, died in 1935, buried at Organ's Slumbering Mountain Cemetery.

Nike Missile Rest Stop

This rest stop is in our St. Augustine pass,   in the direction of Alamogordo.
The overlook provides a stunning view  into the valley and the White Sands Missile Range. The range is still used for tests.

Organ school house built at turn of century

Georgia O'Keeffe Fell in Love with New Mexico

New Mexico cemetery a link to area's past (Organ cemetery)

By Diana Alba Soular \ Las Cruces Sun-News

 Excerpt: LAS CRUCES -- Who knew Edgar Allan Poe was buried in Organ, N.M., on a sloping patch of peaceful desert?
Though not the poet of "The Raven" fame, the late Organ resident also named Poe is one of a number of veterans laid to rest in the quirky and historic Slumbering Mountain Cemetery. Dozens of civilians are also buried on the 5-acre parcel.
The burial plot dates back to an 1885 land patent and Organ's booming days of miners and pioneers.
During the past year, a local Veterans of Foreign Wars post has taken the cemetery under its wing. The group will hold a cleanup this month in preparation for a Memorial Day event to be held there.
"Our mission is to take care of our veterans and their dependents and the ones who are no longer with us," said Ralph Myers of Las Cruces, adjutant for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6917 on the East Mesa. "The post has adopted the cemetery."
In all, about 300 people belong to the VFW post, and an additional 120 belong to the women's auxiliary, said Roger Miller, second in command at the post.
The post became involved in the cemetery effort more than a year ago, through one of its volunteer staff, Joanie Tyler, an Organ resident since 1970 and an unofficial keeper of the cemetery.
Tyler, 70, said she once belonged to a committee that included Organ resident Herman Weisner, a history enthusiast and veteran, who adopted the job of looking after the cemetery. At one point, he asked Tyler to take over
the role, she said.
Weisner died about a decade ago and was buried in the National Cemetery in Santa Fe. All the committee members except Tyler have died, too.
The VFW post, located on Bataan Memorial West, recognized the need for someone to look after the cemetery, Myers said. Roughly 150 graves are on the site. Many of them aren't marked with names, though Tyler has various maps kept by Weisner. In all, 16 veterans are known to be buried there.
Tyler said the veterans organization chopped away desert brush that had begun to cover graves and installed lights to illuminate a flagpole and American flag. A group of volunteers from NASA facilities to the north also hosted a cleanup there several months ago, she said.
Desert shrubs and cactuses are still interspersed among the graves. Tyler said, however, that Weisner had wanted the parcel to maintain its desert feel.
The cemetery is still open for burials, but arranging one can be difficult because there's no equipment on site to dig graves, Tyler said. The requirement to get a burial plot is that someone be an Organ resident, according to Tyler. In addition, headstones are supposed to face the nearby mountains -- a defining feature in the community.
The rest of this article from the El Paso Times is here.

In Memory of an Organ Soldier

Vietnam War, Virtual Wall Site