Hispanic and Anglo herders and cattlemen from the nearby Rio Grande Valley communities of El Rancho, Jacona, and Jaconita grazed cattle, horses, sheep and goats in the rich summer pastures of the Pajarito Plateau for many decades in the 19th century.
The First Settlers
Around Los Alamos, the earliest known occupancy was by summer bean farmers who came up from the valley. Bences Gonzales, who retired from his Laboratory employment in 1959 at the age of 66, recalls spending summers near Anchor Ranch (now GT Site) where his father had been the first settler in 1891. His wife's grandfather, Antonio Sanchez, was the first homesteader on Pajarito Mesa (above present Pajarito site) in 1885, he recalls. Some scraggly peach trees and a tumbledown log cabin are all that are left of the old ranch. Because of usually heavy snow the ranch was never occupied in the winter, Gonzales recalls. In dry years, the farmers hauled water to the mesa top up an old trail still visible on the south side of Los Alamos canyon, just under Fire Station No. 1. It was known for years as Dead Man's Trail, because Sanchez was killed by a falling rock while building it.
The first permanent settlers in Los Alamos, who dug in for the winter with log cabins, frame houses and fireplaces, apparently arrived about 1911. The mesa was homesteaded by a man named Harold Hemingway Brook, who with a fellow lumberjack named Mack Hooper, filed on 160 acres of land each in 1911. They called it Alamos Ranch, built homes near the present Lodge building, and raised beans and wheat. Other ranchers settled on the mesas and in nearby canyons.
General Groves to Captain Parsons
Abuse of Government Buildings and Property
Nobel Laureate Emilio Segre files a complaint about his heating system
Medical Facilities and Activities in the
Cost of Living in Los Alamos
50th Anniversary Article: