1850s, adoption, Bridges, Manifest Destiny, memoir workshop, New Mexico history, orphans, Santa Fe Botanical Garden
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Kathy Knorr, guest blogger, author of this post, originally published Sept. 23, 2013 The big red bridge is part of Santa Fe Botanical Garden, where author Pat Goehe and I will be facilitating a memoir writing workshop on September 18 from 1-3:30. You are invited to register for our event, which is a benefit for the Garden: http://www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/planting-the-seeds-two-ways-to-memoir. All workshop proceeds go to future developments at SFBotanical Garden. Our books will be available at the gift shop.
It has been nicknamed the bridge to nowhere. Yet it has been places. And it
traveled over by people on foot, burros, horseback, wagons and rail.
In 1850 the bridge was built and placed over an arroyo in Kearny County, New Mexico. Then it was deserted – along with the abandoned lands which could not sustain the farmers and ranchers who optimistically settled during the Manifest Destiny years. The Bridge seemed destined to age and rust under the blazing sun and monsoons of the high desert.
During 2008, an environmental scientist for the State of New Mexico saw this bridge and researched its history. In doing so, she learned there is a Society of Orphaned Bridges. The SOB group collects the history of many orphaned bridges. Their mission is to support the reuse of these bridges, bringing them into a vital community and to benefit the citizens by being attractive, low cost and functional.
As chance would have it…the scientist who first located this bridge also volunteered with a local group hopeful of building a new garden in Santa Fe for botanical research and education.
After a few years, and many optimistic attempts to find a site for their garden, the City of Santa Fe agreed to lease land to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden for this purpose. Our heroine remembered the bridge and proposed the adoption. The bridge could become a focal point for the planned garden – and be a member of a new community.
What a surprise for this 100 year old orphan! The bridge was uprooted, sent to the beauty shoppe and refurbished and delivered to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden on Museum Hill, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA!
December 10, 2011 this was our first view of the adopted bridge:
Kathy has been a resident of Santa Fe for the past five years.
During this time she and her family have embraced the local history, beauty and gardening challenges. Kathy serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. The Garden’s mission includes sharing 3 lovely sites with the public and increasing awareness of the need for water conservation, environmental education and having these beautiful spaces available to all of the community. Though not new to social media and web sites, this is Kathy’s first blog post.
Sunday, September 18, 1-3:30 p.m./ “Planting the Seeds: Two Ways to Memoir”
Authors Pat Goehe and Elaine Pinkerton will help you jumpstart that writing project.Register by Wednesday, Sept. 13 as class size is limited.