Escuela Paulito Verjan History Walk

36- A walk through modern history at Escuela Paulito Verjan …

History walk at Escuela Paulito Verjan, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The air is sweet with blossoms, night birds call, and ghosts walk.

The streets are empty. I will see no else on this walk from Calle Comercio to the Middle School and back. But I am not alone. I am with everyone that have walked this very night walk through the years. My shoes fall in their footprints. There is rustling in flowering vines.

History walk Escuela Paulito Verjan, Alamos, Sonora, mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Shadows are small as the sun nears its zenith. Medallions speak of other zeniths.

How many times as this man took this path to Álamos Centro? How many times has he stopped to read a history medallion? How many times has he appreciated where he is? How many times has he felt grateful this is where his family is? Some of his grand children, at this momen,t may be behind the school’s portales studying.

1684 history medallion, Escuela Paulito Verjan, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Álamos is now an official city as Spanish colonization continues north and west.

1684, sixteen-eighty-four, and Álamos is part of the new frontier. Thinking back makes me wonder about the future. 2084, twenty- eighty-four, and what will one see standing in this very spot? And, 2184, twentyone-eighty-four? and… Whoa! Time to take a couple of deep breathes and enjoy being in the present.

first printing press in sonora, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Civilizations mature and expand with the introduction of printing presses.

History is the record of events occurring and needs being fulfilled. It is easy to ask what came first. The answer, or better yet answers, are part of a grand multiple causation continuum and are not that easy to formulate. But we try, that is part of being human.

history medallion for first publication in Sonora, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Being the first in Sonora meant being the first in the Californias.

This is another milestone in the development of Sonora and all of western settlement. Here, it is easy to answer what came first. First, there was a printing press and then there was a publication. It is the human way. Alamos, Sonora, Mexico has a long and literate history.

Álamos had become an important capital city.

Here, at the foot of the Sierra de Álamos decisions were being made that impacted
many people in many places.

The mint is opened for big business.

Making money with the silver coming from Aduana, seven miles to the west,
added to Álamos power and prestige.

laamos sonora mexico centro highschool.  photo by anders timlinson

Other than electric lights how different can this be from years long ago?


Not faraway colorful parrots sleep high in Sierra de Álamos’ rocky canyons and scattered
forests. A dog barks at the same instant a radio is turned off.

middle school in downtown alamos sonora mexico, 1997, photo by anders tomlinson

These walls , on the edge of Centro Álamos, have endured and provided.


Everyday, history is in the making, it never stops. Escuela Paulito Verjan’s 70th anniversary is just around the corner and then it too will be history. Think of what Álamos will be like in 2046?

Secondary School morning recess on a late 1997 Spring day

Summer approaches, soon the mountain and surrounding hills will turn green.


What better place to start than with the children of Álamos. Escuela Paulita Verjan, grades 7 through 10, sits on the site that was the Alamos mint from 1864 -1869. This photo opportunity was assisted by the young man waving at the camera in the foreground. His english was flawless. He would impress anyone who saw him interacting with peers and adults around town, working the front desk at the Hotel Los Portales and speaking with passion in front of a huge crowd on Independence Day in the Plaza.

corner of middle school in Centr Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  phto by anders tomlinson. 1996.

It is a stately walk to school and back through colonial neighborhoods.

An introduction to a Short History of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.
“Here is something Special”, Spanish explorer Vasquez de Coronado noted in 1540 as he headed north, passing by tall white rocks on Alamos de Sierra. This is the opening chapter to “A Short History of Álamos” written, filmed and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Narrated by Bruce Miles. Soundtrack by SonicAtomics and Estudiantina de Álamos.

Álamos shares a strong maternal bond, steeped in history, with all the Southwest.
Juan Batista de Anza arrived and departed from Álamos in the spring of 1775 with silver, and local families, to settle “Monterey and the Californias”, including San francisco. Another expedition, five years later, left Álamos to settle Los Angeles.

The conclusion to a Short History of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico embraces the Sierra Madre.
Here, Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral in the Plaza, a three-tiered belfry, shines gold in morning light. Here, looking east, one’s imagination is stirred by the forbidding beauty of the Sierra Madre Occidentals. Together, they shape the Álamos experience.

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.



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