El Pedregal

99… Elizabeth’s experimental place – garden, El Pedregal… first of two parts…

Big Fig tree at the Pedregal, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

In a magnificent setting there is this fig tree to admire and celebrate.

Pember and Elizabeth Nuzum owned a lot off a dirt road in the Chaleton area, place of the fig trees, west of Alamos. They planned to built a tennis court on it. One day Elizabeth traveled further west on the road and came across this fig tree. It was love at first site. She coaxed Pember into selling their lot, and it sold unexpectedly quickly. Elizabeth, on her own, purchased the undeveloped three acres with the fig tree from Martha and Al Haywood. Elizabeth christen the property El Pedregal, the stoney place. This was her project, her experimental place to build and plant what she wanted. It was her dream to bring art, community and nature together under the out-stretched limbs of a magnificent fig tree.

El Pedregal's front gate, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Elizabeth loved her big green door that was El Pedregal's entrance.

The first thing Elizabeth did at El Pedregal was build a meandering road leading through and around the property to the fig tree. The heavy green gates at Pedregal’s entrance, where the public dirt road comes to its end, were made from old doors Elizabeth collected in town. She had put them together by Nemecio Figueroa in his family’s carpenter shop on the way to the Panteon, cemetery, at the eastern edge of town. Behind these green gates there were, and are, worlds of natural wonder. The seasons pass as birds, insects and mammals come and go.

A straw-bale studio

A small group gather outside the strawbale house built by Elizabeth Nuzum on El Pedregal, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Elizabeth Nuzum wanted to build a straw-bale house in Alamos. She did.

Elizabeth had read the book Out on a Limb by Peter and Victoria Nelson. It was about tree houses and other construction such as straw-bale houses. Elizabeth decided she wanted to build a straw-bale in her garden of experiments. She contacted the Nelsons as they were preparing to visit Russia and demonstrate straw-bale technology. They recommended that she talk to the authors of The Straw-Bale House, Bill and Athena Steen. Elizabeth felt it was important to build a straw-bale structure as an example of what could be a relatively inexpensive home concept for Mexico. Unable to have an expert come down to build the straw-bale studio she relied on the Steen’s book and hired her son-in-law Chacho Valdez and his brothers to start the project. Chacho would build the basic structure: roof, walls and an unfinished floor.

A palapa for all seasons and reasons

Looking from the south at the Pedregal's Palapa and the Straw bale studio in the background, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The Palapa was the first structure built at El Pedregal. It was a work office.

Before the Straw-bale studio was started Elizabeth and Chacho took a stick and scribed out a large circle as the palapa’s floor-plan. Her intent was to have a place where people could socialize and admire the fig tree. She wanted it to have two entrances and no center pole. Chacho said it could be done and he went about construction.

The amazing hand-woven palapa roof took a crew five months to put together as they had to wait for after full moons to collect the palapa leaves. As work continued on the property the fig tree was host to shamanic dances, earth renewal ceremonies, sweat lodges, barbecues, coffee parties, art classes and…

Chacho Valdez, man of mystery

Chacho Valdez, builder of the Pedregal's palapa, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photos By Anders Tomlinson.

Chaco Valdez, renaissance man, making a spiritual point and jump starting a car.

Chacho Valdez stands in front of his new home under construction, Alamos Sonora Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson

I always thought of Chacho as a rock n’ roll medicine man. He looked like a pirate with long flowing hair and beard, bandanas and hats. One day Chaco looked at me with one eye somewhere else and stated, ”if you stare at a cloud long enough it will disappear…” This is an anthem-theme that I use whenever I speak of Alamos.

Chacho and Cammie, his former wife, were instrumental in creating the Children’s Kite Festival held in the spring. Chacho, a bit of a mischievous child himself, loved children. He also loved to sing in his big booming voice. The last time I saw Chacho he was building a circular two-story house on the well-traveled entrance road up to the top of El Mirador. The site doesn’t seem like it would be conducive for privacy during park visiting hours but, my oh my, what a magnificent awe-inspiring view! …

98… Returning to El Pedregal’s ever-present spirit… second of two parts…

Drinking beer in the late afternoon outside El Pedregal"s strawbale house, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Here is a place to come together and be a warm late afternoon dream.

Liliana Carosso, on the right, and Ginny Brown, along with an unidentified woman in the middle, enjoy a natural moment. Lilliana is a prominent Alamos real estate agent. Here, one is in another world. Time loses importance and nature, and a couple of beers, encourages relaxed deep breathing.

Kit Nuzum returns to Alamos

Pedregal under construction, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

From dirt and straw and other natural elements a large studio is born

Elizabeth’s son, Kit, returned from one of his many global travels and took over the task of finishing the straw-bale studio. He also managed the digging of a well at the spot chosen by a water dowser. A solar pump was installed and irrigation began with water from beneath El Pedregal”s surface. Elizabeth purchased indigenous and rare trees and plants. And as the nature is for these parts some took, and some didn’t as any Alamos gardner has experienced.

Elizabeth Nuzum and her son Kit with the construction team and the Friedlobs, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Most of construction team and advisors gather around Elizabeth Nuzum.

Kit had no prior working knowledge of straw-bale construction and “just went for it” with the help of Chone, a cousin of Chacho. They poured an earthen adobe floor with the help of Steve Frielobs. The windows were made by Angel Rosas. The adobe interior walls that made the kitchen and bathroom was there but unfinished. Kit and Chone, along with several others, finished the walls and the loft decking as well as the grand stair case, designed by Alamos resident Irmine Stelzner, with wood from the old Boors monastery on the southwest corner of the Plaza. The original douglas fir came by train from Oregon in 1910. Irmine’s husband Allen Stelzner designed and made the iron latch on the front door.

Creating color pigment from nearby hills

Finished exterior of the straw bale studio at El Pedregal, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson

The finished exterior blended in with the surroundings.

Elizabeth’s straw-bale studio was originally painted with a palette of colors made from dirt in the surrounding hills. The soil that would be used to make the paint came from a spot that was along a long walk that Chacho took me on the last day of my first visit to Alamos. Chacho said it was a local custom. As we were returning to Alamos I asked Chacho if the earth was purple and he nodded yes. In this one area there was literally a rainbow of dirt. Fifteen years later, Kit and I, along with a couple of assistants and a wheel barrow, set off to find this magical place. We found it not far from El Pedregal along with shards of am old pottery. The work crew spent the morning gathering earthen colors from the area as I filmed. Later, Kit mixed the earth-toned dirts – pale green, red, blue, green, ivory, white and lavender with prickly pear and agave goo called baba. The solution sat for a week before glue was added and wiped onto the interior walls: home made paint.

Later, author Paul Molyneaux, seeking a quiet harbor from his noisy young children, finished his book The Doryman’s Reflection, a Fisherman’s Life in the serene straw-bale studio. Tony Estrada, director of the Museo de Costumbrista and artist, sculpted a centaur for Elizabeth that was placed beneath the fig tree.

View of Tecolote Hill from El Pedegral, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The morning begins with seeing where we will be in a couple of hours.

On this summer day in 1996 I would go on a hike with Chacho, his young son Sereno, his girlfriend and Chone to the top of Tecolete Hill, seen here sun-capped. Sierra de Alamos rises up in the background. We would leave from El Pedregal at sunrise and be atop Tecolote Hill in a couple of hours. This turn out to be a day of exercise and aroma therapy in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

El Pedregal today

Elizabeth sold El Pedregal to Jennifer and David MacKay in 2005. They added another 17 acres to what is now El Pedregal Nature Lodge and Retreat Center. They have also upgraded the infrastructure and added a couple of casitas. Today, they offer lodging, nature tours, sunday brunches and yoga lessons amongst many other activities that they are involved with.

Bird bath at El Pedregal, Alamos Sonora, Mexico

Elizabeth's intent was to have both a nature preserve and artist studio

I recently enjoyed watching David Wilson’s Big Birding Day on PBS’ POV, point-of- view, series. The 2011 12-minute film features David Mckay as a birding guide for several birders intent on a big birding day. The film documents the world of competitive bird watching where one tries to see, or hear, as many bird species as one can in 24 hours. The opening scene takes place under the Pedregal’s palapa as they prepared for a day of ambitious adventure. I was struck by David’s curiosity and connection to his environment.

I had spent nine years filming wildlife on the Tulelake, Lower Klamath, Clear Lake, Upper Klamath Lake and Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuges along the California-Oregon border. If David had come and spent a couple of days in the field with me he would have had a wonderful time. And I am equally sure I would enjoy spending a couple of days with David Mckay in Alamos and surrounding habitats. Both of these regions are known for diversity of flora and fauna, especially numbers of bird species. There are birds that visit both Alamos and Tulelake on their yearly migrations.

Elizabeth Nuzum placed this bird bath on Pedregal’s giving ground for her small friends to use, just as she built the straw-bale studio and palapa for friends to visit with friends, even if it is only communing with one’s self, alone.

This entry was aided by notes from Elizabeth Nuzum, Kit Nuzum and Joan Winderman.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Cemetery – Pantheon

85… The moment has arrived and we are there…

Amongst the graves as the service begins, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Away from the burial service the cemetery is quiet as the dead rest in peace.

Patinas of passing time, an unavoidable ornamentation, take over the graves. Here, across the way, a new body has arrived. From this point on they will always be here. At any time they will be available for visits as their great-grand children become great-grand parents.

Priests and service in graveyard, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The new grave joins others that have been here for a long time.

It is another day in the graveyard. Not just another day… but another day. It has been this way since 1794 when this plot of land was deemed the municipal cemetery.

Services at held in the graveyard, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Words are spoken, the moment is being accepted, a journey ends.

The priest in a baseball cap performs in an ancient tongue a ritual that goes back thousands of years. No one needs to understand the words being spoken. The need for these words to be spoken is what is understood. It is hard for most in attendance to hear anything but the thoughts swirling in their minds and pulsing with each heart beat.

Paying final respect, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Reaching out to touch a departed spirit for one last time.

And they are gone… the last look says so… the last touch confirms… this is a tender moment… this is life… and life leads to one place, death, and here we are this morning…

A beam is laid across the casket's top, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The service has ended and a beam is placed on top of the casket.

Folks had come from far and wide to attend the services. One can see the deceased’s connections and social standing by attending the graveyard service. For some it is a throng with paid assistants and sub-contractors. For other it is a few friends and, or, family that volunteer to dig the grave and offer their regards in quiet prayer. For the dead the ride is much the same.

Bricks are laid over the casket, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

All watch silently as the men placed bricks over the casket.

Each brick adds to the finality. For the living this is an opportunity to come together with friends and family. With the passing of a love one they see their own tribe standing shoulder to shoulder. The moment goes beyond the dead and becomes the living, In a way they have come to say that they are alive, “we are here”.

Bricks are placed on top of the beam lowered onto the casket, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Soon the grave will be covered by flowers and touched by the winds.

And soon the mourners will go their separate ways. They were united once again by the passing of one of their own. They had stopped what they were doing and made the time and way to come together, once again, as one.

Flowers on a fresh grave, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

After all have taken their leave flowers remain in a temporary respect.

From dust to dust, the world goes on, today becomes another footnote in the wind. The flowers will wilt and dry away under a tropical sun. At some graves there will always be fresh flowers until the day no one is left to bring flowers.

Looking at the cemetery from Mirador, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

After all these years there is still available ground for graves in the cemetery.

Graveyards are a special place: they are public art, they are public history and they are markers of their own civilization. And another day begins… and somewhere out there someone is dying and somewhere near here someone is being born. In the end it is all about this precious balance we call life.

13 … A place where the Living and Dead and Memories converge…

Crows and Crosses in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Can you find the black crows spending their morning perched on crosses?

Existence in the Pantheon, Cemetery, is a many layered thing. November 2, the Day of the Dead, is one of these moments as relatives bearing flowers light candles at their departed’s grave sites. Some of the surnames etched and painted are Almada, Urrea, Salido, Salazar, Ortega, Lopez, Zayas, Ibarra, Santoyo, Palomares, Lara, Acosta and…

Granite tombstone in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Touring the Graveyard is an art experience as a variety of religious icons are repeated in many variations and materials.s.

And the names keep coming: Rosas, Parra, Valenzuela, Esquer, Boors, Ramos, Garcia, Robles, Campoy, Zavala… The earliest dated grave I found was for Antonio Alamada – 8 de Octubre, 1786.

Tarnished metal Jesus, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

This tarnished Jesus stands as a gatekeeper to the eternal blue skies above.

There was the day I listened from across the graveyard to the piercing wails of a woman and sister who had lost their grown son and brother. And there are the sounds of birds and dogs as countryside meets town, past meets present and the future is there for all to see.

A mourning mother’s deep wails, crows cawing – perched on white crosses…
It is a warm spring day as we explore the “Pantheon” – (Cemetery) on the road to the Sierra Madres, minutes east of the Colonial Center. The ages speak here. Be it ancient mountain sounds or human voices, mourning and celebrating since 1794. All is timeless, and all thoughts are a point on our circle of life.

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Bishop Reyes Cathedral

88… Inside Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral where time stands still…

Looking down the center aisle, Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

There always seems to be someone, or group, inside the church.

Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral takes up the entire southern side of the Plaza de las Armas. Its three tiered belfry towers above town and touches low passing clouds. Along with multiple daily services the church is also a religious classroom.

Jesuit missionaries founded missions in southern Sonora between 1613 and 1620. Early settlements grow around a mission protected by a fort. The early Jesuits brought Catholic teachings to the Indians as well as trade and farming skills.

From the balcony, Bishop Reyes Cathedral Interior, Alamos. Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

From up high the church looks taller and the echoes sound louder

Think of all the people who have walked on this floor and sat in these pews. Imagine hundreds of voices reverberating off these walls as they enter and leave the church and the wonderful choir filling the space with song during services. And there is always the church bells tolling time 24-7.

Here is a long history. Bachiller y Licenciado Pedro de Barecelon was an acting priest from May, 1685 to August, 1686. The first parish priest, Father Francisco Saenz de Carrissa, wrote the first recorded date in Alamos history in a “book which are entered the Baptisms, Burials and Marriages started by me on the 28th of August, 1686.”

Main altar, Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The Cathedral's high ceiling atmosphere creates its own sound and weather.

Grandeur on a human scale. No matter how and where one lives this is an extension of their house. It is their communal living room. It is a place that they can come and be with others or be by themselves. It is their place in their time for all of time.

Parish Priest Don Pedro Gabriel de Arago in 1735 reconstructed La Purisima Concepcion, on the same site as of the originalt small Alamos church made from adobe and cut rock with a beamed ceiling. A 1736 inventory by visiting Bishop Martin de Elizacochea Dorre Escheverria noted all the church’s religious objects were silver except for the gold shrine and chalices.

Pulpit, Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Here one can come, rich or poor, and be part of something larger.

This is a place of words, music and prayer. As I was taking these photos I watched and listened to praying individuals scattered across the front pews. The intensity of their prayers spoke of their needs or losses. Before me was the human condition in the court of last appeals.

King Carlos III in 1781 ordered a new diocese for Sonora, Sinaloa and the Californias. Bishop Antonio de los Reyes was stationed in the then capital of Arispe in 1783. A few months later he moved to Alamos to avoid Indian raids. Bishop Reyes started to build around and expanding the old church. Services continued here, on the same site as the present cathedral.

The old church was torn down in 1794 when the new cathedral’s walls were ready for rafters and supporting columns. Don Juan Ross was, according to church records, the first contractor. He received a payment of $11,250 pesos in 1786. The cathedral was finished in 1803 under the supervision of Father Camilo Sanmartin. The silver and bronze altar rail was made in Oaxaca. A silver candelbra and lamps provided manmade illumination. This was a fine cathedral, simple but commanding on the outside and elegantly reassuring on the inside.

Sanctuary, Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Life is not easy, on many levels, and sanctuaries like this ease the pain.

In the home of God, there is handcrafted furniture, art, sculptures, color, gleaming metals, proportion and design. Natural light streams in. In this home of God, Catholics gather and take on life together as a huddled mass. Outside, it has been forever changing as modern times evolve. Inside, it always strives to remain being a continuum of the past, above and beyond forces of change. Life is not easy for the church-goers and it is not easy for the church.

From 1855 to 1861 the War of Reform, church against state, raged on between church members Conservatives and reform minded Liberals. Benito Juarez had created laws that limited the church’s powers, privileges and holdings. Don Jesus Gandara led the Conservatives against General Ignacio Pesqueria’s Liberals supporting the new federal laws. During the war Alamos was won and controlled by both the Conservatives and Liberals. At times, Alamos citizens were engaged against each other.

In 1859 Apaches reached the Alamos district. Alamos Mayor Manuel Salazar came to a peace agreement with the Indians in December 1859. And then the French landed troops in Vera Cruz in December 1861. Conservatives and Liberals ended their War of Reform and came together to defend Mexico from foreign invaders. These were tumultuous times surrounding church and state and Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral stood its ground, as it does today.

Looking upward. Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Through the years weather and armies have laid siege on this church.

It is true, it is not easy to maintain Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral. There are issues of scale, materials, gravity and weather. And warring man has shot at it, broken in and plundered over the years. The church is a symbol respected by many and held by others, through the years, in low regard.

General Angel Martinez on January 7, 1866 near Alamos defeated the Imperialists commanded by Colonel Jose Maria Tranquilino Almado. General Martinez ordered that the church stripped of any precious metal that could be melted. During the next twenty years days of peace were few and far, scattered between unending revolts, battles, wars and plundering.

And through it all, to this very day, winds and rains made life for the Cathedral a battle of man’s maintenance against nature’s forces. The original designers, builders and artisans would be proud that the Cathedral, their efforts, still stands.

87… Details from inside Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral…

Child holding hands, Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The innocence of youth looking toward a future of hope and promise.

So much of most human life revolves around childhood, children, grandchildren and…
Those needing guidance and care become those that guide and care.

Resting Priest, Bishop Reyes Cathedral, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

And we all lay our heads downs to rest and our bodies follow.

Religion speaks of yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. It speaks of better days and better places. Religious followers are asked to endure and conceptually, eventually, benefit from their days of survival and struggle on this small planet.

Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Madonna and Child, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Moments of comfort and caring soothe the human condition.

Detail is added to detail as we near the church’s heart, the congregation’s visual focal point and cosmic backdrop. It is here, for this moment, that all are equal under a supreme and unifying force, the power of human belief and the human drive for universal understanding. Here all seek, in their own ways, answers to what life is.

Ornate Column in Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

There are columns that support and there are columns that sustain.

I often wonder about the artisans and workers who made columns like this. What was their human condition as they strived for supreme beauty. What was their roof made from, what did they stand on as a floor, what food was served for dinner? How old did they live to be? How many children did they have? And who has come along to restore and maintain these columns? And how did their lives differ from the one’s that came before? I would rather ask a question than give an answer.

Christ on Cross, Bishop Reyes Cathedral interior, Al;amos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Everyone that visualizes Christ know him in their own light and setting.

Humans seek forgiveness. Humans need forgiveness. Salvation resonates and persists across humankind. It is human to feel imperfect. It is human to seek direction. It is human to come together. It is human to leave. It is human to establish us and them. It is human to protect resources. It is human to feel superior to those outside of their own tribal social circles. It is human to war. It is human to demand retribution. It is human to accept redemption. It is human to take advantage. It is human to overlook unintended consequences. Vulnerable human psyches, looking for direction, migrate across uncharted existences. Be the humans dominate or submissive, rich or poor, all humans have hope, fear, love, hate, need, desire, doubt, confidence, triumph and defeat. And so this is what the human condition has been, is and will be as suns rise and the suns set.

18 … It is all in the details, it is all in the material, it is all in the intent…

plate in bishop reyes cathedral, Alamos, sonora, mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Welcome to Bishop Reyes Cathedral. Think of the scenes it has witnessed.

Ladies from the wealthy homes of Alamos were asked to contribute one of their fine china to decorate the nearly completed cathedral. These plates once sat on elegant dining tables and then they were volunteered to be hung outdoors and exposed to the elements for now over 200 years. Talk about culture shock. A lucky few remain in place.

Cathedral bullet holes, Alamos, Sonora, mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Here the law of equal and opposite reactions is clearly evident, etched in time..

Who fired these bullets? Was it Spanish soldiers, Federalists, Centralists, Mexican colonists, Imperialists, Yaquis, Apaches, Centralists, Conservatives, Liberals, French troops, Independents, Mayos, Reformists, Highway Men, Villistas or local teenagers having target practice? The wealth of Alamos was targeted by every political movement to finance their causes. Alamos was the place to plunder. Alamos has seen the best and worst of human nature.

Bishop Reyes Cathedral detail, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Strong sun highlights fervent beliefs as shadows dance across chiseled features.

Official records indicate that work on the church began in 1786. Alamos elected three town folk to supervise work and manage the budget. The church was finished in 1803. Today, as it always has, a cathedral bell announces the hour and half-hours and masses. Time marches on one bell peel after another, one year after another, one century after another. This is Alamos time.

64… Two churches, two bells, two men and two towns…

tino, caretaker of the church, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson

Tino and his beloved Bishop Reyes Cathedral face another sunset.

I knew this would be an interesting photograph. A man, who, in his face, had seen much of what life has to offer, a church bell framed by its belfry and a natural backdrop stretching from Mirador to Sierra Madres. All were lit by a low brillant sun whose golden rays were diffused by humid shimmering heat waves. We only had a moment to take this photo, as we were speaking he was summoned to fix a pressing property emergency, this is what maestro Tino did. I asked him to look towards the sun and pressed the shutter button. One click and done, another moment saved for the future, this is what Anders does.

Bishop Reyes Cathedral

Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral takes up the entire southern side of the Plaza de las Armas. Its three tiered belfry towers above town and touches low passing clouds. Along with multiple daily services the church is also a religious classroom. Religion speaks of yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows. It speaks of better days and better places. Religious followers are asked to endure and conceptually, eventually, benefit from their days of survival and struggle on this small planet.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Moorish influences

95… A mysterious building on Calle Gral Antonio Rosales and Mariano Matamoros…

Red brick two-story Moorish style building, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson

Looking down from Red Cross hill at a two-story red brick building.

There, north of the Plaza, or below in this photo, is an interesting L-shaped building. The red- brick building in the bottom right corner is this entries’ subject, Each of its many doors opening to the street must have had stories, history, take place within. The rock outcropping in the photo’s foreground can be clearly seen from town.

Walking to town on Calle Rosales, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson

Walking from a barrio to central Alamos for any of a variety of reasons.

Here, a Calle Antonio Rosales runs into a building. These two women are only a block away from the Mercado and the Alameda. They most likely are out walking about doing their daily food shopping. On the other foot, they could be going to the bus station, or visiting a doctor or dentist, doing errands, visiting friends, picking up repairs, or shopping in various stores, stalls and carts comprising the business, retail and service center of Alamos. The woman on the right is carrying a large bag, a good clue shopping will be included on this walk.

The jog where on Calle Cardenas, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson

Calle Gral Antonio Rosales jogs across Calle Mariano Matamoros.

A woman walks west on Calle Gral Antonio Rosales which runs east-west through the northern part of central Alamos, one street south and parallel with Arroyo de La Aduana. Calle Mariano Matamoros, left to right, is three blocks long with the northern end beginning at Arroyo de La Aduana and the southern end running into the Museo Costumbrista de Sonora’s north facing wall. In the background a hardware store displays its wares on the street. Marketing, marketing, marketing… location, location, location…

it is a wonderful day to out walking on Calle Gral Antonio Rosales and Calle Mariano Matamoro near the Alemada, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

It is a wonderful day to be out walking and visiting on Calle Rosales.

An old woman with walking stick, dressed in grey, baby blue and pink, stands at the red brick building’s entrance as another woman walks by in the street headed east. One would think all the shuttered doors, so near the Alameda, once had vendors inside. This does not look like a typical residence, it being without a single window treatment at street level and also one of the few two story structure in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

Sunrise shadoes on the red brick building, Calle Gral Antonio Rosales and Calle Mariano Matamoro, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The architectural shadow of one building cast upon a sun blazoned building.

Early morning sunlight music plays on the moorish details of this building which are similar in spirt to the municipal government building, the Palacio, also made of red brick. History is here to be comprehended as one looks at textures and patterns of the old buildings. Think back to the day when the stones and bricks were being laid in place. Pause, look and listen.

Detail with sleeping pup, red-brick building on Calle Gral Antonio Rosales and Calle Mariano Matamoros, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

What a wonderful vantage point for a dog to take a morning siesta.

A resident of the red-brick building rests in the warm sun. At this time, 1996, the owners of the town’s printing shop, which had a sign I remember as ” Impresta F. Hernandez, Sucn,” managed by Elena del Carmen, lived here. The printing shop was working with letter presses that could have been over a hundred years old. The shop was planing to purchase a computer and move into the digital era. History is forever changing for history is the record of change.

Plaza de las Armas, Bishop Reyes Cathedral, the Palacio are all seen from Red Cross hill.  Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

The Municipal Palacio and the brick building look as if they are related.

We return to the northeastern hill overlooking Centro Alamos. From here the Palacio, in the upper left-hand corner, and this two story brick building, which resembles a mercado from another day, in the bottom right-hand corner, bookend the plaza and church.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.