2017 Anders in Álamos

It had been twenty-some years since Anders Tomlinson, cameras in hand, walked the
streets of Álamos, Sonora, México. Photos by Jose Antonio Figueroa Carrasco.

Anders Tomlinson taking a photo of Bishop Reyes Cathedral, Álamos, Sonora, México 2017. Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

Time does not stand still but it remains in spirit. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

There have been changes in Álamos since Anders last visited. Influences and
multiple causations included a copper mine to the northwest and a silver mine to
the southeast opening up, 2008’s Hurricane Norbert, La Fuerza del Destino Mexican
telenova-soap opera filmed in Álamos and airing in 2011 and being designated a
Pueblo Magico by the Mexican Government and tourism industry in 2005.
Over the centuries Bishop Reyes Cathedral, the subject of the above Anders’ photo,
has stood tall. Álamos, like the world, has grown in population and cars.

Anders Tomlinson, 2017, putting gopro camera in place overlooking Álamos, Sonora, México. Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

Attaching a GoPro Camera overlooking Álamos. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

It is also true that Anders Tomlinson has changed in the two decades since his last
visit in the summer of 1996 to Álamos, Sonora, México. The biggest change is that
he is 21 years older and these are years when the changes in body and mind are
accelerating. In these years technology has changed influencing how and what he
uses to document. Anders, above, is attaching a GoPro camera around a tree
trunk with a wrap-able mini-tripod. Colonial Álamos lays before him in all its granduer.
This trip would help Anders understand how much his “eye as the beholder” has
changed. He still approaches projects with the same focus to document and
preserve data for the future to look back on. He stills marshals inclusiveness over
value judgements. Álamos continues on as it always had.

Anders Tomlinson and Tony Estrada at Reynas restaurant in Álamos, Sonora, México, march 2017. Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

Anders with Museo director Tony Estrada. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

Somethings have changed little over the years. Tony Estrada is still the director of
the Museo Costumbrista de Sonora. He has been in this position for 33 years.
He is well-respected in this capacity and is also known as an artist-sculptor.
He and his wife Lupita, herself an artist, also manage Galeria Rincon de Arte
in centro Álamos one block south of the Plaza.

Walking through the large gardens of Hacienda de los Santos. Photo: Antonio Figueroa

A big change in Centro Álamos is the expansion of Hacienda de los Santos from one
Spanish Colonial mansion to three Colonial mansions and one sugar mill including footbridges
that cross the Arroyo Escondido and connect the expansive beautiful garden grounds,
restaurants, theater, and lodging. Anders spent his first two nights here and presented
clips to the Álamos History Association from Good Morning Álamos, Sonora, México
to a standing room crowd in the wonderful theater. Hacienda de los Santos provides its
guests with a map of the grounds. Anders found this helpful. The second night at the
Hacienda was one of the best sleeps Anders has had in decades.

Anders Tomlinson oon a hill in Álamos, Sonora, México, 2017. Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

To the east are Sierra Madre rising foothills. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

Much had happened in Anders’ life since visiting Álamos in the summer of 1996.
He found himself in the Upper Klamath Basin during the 2001 Klamath Irrigation Project
water shutoff that impacted both Klamath Falls, Oregon and Tulelake, California
and made headlines around the world. This became a period of intensive film
production including a film featuring Jimi Yamaichi and the Tulelake Internment –
Segregation Center. This would bring an end to Anders’ traveling days and he
returned to San Diego in 2008 where he remained until the much anticipated
2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition

Anders Tomlinson takes Rigoberto Grajeda portrait at Casa Serena Vista, 2017. Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

Anders and Rigoberto Grajeda do the portrait dance. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

There were many questions in Anders’ mind when the 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition
crossed the border into Tijuana on February 21st and hopped on an overnight bus to Navojoa,
Sonora, México. The major issue would be how well would Anders travel. Since 2008 the
longest trip he had taken was 24 miles and had slept every night in his own bed.
His health required three hours of daily exercise and maintenance and a restrictive diet.
Folks in Álamos helped Anders including Rigo, seen above, who cooked several meals
at Casa Serena Vista that Anders shared and Rigo also drove him a couple of times
to film the streets and roads of Álamos. With help from Joan Gould Winderman,
Diane Carpenter, Antonio Figueroa, Luis Angel, Humberto Enríquez and others Anders
was able to accomplish many of 2017 Álamos Sonic Expeditions’ project goals.

Anders Tomlinson taking photos in Álamos, Sonora, 2017. Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

The Mirador’s view is 360 degrees of living Álamos. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

The Mirador had changed greatly from Anders’ 1996 summer visit. It is now a
destination unto itself including a restaurant. A walking path, 360 steps, from
downtown brings one to a large modern observation platform. There is a sidewalk
along the road all the way to the platform. It is an example of the fine rock work
that has been accomplished across Álamos from the arroyos to El Mirador.

Anders Tomlinson taking a photo in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico, 2017. Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

Anders looks at the world in terms of shot scale – macro to micro. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

Shooting stills or video for a narrative requires awareness of shot scale to move
the story forward in an entertaining manner. Most of the gear Anders used on
the 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition shoot was new, small and produced 5,354 photos,
783 videos and 202 audio recordings.

Anders climbing La Capilla in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico, 2017.  Photo by Antonio Figueroa.

Anders knew this would be a many days hike. Photo: Antonio Figueroa.

What was intended to be a seven day expedition turned into two weeks. Anders learned
that he still had the endurance that he had twenty years ago. The best purchase he
made for the trip was a pair of Vasquez Talus Pro GTX hiking boots designed for rock.
His feet were always comfortable no matter the conditions. Happy feet make a happy hiker.

Antonio Figueroa on his ranch in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico - 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson

Antonio Figueroa spent three days with working with Anders.

It was a pleasure for Anders to be reunited with Antonio Figueroa and his family.
Antonio took photos, video, recorded audio and provided a car for many street-road
videos. Locations included his family ranch east of Álamos, the new barrios to
the north and west, Uvalama, La Capilla, La Aurora, Hacienda de los Santos and
the Plaza. As noted, all of the wonderful photos in this article were taken by Antonio.

To see more about Antonio in the Spring and Summer of 1996 visit
Easter Sunday with the Figueroas on their ranch.

2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition

Anders Tomlinson arrived in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico on February 22 and
departed on March 6, 2017. Jose Antonio Figueroa Carrasco, an Álamos
photographer and friend from previous Anders visits 21 years earlier,
spent three days with Anders and helped document life in Álamos with
video, photos and audio recordings. This video are photos by Antonio
Figueroa edited by Anders Tomlinson.
Soundtrack by Denver Clay and SonicAtomics.

Good Morning Álamos, Sonora, Mexico

The 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition visited Álamos, Sonora, México between
February 23 and March 6, 2017. This scene includes time-lapse of receding shadows
across the Álamos valley as seen from the Mirador. Video and editing by Anders Tomlinson.
Music by SonicAtomics/Dig Brothers under the direction of Denver Clay.

To see more 2017 Álamos, Sonora, México videos

©2017 Anders Tomlinson and Jose Antonio Figueroa Carrasco, all rights reserved.

2017 Álamos videos

Anders Tomlinson arrived in Álamos, Sonora, México on February 22 and left
on March 7, 2017. His goal was to document life in Álamos since his last
visit 21 years earlier with a focus on audio recording and time-lapse studies.
You can learn more about this media excursion by visiting the whirlwind
2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition. A fine time was had by all.

If you stare at a cloud long enough it will disappear

Álamos Skies looks at Álamos, Sonora, México in time-lapse from three
different hills and on the ground at the Plaza and Tianguis. Blue skies
have clouds come and go and returns to an eternal blue sky.

Everyday is History in this Living Tapestry

This is the first of many “Moments in Álamos” videos from Álamos, Sonora, Mexico
between February 24 and March 5, 2017 by Anders Tomlinson. These are small
moments in the living tapestry that is “everyday is history” Included scenes
are a police man directing traffic in the Alameda, a small family heading into
downtown, traffic and kicking a bottle in the Alameda, an art reception at the
Museo Costumbrista de Sonora,teenagers singing outside the Centro Comunitaro
Nelita Bours and Bishop Reyes Cathedral, and quiet nights scenes in
the “Kissing Alley” and the Alameda.

A Spring morning on El Mirador

This is Álamos, Sonora, México as seen from the Mirador lookout on the morning of
February 24, 2017. This photo by Anders Tomlinson if printed at full size would
be nearly 15 feet wide. Music by Denver Clay. Ambient recording and mixing by
SonicAtomics. Video editing by Anders Tomlinson.

Art reception at the Museo

On March 4 2017, an art reception was held at the Museo Costumbrista de Sonora,
in Álamos, Sonora, México for the “Exposición Cine mexicano” in collaboration with
the upcoming Álamos International Film Festival. The event also was held with the
coordination of Municipal Culture of Cajeme and Association for the Fine Arts.The
speaker we hear is Sergio Inzunza, Director of Education y Cultura de Cd. Obregon.

Centro Álamos en la Noche

Antonio Figueroa takes Anders Tomlinson on a car ride from the
Hacienda de los Santos to the Alameda, Álamos, Sonora, México.
It is around 9:30 P.M, March 4, 2017.

A brief visit to the Plaza

An afternoon in the Plaza de los Armas in Álamos, Sonora,México. The video starts
in the late morning on a hill overlooking Álamos from the nort directly across from
the Mirador to the south. Scenes include a bicycle rally that began in the Plaza,
young kids coloring, a tour bus and a child being pushed across the plaza.

From garden to table

Morning in the campo on March 1, 2017 with Antonio y Teresita at their ranch a
couple of miles east of Álamos, Sonora, México. Food is gathered in their garden
and feed to the goats and cows – a fine example of “from farm to table.” Music is
by Antonio Figueroa and possibly his brother at the ranch. Video by Anders
Tomlinson and Antonio Figueroa. ©2017 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Conga line at Hacienda de los Santos

Another Álamos moment, conga line, from early March 2017: 100 seconds with
the Estudiantina de Álamos performing at the Hacienda de los Santos in
Álamos, Sonora, México as a busload of tourists from Arizona join a conga
line. Estudiantina de Álamos is one of many cultural programs under the
guidance of the Museo Costumbrista de Sonora. The tourist group delivered
beautiful new acoustic guitars to the Estudiantina on this evening. Viva
Música! Viva togetherness! Video by Anders Tomlinson.

A family thats works together

It is March 1, 2017 on Antonio and Teresita’s ranch a couple of miles
east of Álamos, Sonora, México. They are busy working in the yard,
watering, weeding and building new beds for plants and vegetables and
discussing the day’s coming events. The scene shifts to the kitchen
with Teresita making tortillas on a wood burning stove. Video by
Anders Tomlinson and Antonio Figueroa. Music by Antonio and his
brothers. Editing By Anders Tomlinson.

Álamos Alameda Night Ride

A drive at night through the business and transportation
center Alameda in Álamos, Sonora, México. Antonio Figueroa
gives Anders Tomlinson a ride in his car on March 4, 2017.

Sunday night in the Alameda

It is March 5, 2017, a warm Sunday night, in the
business/transportation center of Álamos, Sonora. México.
The Alameda is busy with local friends and families
promenading around the plaza on foot, bicycles, motorbikes,
cars and trucks.

Yoreme Al-Leiya in Álamos

Februrary 26, 2017 Yoreme Al-Leiya, which means “cheerful Indian,” traveled
from nearby Navajoa, Sonora to perform at the Hacienda de los Santos in Álamos,
Sonora, México. Anders Tomlinson had the privilege of documenting this colorful
evening of dance, music, costumes and theatrical lighting. A wonderful time
was had by all.

Sunday morning in the arroyo

This time-lapse studies a March 5, 2017 warm going on hot Sunday morning
Tianguis outdoor market in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. If one needs something
there is a good chance it can be found here along with family and friends
out and about shopping. When Anders last visited in 1996 the Tianguis was
on dirt and now it is paved with decorative benches and rock infrastructure.
And is much is the same: people shopping, mingling, talking, laughing,
eating and music… Video and editing by Anders Tomlinson.

Up, over and around Loma Guadalupe

It is Friday February 25, 2017 – 10:30 A.M in Álamos, Sonora, México.
This car trip travels up Calle Chihuahua and turns onto Calle Galeana.
Rigoberto Grajeda Grajeda is driving the Casa Serena Vista’s car.

An afternoon in a La Capilla garden

On March 6, 2017 we visited a children’ garden at Lázaro Cárdenas del Río
in La Capilla, Álamos, Sonora, México, an Escuela Primaria Urbana Federalizada.
Jose R Nevarez, Trini, is the teacher and Roger Lewis, a local U.S. resident
who was very helpful at the start of this garden project. We were told it
is called the “Garden Abundancia” and we saw and heard
great exuberance
for gall things growing.

Another beautiful Álamos day

Rigoberto Grajeda Grajeda gives Anders Tomlinson a ride across
Centro Álamos, Sonora, México around 11 A.M. on February 25,
2017. The car he was driving was provided by Casa Serena Vista
where Rigo works as a driver, cook and gardener.

Saturday afternoon in Plaza de las Armas

It is a cloudy Saturday early March afternoon in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.
Tourists are out and about walking and riding tour vehicles. And as the
old adage goes “if you stare at a cloud enough it will disappear” the plaza
becomes bathed in full sunshine. Soundtrack by Denver Clay and SonicAtomics.

The sun rises and the shadows shorten

The 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition visited Álamos, Sonora, México between February 23
and March 6, 2017. This scene includes time-lapse of receding shadows across the Álamos
valley as seen from the Mirador. Video and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music by
SonicAtomics/Dig Brothers under the direction of Denver Clay.

A morning drive on an old old street

This is a drive starting in Plaza de los Armas along Calle Benito Juárez to Calle
Chihuahua in Álamos, Sonora, México on a sunny February 25, 2017, 10:15 A.M.
Rigoberto Grajeda Grajeda is driving. Video by Anders Tomlinson.
Music by Denver Clay, Soundtrack by SonicAtomics.

2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition

Anders Tomlinson arrived in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico on February 22 and
departed on March 6, 2017. Antonio Figueroa, an Álamos photographer
and friend from previous Anders visits 21 years earlier spent three days
with Anders and helped document life in Álamos with video, photos and
audio recordings. This video are photos by Antonio Figueroa edited by
Anders Tomlinson. Soundtrack by Denver Clay and SonicAtomics.

A special place in Álamos

Hacienda de los Santos in Álamos, Sonora, México is a special place
in a special town in a special landscape. It was originally built
for a wealthy silver baron in the 17th century. Photos and video
editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music is Los Hacendados performing
“Chan Chan” by Compay Segundo.

©2017 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved


Teresita's Panaderia y Bistro on Calle Allende in Álamos, Sonora, México. 2017 photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Here is a sign of good things to come on Calle Allende next to La Puerta Roja.

Teresita’s Panadería y Bistro is a culinary oasis off well-worn tourist trails.
Teresita’s sits on the tip of a peninsula at the confluence of three cobblestone
streets: Galeana, Niños Heroes, and Calle Allende, and barrios with both
modest homes and elegant mansions. It should be noted that nothing
is far from another place in Álamos except the new developments that
march up the surrounding hills. It is a healthy ten to twenty minute walk,
depending on the walker, from the Plaza to Teresita’s.

Entrance to Teresita's Panaderia y Bistro on Calle Allende in Álamos, Sonora, México. 2017 photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Through this portal fine food and calming ambiance awaits.

Teri Arnold is the heart, soul, owner and chef of Teresita Panaderia and Bistro.
She is a business woman who understands bottom lines, a purveyor
of good taste who lives an expressive life and a host who knows how
to throw, or cater, a party. Anders first met Teri in 1992 when he was
separated from his holiday film crew with Mexican car permit issues.
He was fortunate to catch a ride to Álamos in a diesel Mercedes-Benz with
Teri and her then husband Rudy Hale. Laughs flowed freely as the Sonoran
desert passed by and Anders’ many Álamos questions were answered.

Tourist trolley in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico with Teresita's Panderia and Bistro advertising on its back. Photo by Anders Tomlinson, 2017.

Teresita’s believes in advertising in all medias that benefit Álamos.

Teri first visited Álamos in 1979, like many who have come
to consider Álamos part of their souls, as a guest of the gracious Nuzums:
Pember, Elizabeth and Kit Nuzum. Starting with the Casa Puerta
Roja and its five charming guest rooms, beautiful gardens, pool,
libraries, art everywhere and Teri’s gourmet cooking, Teri has
contributed to Álamos for over 30 years. She followed this with the already
legendary Teresita’s Panadería y Bistro which was once an art studio that
adjoined the Inn’s courtyard. La Puerta Roja is scheduled to reopen
its red doors to the public in December 2017.

Teri Arnold's La Puerta Roja bed and breakfst, Álamos, Sonora, ´México, 1992. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The Red Doors that open into a tranquil yet vibrant world.

Teresita’s is a hip establishment with a cool owner and “suave” staff.
Teresita’s menu is loaded with modern and classic dishes presented
with style and grace. Great meals are enhanced with quality Teresitas’
including cocktails, handcrafted beers, licores, tequilas and
wines. Teresita’s is a gathering place for coworkers, families, old as
well as new friends and tourists seeking comfort and delectable servings.

Teresita's Panderia y Bistro. Álamos, Sonora, México. 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

It is easy to become involved with whom and what one is within this environment 

La Puerta Roja’s and Teresita’s Panadería y Bistro’s unique triangular property
was originally owned by the Almada family, followed by Levant Alcorn, who
sold it to the Pulis family from Des Moines, IA.  Jo Yelton was the owner before
it was purchased by Teri in partnership with her mother in 1987.

eresita’s Panaderia y Bistro. Álamos, Sonora México. 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Indoor and outdoor living merge as one throughout Álamos.

Álamos, Sonora, México is a town that appreciates its food, be it in humble
or grand home kitchens, street food carts, cozy cafes or first class restaurants.
Teresita’s Panadería y Bistro is a gastronomic treasure: a delicious cornucopia
of flavors, textures, cultures, seasons, colors, nourishments and atmosphere.

Teresita’s Panaderia y Bistro. Álamos, Sonora México. 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Large north facing windows broadcast a painter’s soft natural light.

It is easy to become involved with who and what one is with in this
environment that is both formal and casual. Here are Teri Arnold’s
thoughts about Teresita’s:

” Welcome to Teresita Panadería and Bistro in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico …
my little invention that got out of control, with the restlessness that
characterizes a child. We have evolved from selling a few baguettes a day,
a few days a week, to serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. We added a
special wine menu, full cocktail bar and craft beers. We love to make
specialty desserts such as chocolate almond torte, carrot cake with cream
cheese frosting and the classic French tarte tatin…” 

Teresita's Panaderia and Bistro in Álamos, Sonora, México, March 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Here is where the culinary magic is created.

“…Our breakfast pastries range from warm almond croissants to
morning glory muffins, scones and sticky buns. Our house-made breads
include, of course, baguettes, but the list has grown to include Italian,
Whole-wheat walnut, Rosemary, Gluten-free and Organic Sonoran White
wheat. We are always experimenting with new ingredients that we can find
locally, or harvest, but we still work to be as local, sustainable
and organic as we can.” – Teri Arnold.

Teresita's Panaderia and Bistro in Álamos, Sonora, México, March 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Teresita’s is known for its pastries and cake, have a slice of heaven.

Teresita’s has two special areas and menus for events: Rincon Frida-
full service for 20 people maximum and The Ramada- full service for
20 to 50 people. It is easy to picture an open-air event under a
starry Sonoran sky with scrumptious cuisine, tantalizing aromas and
sophisticated drinks. Behind the animated conversations there is a
bubbling fountain and maybe live guitars with singing.  There is a
special feeling in Álamos, Sonora, México that embraces one within
arms of contentment and good times: it comes on the wind,
a singing bird, children laughing, a friendly nod, romantic music,
caring concern, cordial acceptance and…

Teresita's Panaderia and Bistro in Álamos, Sonora, México, March 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson. Kitchen scenes.

Teresita’s celebrated its 6th anniversary in 2017.

During the six years that Teresita’s has been open, how often and
in how many languages has it been said “meet me at Teresita’s?”

Photos of Teri Arold in Álamos, Sonora, México. Photos by Anders Tomlinson and Claudia Karafotos. 1984 to 2017

Teri Arnold in her element: fun with people and Álamos.

The 1984 and 1995 photos were taken by Anders Tomlinson at La Puerta Roja.
The 2017 photo was taken by Claudia Karafotos at her New Year’s party
in Álamos. Partying with Teri are Philip Karafotas and Ray Auckerman.
Teri has know hardship: she has survived two airplane crashes including
one deep in the Sierra Madre Tarahuamara country enroute to Copper
Canyon that Teri survived with serious injuries. Her zest for life
and sharing quality moments with others may have been enhanced by
misfortunes she has experienced. Teri loves to laugh and smile.

Teresita’s Panadería y Bistro Serving offers dining in a 18th century
comfortable salon or out on the patio next to the fountain and rock
water wall. Teresita’s love dogs so don’t leave yours at home.
Free Wifi is available and all you can drink coffee. Enjoy!

©2017 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.
All content by Anders Tomlinson unless noted.

Casa 6 Toluca

sunrise in the backyard of the Earle and Joan Winderman home on Toluca Street in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico 2017.  photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Another sunrise on Calle Toluca in Álamos, Sonora, México.

Everyday and everyplace is history.

Calle Toluca is a short narrow little-used cobblestone street with six casas
and an old folks home, Casa Hogar Inmaculada, run by Catholic nuns
and owned by the Bours family before they donated it to the city. Calle Toluca
connects Calle Galena and Calle Sonora. Gaudalupe Hill stands between it and
the Plaza to the east which is a ten minute walk by way of the two shortest
approaches, up and over the hill or around its northern face. It is the start
of a new day on Calle Toluca in Álamos, Sonora, México. Estamos aquí.
As the song is sung, “here comes the sun.”

Sunrise in the backyard of the Earle and Joan Winderman home on Toluca Street in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico 2017.  photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Birds, barking dogs, autos, trucks, radios combine voices.

Álamos, Sonora, México is waking up. The morning chill will be chased
away by a brillant rising sun. Traffic on Calle Galeana, Calle Sonora and the
busier streets that lead to the Alameda and Plaza can be heard in spirited
surround-sound. Barking dogs, motorcycles, bicycles and an auto suite of
honking, braking, accelerating, alarms sounding and car radio music compose
the hustle and bustle of a proud rural Mexican town going to work, school,
shopping or visiting. It is all about tempos, timbres, frequencies, transients,
crescendos, contrary motions, counterpoints and call and responses.

Calle 6 Toluca garden in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

It is warm in the sun. Imagine the surrounding sounds as shadows recede.

Roosters crow and pedestrians talk and whistle amongst themselves.
Chirping/hissing/clicking insects, percussive parrots, sonorous doves
and a multitude of other bird species, either flying or roosting, embellish
a 3D soundscape which includes near, distant, left to right, front to rear
and ground level to treetop, or above, polytonal and polyrhythmic notes, tones
and phrases. All of this, and an unending parade of accidental incidentals
like horse hoofs on stone, contribute to a sunrise symphony known as
Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. Calle Toluca has a front row seat.

Sunrise in the backyard of the Earle and Joan Winderman home on Toluca Street in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico 2017.  photo by Anders Tomlinson.

This is 6 Toluca across the street from the old folks home.

Casa 6 Toluca welcomed the 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition’s
base camp from February 25 to March 6. Anders and his equipment
stayed in the room to the left of the flowering vine-framed front door.
It had a bathroom and shower with the best water pressure Anders
experienced during his Álamos stay. Directly across the street from
Casa 6 Toluca is the old folks home which had been unoccupied for 20-25
years before the Bours donated it. The Bours also own the house to the
west of Toluca 6 and a large field that borders the northern walls of
all the homes on the north side of Toluca. Earle passed away in 2016
and his ashes are in a bench in the new section of the cemetery.
Earle and Álamos are one for eternity.

Calle 6 Toluca, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  February 2017.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Anders was given a key on a red string to wear around his neck to open this door.

Anders met Joan in 1992 when she was a regular visitor at the Nuzums
on Calle Commercio. Elizabeth Nuzum and Joan were good friends
who shared many interests including art and design. Joan Gould Winderman
is a free-spirited modern woman with an athletic vocabulary, animated
conversations and no shortage of percolating opinions. An upcoming essay
will document a couple of Joan’s handmade paper and photo art projects.

Earle Zimmerman, Joan Gould Zimmerman, Alamos Sonora Mexico, Alamos Spring 1996.  Photo b y Anders Tomlinson.

Earle and Joan, 1996, enjoying the spring kite festival atop Mirador.

Anders first met Earle in 1996 when he visited the Winderman’s house for
coffee one spring afternoon. As Anders was leaving Casa Toluca, Earle
pulled him aside and said, ” I want you to know, and I mean this as
a compliment, I can’t tell if you are a rich man or a poor man.”
If Anders had met Earle for the first time on a street Anders
could have said the same of Earle.

Inside the living room of Casa Toluca, Álamos, Sonora, México.  2017.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

As morning light streams in brightly, outside Álamos is alive.

The open floor plan kitchen, dining table and sitting areas have a wall of
windows that bring the immediate garden and surrounding mountains
into full view. Art, books, knickknacks and plants are placed with purpose
and design on shelfs, tables and walls. This month’s New Yorker magazine brings
bundled reflections from north of the border. It should be noted that Álamos
does not look at folks like Joan as being Norte Americanos because México is
part of North America. People from Canada, United States and around the
world who have taken up residences are members of the “foreign community”
in the best sense of the word.Each individual brings with them their culture
and set of beliefs. New Yorker serves an important purpose
on Joan’s table.

Inside the living room of Casa Toluca, Álamos, Sonora, México. 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Imagine the tales that have been spun in this room over the years.

On a bedstand in the bedroom Anders stayed in was a new book, published
in late 2016, of Earle Winderman’s letters complied by Joan Gould Winderman.
Joan was using this copy to make revisions for the next print run. A window
into the world of Joan and Earle can be discovered by reading her introduction to
Trauma and Drama: A Spanish-Style Home Restoration, Alamos, Sonora,
Mexico 1987 to 1989
. Anders enjoyed reading of Earle Winderman’s
interactions with people Anders had met in the early 1980’s.

On the roof of Casa Toluca, Álamos, Sonora, México. 2017. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Here are two of the famous domes from Earle’s Álamos adventure.

Earle chose Álamos, or Álamos chose Earle, to reinvent himself in México.
In 1987 he rented a house, went to Spanish school, bought a house from
Mrs. Smallens that had been vacant for eight years and began the renovation.
The search for “dome” men runs throughout the book. The long sought “dome”
men arrived November 28, 1988 and were finished in December. The house
was functionally completed in 1989 with Joan’s arrival.

Earle Zimmerman, Alamos Sonora Mexico, Calle 6 Toluca, February 2017.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Earle tried his creative hand by making these masks.

Anders thought “a love story” could be added to the book’s cover –
Trauma and Drama: A Spanish-Style Home Restoration, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico
1987 to 1989 – a love story.
Earle clearly expressed his love for reinvention,
new friends, language, life in México, the ying/yang of renovating a ruin
and partner Joan. Beloved Runner, a hybrid wolf, was by Earle’s side as
he wrote these “wishing you were here” letters to Joan.

Sunrise in the backyard of the Earle and Joan Winderman home on Toluca Street in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico 2017. photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A place where the elements and guiding hands work for flora and fauna.

Water is on the tip, or unfortunately not on the tip, of most tongues
these days worldwide. A major change from when Anders last visited
Casa Toluca is the swimming pool is now a garden with roof rainwater
being piped underground into the old pool. Water delivery was an issue
when Anders first visited Álamos in 1983. Municipal water in Centro Álamos
was being delivered for a hour or two. The reality is Álamos may have
had centuries of water management experience with limited water resources.
Casa Toluca well has has never failed in 30 years but has been deepened.
Casa Toluca 6 ownership wants no water that cometh to goeth unused. It is
a sign of the times: store water for when there is no water.

Sunrise in the backyard of the Earle and Joan Winderman home on Toluca Street in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico 2017. photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Manual, retired, still comes to work on the yard he knows as well as his own.

Manual came with the house when Earle purchased it. He is a major character
in Earle’s letters. The relationship between property owners and those who
work for them is complex. It can be seen as a game with all players playing
against, and with, each other while always aware that they need one another
on many levels. It is a dance that can last decades.

Manual retired a long time ago and received a stipulated payment for his years
of service. He still comes to take care of the grounds he knows so well. He has
been here longer than anyone else that is still living.

Sunrise in the backyard of the Earle and Joan Winderman home on Toluca Street in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico 2017. photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Welcome to a place of bounty and a cat with no name.

Anders spent time in 2017 outside a building supply store across the street from
the hospital. Several men from the “foreign’ colony were making purchases.
Everyone knew what the other was working on. They knew the joy of victory and
the agony of defeat. These stewards were a community within a colony
within a town. Earle was once one of these men. Today in 2017 his home,
in his absence, seems to be in good working order. Much of what Earle built
as a gringo building contractor still stands. He left a strong foundation
for the future. He left Casa Toluca in a better place.

The garden is a vital place with tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, flowers,
squash, chilis, eggplant, parsley, 10 flowering vines and 2 rose bushes.
There are 2 orange trees, 1 Meyer lemon, 3 lime, and 1 wonderfully sweet
grapefruit, lots of apple banana, several guava, 2 large mango and 1
pomegranite. Joan told Anders she would head north later in the year
when there was no longer food in the garden ready for the dining table.

Sunset in the backyard of the Earle and Joan Winderman home on Toluca Street in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico 2017. photo by Anders Tomlinson.

In the wee hours of the next morning it began to rain.

This was the view from atop Casa Toluca’s roof looking west into a dramatic
sunset. This day was coming to a close. Sometime after 1 a.m. it began to rain and
thunder. It was as if the rainy season of August and September had arrived.
in late February/early March Within a couple of days, as Anders prepared to head north,
otra lado, everyone was talking about the unseasonably hot weather.

©2017 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Special thanks to Joan Gould Winderman
and Denver Clay for their assistance.

Robyn Tinus Álamos Art

Robyn Tinus art show at Cafe de Sol, Álamos, Sonora, México.

Robyn Tinus art show at Cafe Luz del Sol, Álamos, Sonora, México.

Early March, 2017: I went to see Robyn Tinus’ paintings at the Cafe Luz del Sol and have
lunch. It was hot outside but cool in the restaurant. Robyn’s paintings added color
to a comfortable cafe. It is always interesting to see a place through the eyes
of a local artist, no matter what the media is. Below are her paintings of Álamos.
The show also included many Indian subjects and a big lizard. Each painting had a title,
price and a “no checks” notice. Robyn Tinus provided photographs of her paintings.

Painting by Robyn Tinus: View of Alamos, owner, Joan Winderman, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

View of Álamos, Sonora, México. Owner: Joan Winderman, Álamos.

I stayed at Joan’s Winderman’s house during the 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition.
Joan owned four of Robyn’s paintings at the time of my visit and they were my
introduction to Robyn’s art. Joan and Robyn emailed each other about the possibility
of my visiting Robyn’s studio. One of the expedition’s goals was to document three Álamos
artists but life in Álamos can take one down cobblestone streets that lead to unexpected
adventures that waylay the best of plans and immerse one in all that surrounds them,
especially, if the goal is documenting the essence of Álamos,
so an arranged meeting never came to be.

Painting by Robyn Tinus, The Quinceanera, owner John Sheedy, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

The Quinceanera. Owner: John Sheedy, Alamos.

On the Sunday before I left Álamos I had scheduled spending the late afternoon-early
evening documenting the Plaza. Night had fallen and I was videoing people walking around
the well-lit Plaza when a large dog came into my viewfinder along with an unseen owner who
sat down on the bench next to me. I slowly panned from the dog’s head up to a woman’s
profile. She asked if I was Anders and introduced herself, Robyn Tinus. We had a brief
conversation that led to the making of this page.
(At some point in the future I will post the video on this page.)

Tarahumara Trade Route. Painting by Robyn Tinus. Álamos, Sonora, Mexico artist

Tarahumara Trade Route, 24 x 30. For sale $490.

To see more of Robyn Tinus paintings that are available to be purchased.
The following writings are Robyn’s thoughts on her art and process:

I am living my dream of expressing how I feel about Mexico through my paintings.
I live in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico and I have been actively studying art and
painting for 50 years. I have traveled throughout Mexico and I find it to be
an amazing place, full of culture, life, history, and natural beauty.

Painting by Robyn Tinus. Puente de Paulita, owner Catherine Christiansen, La Aduana, Sonora, México.

Puente de Paulita Owner: Catherine Christiansen, La Aduana, Sonora.

I started painting at 20 years when I enrolled in an oil painting class at
Santa Rosa Junior College in California. A year before that I saw a poster in
a frame shop of Van Goghs “Sunflowers” I bought it and had it framed and started
studying the French Impressionists, favoring Gauguin, Latrec, Matisse, and van Gogh.

Painting by Robyn Tinus. Alameda Evening owner Pamela Price, Álamos, ßonora, México

Alameda Evening. Owner: Pamela Price, Alamos.

I continued taking art classes and workshops and was fortunate to find some
very good teachers. After traveling extensively in Mexico for many years,
I knew that someday I would live in Mexico because that was
where I was most inspired to paint.

Robyn Tinus painting in Alamos, Sonora, México. Photo: ?

Robyn Tinus painting in Alamos, Sonora, México. Photo: Meg Keller.

I like to paint in the early morning before I get distracted. That is when
I feel the most creative, just pick up the brush and see what happens.
I give my paintings a lot of thought and planning and that gives me the freedom
to let the magic of the colors and paint happen.

Painting by Robyn Tinus. Tacubaya Etchos owner lives in Carefree Arizona

Tacubaya Etchos. Owner lives in Carefree, Arizona.

I give my paintings a lot of thought and planning and that gives me the
freedom to let the magic of the colors and paint happen. I finish my paintings
within a week, then leave them alone a for a week or two figuring out what
bothers me and making adjustments.

Painting by Robyn Tinus of view from Robyn's Álamos portal. Owner: Debra Patterson, Álamos, ßonora México.

View from Robyn Tinus’ Álamos portal. Owner: Debra Patterson, Álamos.

I enjoy painting the views from my house of Alamos, the palms, the mountains,
shadows and sky at different times of the day. I also use my photos and get
ideas from internet searches.

Painting by Robyn Tinus: Alameda Bolero. Owner lives in New York City.

Alameda Bolero. Owner lives in New York City.

I have been studying and creating art for 46 years. I am retired in Mexico and am now able
to devote much of my time to the love of my life… Painting.

Being surrounded by incredible beauty and culture in the 400 year old
pueblo magico, Alamos, keeps me inspired.

Painting by Robyn Tinus: Burros on the road to San Bernardo, owner Lorreta Childs, Alameda, Ca. 

Burros on the road to San Bernardo. Owner: Lorreta Childs, Alameda, Ca.

Alamos and the surrounding countryside with its ranchero culture provides
much inspiration for paintings.

First Day of School. Painting by Robyn Tinus. Tarahumara Indian girls going to school. Álamos, Sonora, Mexico artist

First Day of School. Owner: Joan Winderman, Alamos.

I love to paint the Tarahumara Indian girls from the nearby copper canyon
region, in their colorful full skirts and blouses. Bringing them to life on my
canvas probably gives me the most personal satisfaction… Robyn Tinus

Robyn Tinus art show at Cafe de Sol, Álamos, Sonora, México. march 2017. photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Robyn Tinus Álamos art show at the Cafe Luz del Sol, March 7, 2017.

Many Álamos homes have walls covered with wondrous art including Robyn Tinus’ paintings. To see more Robyn Tinus paintings. All of her paintings are original and painted in her Álamos, Sonora, México studio. The painting are on stretched canvas with wooden frames. The canvas wraps around the sides. They are painted “gallery style” so they have a finished look and a frame is not needed.

©2017 Robyn Tinus and alamos-sonora-mexico.com, all rights reserved.

Galeria Rincon del Arte

Galarie Rincon del Arte, Álamos, Sonora, México.  Entrance.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson, 2017.

Street entrance on Calle Obregon No. 5A.

From the street there is only a simple sign that gives any indication of what is in store for the
viewer if they proceed down the long carriageway with bougainvillea covered arches.
Galeria Rincon del Arte, located at Obregon street no. 5a, is part of a building
that belongs to Mrs. Edith Garcia Almada. The entire block, in the nineteenth century,
belonged to the Almada family. Everything in Álamos has a history.
Galeria Rincon del Arte translates into English as the Corner Art Gallery.

Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

The sounds of the street become muffled as peaceful garden grounds invite one in.

As one walks down the mysterious carriageway several sculptures and masks indicate
that this is a gallery that embraces surrealism, modern and contemporary art. The
human form is present. On this hot March 5, 2017 afternoon the grounds were
welcomed cool shade, natural air conditioning at its best.

Galeria Rincon del Arte courtyard in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017.  Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

The shaded courtyard is a gallery-sculpture garden unto itself.

The age, centuries, of these man-made walls became apparent, now supports for
creative hand-made expressions. In the corner a darkened interior is seen
through a wide open doorway. A single light, surrounded by objects of
different shapes and dimensions, beckons.

Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

Lupita making art the old way, by hand.

Once I was inside the single room gallery, Lupita, co-manager with her husband
Tony Estrada Cantúa, came over from working on a clay dove at a small work table, while
talking with an American women who now lives in Álamos, and turned the lights on for me.

 Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

The gallery is a modest room but the artwork is anything but.

I must issue a disclaimer: I have been influenced by the likes of Miro, Ernst, Dali, Klee,
Chagall, Klimt, Magritte, Tanguy, Tamayo, Tobey… and the spirits here in the Galeria Rincon
del Arte
resonated with my creative soul. This is not a local art gallery, it is a worldly
gallery. One is greeted by many art forms. The room is small but it becomes larger as one
looks. There is art of all creative expression on the floor, tables, cabinets and walls.

Paintings by Roberto Bloor and Margo Findlay. Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

Paintings by longtime Álamos residents Roberto Bloor and Margo Findlay.

Anders visited both Roberto Bloor and Margo Findlay during his last visit in the
summer of 1996. Both Roberto and Margo were gracious with their time and their surroundings,
large rooms with high ceilings, were covered with their artworks. It was clear that art was
a calling for these two individuals whose lives impacted many in Álamos.

Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

Many medias are on display by capable artists.

The artists exhibiting at Galleria Rincon del Arte included:
Enrique Aviles Martinez, Luis Martin Lopez Sahagun, Fernado Quiroz, Anadelia Salido,
Bernardete McCalister, Meztli Estrada Montoya, Jerry Rosenfeld, Roberto Bloor,
Margo Findlay, Javier Lopez Ortiz, Lily Sapien, Frank Clement , Rafael Saenz,
Arturo Hernandez, Daan Hoekstra, Ana Bertha Waldez and Angel Luzanilla.
If one was to google any of the artists names there is a good chance you would begin
a colorful stroll down a new art discovery path.

Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

Creative spirits are alive and well presented at Galeria Rincon del Arte.

This is an unusual place. It could be anywhere on the planet where art is challenging,
exciting and important for the gallery owners. Galarie Rincon del Arte is an
international gallery residing in a Spanish Colonial town, off the beaten path, a mere
450 miles from the Arizona-Mexico border. Here the human spirit is on display.

Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

They are there, silent, but with a voice.

Art is in the eye of the beholder, and mystically, in the art’s eyes reflecting on
the viewer. The art here was unexpected but not surprising knowing the
involvement of Tony and Lupita in local and statewide art scenes.

Galeria Rincon del Arte in Álamos, Sonora, México. March 6, 2017. Photo By Anders Tomlinson.

Outside, art is everywhere if one looks closely

In a salute to the surrealistic spirit I give the Galeria Rincon del Arte one hand with
five thumbs up. My visit was cut short because the 2017 Álamos Sonic Expedition
was drawing to a close and there was still much to do around town. I could have easily
spent an afternoon contemplating all that Galeria Rincon del Arte has to offer.

©2017 Anders Tomlinson and Galeria Rincon del Arte, all rights reserved.

Álamos 1984

Confluences and circumstances influence who we are and where we go.

All the elderly women dressed in white with their stories have left the beach.

I first visited Álamos, Sonora, Mexico in 1984. We all have stories about how we came to discover a place that is special to ourselves. My personal Álamos story began when a UCSD art major girl friend, Lisa, asked me to accompany her to a performance art 
project dress rehearsal on a La Jolla, California beach. This was the conclusion to a year long (1983-1984) effort by 
Suzanne Lacy and Sharon Allen: Whisper, the Waves, the Wind

On site there was one local TV crew and Suzanne Lacy, white tables and a large group of women all dressed in white. Suzanne was orchestrating and protecting the unfolding events. There was also a freelancer in a collared blue t-shirt and a big video camera who quickly introduced himself as Kit Nuzum. He was filming for Channel 38, a Del Mar, CA public access station. We struck-up a quick friendship. Several months later he invited me to join him and his girlfriend in his Chevy Nova on a car ride to a town in México that he told he knew I would like. And Kit was correct. I did, and do, like Álamos, Sonora, México. Gracias amigo.

Álamos, Sonora, México the way it was on Anders’ first visit.

Álamos, Sonora, Mexico in 1984, Spring time, as seen by Anders Tomlinson via black and white film. Music is “A New Dawn” by the “Dig Brothers” under the musical direction of Denver Clay. Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. It is warm and breezy. The sky is blue. If you stare at a cloud long enough it will disappear.

Below are several photos from the 1984 Álamos expedition. With the photos are a look at what the world was like back then in the United States and around the world.

alamos sonora mexico. 1984. photo by anders tomlinson.

Álamos is at the end of paved road.

•  The Cosby show premiers.
•  Three hundred slain as Indian Army occupies Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.
•  Indira Gandhi is assassinated.
• Toxic gas leaks from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killing 2,000 and injuring 150,000.

The Mercado in the Alameda is under construction.

• Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first woman Vice President running mate.
• President Reagan re-elected in landslide with 59% of vote.
•  Reagan ends U.S. role in Beirut by relieving Sixth Fleet from peacekeeping force.
• Congress cuts off aid to Nicaragua, illegal guns sales start to fund the contras.

Turning a corner: embracing the present by making music.

Here are examples of 1984 music that was in fashion: Phil Collins, Alison Moyet,
Billy Joel, Tina Turner with ” What’s Love got to do with it,” David Bowie
Wham! with ” Wake Me up Before You Go, ” Billy Ocean, UB40, Cars,
Stevie Wonder with ” I Just Called to say I love You, ” Kenny Rogers,
Bruce Springsteen, Bananarama, Duran Duran with ” The Reflex, ” Ultravox.

Centro Álamos has several one way streets for horses, bikes, trucks, and cars.

• Stonewashed jeans are introduced.
• The first megabit chip is made at Bell Labs.
• Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, US. The Soviets boycott.
• Mary Lou Retton wins two gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Two powers, side by side, working together

• Old nude photos of Vanessa Williams, first African American Miss America, forced her
to give up her crown.
• The AIDS virus is discovered.
• On January 28, Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire during the shooting of Pepsi commercial.
• The first infomercials appear on TV due to de-regulation by the FCC.

A quiet afternoon in the Alameda.

• The first all rap radio format is introduced at LA’s KDAY.
• Run-D.M.C. are the first ever rap group to have an album certified gold.
• The term cyberspace is coined by William Gibson in his novel “Neuromancer”.
• Bob Geldof and Band Aid release “Do They Know It’s Christmas”.

Bishop Reyes Cathedral seen from the old miners’ hotel.

• In 1984 Reagan makes famous joke: “My fellow Americans, I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” He supposedly didn’t know the mic was on.
• Apple Computer releases the Macintosh personal computer. It has 128K of RAM, a 7,83MHz processor, no hard disk, and the cost is US.$2495.00.
• Calling themselves the PMRC (Parents’ Music Resource Coalition), concerned parents, including Tipper Gore, wife of then-Tennessee Senator Albert Gore, Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker, Georgie Packwood, wife of Oregon Senator Robert Packwood, and Nancy Thurmond, wife of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, construct a campaign designed to ‘educate’ parents about certain alarming new trends in rock music.

Mt. Cacharamba is seen two through windows of an adobe ruin.

• 1 gallon of gas $1.10.
• Dodge RAM 50 Truck $8,995.00.
• Chrysler New Yorker $13,045.
• Chevrolet Corvette $23,392.

Calle Comercio is a quiet street in Centro Álamos.

• Yearly Inflation Rate USA4.3 %.
• Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average is 1211.
• Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 10.75%.
• Recession continues to be a problem in the US and 70 US Banks fail in just one year.

Here one can visit with loved ones and take in the big sky overhead.

• Leader of the Soviet Union, Andropov dies at 69; Konstantin U. Chernenko,
is named as his replacement.
• First robot related death in the US.  A worker in Jackson Michigan is accidentally
crushed by an industrial robot.
• United Kingdom agrees handover of Hong Kong to China.
• Explosions at the PEMEX petroleum storage facility in Mexico City kill about 500 people.

There is the only gas station in town.

• Desmond Tutu wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
• Bell Telephone System broken up.
• France gets first deliveries of Soviet natural gas.
• Syria frees captured U.S. Navy pilot, Lieut. Robert C. Goodman, Jr.

Alone in thoughts surrounded by family and history.

• Average Cost of U.S. new house $86,730.
• Median Price Of and U.S. Existing Home $72,400.
• Average U.S. Income per year $21,600.
• Average U.S. Monthly Rent $350.

Young entrepreneurs sell cool ice cream on a warm Spring afternoon.

• The big films of 1984 were Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,
Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, Terms of Endearment, The Karate Kid,
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Police Academy, Romancing the Stone,
Splash, The Terminator, Amadeus, The Killing Fields, A Passage To India.
A movie ticket on average costs $2.50.

The village of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico lives on another day.

• A Man shoots 20 dead and wounds 16 in McDonalds Restaurant in San Ysidro California
• Colonel Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to complete a solo transatlantic flight
in a helium balloon
• The first ever flight in space by humans un-tethered using jet back packs takes place
Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk.

There is much we can learn from the Álamos logo on a work truck’s door.

• John DeLorean is acquitted of all eight charges of possessing and distributing cocaine.
• Jeopardy! begins its syndicated version.
• U.S. performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
• The world-renowned, critically acclaimed Canadian entertainment company,
Cirque du Soleil is founded.

Salvation and shade can be found at Bishop Reyes Cathedral.

• Sony and Philips introduce the first commercial CD Players.
• Sony makes the first 3 1/2″ computer disk.
• Genetic fingerprinting or DNA profiling was developed and is now in wide by Forensic scientists when obtaining evidence in a crime.

Two good friends are walking from here to there arm in arm.

• Miguel de la Madrid is President of México.
• U.S. and Vatican exchange diplomats after 116-year hiatus.
• Widespread Famine in Ethiopia after political conflict with charities believing as many
as 10 million people are facing starvation.
• Planet Earth’s human population in 1984 was 4.769 billion.

Anders’ shadow was here and enjoying every moment.

Alamos, Sonora, Mexcio has made a deep impact on Anders Tomlinson. As a youth
in Southern California he would stand on the El Camino Real, the King’s Highway,
and look north and south. His imagination took over. Where would this road,
in either direction, take him?

Anders enjoys a warm summer night in the Plaza after a long day shooting.
photo-Antonio Figueroa

He would eventually travel north on El Camino Real to San Francisco, California.
Later, Kit Nuzum, who had family in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, invited Anders to come along
for a spring time visit. The journey was magical, traveling across the
Sonoran Desert under a warm star filled sky while listening to an all-night radio
broadcast of Jethro Tull. Arriving in Alamos during predawn hours was
arriving in another land… another era… another spirit.

The lights of Alamos from the Mirador overlook. Every night is a holiday.

For more information visit About Good Morning Álamos, Sonora Mexico

Super-eight Springtime 1984 in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico

It is the spring of 1984. Anders Tomlinson and Kit Nuzum arrive in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico to begin shooting super-eight film footage with single-frame and additional short bursts and several time-lapse sequences. They used Kodachrome asa 40 film stock with a Minolta news camera.

©2017 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos Food Moments

During the Christmas – New Year holiday of 1992-93 a Film Crew departed San Diego
for Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. All of the crew had a relationship with the comedy,
music and travel program KBCH RadioTV which was produced in Del Mar, California.

This is the crew that captured Alamos Christmas 1992 and their hosts the Nuzums.

From left to right: Chaco Valdez, painting of Christina Vega by Jim Wilson, Anders Tomlinson,
Gary Ruble, Donna Beckett, R. L. Harrington, Robert Ganey, and the Nuzums: Jolene, Kit,
Elizabeth and Pember. At this moment they were all together and thankful.

The only woman on the crew was Donna Beckett who is amongst many things
a musician, entertainer and author of 3 cookbooks including Donna’s Favorite Recipes
of fabulous vegetarian recipes. On this trip she began a journal and here is an excerpt:

Journal of food December 1992 – 1993

I like to eat light on the road. The eight hours in the car: I carry
water, nuts, apples, bananas, fig cookies and crackers. Our first stop is
Tucson, Arizona. It helps to let all people know you are vegetarian because
while others ate: Chorizo pork I had yellow squash, zucchini, peppers,
onions, garlic in a tomato sauce rolled up in a flour tortilla.
While visiting the Tucson folks and touring the National Monument I ate
this vegetable dish for breakfast and dinner.

Puerta Roja, the Red Door, was home for a majority of the crew during their 1992 -93 Holiady film shhot in Álamos, Sonora, México. Photo by Anders Tomlinson..

La Puerta Roja Inn, Red Door, Inn was home for a majority of the crew.

Upon reaching Álamos our hostess Teri Arnold, owner of La Puerta Roja, prepared pasta
with both a meat sauce and tomato sauce. This vegetarian sauce consists of
garlic, onions and mushrooms. Wonderful with baguettes and sliced tomatoes,
sprinkled with olive oil, vinegar tamari and fresh basil leaves.

On day two we took a long hike around the city drank two glasses of water,
dried figs, and prunes and a banana with trail mix.

For dinner we went to a local woman’s unmarked restaurant where she had outdoor
dining. We had tostadas consisting of homemade tortillas vegetarian beans,
avocado, dried cheese, lettuce, tomato and topped with green tomatillo sauce.
Late-night we had papaya, pineapple juice.

It is very hot in Álamos, Sonora, México in December, so it is important to
remember to drink lots of water. We also took multiple vitamins. Afternoon hiking
took us to the mercado where fruits and vegetables abound. Afternoon snack
of prunes. Christmas eve, Teri fixed us a wonderful breakfast of cornmeal
pancakes with scrambled eggs. The pancakes were topped with cranberry sauce
sweetened with maple syrup. Scones seasoned with ginger were an
added surprise with her coffee.

In the afternoon we went to La Aduana to the miracle church where a cactus
grows out of the old church where the Virgin Mary appeared.

One day we took food out to a poor family in the mountains. There were 5 children
and three adults: mom, dad and grandpa in a small hut with a roof of twigs and cardboard
and a little metal sheeting on one side where the wind blows the hardest. I gave
the teenage girl the little blue and white shirt I was wearing. Her father gave
me two pieces of fruit from their tiny tree. The fruit is green and spiny and
cannot be eaten until it rattles when shaken. Very strange looking, it’s hard
to believe anyone would try to eat such an uninviting object. But there wasn’t
much food to be seen on their land and the well had only a foot of water in it
at the most. I ate an avocado and a roll and came back to join the team in a night
shoot in Aduana. They’ve set up a huge pipe organ upon our return, I grabbed the
leftover rice and veggies, and can of vegetarian chili- stirred and
served on a hot corn tortilla.

New Year’s Eve we started the day with water and later coffee. The Nuzums, at
Calle Comercio 2 next door to the Church, roast their own Mexican coffee beans
sprinkled with sugar. They grind them to make a very strong solution of coffee,
of which they pour ¼ cup and then add hot boiling water to make one cup. This coffee
is so good. I drank it black. It is strong, but never bitter. Off to shopping
and later stopped for a fresh squeezed orange juice. At the Mercado, we picked
up a ripe tomato and an avocado. At the bakery I bought negro pan brown
bread rolls and ginger cookies.

In the evening. I just want to relax and listen to the Mexican music coming
from the big dance downtown. There is music to be heard throughout the
city, day and night. Lovely.

Donna Beckett copyright 2017

Teresita's Panaderia y Bistro outdoor dining patio. photo by Anders Tomlinson, 2017. Álamos, Sonora, México.

Teresita’s Panaderia y Bistro outdoor dining patio.

Teri Arnold has continued her fine tradition of gourmet cooking. The studio in the
back of Puerta Roja where the film crew stayed in 1992 is now home to
Teresita’s Panaderia y Bistro which has an inviting ambiance that is
enjoyed by Álamenses as well as tourists from all over México and the world.
Anders visited Teresita’s in 2017… to see more

For more Holiday Videos filmed on this trip.

©2017 alamos-sonora-mexico.com and Donna Beckett, all rights reserved.

Atop Sierra de Álamos

Late spring as seen by high up both sides of the Álamos Valley…

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

It was an effort to get this shot. But it was the right season to do it.

I always looked north from Plaza de las Armas at two peaks that reminded me of camel humps. I knew they would provide a wonderful vantage point of Álamos and surroundings. Chon, my guide, and I started up a trail early on an overcast morning. Two others, possibly miners, with a supplies burdened burro, were ahead of us. High up, they took a fork in the trail to the east and we continued climbing to the west.

alamos, sonora, mexico seen from the north, mirador and plaza de las armas are clearly seen, photo by anders tomlinson . 1995.

In late spring, the summer jungle is bendable bare branches.

I was hoping the sun would break through. It didn’t. We reached the top under cool cloud cover. I would later learn this was a blessing. I began to film. We now go back in time to this moment contemplating the big picture. Timeless.

sierra de alamos, towering above alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.  1995

Sierra de Álamos towers over the village wiping sleep from its eyes.

To the immediate south of Álamos is the Sierra de Álamos mountain island. It runs east-west, perpendicular to the coast and the Sierra Madres. It has always taken me and my guides several hours to reach the top from the Plaza de las Armas.
The most comfortable time to start is the cool pre-dawn hours.

View from Gringo Point, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Good morning Alamos from Gringo Point in the Sierra de Alamos.

A week later, Chon and I spent two days and a night atop Sierra Álamos. Gringo Point is a rock outcropping that looks down directly on Álamos. Truly a bird’s eye view. Again, overcast persisted. But what can one do but do what one does?

alamos, sonora, mexico seen fro sierra de alamos in the spring of 1995.  photo by anders tomlinson.

One can almost hear a 1,000 silver mule train leaving Álamos south.

Chon created a fire in the high altitude morning chill, a bed of embers no wider than his palm with a flame no longer than his thumb, and brewed me a cup of tea. I unpacked three bags of camera equipment and began to film. We did not talk. Below, a church bell persistently called for morning mass. And we could hear the past that becomes today and will be tomorrow. I have never forgotten that civilized cup of tea.

pines forest at the top of sierra de alamos overlookiung alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.  1995.

Pine trees rustle in the wind and parrot calls echo off stone canyon walls.

Pine aromas in a dry tropical rain forest, with tea in hand, is truly a top-of-the-world experience. I felt safe with Chon guiding the way. it is always best to travel with a guide so you don’t go where someone doesn’t want you to go. Recently, life had been hard on Chon and these moments above and beyond the village were good for his spirit. And I was thankful for the opportunity to capture scenes from the highest vantage point.

Chon in the red hat behind Kit Nuzum

Chon in the red hat behind Kit Nuzum

Chon was Kit’s right-hand man during much of Pedregral’s early construction in the shade
of the giant fig tree. Chon took pride in doing a job well and enjoyed a good joke and a cold beer.

Sharing A Moment With Chon

We come and go, in the short term, like the birds and in the long term as do mountains.
This video scene celebrates Chon who worked on many projects for the Nuzums including
the strawbale casa on El Pedregal in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

Chon   portrait by Kit Nuzum, 2015.

Chon portrait by Kit Nuzum, 2015.

Another day, another smile amongst old friends in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. Time passes,
every moment history, every scene a moment. We are all part of the river of life.

Antonio Figueroa and Mountain , Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A summer return to the northern rock outcroppings.

One of 1996’s summer-photo-expedition goals was to return to the camel humped rocks. Local photographer Antonio Figueroa joined me on an effort to repeat the spring shoot. We knew summer heat and humidity would challenge us. We set off early in the morning. When we left the trail at the base of twin peaks we ran into a dense jungle of tangled vines, limbs, overgrown brush, stickers… We couldn’t get to the top. The air became hotter, oppressive, as the sun climbed into a watery sky. We had to return without our photos. Talk about disappointment, but it was what it was. And it would become worse. On the way down, Antonio ran head first into a hornet hive. If you could see Antonio’s swollen face in the photo on the trail you would realized his pain. As soon as we reached Alamos he went to the hospital for treatment. A tough day was had by all, but none tougher than Antonio’s attempt to capture the big picture. Jungle one – photographers zip.

View from Above

Mt. Alamos is some 6,500 feet above sea level. It towers 5,000 feet above the town of Álamos. It is another world, wild parrots, dry tropical forest, granite and… Up and down is a day’s effort, it is well worth it. To reach the top it is recommended to start hiking early while it is still dark and cool.
Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos Yesterday – Today

now and then photos of alamos sonora mexico

This is a new section that compares scenes from 2014 to those from 1983 to 1996.
We can see that the trees have grown, the church has painted domes, and new homes can be seen in the background. New and old – past and present, together, is the story
of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

The Alameda Gas Station Now

2014 - Looking northwest from Guadaloupe Hill. Photo: Huberto Enríquez. alamos sonora mexico.

2014 – Looking northwest from Guadaloupe Hill. Photo: Huberto Enríquez

The Alameda Gas Station Then

1995 - Looking northwest from Guadalope Hill. Photo: Anders Tomlinson. alamos sonora mexico

1995 – Looking northwest from Guadalope Hill. Photo: Anders Tomlinson.

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The Plaza Now

2014, looking west from El Mirador at Plaza, alamos sonora mexico. photo by Humberto Enríquez

2014 – looking west from El Mirador. Photo: Humberto Enríquez.

The Plaza Then

1993 Looking west from El Mirador at the church and plaza in alamos, sonora, mexico

1993 – looking west from El Mirador. Photo: Anders Tomlinson.

The shooting angles are close. But at this distance a few feet here and there will back a big difference along with the type of lens used. One goal of Good Morning Álamos, Sonora, Mexico film project is to replicate scenes that have changed from the same vantage point using the same lens, if possible. Big shout-out to Humberto Enríquez our man of the moment in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. Looking at these photos one can also see the difference between 35 mm slide and digital images. But that is another story.

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©2014 Alamos-Sonora-Mexico.com and the respective photographers, all rights reserved.

Álamos Update: 6-7-15

an old mill site just a block from Casa de los Santos, alamos, sonora, mexico.  Horses take care of the mowing.  The photo was taken from the city street with the graceful 'Marrs (Candy family) mansion' in back of the photographer.  It was restored by them in the 50's, built by an 18th century silver baron and ironically, now owned again by the owner of the huge new silver mine which produces more than 100 million annually.   They are from B.C., Canada. photo by jim swickard.  

Just another old world day in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

The sounds of countryside and village blend into a leisurely symphony
The photo is of an old mill site just a block from the Hacienda. Horses take care of the mowing. The photo was taken from the city street with the graceful ‘Marrs (Candy family) mansion’ in back of the photographer. It was restored by them in the 50’s, built by an 18th century silver baron and ironically, now owned again by the owner of the huge new silver mine which produces more than 100 million dollars in silver annually. They are from B.C., Canada. Photo, possibly, by unknown Casa de los Santos guest.

casa de los santos, alamos, sonora mexico. The largest fountain which was originally the sugar mill's 'Mill'.  It had oxen and a stone wheel to crush the sugar cane.  The operation went into bankruptcy in 1710 and we are the second owner's of record.

Listen closely and one may hear the past come alive in their imaginations.

If you are in the moment this could be the center of the universe
This is the largest fountain which was originally the sugar mill’s ‘Mill’. It had oxen and a stone wheel to crush the sugar cane. The operation went into bankruptcy in 1710 and we are the second owner’s of record. Photo by local photographer Tomas Escalante.

Mt. Cacharamba (Mayo for 'hole in the ear' due to a hole in one part of the flat topped mountain).  All of the original Spanish mines are below it and slightly to the left.  Coronado was within 10 miles of it in about 1540, however it was not found until about 150 years later. photo by Jim Swickard, Casa de los Santos, Alamos, sonora, mexico

A landmark of another era and today and tomorrow.

Miners and merchants came from around the world in search of silver
I took this photo from my T206H airplane a few years ago and it’s a view of Mt. Cacharamba (Mayo for ‘hole in the ear’ due to a hole in one part of the flat topped mountain). All of the original Spanish mines are below it and slightly to the left. Coronado was within 10 miles of it in about 1540, however it was not found until about 150 years later. It’s visible from a hill top a block from the Hacienda. Photo by Jim Swickard.

Macohayui mission,  circa 1610, outside of alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by jim swickard.

Macoyahui mission, early 1600’s, built by Mayo Indians with master mason’s guidance.

Off the beaten path
I ventured up to the Macohayui mission two weeks ago for the first time.  I have flown over it more than a dozen times.  Visiting the mission was a real treat and visiting with a man gathering firewood added to the experience.  There’s a home very near the mission which impressed me greatly and I should have taken pictures.  According to the man it dates to the missions beginning which makes the home over 400 years. It’s in good condition, considering, however won’t be for long since the owner died last year and no subsequent generation to live there.  I plan to return.

As the crow flies the mission is only about 15 miles from Álamos.  Due to its location on the west bank of the Mayo River one has to drive about 40 miles to get to it. If the river is at its lowest of the year one can get there nearly direct but there are are dozens of turns on a goat trail and it’s really necessary to make one trip from the north to know where its located. Photo by Jim Swickard

Summer 2015 Casa de los Santos Update

The hurricane is missing us by more than two hundred miles, however we are hoping for some rain. It’s the pre-monsoon season here and a little overcast today which I prefer for walking Cholula our ‘Puggle’. Election day in Mexico, with the required ‘dry’ weekend, so the village is uncannily quiet, however they will make up for it next weekend. ( The PRI party won both the gubanatorial seat and locally the same. It’s beautiful here today since we had our first monsoonal rain last night, 6-7-15.  With any luck more rain this evening. )

The Hacienda goes back into a construction mode in July with some remodeling work on the sugar mill property to create a true, and long awaited, gift shop adjacent to the Cafe Agave. A new Spa will be ready to open in the Fall and the present spa. We hope to have three totally new Master Suites for next season, plus two inner connecting Hacienda Guest Rooms for families. Our total room and suite count will be 32 for next season. We will have some exciting news this summer about some international recognition for Hacienda de los Santos… Jim Swickard

To see it as it is today visit Hacienda de los Santos Resort and Spa.

To see the Hacienda in 1993

Álamos residents share Álamos Today in words and photos.

Bishop Reyes Cathedral

Bishop Reyes’ Cathedral takes up the entire southern side of the Plaza de las Armas in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. 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.
Photos and editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music from “Camino Songs” by SonicAtomics.

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©2015 Jim Swickard, Casa de los Santos and Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos 1900 – 1949

This page is under construction

The 1900’s started out with revolution and assassinations.
Álamos was in the middle of it all. The railroad came in 1908 and left in 1931.

portales in Álamos, Sonora, mexico plaza.  photo by anders tomlinson

The early 1900’s would be troubled times in the Plaza.

The Sud Pacifico de Mexico plans to extend its rail line south of Guaymas.

1905 – 06
The Richardson Construction Company invest in 650,000 acres south of the ¥aqui river for agricultural and irrigation development.

1905 -06
John Hays Hammond, associated with the Richardson Company and Boer war hero, is given permission from President Dias dictatorial government for developing and reopening Aduana mines in the Álamos District. He operates the Promontorio and Minas Nuevas mines. He built a smelter near Navajoa and invested heavily in mining equipment. The wealthy have reached a peak of prosperity.

Worker unrest escalates with a strike at the consolidated Copper mines at Cananea.

May, railroad reaches Navajoa.

Railroad from Navajoa reaches Álamos.

Area population estimates included Álamos 3,000 plus, Aduana 1,000 plus, Navajoa 1,000 plus, Promontorios 1,000, Minas Nuevas 1,000 and Camoa 1,000.

Humboldt noted in his records that he “passed a train of over one thousand mules loaded with bars of silver from the Aduana mines on their way to the City of Mexico.”

Report on the Alamos – Promonitos District mines in the Mining and Scientific Press.

One of the Aduana mines reaches a depth of 1500 feet.

January, Francisco Madero,leader of the Reform Movement, arrives in Álamos. Benjamin Hill is a leader in the Reform Movement. The Aduana mines shut down because of the Madero revolution. The rise in quick silvers prices, used in the reduction process, also made mining unprofitable. Álamos Perfecto Francisco A. Salido denied Madero the ability to speak in a public area. Don Miquel Urres invites Madero into his home to meet with powerful Álamos residents.

Minas Nuevas mines are taken over by Amos J. Yaeger. Later, he would shut the mine down and sell mine machinery and smelter for scrap.

Northern and central towns are under attack by Maderistas. Benjamin Hill captures Navajoa. He begins to move on Álamos but is ordered to stop and repair telegraph and railway lines damaged in battle.

November, Madero becomes Mexico’s president.

Early, Pascual Orozco, in Chihuahua turns against Madero, is former ally. Soon Orozco, and an army of 1400 soldiers, crosses into Sonora.

August 21, an Orozquistas column reaches Álamos which is defended by 650 federal and national guard troops. Álamos defenders attacked the Orozquistas outside of town at La Aurora.

August 22, 10 a.m., the Orozquistas retreat from La Aurora. Fighting continues through the day and the Orozquistas leave supplies and over 100 dead men on the ground. The Orozquistas had stopped earlier at Hacienda de Cedros and Rancho de la Uvalama where they had indulged in aguardiente – tequila?, which they had taken with them as they approached Álamos.

President Madero is assassinated. General Victoriano Huerta becomes President. Sonora revolts against Huerta led by Alvaro Obregon, Plutarco Elias Calles, Adolfo de la Huerta and Venustiano Carranza. All four of these men, three from Sonora and Carranza from Coahuila, would become Mexican presidents. Álamos sides with Huerta. Sonora, Chihuahua and Coahuila states take up arms against Huerta.

April, Benjamin Hill occupies Álamos as the Huertistas surrender. He takes money from wealthy Álamos citizens and captured Huertistas to support his troops in Sinaloa and repair damaged rail lines.
he forced the poor to take down the sandbag barricades in Álamos and return the sand to the surrounding arroyos.

August, Carranza becomes head of government.

General Pancho Villa, and thousands of his troops, fought against Carranza in southern Mexico. Carranza’s troops won several battles and Villa headed north into Sonora. Villa forces lived off the land and terrorized all who they came across. Mines and ranchos were abandoned.

April 8, Maria de los Angeles Felix Guerrean, the famous actress, was born in Álamos. These were turbulent times for the region. Yaquis and Mayos were joining forces with Obregon and Villa’s armies. Venustiano Carranza became the third Mexican President in two years.

1914 – 15
Wars between Sonoran Governor Maytorena and his military leaders. Well armed and trained Yaquis and Mayos Indians join Obregon and Villa’s armies who sided with Maytorena.

Pancho Villa is entrenched in southern Sonora.

May 12, 500 Pancho Villaistas attack Álamos. Major Felix Mendoza has 30 troops and 50 citizens to defend Álamos against Villa’s troops. The five hour battle is waged in the plaza and on Loma de Guadalupe. 25% of Mendoza’s troops are dead or wounded. He orders the survivors to surrender and he himself commits suicide.

April, General Angel Flores’ Expeditionary Force of Sinaloa regains Álamos in a month.

September, the Constitutionalists control southern Sonora. Villa returns to Chihuahua.

Indian uprisings create ghost towns in Sonora. Álamos old families remain in ancestral homes.

The United States sends the American Punitive Expedition into Mexico after Pancho Villa and his troops had entered New Mexico.

Yaguis and Mayos felt they had not be given benefits that had been promised them go on the rampage throughout Sonora. Farmers, ranchers, towns and villages were attacked. Baroyeca becomes a ghost town.

September, Obregon becomes Mexico’s president. Recovery from wars begins. Renegade soldiers, bandits, Yaquis and Mayos continue raiding, plundering and killings.

1920 – 30’s
Sonora re-establishes schools, roads and farming.
Life in Álamos stabilizes. It is now a small mexican town forgotten by many and home to old families. Mansions, neglected by war and neglect, turn to ruins. But Álamos does not become a ghost town.

Maria de los Angeles Felix Guerrean’s family lived in Álamos until they left for Guadalajara. Soon Maria Felix’s beauty would be nationally recognized.

Last Yaqui uprising ends in total defeat for the Yaquis, they have lived in peace with the “Yoris” since then.

One train a week from Navajoa to Álamos.

Planning begins on the Mexican link of the International Highway.
Some thought the highway may follow the old El Camino Real through Álamos to El Fuerte and south. Eventually it is routed through Navajoa and south bypassing Álamos, which is to the east.

Railroad from Navajoa to Álamos disbanded. Traffic to Álamos was on an old narrow dirt road

amos j. yaeger grave in minas nuevas, sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Amos J. Yaeger grave in Minas Nuevas.

Amos J. Yaeger dies at the age of 59.

Álamos city has an estimated population of 1,000.

500,000 hectares of public lands, “ejidos” are allotted to the Yaquis.

The Álamos region had a population of 5,369 men and 4,848 women older than six years.

ruin of the house where actress maria felix was born in 1914.  alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Ruins, like this birhtplace of Maria Felix, are bought and sold.

William Levant Alcorn, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer, arrives in Álamos and bought the Almada mansion on Plaza de Armas and restored it as the Hotel Los Portales. Alcorn helped publicize Álamos and had a successful real estate business buying and selling ruins and property.

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♦ Other Álamos, Sonora Mexico timelines:

1500 – 1599 timeline

1600 – 1699 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

1850 – 1899 timeline

1900 – 1949 timeline

Geologic timeline

History videos

Álamos population history

La Aduana mining 1910

Conquistadors, silver and gold

Álamos and Horses

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©2015 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos History Directory

alamos, sonora, mexico seen from atop sierra de alamos.  spring 1996.  photo by anders tomlinson

Álamos and surroundings seen from the Sierra de Álamos, spring 1996.

Take a Walk Back in Time
Álamos, Sonora, Mexico was a stepping stone along the El Camino Real. Álamos played a significant role in the settling of the southwest, including San Francisco, Monterey, Los Angeles, southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

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Here are pages related to Álamos events and occurrences through history:

1500 – 1599 timeline

1600 – 1699 timeline

1700 – 1799 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

1850 – 1899 timeline

Geologic timeline

History videos

Álamos population history

Sonora Population history

La Aduana mining 1910

Conquistadors, silver and gold

Álamos and Horses

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This is a work in progress.

An introduction to a Short History of Alamos, 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 Alamos” written, filmed and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Narrated by Bruce Miles. Soundtrack by SonicAtomics and Estudiantina de Alamos.

Alamos shares a strong maternal bond, steeped in history, with all the Southwest.
Juan Batista de Anza arrived and departed from Alamos 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 Alamos to settle Los Angeles.

The conclusion to a Short History of Alamos, 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 Alamos experience.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

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©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos Palacio

06… Friends, and morning sun, converge outside the Palacio Municipal…

The Federal, State and Municipal government offices are all here.

This busy building has a large open courtyard and stage that are used for public political
and cultural events. Theater presentations, dances and concerts are common.
The Palacio was built of brick and stone around 1899 in the style of medieval Spanish
fortresses. A semicircular arch is a central axis gateway opening into a large
courtyard surrounded by offices on three sides.

The opposition party leader walks to his seat on stage during the State of the City address.

Dr. M. Alfonso Valenzuela Salido addresses a half full Palacio with what his administration
has done, is doing and plans to do. Meanwhile, around town people go about their business
making Álamos what Álamos is. Here is a list of Presidentes from 1937 to the present:

2012-2015… Ing. José Benjamín Anaya Rosas
2009-2012… Dr. Joaquín Navarro Quijada
2006-2009… Lic. Ruth Acuña Rascón
2003-2006… Ing. David Corral Valenzuela
2000-2003… Prof. José de Jesús Carballo Mendívil
Dr. Humberto Arana Murillo
1994-1997… Dr. Alfonso Valenzuela Salido
1991-1994… Dr. Baldomero Corral Valenzuela
1988-1991… Prof. Enrique Ibarra Álvarez 
1985-1988… Sr. Manuel Ruiz Arzaga
1982-1985… Sr. Humberto Franco Terán
1979-1982… Prof. Darío Villarreal Valenzuela
1976-1979… Prof. José Jesús Gil Vega
1973-1976… Sr. José Reyes Amarillas
1970-1973… Sr. Rosendo Venegas Reyes
1967-1970… Sr. Baldomero Corral Álvarez
1964-1967… Sr. Diódoro Valenzuela Piña
1961-1964… Sr. Lauro Franco Franco
1958-1961… Sr. Marcelino Valenzuela Bustillos
1955-1958… Sr. Maximiliano Couvillier Atondo
1952-1955… Sr. Raymundo M. Robles
1949-1952… Sr. Martín B. Salido
1946-1949… Sr. Marcelino Valenzuela
1943-1946… Sr. Juan de Dios Urrea
1941-1943… Sr. Leopoldo Acosta
1939-1941… Sr. Carlos G. García
1937-1939… Sr. José María Palomares

president addresses public in the palacio, alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

El Presidente presents his state of Álamos speech.

Dr. Joaquin Navarro Quijada is the man walking across the stage. He lost a bitterly contested election in 1994 with Dr. M. Alfonso Valenzuela Salido. The Palacio was shut down for weeks by protesters. Eventually, Joaquin was given his own office in the Palacio and municipal life went on as normal. In 2009 he was elected Presidente Muncipal. Perseverance is a virtue.
To see more of what the local government is doing visit Municipio de Alamos, Sonora

palacio municipal of alamos, sonora, mexico is decked out in bunting celebrating independance day.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Patriotic bunting adorns the Palacio for Independence day celebrations.

September 16 is Mexico’s Day of Independence. Government officials will speak from the Palacio’s balcony at night as fireworks go off around town in celebration. The long day begins with a parade through Centro Álamos that ends with a large public gathering in the Plaza. The bunting’s green symbolizes Independence, the white symbolizes religion and the red symbolizes union.
To see more visit Day of Independence Parade

A Magical moment in a Magical Pueblo.  Photo:Joel Gasteum

A magical moment in a Pueblo Magical. photo-Joel Gastélum

The photo above is from the closing ceremony at the Palacio.  The theme of the festival was “100 years of Maria Felix” and Miguel Castillo is singing “Maria Bonita” with Maria Felix’s eyes projected onto the screen behind him.  After he finished singing we played the movie “Yerba Mala” which was filmed in Alamos two years ago.  There were 700 seats filled in the Palacio for the closing ceremony.

palacio, alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Keeping the Palacio clean is a job for many.

People come and go throughout the day conducting business and dealing with all issues a local government faces. And the Palacio is a community center for events throughout the year. This is the official Álamos heartbeat that is kept alive by all people that are Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

The prime venue for the Álamos Film Festival is the Palacio.

In the hearts of many, Alamos is the center of the universe.
Independence day starts early in the morning with a municipal parade through the town’s colonial center. Alamos school kids, the first high school in the Californias started here, and the entire city government take part. In 2010 the students added their own uniformed marching band to the parade. From children to government, Alamos continues.

Alamos shares a strong maternal bond, steeped in history, with all the Southwest.
Juan Batista de Anza departed Alamos in September 1775 with silver, and local families, to settle “Monterey and the Californias”, including San francisco, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos 1850 – 1899

The 1800’s were turbulent time for Mexico, Sonora and Álamos.
The faded heydays of Álamos silver and trading wealth were in the past.
Confrontation was at the forefront along the northern frontier.

Governor's mansion on Calle Comercio. alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Time marches on as haciendas’ portals and the Cathedral’s belfry stand tall.

Hermosilo connected to the port of Guaymas.

Military colonies and settlements are encouraged on the northern border
to help stop marauding Apaches. Free border land was offered to
Mexicans and anyone else except for Americans and Indians. These plans
were not successful. The government also was offering a bounty for
Apache scalps.

1850 – 1880
Population estimates of 5,000.

December – “Tratado (Treaty) de Mesilla”, the Gadsen purchase was
signed between Mexico and the United States. Sonora was paid ten
million dollars for land including having its northern boundary cut
back to its present border. This allowed the United States to build a
southern transcontinental route.

The Gadsen purchase is ratified by Mexico and The United States.

Charles D. Poston, was shipwrecked in the Gulf of california and
visited Álamos. He would become known as the “Father of Arizona.” He
recalled his visit in an account told to J. Ross Browne: “In about a
week from the time of leaving the seacoast we reached the old city of
Alamos, famous in Spanish times for its wealth and commercial
enterprise. The cathedral is very fine, and yet bears the Royal Arms
of Spain over the grand entrance. The merchants of Alamos used to
import directly from China, and had a large trade with the smaller
towns of Sinola and Sonora, but its principal source of wealth was the
rich silver mines in the spur of the Sierra Madre, which were worked
with great profit when cheap labor could be obtained from the native
Indians under the system of peonage adopted and endorsed by the
Spanish government.”
Álamos seemed like ” a quiet old town” to Mr. Poston.

The Centralist’s reign came to an end with the fall of dictator Santa
Anna. “Church against State” remains a political contention in Álamos.

The school Seminario Angol-Español changed it name to Liceo de Sonora.

1855 – 1861
“The War of Reform” was a civil war against the “Ley (Law) Juarez” and
other reform laws initiated by Benito Juarez and supported by
Liberals, reform party members, that took land and power away from the
church. The reforms were opposed by the Conservatives – church party
members. War took place in across Sonora and into Sinaloa, Álamos was
in the middle of many events. The Conservatives were led by Don Jesus
Gandara. The Liberals were led by general Ignacio Pesqueira
and were attempting to uphold the new f ederal laws.

August – General Pesqueria becomes Sonora’s Governor.

Late in the year Gandara led an southern attack along with the Yaquis
that was met by troops from Álamos. Gandara was defeated and
retreated to the Yaqui river. From here he continued attacks
in the north.

Pesqueria stops in Álamos on his way south to help the Liberals in
Sinola. Pesqueria gives Álamos special authority in case of
emergencies. He also recruits men in Álamos and El Fuerte
to join his cause.

Apaches from the north reached the Álamos district. Haciendas
and villages are left in ruin.

Álamos mayor, Manuel Salazar, bargains a peace treaty with
the Indians and there is an ensuing calm for a short period.

Álamos floods.

Professor Gregorio Almada leaves Liceo de Sonora for Mazatlan
and the school is closed.

August – Conservatives under the command of Don Antonio Esteves
advance from El Fuerte on the El Camino Real and defeat National
Guard troops and armed citizens from Álamos some of whom join the
Conservatives. The conservatives march untested in a welcoming
Álamos. Don Toribio Almada, the 21 year old son of Don Jose Maria
joins up with Don Antonio Esteves, becomes second-in-command, and
vow to defeat Ignacio Pesqueira.

October 15 – Pesquiera defeats Esteves / Alamda in Hermosilo.
Pesquierq and General Placido Vega punish Álamos citizens supporting
the Conservatives. Vincente Almada, a son of Don Jose Maria was put
to death. Toribio Almada escapes to Chihuahua.

Álamos is retaken by Liberal General Plácido Vega.
Governor Pesquiera returns to meet with Vega in Álamos.
Pesquiera felt many Álamos citizens were major supporters
of the Conservatives and he takes their property as punishment.
He has a captured Toribio Almada returned to Álamos to be
executed in the cemetery by firing squad.

1861 – 1862
December – January – French troops land on the coast of Vera Cruz.
Mexico taxes the country to raise money to fight the French.
Most of mexico was against the French invaders but some
Conservatives became French allies. Governor Pesquiera prepares
to defend Sonora from the French by building his National Guard.
He also had to fight the Apaches who were now stronger because
American troops in the southwest were now involved with the
American Civil War.

May – A club is formed in Álamos to raise money for the
federalists to defeat the French. At the same time there
are those with 1mperialistic leanings in support of the French.
News from the south was of interest to all of Álamos.

Apaches reach the edge of Álamos and kill people
and ruin property.

June – Mexico City falls to the French.

Maximilian is made Emperor of Mexico.

Another mint opens in Alamos which produced silver and
gold coins and closed in 1895. (Note, a later statement
contradicts the 1864 date and uses 1861.  1861 probably
is correct since there was a failure of Alamos to report
to Mexico City during the days of Maximillian by most of the
mints in Mexico. (Information from ‘The Mexican Mints of Alamos
and Hermosillo’, by A.F.’Pradeau, 1934)

Early – French troops land in Guaymas.

August 28 – French troops from Guaymas take over the plaza
in Álamos. Colonel Jose Tranquilino Almada was put in command
and had an additional 1500 Yaquis and Mayos join his forces.
Álamos saw an increase in wealth as several mines were operating again
and there was a business boom. But this would not last for long.
During the French reign Sonora was divided into three Imperial
Departments with capitals in Altar, Urea and Álamos.

September 22 – General Antonio Rosales, with less than 500 troops,
leaves El Fuerte to recapture Álamos from the French Imperialists.
Rosales forces met Colonel Almada’s larger force in a three hour
battle on Guadalupe Hill. Rosales and many of his men, possibly a
third, were killed. Rosales was buried in the Álamos cemetery.
His body was later moved to Mexico City.

Emperor Maximilian declares Álamos capital of the department of Álamos.

January 7 – Álamos is attacked by General Angel Martinez.
Colonel Jose Maria Tranquilino Almada leads the Imperialist and
retreats to the plaza where he is defeated and escapes to the mayo
River. Second-in-command Antonio Anselmo Alamda is one of many
Imperialists to die in the battle. General Angel Martinez, a ruthless
veteran of wars, plunders all the precious metals in the church and
wreaks havoc on the town taking what he wanted and leaving little
behind except for strong troops to hold the town.

Don Jose Maria Almada dies. He was married twice and had
at least 31 children.

May 31 – Colonel Almada attacks Colonel Adolfo Palecio troops
in Minas Nueva. Colonel Almada is defeated.

August 28 – After holding Álamos for a couple of weeks
Colonel Almada is forced to abandon city by Colonel Adolfo Palecio.

September 14 -15 – The French garrison on Guaymas is abandoned after
several defeats in central Sonora. Governor Ignacio Pesqueira, low on
money, Indians and enemies on the attack and floods, now had to
attempt to unify Sonora.

September – Sonora returns to the republic of Mexico.

February – French troops leave Mexico.

June – Emperor Maximilian is executed.

July – Mexico is again independent. President Juarez returns
to mass celebrations in Mexico City.

October – 50 people died and over 100 homes in the Alameda
section were destroyed by floods at daybreak. All of southern
Sonora were effected by the Yaqui, Mayo and El Fuerte rivers
overflowing their banks.
(There are other accounts that indicate the flood was in 1868.)

1870’s – 1880’s
Yaqui Cajeme, ( Jose Maria Leyva), leads Indian raids and highway robberies.

“Plan de la Noria” proclaimers occupy Álamos. They were opposed to
President Juarez and favored Porfirio Diaz. They collected $45,000
peso and recruited troops to join them as they headed north.
They would lose.

Early – Governor Pesqueira’s troops visit Álamos enroute to
Sinoloa. As most advancing forces did, whether headed north or
south, Pesqueira demanded, and received money to fund his campaign,
in this case he withheld funds intended for Álamos.

Ignacio Pesqueira is reelected Governor of Sonora. álamos, which
for the most part did not like Ignacio Pesqueira stage civil
unrest – “the Plan of the Promontorios”.

1872 – 1873
There are hostilities between Sonoran legislative and executive
branches over the new state constitution. Álamos District
has many citizens opposed to Governor Pesqueira.

November – Carlos Conant, leading the “the Plan of the Promontorios”,
with 400 men and opposed to Governor Pesqueira, takes over Álamos.
He receives $36,000 pesos from local merchants. He creates problems
Sonora for couple of months.

Álamos leads Independents in revolt against Pesqueira.

Colonel Jose J. Pesqueira, nephew of Don Ignacio, was elected
Governor of Sonora in a controversial election where ballots from
districts that voted against Pesqueira were discarded by the
legislature. Several areas of the state, along with Álamos,
revolted and a civil war started.

February 8 – Governor Jose Pesqueira occupies Álamos. He demands
$72,000 pesos and creates harsh laws and demanded loans from wealthy
citizens, loans he had no intention of repaying. Many citizens fled
for safety in Sinaloa. Pesqueira jailed people who did not obey his
wishes. Travel in and out of Álamos now required passports. People
were upset and rebelled.

March 1 – The Federal government had General Vicente Mariscal land
troops in Guaymas to restore order. He arrived in Álamos to confer
with Governor Jose Pesqueira in the Plaza de las Armas. Pesqueira
left Álamos on March first and returns to Hermosillo.

April – More controversy in the Sonora legislature: Governor
Mariscal and Vice-Governor Francisco Serna are in opposition
to each other. each has their own factions.

February – Francisco Serna, in opposition to Mariscal, invades and
controls Álamos. Serna, while in Álamos, is declared Governor by
his faction in the legislature. Mariscal, deciding against more
civil war in Sonora leaves Hermosillo before Serna returns.

Primary education became compulsory where schools existed.

Mayos are on the attack. They are joined by Yaquis.
Navajo is deserted with many leaving for protection in Álamos.
Navajo is now a military outpost. The National Guard
arrived to fortify Navajoa.

There was a major battle outside Navjoa at nearby Rancho Capetmaya.
The battle was a stalement with the Indians retreating to the hills
and rivers and the National Guard seeking protection in Álamos and
surrounding towns.

Railway connects Nogales with Guaymas. The State of Sonora is
raising money to benefit public education.

Álamos is preparing for Indian attacks. Álamos merchants
ask that more federal troops be stationed in
Navajoa for protection.

13 mining firms are operating 15 mines which employ 750 workers.
Many old mines are shut down and others are in bad repair.

1885 – 1886
Cajeme leads 3,000 to 4,000 Yaquis and Mayo warriors.

Telegraph is connected to Álamos. A new city jail is built on
Loma de Guadalupe and the Plaza de las Armas is renovated.

April – Cajeme is captured and executed.

A hospital for the poor is donated to Álamos by Justina Almada de
Urrea. It will continue to operate until 1946.

Sonora is improving mining and agricultural districts roads.
Estacion Baramotal near Guaymas is connected by stage line
to Álamos and the old stage line from Álamos to El Fuerte.

Vice- Governor Ramon Corral, born in the Álamos district, comes
to Álamos for a monthand appoints a public education committee
of 15 and provides provide state money for Álamos public education.

December – Governor Ramon Corral attends the opening of the
new Álamos water system. The city now has access
to running water.

Early May – A peace settlement between The Indians and
non-Indians was negotiated and agreed to. The peace treaty
signing was a festive event.

The peace settlement between Indians and “Yoris”, whites,
was broken by the Yaquis. Mexico’s President Diaz had federal
troops push back at the Indians to allow the State of Sonora to function with more peaceful times. Yaguis villages were burned
and the federal troops kept pressure on the Yaguis and drove
many across the border into Arizona. less fortunate Yaguis
were sent to Yucatan slave camps.

More to come…

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Álamos 1800 – 1849

The 1800’s were turbulent time for Mexico, Sonora and Álamos.
The faded heydays of Álamos silver and trading wealth were in the
past. Confrontation was at the forefront along the northern frontier.

Columns and window details, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson

End of day’s sun illuminates a classical column of another time and land.

2000 silver bars serve as remittance to Mexico.
Population estimate 9,000.

Mexican colonists becoming dissatisfied with Spaniards.

In the early 1800’s mines in La Aduana were reaching the
depth of the water table.

Father Camilo Sanmartin, (San Martin?), finishes church.
He is paid 40,000 pesos for his efforts. Another account
states the church was finished in 1804 under the reign
of Charles the Fourth.

Yaquis resume plundering raids on the Spanish.
Opatas, Seris, Apaches and Pimas over the coming years
would also advance in the central and northern districts
as Spanish troops were moved to head off the
battle of Independence.

Famed German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt
visits the area of Álamos and La Aduana mines.

Population estimate is 7,900 inhabitants.

September 15 – Miguel Hildago y Castilla gives his nighttime
“Grito de Delores”, (Cry of Freedom), and the quest for Mexican
independence begins. Most of the Sonora, assuming this includes
Álamos, were in favor of Imperialists and Spain. During the next 11
years Sonorans, for the most part, stayed out of the war. During this
time they were fighting local Indians.

Heavy war tax on quicksilver, used in mining, increases from
80 – 90 to 240 pesos.

9-27-1821 – General Agustin de Iturbide, Spanish rule ends
and Mexico becomes an independent nation.

Sinaloa and Sonora remain together in the early years
of Mexico.

Sinaloa and Sonora are offically joined in the new
constitution of Estado Interno de Occidente.

Juan Banderas, (Juan Jusacamea), leads Mayo and Yaquis
revolt. Indian prisoners are put to death in Álamos.

population estimate of 5,000 – 7,000.

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

Civilization mature and expand with the introduction of printing presses.

Indians sue for peace. The Sonoran governor agreed to forgive and
forget. He had little choice fearing civil unrest and faced with
diminishing funds.

Álamos is declared capital of Estado del Occidente,
a newly created state.

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.

Governor Jose Maria Gaxiola makes Álamos his official residence.

1828 – 1829
Don Jose Maria Almada, owner of Quinterra and Balbanera mines in La
Aduana, is off-and-on Provisional Vice – Governor. he and his brothers
also own many haciendas in Álamos which remains the wealthiest town
north of Guadalajara.

The first mint in Alamos was established by D. Leonardo Santoyo, with
a concession or grant, obtained from the federal government,
permitting him to coin only copper coins.  Coinage was produced
only in 1828 and 1829 since the copper coins were not accepted
by the people. (Information from ‘The Mexican Mints of Alamos
and Hermosillo’, by A.F.’Pradeau, 1934)

March 15 – A separation decree reconstitutes and Sonora
as separate states.

Álamos incorporated into Sonora. The citizens of Álamos voted in
favor of joining Sonora and the Federal Congress agreed.

Yaquis revolt again. Their goal is to drive the “Yori”, (whites), out.

Petty civil wars involve Jose Urrea – Federalist and governor of the
State: favored self government by the states. Manual Maria Gandara –
Centralist and Commandante General favored states become departments
of federal government. Centralists were the church’s party of choice.

General Urrea enters Álamos with 700 men and demands 50,000 pesos.

Capilla De Zapopan is built on Calle Hidalgo by Don Ignacio Almada
y Alvarado for Doña Juana Mallen.

1846 – 1848
Mexican – American war. It is a time of more taxes, disrupted
business and Álamos men called into the army.

Beisbol was introduced to Mexico in 1847 by American soldiers
during the Mexican War. Americans overseeing railroad construction
also encouraged Mexican workers laying track to play beisbol.

Álamos is selected as one of two places to have primary and
secondary education. Professor Gregorio Almada, European
educated, was the founder and director. The school was first
named Seminario Angol-Español.

January 15 – Disastrous battle. Álamos troops pursue Apaches.
Álamos, Ures, and Hermosilo are each taxed 7,000 pesos.

Population estimate 4,000 – 4,300. Trade has shifted from the
El Camino Real to the ocean ports.

1849 – 1851
Severe cholera outbreak. Hundreds die and hundreds leave town.

The 1800’s continue with the 1850 – 1899 timeline

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Álamos 1700 – 1799

An A stands for Alamada over a gate on Calle comercio, in alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

An “A” for Almada over a gate on Calle Comercio.

Camino Real extended out of Culíacan through foothills, northward
through El Fuerte and Álamos

Quinterra mine opens up in La Aduana. There is also a reference to
Almada but I do not understand the connection.

March 14 – Álamos is no longer part of Nueva Viscaya and is now part of
the Sinaloa and Sonora province.

Don Pedro Gabriel de Aragon becomes Parish Priest – reconstructed old
church, La Purisma Concepcion

Inventory of sacred vessels and religious objects in church is done by
visiting Bishop Martin de Elizacochea Dorre Echeverria.

July 1736 – Juan Bautista de Anza was born, more likely at Cuquiarachi,
Sonora, Mexico, to Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Maria Rosa
Bezerra Nieto of Fronteras, Sonora, Mexico. He was their youngest son
and grandson of Antonio de Anza, a pharmacist, and Lucia de Sassoeta
of Hernani, Guipuzcoa, Spain. He was also the grandson of Captain
Antonio Bezerra Nieto and Gregoria Gómez de Silva of Janos, Chihuahua,
Mexico. His father, Juan Bautista de Anza, senior, was killed by
Apaches on May 9, 1740, when he was not quite three years of age.

War between Spaniards and Yaquis and Mayos

Fiesta of Nuestra Senora de Balvanere in La Aduana.
This celebration begins with Indians seeing a maiden on top of a tall
cactus. The Indians rolled rocks to the foot of the cactus but the
maiden had disappeared. They then noticed a silver outcropping where
one of the rocks had been. The Indians believed this young beautiful
maiden had shown them that there was silver here. A church was built
on this site and cactus grew out of a wall ten to twelve feet above
the ground.

The Bishop of Nueva Vizcaya, in 1737, changed the celebration date from
September 8th to November 21 so pilgrims from Álamos could use the
arroyos to go to La Aduana and avoid the summer floods.

Calixto Muni, Yaqu leaders burned Camoa, Baroyeca. Took Spanish women
and children as captives. 6,000 strong Indians advanced on Álamos.
Miners hold them off.

Spanish reinforcements arrive, 3,000 Yaquis and Mayos die on the
Hill of Bones

1741 – 1744

Devastating three year drought.  People and indians reduced to eating
roots and roasted maguey plants.

( It is possible these two references to drought could be actually
describing the same event. History has a way of slipping one way and another.

1748 – 1749
King Charles III of Spain responded to the disaster by sending
Inspector General of the Interior Don Jose Rodriques Gallardo reports
that Álamos has no jail, Municipal buildings or squares. Orders given
to layout streets, align houses and build a jail. A new Alamos street-
grid was designed with houses that had adjoining walls to keep
squatters out of Centro Álamos.

( There is some confusion about these dates. Did Gallardo arrive in response
to the plague in Álamos or before? )

Jesuit Juan Jacobo Baegert wrote “in poplar trees I’ve seen women
dressed in Golden Velvet”

6,000 die in Álamos from a series of plagues.
Another account states a plague of smallpox and measles which
caused the death of 8,000 Indians and Mestizos

Bishop of Durango, Tamaron y Romeral, visits Álamos and observes that
Álamos maybe more important than Culíacan in Nueva Viscaya.
He wrote, ” It is a parish with a clergyman and vicar… there are
usually five or six priests in residence as aids to the rector. In
this real there are many good silver mines, and their principle
workings are two leagues distant, in a place called la aduana… it
has 800 families and 3400 people.”

Antonio Almada y Reyes is born in Leon Spain.

Don Pedro de Aragon requested in writing, from Álamos, that a presido
be built near the Yaqui to hinder the Apaches, Seris and Lower Pimas
who were resisting the northward bound Spaniards.

End of jesuit era after sustaining missions for a span of 150 years

July- Jesuits, guarded by 50 soldiers, pass through Álamos on their way
to the port of Guaymas.

La Alameda, today’s business district, laid out. Old houses were torn
down to make room for a poplar tree lined promenade.

Royal Treasury is established in Álamos. Inspector Don Jose de Galvez
remained in Álamos and managed the public finances, sooth
relationships with disgruntled Indians, and remodeled missions. He
would later become the Marquis of Sonora.

A flood wiped out much of the newly constructed Alameda

January 8, 1774 – Juan Bautista de Anza leaves Tubac Presidio, south of
present-day Tucson, Arizona. His expedition had 3 padres, 20 soldiers,
11 servants, 35 mules, 65 cattle, and 140 horses.

January – de Anza, in Mexico City, begins to organize his expedition
to colonize San Francisco.

March – de Anza begins recruiting colonizers in Culíacan, Province of
Sinaloa, Mexico.

April 5 – de Anza is recorded as being in Culíacan

March, April, May – de Anza continued recruiting in the villages of
Sinaloa and El Fuerte in the Province of Sinaloa, and Álamos, in
Sonora. 30 citizens from Álamos, more than any other community, had
joined the expedition, now more than 250 soldiers and colonizers.

( Here is a comment from Joan Powell )

“From my research, I see that Anza was in Alamos for some period in
May 1775, but it appears that the only Alamos citizens joining the
1775 expedition are Vicente Feliz, his wife and 6 children. A couple
of other sources mention 1 or two other members who may be from
Alamos, but I haven’t found any Calif. mission records or Alamos
baptismal records to support those claims. Alamos was important as the
place Anza got funds, supplies, and had to report his accounting of
costs and expenses to.

The Rivera Expedition in 1781 had a much larger Alamos contingent. I
haven’t added them up, but 30 seems like about the right number.

Also, FYI, apparently he referred to himself as “Anza”, not “de Anza” (
when the Anza Nat’l park guy was here in Alamos a couple of years ago
he told us this bit of info. )”

May 1 – de Anza is in El Fuerte.

May 13 – de Anza, Espinosa and six presidial soldiers meet up with
Moraga between Álamos and Horcasitas.

June 22 – de Anza in San Miguel de Horcasitas

July 22 – September 13 – diary notes indicate de Anza was in San Miguel
de Horcasitas, Terrenate, Cocóspera, Mission San Ignacio… During
this period of time the Apaches were restless.

September 29 – de Anza’s expedition leaves Horcasitas, just north of
Alamos. From Pedro Font’s diary notes.

October 16 – de Anza arrives in Tubac from Horcasitas in mid-and
continues preparations there

October 23 – de Anza’s expedition left Tubac on with some 300 people
and 1000 head of livestock. There were no wagons or carts. All
supplies were loaded on pack mules every morning and unloaded every
night. The expedition was headed to the SF Bay Area following reports
of a great river flowing into the bay.The goal was to establish a
presido, mission and San Franciso settlement.

March – de Anza arrived in Monterey, California.

March 28 – Mexican Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, Lt. Jose Moraga, and
Franciscan priest Pedro Font arrived at the tip of San Francisco. De
Anza planted a cross at what is now Fort Point. They camped at
Mountain Lake and searched inland for a more hospitable area and found
a site they called Laguna de los Dolores or the Friday of Sorrows
since the day was Friday before Palm Sunday.

Álamos is at its peak in terms of population and wealth. The mid 1700s
was an era of mansions being built and furnished with the world’s
finest items. Philippine galleons brought rich silver and the best of
the Orient. The silver mines were exporting silver bars and the
wealthy business community was importing the best Europe had to offer.
During this period Father Baegert wrote, ” even during times of
fasting, and when they come to us in confession… such finery among
the women as I scarcely ever saw in Mexico… For with astonishment
and pity I have seen many a woman dressed in velvet cloth of gold.”

Pope Pius V1- looking for info. (I believe it relates to the new Bishop)
Also, in 1780 Pope Pius VI verbally and quietly approved of the
Jesuits’ existence.

King Carlos 111 orders a new Bishopric for Sonora, Sinaloa and the
Californias. This order separated these provinces from the Nueva
Viscaya provinces.

February – Ramoñ Laso de la Vega comes to Álamos to recruit settlers
for Los Angeles. He will leave with 11 settler and 17 soldier
families. Several of the soldiers were married in Álamos. Ramoñ Laso
de la Vega is under the command of Fernando de Rivera y Moncado who
is leading a group of 42 soldiers.

Fernando de Rivera followed the de Anza trail north through Sonora to
Arizona and then west towards Los Angeles. He had kept 30 some men
to stay with the livestock and the rest of the men went with him. He
is killed on this day, along with his men, before reaching the San
Gabriel Mission.

September 4 – Ramoñ Laso de la Vega arrives in Los Angeles. His party
had gone from Álamos to Quaymas and then sailed to Loreto, Baja
California. From there they marched up the Peninsula. The official
record states that 11 families of settlers from Sinaloa and Sonora
along with four soldiers and their families founded Los angeles.
Other accounts record 46 people from Álamos settling Los Angeles.

Franciscan Antonio de los Reyes is the new Bishop and intends
to live in Arispe

Antonio Almada y Reyes arrives in Álamos, His uncle, Don Antonio de
los Reyes is the Bishop of Sonora.

Official records indicate Don Juan Ross was paid $11,250 pesos as
the first contractor on the cathedral that stands today.

history medallion in high school walkway, alamos sonora mexico, photo by anders tomlinson.

A cathedral begins construction, today it still the town’s centerpiece.

What is now La Casa de los Tesoros restaurant and hotel was built
by Fr. Juan Nicolas Queiros. He lived here for 60 years.

Jose Maria is born to Antonio Almada y Reyes.

Frey de los Reyes starts to build a new church and the first
public school in Sonora.

Cemetery opens

Royal Treasury is established in Álamos. It is the largest
producer of silver bars in all of Spain

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1800 – 1849 timeline

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Álamos 1600 – 1699

sunset and cerra cacharamba, alamos sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Cerra Cacharamba towers over a land rich with silver.

Captain Diego Martinez de Hurtaide and his Spanish soldiers venture
into Mayo lands. He and the Mayo agree to a military alliance against
the Yaquis and any other waring Indians. The Mayos and Yaquis
did not get along.

Defeat of Yaqui, peace to all in Cáhita land.

1613 – 1614
Jesuits enter Mayo territory. 1614 – Padre Pedro Méndez leads a group
of missionary priest into Mayo lands. It is thought that the Indians
believed having the priests on their land would protect them from the
diseases that were killing off the indigenous populations.

1613 – 1620
Missions are established around Álamos in southern Sonora.

First Yaqui missions. The Yaqui were converted by Fathers Andrés Pérez
de Ribas and Tomas Basilio. In spite of suffering from uprisings,
revolts, torment and murder the conversion of Sonora was faster and
more entrenched. For the seventeenth century the jesuits expanded and
founded the mission of Yecora Maycoba and in the southwestern part of
what were known as Chinipas.
(Father Andrés Pérez de Ribas wrote a book ” History of Our Holy Faith Amongst
the Most Barbarous and Fierce Peoples of the World.”

Padre Miguel Godinez founded the missions of San Andrés of
Cornicari and Asunción de Tepahui.

Father Juan Ortiz Zapata with 30 Spaniards – Piedras Verde mining camp

1682 – 1821
Spanish Colonial period.

La Aduana silver. Promotories “La Europa” – Almada. There was already
mining in the region, Real de Minas de Nuestra Se´nora de Guadalupe,
15 miles northwest of Álamos on the Río Mayo between Conicarit and el
Tabelo. Spanish troups protected the miners and the plan was for this
to be the town for both the La Aduana and Conicarit mines. The
reasoning was it would easier to protect one town than two. Miners
would learn the La Aduana mines were richer so many moved to what
would become present day Álamos and settled between the Arroyos Aduana
and Escondida. These miners were fined by the Spanish givernment
because they had disobeyed orders not to move to Álamos.

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

Alamos has become an official city as western colonization expands.

Álamos begins to grow in size.

1685 – 1686
May 1985 to August, 1686 – Bachiller y Licenciado Pedro de Barcelon was
acting curé. He would continue to serve as an assistant to the
priest. In those days a priest was responsible for both civil and
religious administration.

08-28-1686 – First recorded date and entry in the Parochial Register by
Father Francisco de Carissa, the first Álamos parish priest, reads
“Book in which are entered the Baptisms, Burials and Marriages started
by me on the 28th of August, 1686.”

10-22-1687 – Second recorded entry, Father Carissa writes that his
headquarters have moved to Álamos of the declining population in Real
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

February – Father Kino stops in Álamos for two days Alamos to raise
money for new mission construction in Sonora and the Californias
missions. He successfully established a chain of mission in northern
Sonora and southern Arizona, no doubt with the help of Álamos silver.
On his first visit he wrote, Wealthy gentlemen and merchants are
building at the scene of the rush a real, or mining town, with casas
reales, church and residents ranged around the plaza.”

Tarahumare Indians revolt. Álamos becomes headquarters of Spanish
operations against Indians.

General Andrés de Rezábal with Spanish soldiers, Mayo and Zuaqui
Indians end the Tarahumare uprising.

General Andrés de Rezábal has a watchtower built on “Cerro de la
Compana” – Bell Hill. If Álamos was threatened by Indians a bell
would be rung to warn the town.

Assay office established. Headquarters for long pack trains, as many
as 1000 mules, hauling silver bars to Mexico city two to four times a
year depending on weather.

Real de Guadalupe is seat of all civil – military authority.

First assayer was Spanish Juan Salvador Esquer.
( This is marginal information )

Base for Military operations in the Tarahumara rebellion.

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♦ Other Álamos, Sonora Mexico timelines:

1500 – 1599 timeline

1700 – 1799 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

1850 – 1899 timeline

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This is a work in progress.
If you have additional dates and events send a comment

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home.

©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Álamos 1500 – 1599

pond on sierra de alamos during the summer. alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson

This was then and this is now on Sierra de Álamos.

♦ Before the Europeans

Calimaya, as it was known by the Yaquis and Mayos, was the region
surrounding Álamos. The Yaquis, proud and warlike, and the Mayos,
friendly and peaceful, both spoke Taracahitan language dialects. The
Álamos basin was the land of the Mayo, Warihio and Basiroa. The
Basiroa Indians may have had camps in La Aduana and Agua Escondida
arroyos. There were as many as 115,000 indigenous people in Sonora and
Sinola before the Spanish slave traders arrived. These Indigenous
people, speaking one of 18 Cahita dialects, were the largest Indian
group in Northern Mexico, and lived along the lower reaches of the
Sinaloa, Fuerte, Mayo and Yaqui rivers. The Spanish called these
agriculturalist Indians, spread out across the region in small groups,
“rancheria people”.

♦ The Spanish are Coming, The Spanish are Coming

Diego de Velázquez, governor of Cuba, sends two ships owned by Bizkaian
Lope Ochoa de Salcedo and led by 
Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, the
first European to visit Mexico, to explore the Yucatán peninsula. They
sail along the Yucatán and Gulf of Mexico for six months collecting
gold worth over $20,000 pesos and encounter a wide variety of cultures
and lands proving it is a major land mass and not another island.
Local Indians killed fifty and captured several more Spanish
explorers. Córdoba’s report, on his return to Cuba, makes Governor
Diego de Velásquez decide to have Hernán Cortés command a larger,
stronger force back to Mexico. Cortés, like all early explores, hopes
to discover a route to Asia and its immense riches in spices
and other resources.


February, Cortés sails from Cuba on 11 ships loaded with over 450
soldiers, 16 horses and a large number of supplies. Cortés arrives
in Yucatán and takes control of the town of Tabasco. Here the Spanish
learn of the Aztec empire ruled by Moctezuma II. Dismissing Velasqué
orders, Cortés goes on and founds the city of Veracruz, on the Gulf of
Mexico directly east of Mexico City. Cortés begins his famous march
inward into Mexico, using the strength of his forces to form an
important alliance with the Tlascalans, enemies of the Aztecs.
Cortés’s also traveled with an entourage of 400, including
capture Indians and a woman translator Malinche, who
becomes Cortés’s mistress.

November – Cortés and his men arrive at Tenochtitlán where they are
welcomed as honored guests by Moctezuma and his people due to the
Spaniard’s resemblance to Quetzalcoatl, a legendary light-skinned god-
king whose return was prophesied in Aztec legend. Cortés takes
Moctezuma hostage and controls Tenochtitlán.


August 13: After a bloody series of conflicts–involving the Aztecs, the
Tlascalans and other native allies of the Spaniards, and a Spanish
force sent by Velásquez to contain Cortés – Cortés finally defeats the
forces of Montezuma’s nephew, Cuauhtémoc (who became emperor after his
uncle was killed in 1520) to complete his conquest of Tenochtitlán.
His victory marks the fall of the once-mighty Aztec empire. Cortés
razes the Aztec capital and builds Mexico City on its ruins; it
quickly becomes the premier European center in the New World.

The above entries. 1519 to 1521,  are from A History Timeline of Mexico

Mexico’s Indian population was estimated to be as high as 25 million in
1519 and as low as 4.5 million, most living in the great valley of
Mexico. For more info visit Cambridge Mexico population study,
and in particular Population estimate table

1520 to 1580
Fully 80 percent of the ships making voyages between Europe and
the Americas are either Basque-manned and/or owned by Basque
commercial interests.

The Indian population in Mexico may have been reduced to 16.8 million

December of 1529, Nuno Beltran de Guzman, once a lawyer, led an army of
500 Spanish and 10,000 Tlaxcalans, Aztecs and Tarascans into Sinola.

March of 1531, Guzman defeated 30,000 Indians and founded what is
present day Culíacan. Many that survived were captured and enslaved.
Later, Guzman’s Amerindian army was wiped out by epidemics and hunger.
His was a reign of terror. Spanish colonialization
was approaching Alamos.

Diego de Guzman, nephew of Nuño de Guzman, walks through on well-trod
Indian trails. He was looking for Indian slaves. He may have been the
first European to walk through present day Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. He
went as far north as the Yaqui River before being stopped by hostile
Yaquis. Some accounts mention the Spanish being turned back by an
elderly man in black robes who drew a line in the sand. Others talk
about the vastly outnumbered Spanish turning around to avoid combat
with the hostile Yaquis warriors.

The Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza, begins hearing of
Guzmán’s atrocities in 1931 involving the Indians and, urged on by
Franciscan Father Bartolomé de las Casas and Bishop Zumárraga, he has
Guzmán arrested in 1535. Mendoza returns Guzmán to Spain in 1536
where he dies in obscurity in 1544.

Alavar Nuñez Cabeza de Vasa may have neen the first european to reach
present day Arizona. He too probably walked through Álamos along
Indian trails headed towards Culíacan

Cabeza de Vaca arrives in Mexico City with news of the even Cities
of Cibola and its plentiful gold and silver. Viceroy Don Antonio
de Mendosa listened with great interest and decides to fund
an expedition north.

Franciscan priest Marcos de Niza was appointed leader of Mendoza’s
expedition. Estéban the Moor, who had traveled with Cabeza de Vaca,
was the guide. They left Culíacan March 7, 1539. The expedition was
forced back to Culíacan with little but talk of cities of gold and
silver. Estéban had been killed by Indians

Vásquez de Coronado with a large military expedition left Compstela,
Navarit and traveled through Sinola and Sonora. de Coronado is thought
to have camped on Guadalupe Hill in Alamos. The camp site was called
Real de los Frailes, Real de la Limpia Concepcion de los Alamos and
Real de Guadalupe

Cristóbal de Oñate makes the first mining strikes in Nueva Galacia:
Silver at Espíritu Santo, Guachinango, Xocotlán and Etzatlán – and
gold at Xaltepec. The strikes are small, but they encourage new
settlement in the area

There are some who think members of Guzman’s expedition, slave traders
or Indians, had mined silver near Álamos as early as 1543.

The first book published in the New World is written by Bishop
Zumárraga. Titled Doctrina Breve, it instructs the Aztecs,
in their own language, about Catholicism

The Mexican Indian population may have been reduced to
6.3 million by 1548.

In my notes I had a reference to Francisco Ibarra and 1564.
I do not know why. As I go through my notes it may become clearer. I
did research on Franciso Ibarra and found these entries in a timeline
of Basques in New Spain:

1549 — At the age of 10, Francisco de Ibarra comes to
the New World to join his uncle Diego de Ibarra.
1554 — Francisco de Ibarra leads his first expedition
at the age
of 16. At age 17, he leads the first authorized exploration north and
west of Zacatecas. Between 1554 and 1574, he and Juan de Tolosa
conquer the area of northern Mexico.Northern Mexico is now comprised
of the present states of Durango, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sinaloa,
Sonora, and some parts of Zacatecas, San Luis de Potosí and León. In
the 1560’s Ibarra carries out extensive exploration, conquest and
settlement of the unknown lands north of San Martín and names the area
Nueva Viscaya after his homeland in the Basque Country.

Jesuits arrive in New Spain.

The Indian population continued to decline in 1580 with
an estimated 1.9 million survivors

1583 – 1584
First settlements north of Culíacan in an attempt to
bolster Spanish control of northern Sinola.

1590 -1591
Jesuit priests Gonzalo Tapia and Martin Perez establish
a mission in Culíacan.

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♦ Other Álamos, Sonora Mexico timelines:

1600 – 1699 timeline

1700 – 1799 timeline

1800 – 1849 timeline

1850 – 1899 timeline

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This is a work in progress.
If you have additional dates and events send a comment

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home.

©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Aduana Mining 1910

This is taken from the Mining and Scientific Press – April 16, 1910 – page 553.
Photos of Aduana, Sonora, Mexico in 1995 by Anders Tomlinson.

Álamos – Promonitos District by T. P. Brinegar.

mine ruins in la aduana, sonora, mexico. which is seven miles west of alamos, sonora, mexico  photo by anders tomlinson

In the windy hills of Aduana mining ghosts are there to be seen and felt.

The mines which constitute this group are on the mineral zone which crosses the Alamos Mountains about seven miles west of Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. The heart of the zone lies within a rectangular surface 1.5 miles by 4 miles long, which commences at the Zambona mine, near Minas Nuevas, on the northeast, and extends southwest to include the Old Promontorio and San José mines. Precious metals were discovered in this region early in the eighteenth century, and the quantities yielded by this group alone have exceeded $100,000,000 in value. According to Camboa’s ‘Treatise on Mining” one remittance, in 1799 under charge to Alvarez, amounted to more than 1600 bars of silver. Humboldt noted in his records, 1808, that he “passed a train of over one thousand mules loaded with bars of solver from these mines on their way to the City of Mexico.” The production became so great that the Government was induced to establish a mint in Alamos for the special purpose of coining the metals produced at this point.

mine ruins in la aduana, sonora, mexico. which is seven miles west of alamos, sonora, mexico  photo by anders tomlinson

Thousands of people have lived and mined here.

The geological formation is clearly revealed. The basel rock of the region is granite which has been disturbed by powerful deep-seated forces. From these earth-disturbances originated two well defined fissure-zones. The uplift of the earth-crust on the southwest formed the Alamos mountains, and its subsidence on the northwest resulted in many irregular folds, which were covered by extensive volcanic eruptives, chiefly of an andesite type. In turn this was covered by sediments, the larger part being limestone. The conditions were favorable for erosion, which reduced the elevation several thousand feet. The fissure-zones, under present surface conditions, are about 5,000 feet apart, striking in a northeast direction. Both have granite ‘floors’ or foot-walls, and dip toward each other. Between them is a ‘core’ of andesite porphyry which forms the hanging wall of each vien-zone. This core was the was the centre of subsequent dynamaic activity, shown by the evidence of upheavals and the rearranged condition of the strata. In it are found many igneous dikes. Constant movement between the walls of the fissure-zones served to keep them open to the free circulation of mineral-bearing solutions. Cerra Cacharamba, a volcanic ‘neck’ 3700 feet above sea-level, is the landmark of the district, and Humboldt during his visit to the camp in 1908, wrote figuratively that, “Cacharamba rests on a bed of silver”. It seems that the past hundred years of mining near its base has demonstrated that the great scientist was not far amiss in his rhetoric.

mine ruins in la aduana, sonora, mexico. which is seven miles west of alamos, sonora, mexico  photo by anders tomlinson

To think here was once the world’s great silver mines .

The fissure-zones have been designated as east and west contacts. The east contact is the ‘mother-lode’ of the zone, and is generally known as the Promontoric – Quintera vein. The names of the productive mines situated on the several big ore-shoots of the vein are, Old Promontories, Quintera, Santo Domingo, and Zambona. The Púlipito on the north and the Nueva Promontorio on the south are new properties in course of development and which have mineralized veins that promise future productiveness. generally, mixed ores are extracted from mines on the east contact, which are found in the form of oxides near the surface and turn into rich sulphides in depth. Some of the ore-shoots are over 700 feet long, and in many places over 40 feet wide. Gray copper is the principal ore from this lode, and its fabulous quantities and high silver content are almost unparalleled in the annals of mining. These mines are owned by different companies, each of which has more ‘likely’ ground that it will explore in a score of years.

mine ruins in la aduana, sonora, mexico. which is seven miles west of alamos, sonora, mexico  photo by anders tomlinson

How far away could the mining smoke be seen?

The west contact is best known as the san Jose – Claraboya vein. Through the past two centuries it has remained comparatively unexplored. The mineral de Santa Rosa ( Claraboya ) is said to be the oldest in the camp, and from the large drill-holes found in the old Tajos ( open cuts ). one can give credence to the tradition that ” it was the rich mine of the early fathers.” The San Jose – Claraboya is a well defined vein of creamy to reddish – brown quartz, as shown in the workings on the lower levels of the two mines of the same names. In the upper workings or shear zone, the vein branches into seven parts, all of which unite in depth forming a large body about 40 feet wide. The groups of mines which have been under process of development during the past year are: Claraboya, San-Jose, San Clemente, and Plata-Fina. El Ultimo, Parra, and Olividos are held as important prospects. The ores from the mines on the west contact yield native silver, oxides, and gold. They are very docile, and readily yield to simple economic treatment. The assay values range from 15 to 5000 oz. silver and up to $70.00 in gold. the old dumps of the Claraboya have been very profitable to the owner who has been reworking them during the past two years. His developing the mine which an “adit which is giving good results.“(?) The San Jose is regarded as the ‘mascot’ of the camp. it was bought by G.W. DuPes about a year ago, since which time he has been developing and shipping ore, and erecting machinery. The Plata-Fina is between the San Jose and Claraboya, and adjoining them. It is being developed by a shaft on the junction of several veins. The San Clemente is owned by Rafael Ibara, president of the town of Promontories. The ore extracted more than pays expenses, and the owner regards it as the best prospect he has ever owned. These new workings, along with the Pulpito and Nueva Pomomtorio on the east contact, go to show what great possibilities await the judicious investment of capital along these two great fissure-veins. Side by side with these great mines are many undeveloped prospects that, judge by surface indications, warrant exploration.

mine ruins in la aduana, sonora, mexico. which is seven miles west of alamos, sonora, mexico  photo by anders tomlinson

life goes on as past, present and future coincide.

The district possesses favorable economic conditions for mine operations. The altitude averages about 2,000 feet above sea-level, and gives a climate, modified by the gulf-breezes, that is as healthy as any place on the Pacific Ocean. Water is abundant and of the best quality. The west part of the zone as access to the wooded hills to the southwest where such fuel is cheap. The transportation facilities are now good, as the recent completion of the Southern pacific Railroad of Mexico affords an outlet from Mínas Nuevas, and good wagon – roads lead to Masiacs, also on the railroad, and to the nearby seaport of Agiabampo. The cost of living and freighting is low.

mine ruins in la aduana, sonora, mexico. which is seven miles west of alamos, sonora, mexico  photo by anders tomlinson

The land is resting. an La Aduana goes on and on.

 This was given to me by a man who had learned of my interest in Álamos, Sonora, Mexico history. He asked me to visit his home that evening on Calle Madero. He told me that he had once been the city manager of Álamos, Sonora, Mexico and took pleasure in sharing his history library. He gave me the above article. I will look in my Alamos notes for his name: He may have been Jose Fabian Villegas Puentes.

When T. P. Brinegar wrote this the Alamos mint had been closed for 15 years. Most of mines had closed by 1909 because of politics, revolution and expensive quicksilver making mining unprofitable. The railroad from Alamos to Navajoa started operations in 1907 and would stop in 1933. Mr. Brinegar seems to have been a mining industry promoter, ever the optimist, and saw things more with his heart than his mind. None-the-less, this article does give one a sense of the geology and scope of Aduana – Promotories mining… Anders Tomlinson.

©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Spring and Summer

11… A tale of two seasons, a tale of two spirits…

Late spring 1997, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The end of Spring seems like the end of the year.

In the dog days of Spring smoke from burning farm fields on the coast and Navajoa is blown up into the foothills of Alamos. Warm heavy air holds down a layer of dust that covers anything that doesn’t move. It is what it is, life goes on as another yearly cycle completes its course.

Spring time in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

And then the land comes alive with color and sounds of rejuvenation.

Everything glistens with a sheen of cleanliness. Spirit returns to the laugh and smile of the Alamos. Color explodes in what not long ago was the plainest of places. Behold a lush cornucopia of jungle greens accented with vibrant wildflower rainbows. Overhead, ever-changing skies take on moments of absolute magnificence. One is embraced by healthy glowing faces proud of their crops coming up around them. Lluvia! In the jubilant glory of rain’s fulfilled expectation, yes!, there’s more life to come. Lluvia!

Two seasons from Tecolote Hill

view of alamos, sonora, mexico to the east from tecolote hill, spring, 1995.  photo by anders tomlinson

It is mid-Spring, there is still a freshness to the air

The hills are turning a sullen brown. The gradual metamorphosis from vivacious green to parched brown sneaks up on the casual observer. It is seen best when looking at the hills. Many of the irrigated gardens in town stay green and colorful. But the hills…

view from Tecolete hill, Alamos, Sopnora, mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson

And here we are. It is always good to climb in the cool of the morning.

The air is aromatic – a taste of menthol. Birds are singing. The hills are alive with color.
There is water in mountain gullies. Growth is everywhere. It is summer. Lluvia!

End of Spring

Spring time, looking west from a dry distant hill at Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Its late Spring looking west at Alamos from the ranch’s high ground.

Where there is water there is green. This photo was taken on an Easter Sunday. Alamos, with Cacharamba behind it, is to the west.

late spring, looking west towards alamos, sonora, mexico.  easter sunday, 1996. photo by anders tomlinson

Where the desert meets the dry tropical forest.

When the summer rains come the dry arroyo could be at flood stage. On this easter Sunday one can only imagine rain. The dryness is everywhere.

alamos, sonora, mexico seen from red cross hill, piedra hola.  summer 1996.  photo by anders tomlinson

Summer 1996. The rains have come.

The hills are alive with the sound of music and color. Everything is overgrown. Where there were paths through the hills in the spring is now dense entanglement. One needs to be watching where they are go if they can go at all.

Two Spring Views from atop Sierra de Álamos

view of alamos, sonora, mexico from atop sireea de alamos in the spring. photo by anders tomlinson.

Gringo Point is to the upper right with Alamos below.

It is becoming warm despite the altitude. Álamos from here appears to nestled in the hills like an egg in a nest. It is a small colonial town surrounded by land that through history man has rarely touched. Here, the wilderness dominates and man exists.

view of the western edge of alamos, sonora, mexico seen fro atop sierra de alamos in the spring, 1995.  photo by anders tomlinson

El Camino Real takes the easy way northward.

Any season, hundreds of years ago, would be difficult to travel on the El Camino Real. But a road, like water, follows the path of least resistance. This view is towards the north-northwest. Over the horizon, hundreds of miles away, is the border and beyond, hundreds of miles, are Los Angeles and San Francisco. From here, at this moment, with morning tea over a small wilderness cooking fire, no bigger than a single flame, everywhere is far, far away.

Every year Summer Returns

View of alamos, sonora, mexico from the foot of mirador looking northwest in the summer.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Yes, it is summer time and the living is easy.

Summer returns every year as does a sunrise does every day. The question on many minds is will the rains return, and when? This scene is after an evening shower that had washed the streets clean and watered every garden.

And the mountains’ night skies explode

Summer is the Alamos season of vibrant color, rains and nights of natural magic and wonder.
Lightening on a warm Alamos summer evening is a show to remember. The romantic Plaza is a wonderful vantage point. Rolling thunder punctuates child’s play and lovers’ embraces.

To see more Summer videos

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Galeria de Arte

Upon the wall art becomes windows to somewhere else …

View of Galeria de Arte from the Plaza, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Galeria de Arte was in the building to the left as seen from the plaza.

Beverly Krucek sent me several emails about the gallery she had on the Plaza Las Armas for many years. The following information is complied from her notes. The photo above was taken during the summer of 1996. Beverly was also a leading member of the Alamos Heritage-History Association, AHA, that meets at the Agave Cafe in the Hacienda de los Santos once a month in the summer and every Thursday morning during the rest of the year.

Galarie de Arte opened on the plaza in 1994 and was run by Bev Krucek for some ten years, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson

At times Alamos itself seems a living work of art and history and futures.

Beverly Krucek opened the Galeria de Arte on the Plaza in 1994. On average 25 artists were shown in three rooms, portal and patio. Artists came from all over Mexico, some from Columbia, as well as Tucson, Phoenix, New Mexico and a couple from France. Some 10 year later, Bev decided to trade up to a gallery in an art mall being developed and promoted by the Franks in the Urrea house on Calle Obregon. Unexpected problems arose that stopped the art mall project from going forward. By that time, Bev had turned her rental lease over to B.K. Hamma for her use as book shop, gift shop, and a new art galley leased to Vickie Lockwood. Upon taking a further look at the situation, it appeared to Bev that the tourist trade, which was her main target for sales, had fallen off so she left the gallery scene.

Galarie de Arte opened on the plaza in 1994 and was run by Bev Krucek for some ten years, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson

Upon these walls, that have seen so much, art speaks of inside and outside.

Beverly wrote about the block that the Galeria was located in,

“The Galleria was on the plaza in the row between the Hotel Alamos and what at one time was the Bank. That strip is now occupied by a games emporium, the Tourist Bureau, (then the Galleria) and a home restoration by the Bours. The strip prior to that, was The Hotel Alamos, The Casino, and I think either a bank or more probably a small residence occupied by the Bours.  The Casino was a club like operation where the men gambled excessively and the women were welcomed on Wednesdays. Some reading offers the information that Alamos was a huge hub of gambling.  Makes sense since most of mining management was an absentee sort of operation there was lots of both time and money.  Cards were big as was cock fighting etc.”

View of plaza from El Mirador.  Location of Galeria de Arte is noted.  Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

View from Mirador of building where Galeria de Arte was located.

Years ago, when I was in Alamos, Hotel Alamos, also known by many of my friends as the old Miner’s Hotel, was in serious disrepair.

In her emails Beverly addressed the old hotel’s current condition,

“The building part that houses the former Hotel Alamos and to some extent the part that houses the Tourist Bureau is in very bad disrepair and held together in an attractive way by a nice paint job.  Adobe keeps crumbling.  Everyone grumbles about it but no one does anything.  It is owned by Anamaria Alcorn.  INAH in Hermosillo and the local government probably could step in and force the work to be done but who has the money and where does government restoration come in with private ownership?  The end part (corner of Guadalupe Victoria and Comercio) has been well, and I think properly, maintained and restored by the Bours family.”

Casa Nuzum, Calle Comercio 2, from church roof looking east, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Looking down from the church at Casa Nuzum, Calle Comercio 2.

Calle Comerico 2, Casa de Nuzum, recently became an art galley, La Casa del Arte, managed by Tony Estrada and his wife, Lupita. Tony is director of Museo Costumbrista de Sonora, on the Plaza, which features regularly scheduled art exhibitions. Tony is also a gifted sculptor who takes discards and turns them into assembled artistic statements. Beverly commented on La Casa del Arte’s opening night, May 20, 2011,

“Tony and Cammy Nuzum will oversee other areas in the house to be used by artisans for producing their work and selling it from there. It was fun to see Tony’s opening at the Nuzum house where he showed 4 or 5 of the artists I had represented some years ago. It was great to see that they had continued to develop new depths in  their work while still being identifiable in their own style.”

Calle Comercio 2 is across the street from the bank that was next to Galeria de Arte. When I was a guest of Casa Nuzum there were paintings on the walls and art books in the library. I always felt it would be a wonderful gallery space being next to the church and around the corner from the Plaza. Location, location, location… The concept of artists working and showing their work in this historic Casa is profound and hopefully productive. There is a recent history of artisans here, Elizabeth Nuzum hired local women to create her designer clothing line in a wonderful sewing studio in the back pool patio of the house.

Historic footnotes from Beverly that were included in one of the emails,

“There was a Hotel Minero across the Plaza from the Hotel Alamos.  It is the first building on Madero off the Plaza, sort of tucked in at the lower level of the Portales Hotel. It was owned by Palomares (a war hero from the French invasion) and is now called the Hotel Enrique owned by Blanca Quijada Navarro.”

“We still have to add a tiny bit to the Chinese use of the Mexican silver peso…. Alamos did not specifically produce for China… they used the coin that was minted here and identified by A or an underlined A. Kin Rynd who lived there at the time (the 20’s) said it was always referred to as the Mex… much as we would say a buck. It also added balast to the ships returning to China after the deliveries to Northern Mexico.”

Visit one of Bev’s many loves Alamos History Association

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Winter Videos

44 … A multi-faceted crew for a sparkling season, Christmas 1993 …

Film crew  as ghosts, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by gary Ruble.

Our crew as ghosts on a quiet night in Centro Alamos.

Calle Aurora connects the two busiest areas in Alamos: Alameda and Plaza de las Armas. It is an one-way street for cars and two-way passage for pedestrians, bicycles, and animals. It is my favorite street in Alamos, long and narrow with a gentle climb to the Plaza. Most of the night it can be still, homes sleeping as peaceful ghosts come out to loiter and reminisce. This is our crew doubling for ghosts and providing scale and detail to a night portrait frozen in time.

This is the crew that captured Alamos-Christmas-1993 and our hosts the Nuzums.

From left to right: Chaco Valdez, painting of Christina Vega by Jim Wison, Anders Tomlinson,
Gary Ruble, Donna Beckett, R. L. Harrington, Robert Ganey, and the Nuzums: Jolene, Kit,
Elizabeth and Pember. At this moment we were all together and thankful.

Gary Ruble photgraphing passerby from a ruin in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Gary Ruble photographs a passerby on Calle Hildalgo.

Gary Ruble took slides, shot 16 mm film, primarily single-frame time lapse, and helped with audio recording. He also disappeared into the arms of Alamos. Often the question would be asked, ” where is Gary?” and the answers were ” we last saw him headed off with some folks”. This is a good example of a ruin’s interior. Since our 1993 shoot the population of Alamos has nearly doubled. Looking at Alamos from space with Google maps I can see new construction and new neighborhoods. Alamos has been part of the southwest’s now dormant building boom. Another factor for Alamos’s growth is the same as its beginnings – silver. A large silver mine to the north reopened in 1999. I wonder how many ruins are still available for purchase and renovation?

Crew walks to town from Puerta Roja, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by unknown.

Part of the crew starts the day walking to town down Cerro Guadaloupe.

The crew was staying in two places a ten minute walk apart separated by Cerro Guadaloupe. In Alamos, the greatest joys maybe the unanticipated twinklings en-route to a preconceived destination. For R.L. Harringto, Robert Ganey, Donna Beckett and Anders Tomlinson this was one of those moments as they came out of cool winter shade at Puerta Roja and walked into warm sun as they approached Alamos Centro.

Kit Nuzum videos crew creating shadow dance, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson

Kit Nuzum videos the crew creating an impromptu shadow dance.

Within in every artist there is a child that will not be silenced. At times, the child will take control and a sense of humanity is produced. This is one of those moments: human shadows dancing across a wall of time. There was the wall, the sun was setting, why not dance holding hands? This recreated a moment from a 1983 Alamos film shot by Anders Tomlinson and Kit Nuzum of kids dancing by the camera, holding hands, with their shadows racing across the ground.

Kit Nuzum standing, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Kit Nuzum, as the sun bids adieu, contemplates the meaning of meanings.

Christopher, his friends know him as Kit, Nuzum first introduced me to Alamos. We met on a beach while filming and helping with a preproduction setup of a Suzanne Lacy public art performance, Whispers, The Waves, The Wind, featuring white covered tables with white chairs and women, all over the age of 65, dressed in white discussing their lives. The women’s reflections would be broadcasted over speakers up on the bluffs surrounding the cove. An interesting moment in time of age contemplating time.

A couple of months later, spring of 1985, he invited me to go on a Mexico road trip. All he said about Alamos was that he knew I would like it. We arrived in Alamos hours before sunrise. Driving up Calle Aurora into, and around the Plaza, to Calle Comercio #2 and entering the front courtyard of the Casa Nuzum was a step into a place I had never been before. Kit walked me through three garden areas, fountains gurgling under the stars, to a guest room waiting for me in the back. I went to sleep in a dream, I awake to Alamos.

Today, 2013, Kit Nuzum is off the grid and brewing beer outside Puerto Varas, Chile.

Here are 1993 Winter Alamos videos filmed by this crew.

To see more Alamos, Sonora, Mexico videos by Anders and his associates.

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

To return Home.

©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Peeling Paint

12… History is in the detail, humanness is in the design…

Wall texture, peeling paint in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Micro views have as much information as watching a stunning sunset.

This peeling paint is on a west facing wall, built in 1828 at the end of Calle Comercio. Álamos had become the capital of a combined Sinoloa and Sonora – the state of Occidente. The new Governor Jose Maria Gaxiola lived inside this wall. It is a scene repeated throughout Álamos, Sonora, México. In recent times, recent being relative, Rip Torn and Geraldine Page once found sanctuary behind this edifice. Think of the romantic full moons and the sweet smells of the night air. In the distance a young man serenades his girl.

paints peeling on alamos, sonora,, mexico wall. photo by anders tomlinson

Stains of age bleed through layers of paint peeling back time.

Struggles personified: scribed, scratched, torn, eroded, defaced, washed, painted by natural elements and human events. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

an interesting wall with words and dark triangle. alamos sonora mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

Many times art comes from taking advantage of opportunity.

Graffiti, like tattoos, has taken on different significants in society. There is mean graffiti, cruel graffiti, criminal graffiti, obnoxious graffiti. And then there are a quiet moments when man etches himself into the wall. these moments come and go as does the days, months, years and centuries.

wall color and texture, peeling paint, alamos sonora mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

A calm moment in the relentless march of change for change’s sake.

Soothing pastels worn smooth, shine in the morning sun on an eastern facing wall. There are no images or words but there is feeling – much like minimalism modern art. Look long enough and there is movement.

paint throw onto an alamos, sonora, mexico wall. photo by anders tomlinson

It is all about gesture and action. What do we see? What do we feel?

Speaking of modern art. What was behind these two large action marks? Was it a planned act or an accident? This is a concrete wall – modern in Alamos time. Was a painter cleaning is bucket? Was it a statement from one person about another? These are the questions, and tales, that the walls of Álamos, Sonora, México present to willing imaginations.

wall painting of young couple near airport. alamos sonora mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

A young couple on a wall near the airport. Old and new together.

This painting was off the Old Camino Real as it turns to north west past the airport. Today the rod leads to nearby copper mines. It is probably much more traveled. there is little chance that is image remains – it is almost twenty years since the photo was taken.
Maybe the wall no longer exists, or…

wall detail of peeling paint, alamos sonora mexico.

Up close and within the details of passing time.

As one comes closer to the wall, or some would say ruins, one can see the marks take on greater significance as the design by natural elements and human events grow in intensity. There is form in the happenstance. Not all art is beautiful. Not all art is ugly. But all art is art.

This is an interior wall that is facing renovation. alamos sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

This is an interior wall that is facing renovation.

There are moments of discovery, questions, appreciation and realization. This house probably has been in place a couple hundred years. Think of the get-togethers it has witnessed. The joys and sorrows. This wall knows life – good and bad.

old for sale sign, disappearing on an alamos, sonora mexico ruin wall.  photo by anders tomlinson.

The sign of time fades a sign of hope.

In a matter of years this sign has faded. Does this mean the property was sold and there was no more need for a sign so let time to its thing? Or does it indicate there were no buyers and the seller gave up the effort? Either way this wall is texture in a town of textures, Álamos, Sonora, México.

for sale sign on ruin, alamos. sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Advertising helps economies roll and money exchanges hands.

The message is bold, hard to miss and to the point. “This is for sale!” Is it art? Ask Andy Warhol what he thinks. Is it a statement? Certainly. And a marketing campaign begins again just like a sunrise.

Fast paced music video that is more than its parts, much like Álamos itself..
This is an experimental clip that weds close-ups textures shot out a moving car’s window and 120 blended stills images of Alamos life. High speed video at its best. Álamos, Sonora, México has never looked like this. Video…

To see more Álamos Journal pages.

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Cat & Goat

19 … All of Alamos is a little bit country, a little bit old world…

Cat and bananas, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Mid-morning at a Barrio La Compana store. Parrots can be heard.

Minutes from the central Plaza and Alameda life slows. Here, almost everyone is walking or on a bike. Clothes are being hand-washed and hung out to air dry in the Sonoran sun. Smells of wood- fire cooking dance on a light cooling breeze. This is the life rarely seen on Mexican TV. These are the rural suburbs surrounding southern Spain’s Andalusian design influenced downtown.

Here we are - a ten minute walk from the Colonial Plaza.  A lone sheep within the grass, alamos sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson

Here we are – a ten minute walk from the Colonial Plaza.

This is near the top of the hill on the road leading southeast out of town. Walk a couple of hundred more yards and one can turn left and hike up to the top of El Mirador road. It is a summer morning. Looking at the hillside one can spot a local resident out for their own breakfast.

shwwp in grass, alamos sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

We have been seen and we see. A peaceful rural tradeoff.

The cool air refreshes the spirit, today’s heat has yet to arrive – it will be here soon. The cloud cover will burn off and the rising sun will begin to cook the earth’s crust. This is a wonderful time to be out and about. During late spring and through the summer it is best to travel when the sun is low.

Goat, and wild flowers, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  photo by Anders Tomlinson.

So you think you can out stare a sheep do you? Give it a try.

All is well on a walk from the Plaza to take in the Mirador’s rewarding 360 degree view. In my mind’s eye the best way to see Alamos is go walking in any direction for an hour. One will always be rewarded. And, one will always find their way back to where they started. Look, or listen, for the Cathedral, it is a compass. Animals wander freely around Alamos. They know where they are. And they know where home is.

The cook's dog rests in their drive way just to the west of the airport runway.  alamos sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

A dog at rest near the western edge of the airport runway.

At the other end of town, maybe a twenty minute walk from the plaza, the Cook’s dog rests in their driveway. She recently had four pups who are now struggling to survive. This is her time. This is Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

goats at the western edge of the alamos airport runway, alamos sonora mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Watch-guard goats patrol land surrounding their house

These are goats who do what they do when they want to do it. They patrol and protect. They weed, strip and fertilize. They, like the resting dog, are part of the Cook’s property. All for one, one for all.

The conclusion to a Short History of Alamos, 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 Alamos experience. Video…

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Calle Comercio 2

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum seen from bishop reyes cathedral, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

Casa Nuzum seen from Bishop Reyes Cathedral. These are two long-time neighbors.

There is a charming city worth visiting
Pember and Elizabeth Nuzum first visit Alamos in 1953. They were introduced to Alamos by Tucson friends they were visiting in Guaymas. These friends told the Nuzums of a charming city down the two lane highway to Navajoa. The road from Navajoa to Alamos was dirt, full of ruts, crossed water and dirt and had roaming livestock, an ever-present danger. “The Tesoros was open then, and we would have liked to have stayed overnight–but our friends had to go back to Tucson, so we left.  We came back again as soon as we could…” from an interview with Pember Nuzum by Bev Krucek and Leila Gillette. Elizabeth Nuzum remembered that the Tesoros wasn’t officially open at the time but the staff would make them sandwiches and they be warmed by fireplaces. Kit Nuzum recall that his parents traveled to Alamos in the 1960’s with Linda Ronstats’ family.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, rainy day, summer 1996,, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

A refreshing summer rain cools and cleans the Alamos streets and air.

A deal falls through and an opportunity rises.
Over the next twenty-five years Pember and Elizabeth lived at their Williams Addition property, in what is now the center of Tucson, and visited Alamos often, staying at both the Tesoros and Portales Hotels. They were prepared to buy a house in Los Arcos, in Tucson, but the deal fell through and they bought a ruin on Calle Comercio 2 from Jack and Jane Stewart. Most likely famed resident and real estate entrepreneur Levant Alcorn was involved with the sale. Carlos Pratt notes that his father, Charles Holt Pratt Jr, Chuck to his friends, was the realtor and a close friend of Pember’s. The property had been vacant for fifty years with collapsed roofs, no plumbing or electricity, dirt floors and a .5″ water pipe in the back building. Pember recalled that an American had lived there and that his bathroom was a hole in the floor.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum looking at the three-tiered belfry of bishop reyes cathedral, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

The Cathedral, and its bells, are part of Casa Nuzum’s fabric and being.

Home of the Silver Barons.
Calle Comercio was built in 1780 and was known as the Casa de “Chato Almada”, a famous Silver Baron, in the early 1800’s. Official records indicate that work on the church, Bishop Reyes Cathedral, began in 1786 and was finished in 1803. One could have been inside this casa and watch the three – tiered belfry rise in the sky.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

Many have come to this door with a variety of reasons, expectations and wonder.

A set of false teeth, a door and a fireplace.
It took Pember And Elizabeth Nuzum four years to restore the project at a cost, according to Kit, their son, of $80,000. During the restoration they purchased an adjoining house from Micha, a nurse who lived in it. Pember remembered it was difficult to get her to vacant the property. Elizabeth recalled that part of the deal was providing Micha with a set of false teeth, a fireplace and a front door. Ana Marie Alcorn helped the Nuzums secure a deed, a difficult task, for the new addition. Now, the Nuzum project was a 8,000 square foot house sitting on 800 square meters.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

Relax. Listen to your heart. Breath deep. Appreciate. Be one with all.

A body in the backyard.
They moved from room to room as the restoration was underway. Don Jacinto Urbulan was the contractor. There was a drain in the front of the patio where the fountain is now.  They moved it to the side. Pember states that they found a body in the backyard and bone bits scattered around the ruin. He theorized that the property may once had been part of the first churches’ courtyard.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, nuzum pond with fish,1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

Does this fish understand how fortunate it has life in this well-tended pond?

The prodigal son speaks of secret tunnels and silver ingots.
Kit Nuzum wrote, ” I took a metel detector around the house and found silver ingot size anomalies in Pember’s bedroom – the old silver vault. The vigas on the roof are 8 inches apart not like
the standard 18 inches. Mom would not let me dig in her walls.
We found hollow spaces when putting in drains in the back utility room. This was suspected to be the famous escape route to the church. In the same walls, adjoining Edith Pratt’s place seven small skeletons were found. They were returned to a resting place.  They might have been miscarriages or unwanted pregnancies.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, nuzum living room, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

Just outside a world moves from here to there in both time and space.

A popular color from the past.
In painting the inside of their house, they tried to match the original colors.  The coral color in their living room had been a popular color in the Álamos homes of the 19th Century. The scene above, minus the electric lights, could have been much the same two hundred years ago.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by gary ruble.

In the cool of the night peace and rest prevails

The green house off the Plaza next to the Church.
Casa Nuzum on Calle Comercio is known for the green color Pember and Elizabeth chose to paint the exterior. Most of the surrounding homes were painted white at that time. Elizabeth, in an interview, recalled that there may have been an ordinance requiring houses a certain distance from the church to be painted white or pastel. Such is life in a Colonial Center.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, entrance to nuzum museum, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

Inside this door is the Nuzum family museum, beyond are bedrooms and workshops.

Sharing is part of the Alamos spirit.
The Saturday Amigos de Educación house and garden tours of Calle Comercio 2 were usually led by Pember Nuzum. They would stop in a small room between patios and learn about the Nuzum family and, of course, the ghosts of Alamos. Elizabeth Nuzum had given Alamos a gift of a library which the city would take over. Tour money was donated to start a scholarship program which now supports many Alamos students.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, nuzum swimming pool, 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

In the very back a small pool serves, reflects and comforts the soul.

Another patio, another world.
The back patio is where Elizabeth had a sewing room. Her close friendship with Pat Axelrod created a design business called Milagro. Carmen Rosas and her daughter sew the exquisite clothing, decorative pillows and pillows Elizabeth designed. The rear section of property has a secondary kitchen will all amenities, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, sala, laundry and pool. Spiral staircase to rooftop terrace with exceptional views.
The rooftop garden was one of Elizabeth’s great joys.

calle comercio 2, casa nuzum, nuzum kitchen 1993, alamos, sonora, mexico. photo by anders tomlinson.

A busy kitchen is the heart of any and all Alamos’ casas.

Enjoying modern comforts in a colonial setting.
Calle Comercio 2’s main living section off of Calle Comercio has two courtyard gardens and portals for outdoor living. The formal salon is sixty feet in length with a grand fireplace and high ceilings. Full kitchen with traditional colonial oven, plus three bedrooms and two baths, library, dining, salon and office provide modern living comforts to a restoration true to its origins: spaces, ceilings, canterra columns, doors, windows, and other colonial architectural details.

calle comercio 2, alamos, sonora, mexico.  casa nuzum, garden with pond, photo by anders tomlison

It takes attention and effort to keep these gardens flourishing.

Reflecting on maintaining Calle Comercio 2.
It takes a great effort to preserve a restoration.  Kit writes, “Pember always had three full time employees: a mozo, gardener and maid.  There was always a constant stream of mallestros from plumbing to carpentry to masons to laborers.  The house was swept and dry mopped daily, 8000 square feet. The 3 patios were trimmed, watered and fertilized regularly.
The roof was painted annually…”

calle comercio 2, alamos, sonora, mexico. casa nuzum, kids with kites pass by house, photo by anders tomlinson

Another parade passes between Calle Comercio 2 and the Church.

A place for encouragement and self-expression.
A kite festival, started by Elizabeth and her daughter Cammie and son-in -law Chaco, has become a local tradition on windy March days. Seen above, young kite-flyers return from the Mirador at the top of Perico Hill. Calle Comercio is a parade throughout the day. Funerals pass by on their way from the Church to the graveyard. To and from school and market students and adults come and go. Elizabeth, and Calle Comercio, played an important part promoting education and the arts in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

calle comercio 2, alamos, sonora, mexico. casa nuzum, garden with pond, photo by anders tomlinson

I often saw Elizabeth, “Bett” to her friends in this Madonna’s face.

It felt like home.
Kit Nuzum looks back at Calle Comercio 2: “Elizabeth was in charge of all things for making a good quality of life. Her architectural knowledge helped make the Alamos property a national heritage site as shown in various publications. Her appointments of the space where renowned. To come  to an Elizabeth and Pember party was memorable and a delight. The elegance and joy for the invited guest was legendary still to this day. The home appointments were eclectic, ethnic, international, warm and pleasant. I have fond memories of Christmas and New years at Calle Comercio 2. And many happy party nights in this once-in-a-life-time space. The one thing I really remember  is it felt like home.  I spent 13 years in Alamos but I never lived there full-time, just a visitor…”

Elizabeth Nuzum at her greeting table. Photo - Joan Gould Winderman

Elizabeth at her greeting table. Photo – Joan Gould Winderman

For more about Elizabeth Nuzum

To see more Alamos Journal pages.

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©2014 Anders Tomlinson, Alamos History Association and Kit Nuzum, all rights reserved.

Elizabeth Nuzum

Elizabeth Nuzum flanked by two men in her life, Kit Nuzum and Pember Nuzum.  photo by gary ruble.  1993.  alamos sonora mexico..

Elizabeth Nuzum flanked by two men in her life, Kit and Pember.

Elizabeth Nuzum was the first person I met after waking up in Calle Comercio 2 after a 900 mile car-with her son Kit Nuzum and his girl friend. Elizabeth was in the kitchen along with her helper Alba. I introduced myself, Anders Tomlinson, and she asked what my full name was. I replied Anders Paul Tomlinson. She looked into my eyes and said that would be a wonderful name for a writer. I was one of many, more likely a multitude, that were greeted, and complimented, by Elizabeth on their arrival to Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

elizabeth nuzum in college.  photo supplied by cammie nuzum

Elizabeth enjoying her California college coed days. Photo courtesy – Cammie Nuzum

Elizabeth passed away June 18, 2014 at the age of 93 in Tuczon, Arizona. Her life began in Manila, the Philippines. Her early years were spent in China and Japan. She met, and married, Pember Nuzum while attending Scripps College in Claremont, CA. It was a life of big pictures, details, friends, helpers and those she helped. She was a flower that opened up, blooming every day, to the world.

Elizabeth and Pember Nuzum on their wedding day.  photo supplied by cammie nuzum

Elizabeth and Pember Nuzum on their wedding day. Photo courtesy – Cammie Nuzum

Pember and Elizabeth were part of the fabric that is Álamos, Sonora, Mexico. At times, they had a hand in selecting materials and tailoring of this social fabric. They were colorful, as big as life and up to the countless challenges that comes with building a home in another land rich with history, tradition and culture.

Elizabeth Nuzum at her greeting table. Photo - Joan Gould Winderman

Elizabeth at her greeting table. Photo – Joan Gould Winderman

I appreciate Pember and Elizabeth’s kindness which helped me develop the project that is reflected by the website you are currently visiting. Here are a couple of articles that featured Elizabeth.

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.

78… A rooftop that lives and breath all things Alamos…

Nuzum roof top garden across the street ffom Bishop Reyes Catheral, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Elizabeth Nuzum\’s garden across the street from Bishop Reyes Cathedral.

Here, in the shadow of cathedral bells and angelic choirs was a multi-purpose rooftop garden. A narrow wrought iron caracol, snail, spiral staircase led one up from a back patio with a small pool to an expansive array of raised planter boxes. Elizabeth Nuzum enjoyed people, her home, her gardens and life in Alamos. For many, her husband Pember and Elizabeth were Alamos greeters, welcoming visitors inside the old wood doors on Calle Comercio. Elizabeth designed and managed her gardens while Pember kept an eye on the household finances.

Flowers and Sierra de Alamos from Nuzum's roof garden, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

20 feet above the street one can hold a conversation with passing clouds.

The roof top garden and its 360 degree views was a special place. The sky at night, with stars there to be touched while one laid back on a substantial Sonoran cot, was a connection to all things in all places. Rooftop eavesdropping on the comings and goings along Calle Comercio and Calle Guadaloupe Victoria tuned one in with the heartbeats of Alamos: Bishop Reyes Cathedral, Palacio, Plaza de Las Armas, Mercado, all points of the compass and all events past and present.

Nuzum roof top garden looking east at Mirador, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Mirador voices, at times, arrived here with a favorable wind.

Let me count the sounds I heard up on the roof: uniformed school kids walking in groups, talking, laughing, singing, stepping off rhythms, kicking balls, kids being all things kids. Occasional horse hoofs echoing on cobblestone streets. Music from rattling car and truck radios ricocheting off narrow streets. Surround sound bird songs and calls punctuated by barking dogs, working hammer and saws and distant braying burros. All combinations of people passing by: one, two, or three generations together talking, workers, errand runners, neighbors en-route to visit neighbors or hang out in the Plaza, shop at the Alameda and Mercado or attend to business at the Palacio or… This garden overlooked the center of Centro Alamos’ rainbow of expression: joy, surprise, acceptance, expectations, anger, yearning, anticipation. greetings, farewells…

Christina Vega on Nuzum's roof garden, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A young girl picks flowers on the roof, a simple moment, a simple smile.

Christina Vega, daughter of Chacho and Cammie, sister of Gaspar, walked in all worlds Alamos. Her Mexican blood was Chaco’s large family and her American blood was Cammie’s parents Elizabeth and Pember and brother Kit who came to visit from his world travels. Cammie and Chacho lived modestly on Calle Ninos Heroes, a short walk from the grand roof top garden on the the other side of Guadaloupe Hill.

Christina Vega and church from Nuzum roof, alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

What does Christina see, and hear, on this spring day in 1984?

The roof’s northwest corner, with a view into the Plaza and Gazebo, was across the street from the bank. At opening time a line of people would be waiting sharing conversation. Daily masses brought people to the church’s eastern door. Funerals processions would leave the church and passed by as they headed east to the Panteon – Cemetery. Police headquarters, at times busy, were three houses to the east on Calle Comercio. Tourists speaking English, French, German and other languages would stop and chat as they headed to and from surrounding lodging. At night, one could listen to quitar playing coming from Polos restaurant’s kitchen as well as the Estudiantina practicing at the Museum. At this moment Christina is listening to the public serenade that is Alamos.

Pember told Anders, “always call us Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.” And Anders has.

Pember and Elizabeth Nuzum were a major part of the North American Community for decades. Their casa next to the Church on Calle Comercio #2 greeted many many who visited Alamos, including Anders. It is not uncommon to have rain squalls in December. And it was common to hear Pember playing his theater organ in the Nuzum music room. Those days are gone. But the spirit lingers, it always does.

This is the crew that captured Alamos-Christmas-1993 and our hosts the Nuzums.

A film crew embraced by the Nuzums’ hospitality
From left to right: Chaco Valdez, painting of Christina Vega by Jim Wison, Anders Tomlinson,
Gary Ruble, Donna Beckett, R. L. Harrington, Robert Ganey, and the Nuzums: Jolene, Kit,
Elizabeth and Pember. At this moment we were all together and thankful. This is an example
of the Nuzums reaching out to others and their love for Álamos, Sonora, Mexico.

To see Elizabeth and Pember’s Alamos home visit Calle Comercio 2

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Alamos Windows

20 … Looking at windows from the outside is different than looking outside from within…

little house in alamos, sonora,mexico that is painted with natural vegatation.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Can you find the little house that can be hard to see?

Walking down the dirt roads, off the nearby plaza, are ventures into another land – another time in space. It is a land of people close to the land. It is a place where the little things are of greater substance and meaning. Here nature is loud – listen to crowing roosters next door, decipher neighboring dog barks and admire native birds singing in concert with days of old and now. This is Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

house covered with plants. Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson

This little house caught my eye as it lived and breathed.

This was a wonderful casa in Barrio El Barranco. Going green has been a concept as far back as the planet’s beginning. Most poor people of the earth are off the grid. And the use of plant materials for shelter is common across the continents. This house has it all, a tribute to its surroundings.

Remodeled home on Las Auroras.  Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A wonderful example of a ruin restored to modern splendor.

I first met this ruin on Calle Las Auroras while heading out to the airport 1983. It was still a ruin when I revisited in 1993. Work seemed to be underway to clean the property. I was told some Hollywood folks were in the process of bringing it back to life. Three years later it was a sparkling gem along a dusty road. Future posts will look at the resurrection of this home.

triangle windows on Calle Las Auroras.  Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Another window treatment on Calle Las Auroras.

This window seems to come from an earlier time and a different civilization. Stark triangles in a thick wall of adobe. It seemed there were children playing outside it’s door every time I passed by on my way to the airport and countryside.

Window bars cast dancing shadows against an alamos, sonora, mexico white washed wall.  photo by anders tomlinson.

iron shadows dance across a white washed wall.

Alamos is known for its craftsmanship. Here, there are artists amongst the trades. This ornamental, and functional, iron window bar, in the colonial centro, creates a show of strength and poetic movement as its shadows follow the passing sun. Elegance.

window bar treatment in centro alamos, sonora, mexico.  photo by anders tomlinson.

Home security begins with window bars of many colors and designs.

Function. There is no doubt the intention is to protect. This bar design seem more suited for a commercial establishment along a busy street. It is all about intention.

Warmth Radiates off of Adobe Walls as Another Winter Day Begins.
Kite flying is popular in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Drinking beer outside the pickup with friends is popular. Fun and work go on side by side as we visit a wood shop. Video …

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Alamos Gas Stations

alamos sonora mexico gas station photos by humberto enriquez

The Old Gas Station

 The traditional gas station is on the western edge of the busy Alameda, Alamos, sonora, Mexico. Photo by Humberto Enríquez

The busy station on the western edge of the Alameda – Photo: Humberto Enríquez.

In Alamos the gas station of Jesus Salido in the center of the town is the traditional gas station that has been serving for many years Alamos residents, tourists and anybody who have a car, motorcycle, truck or bus. One person said if you watch the peoples coming and going at the gas station you learns much about what makes Alamos go, that is true and the Alamos activities, over the years don’t change much – Humberto

A Bird’s Eye View

The Salido gas station on the Alameda seen from Guadalupe Hill. alamos, sonora, mexico .  photo by Humberto Enríquez

The Alameda gas station seen from Guadalupe Hill. Photo: Humberto Enríquez

Many things change, different people, different stores, different cars, different trees but our necessities of gas for our cars, or air for our bicycles, or tires are the same until we find energy other than fossil fuels for our cars and motorcycles – Humberto

A Wider Bird’ Eyes View of the Alameda Gas Station

2014 - Looking northwest from Guadaloupe Hill. Photo: Huberto Enríquez. alamos sonora mexico.

2014 – Looking northwest from Guadaloupe Hill. Photo: Huberto Enríquez

Eco Gas Station

New natural gas station is the eco station.  alamos, sonora, mexico.Photo:  Humberto Enríquez.

There is a natural gas station in Alamos. Photo: Humberto Enríquez.

This station is one 1 km west of Alamos on the highway to Navajoa.

Modern Times Drive On Into the Future

Welcome to the 21st Century ala Pemex. another new gas station in alamos sonora mexico. Photo: Humberto Enríquez.

Welcome to the 21st Century ala Pemex. Photo: Humberto Enríquez.

Since the year 2000 Alamos has had many changes. Alamos went back to its beginnings years with the opening of two mines and that started an avalanche of companies who serve to the mines. These past years the Municipal Government, State Government and Federal Government promoted the town as an international tourist destination. Alamos was introduced in the program of Pueblos Magicos de Mexico. Several promotional videos of the region and the town which were shown in different countries around the world to attract tourists. This produced increased – excessive flow of vehicles and the opening of more gas stations – Humberto

Where There is a Need…

A modern gas station fills the auto needs of Alamos. Photo: Humberto Enríquez. alamos sonora mexico

A modern gas station fills the auto needs of Alamos. Photo: Humberto Enríquez.

Today we have 3 gas and one natural gas station in Alamos. The oldest one is owned by “Jesus (Chuy) Salido” in the center of the town. The other gas stations are all on the road to Navajoa. “La Carretera” is located near the Alamos hospital. “El Datil” located 3 KM from Alamos. The natural gas station is located 1 km from Alamos – Humberto

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©2014 Alamos-Sonora-Mexico.com and Humberto Enríquez, all rights reserved.

Álamos Cine Festival

april 3-6, 2014 alamos film festival header

Come One, Come All… It’s movietime!

A Magical moment in a Magical Pueblo.  Photo: Joel Gastélum

A magical moment in a Pueblo Magical. Photo: Joel Gastélum

r for the fourth annual alamos film festival, small.The photo above is from the closing ceremony at the Palacio.  The theme of the festival was “100 years of Maria Felix” and Miguel Castillo is singing “Maria Bonita” with Maria Felix’s eyes projected onto the screen behind him.  After he finished singing we played the movie “Yerba Mala” which was filmed in Alamos two years ago.  There were 700 seats filled in the Palacio for the closing ceremony.

Audience inside the palacio for the 4th annual alamos film festival.  alamos, sonora, mexico. 2014. photo - Joel Gastélum

What is a festival without an audience? Photo: Joel Gastélum

Meanwhile outside in the streets

line of people waiting outside the Palacio, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico to watch the film festival.  photo by Joel Gastélum

They came to be part of the film festival. photo- Joel Gastélum

More people were lining up outside and we were out of seats, so we made the announcement that we would also show “Yerba Mala” in the Plaza.  An additional 500 people showed up to see it in the plaza.

Outdoor Cine on a plaza side street.  photo - Joel Gastélum.  alamos, sonora, mexico.

Outdoor Cine on a plaza side street. Photo: Joel Gastélum

Maria Felix exhibition

inside the Museo Costumbrista de Sonora.  april 5th, 2014 opening of an Maria felix exhibition.  alamos, sonora, mexico.   photo - Joel Gastélum

Inside The Museo Costumbrista de Sonora. Photo: Joel Gastélum

On Saturday, April 5th there was also a Maria Felix exhibition in the museum. The exhibit was organized by our festival president, René Solis and was put together by a curator from the museum of Popular Arts in Mexico City. The exhibition will stay in the museum for at least a month and then will go to Mexico City and Paris this summer. Seen here from left to right are Benjamín Anaya (Presidente Municipal), Maria Duran (Representante de IMCINE) and Monica Luna (representante del Intitudo Sonorense de Cultura).

Inside museo costumbrista de sonora.  april 5th.  maria felix exhibition. photo - Joel Gastélum

History is for us all, young and old. Photo: Joel Gastélum

Here are some of the people that make the Festival happen.

caroline Duarte, larissa veg, joel gastélum, john sheedy and Andres Montiel.  alamos film festival april 3-6 2014. alamos sonora mexico.  photo by joel gastélum.

Hard work and good friends help make a festival happen. Selfie: Joel Gastélum

This happy moment is shared by some of the folks involved with the Festival. From left to right: Carolina Daurte (Festival coordinator), Larissa Vega (Maestra de ceremonia), Joel Gastélum (festival tech guy/ photographer), John Sheedy (Festival director) and Andres Montiel (actor, workshop teacher). This looks like a place to be having fun.

It takes a community to present a film festival

A group portrait of alamos film festival organizers taken in the Alamos Museum. Photo: Joel Gastélum.  alamos sonora mexico. april 3-6, 2014.

A group portrait taken in the Alamos Museum. Photo: Joel Gastélum

The Festival organizers in the photo above from left to right: Rosario Alvarez (El Turismo del Palacio), luz del Carmen Parra (Representante del Turismo del Estado), Angel Flores (Representante de la Educación), René Solís (Presidente de FICAM), Monica Luna (representante del Intitudo Sonorense de Cultura), Benjamín Anaya (Presidente Municipal), Maria Duran (Representante de IMCINE), Antonio Estrada (Director del Museo), Sandra Bustillos Sheedy (Secretaria del Festival), John Sheedy (Director del Festival), Carolina Duarte (Coordinadora del Festival), Marisol de Vega (amiga del festival). This group portrait was taken in the Alamos Museum on April 5th during the inauguration of the Maria Felix exhibit. The exhibit is sponsored by FICAM and will go on to Mexico City and Paris this summer.

now and then spacer

Notes courtesy of John Sheedy. John is a teacher at the United World College as well as Director of the Alamos Film Festival and a filmmaker.

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