Casa Vieja has long history
A RICH history of Casa Vieja precedes any restaurant or event center.
The Nov. 21 letter to the editor about Corrales’ famous Casa Vieja mentions one aspect of this location’s rich history: its time as a restaurant. The Bentleys and others did a marvelous job of keeping this property alive, and for that I am thankful. But there’s much history before that.
The Spanish history of Corrales, which ties into my family’s story, followed the abandonment of the area by the Native Americans in late 1600s and began in 1710 with the Alameda Land Grant. Land was granted to Francisco Montes y Vigil, an officer with de Vargas, as payment for Montes y Vigil’s military service, as was the custom. The property was sold by Montes y Vigil to Captain Juan Gonzalez, who then sold it to Julio Martinez, his brother- in-law. At this point, my family history — the Martinez family — started.
The land was passed on to Martinez’s heir, Julio Martinez, my mother’s dad. Julio and his wife, Margarita, later sold it, but my maternal grandmother, Margarita Martinez, lived in the home for many years prior to its sale.
It was then sold to the T. F. Harringtons, who remodeled it. It passed through other hands, too, before finally becoming Casa Vieja as we know it today.
So, this property has a rich and varied history far beyond being in its current state. I hope that when people visit Casa Vieja today as an event center, they will savor the ambiance of what this property was and the many lives it has touched prior to being what it is today. AUDREY LIETZOW Albuquerque