Casa Vieja has long his­tory

Albuquerque Journal - - OP-ED -

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

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