Category: History

An Interview With A Historic Cannoneer

If you’ve ever attended one of our annual cultural events like 1840 Rendezvous, you’ve likely witnessed the firing of the 19th century cannon on our grounds. As part of our mission to keep the American past alive, Tesoro Cultural Center partners with highly trained interpreters who specialize in historic trades and skills to demonstrate these activities at our various events as educational opportunities for our patrons. In the spirit of the Independence Day holiday, we asked local cannoneer Norman Hughes … Read the entire post >

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View Past Lectures Online

Every year, Tesoro Cultural Center is proud to present its Historic Lecture Series, featuring renowned scholars, historians and authors in the field of 19th century American Western History.

Through dinner lectures at The Fort Restaurant and free lectures for the community offered in partnership with Tattered Cover, our historic lectures explore the American West from every angle, uncovering art and music from the era and examining historical events and important figures from unique perspectives.

If you’re unable to … Read the entire post >

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An Introduction to Chile Culture

Excerpted from Sam’l Arnold’s “Eating Up the Santa Fe Trail.”

An old Mexican phrase says, “A la primera cocinera se le va un chile entero.” To the best cook goes the whole chile. Surely no kitchen can be without either!

According to ethno-botanists, chile, or “capsicum,” is a pepper indigenous to the Americas. One of the treasures Columbus brought back to Spain from his second voyage was a quantity of chile seeds. Later, Spanish and Portuguese explorers spread chile … Read the entire post >

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Tesoro’s 2019/2020 Historic Lecture Series

Each year, our Historic Lecture Series features the finest humanities scholars, historians and authors in the field of Western American history. Tesoro’s lecture series cultivates a new appreciation for the diverse cultures that shaped our current landscape – and this year’s lineup is no different! From the music of the Rio Grande to the origins of New Mexico’s Penitente Brotherhood, 19th century American Western history will come alive through each lecture.

Dinner lectures at The Fort Restaurant include a special … Read the entire post >

Tesoro’s Annual 1840s Rendezvous and Spanish Colonial Art Market

Step back in time with Tesoro Cultural Center’s 1840s Rendezvous and Spanish Colonial Art Market. Each year, Tesoro Cultural Center commemorates Far Western Mountaineers and the Fur Trade, including trappers, traders, American Indians, Hispanics, teamsters and military of the Bent’s Old Fort era (1833-1849). Bent’s Fort, of which The Fort Restaurant is an exact replica, was an important fur trading fort that operated along the Santa Fe Trail in the early 19th century.

This annual celebration will take place … Read the entire post >

Jerky Along the Santa Fe Trail

Today, we think of beef jerky in its signature stick form: easy to grab for an afternoon snack or a quick energy boost on the hiking trail. During the Fur Trade era, however, beef jerky often made the difference between eating at all, or going hungry.

Although the concept of drying meat had existed for centuries, it became particularly important to hunters, traders and travelers of the mid-19th century as a way to preserve meat without refrigeration during long journeys.… Read the entire post >

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The Life of Kit Carson

In the Southwest, the name Kit Carson is almost synonymous with “fur trapper” or “frontiersman.” This real-life historical figure became the subject of folk lore and legend even in his own time, as he expanded the fur trade and forged new trails across the West during the mid-19th century.

Raised in Missouri in the early 1800s by poor farmers, Carson made his way west to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1826. He began fur trapping two years later, moving north … Read the entire post >

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The History of Fur Trade Meals

In the mid-1800s, the fur trade expanded to the American West, with mountain men trappers, merchants and American Indian tribes eager to exchange their wares at trading posts across the frontier. While the opportunity to swap pelts, ammunition and ingredients initially brought these traders together, the meals they shared at these posts provided rare and welcome moments of community on the expansive prairie.

At popular trading posts like the original Bent’s Old Fort, guests were welcomed with an impressive meal. … Read the entire post >

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Recipe: Indian Fry Bread

The exact roots of Indian Fry Bread and its traditions are unknown, but Sam’l P. Arnold – co-founder of Tesoro Cultural Center – believed it could not have been made prior to when the American Indians began trading with settlers. Once they were able to trade for metal kettles, frying became a common cooking technique for American Indians and it is believed that Indian Fry Bread was initially introduced to them in the form of German or Dutch donuts, called … Read the entire post >

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