Santa Gertrudis bull. Photo Courtesy NPS
PECOS NHP NEWS
Pecos National Historical Park is looking to hear from people who have stories, photographs or memorabilia that shed light on what it was like to work at Kozlowski’s Trading Post and the Forked Lightning Ranch between 1860 and 1990.
In February, Pecos National Historical Park received funding to rehabilitate the historic Trading Post and to transform the building into a visitor contact station and museum. Park staff hopes to collect the community’s under-represented stories and include them as part of a more holistic treatment of this historic property. Anyone who would like to share a story may contact the Chief of Interpretation, Becky Latanich, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trading Post has a storied past. A Polish immigrant named Martin Kozlowski originally constructed the Trading Post along the Santa Fe Trail in 1858. It served as one of the last stage stops before trail-weary travelers arrived in Santa Fe after months on the dusty trail. During the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass, this building served as a Union hospital. In 1925, rodeo-promoter and entrepreneur Tex Austin purchased the building and turned it into ranch headquarters for his famous Forked Lightning Ranch.
In the 1940s, E.E. “Buddy” Fogelson bought the ranch and then brought his Hollywood actress wife, Oscar-winning Greer Garson, to the Forked Lightning Ranch. Together, they worked the land as a hobby ranch and entertained many Hollywood guests. In 1990, the National Park Service acquired the ranch and Trading Post and used it as office space, until 2006, when the building was deemed unfit for occupancy. The Trading Post is scheduled to open to the public in 2021.
For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at http://www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).
From I-25 N: Take the Pecos/Glorieta Exit, #299. Left onto overpass, right onto Route 50; proceed on Route 50 for eight miles. At the village of Pecos, take a right at the four-way stop onto Route 63. In two miles, the park will be on your right. From I-25 S: Take the Rowe Exit, #307. Follow signs. From Highway 63, the park will be on your left.