Martineztown/Santa Barbara,
The Beginning
What is now known as the Martineztown/Santa Barbara
neighborhood once was little more than the barren reaches of
flood plain where the sand hills began. It was far from the
agriculturally developed area between the Albuquerque Plaza
(old town) and the Rio Grande river and it could be used only
for grazing for goats and other livestock. It was crossed by a
wagon trail that led to Carnuel in the Tijeras Canyon and
beyond known as the Barelas Ditch because it channeled back
to the river in the area known as Barelas. This gave an
agricultural value to the land below the sandhills.
We know that the patriarch of what was to become known as Martineztown,
Manuel Martin, had land in the area where the Carnuel Road crossed the
Barelas ditch in the early part of the century and we know that he moved his
family to that land in the 1850's. Some of his descendents speculate that his
move was a protest over the changes that accompanied the coming of the
North Americans after 1846. A new Archbishop from Quebec, Archbishop
Lamy, brought a missionary fervor to the effort to re-orient the church from
the Durango archbishopric to his own jurisdiction and the United States
beyond. He used excomunication against Padre Gallegos of San Felipe de
Neri in the early years of his reign and replaced him with a french priest. In
subsequent years he used excomunication against the priest and educator of
Taos who had taken a leading role in speaking for the village religion in New
Padre Gallegos,
San Felipi de Neri
Taos parish
San Felipi de
Neri before it
became 'anglified'
John Menaul, Presbyterian missionary
A commentary by descendents of the founding family of Martineztown
on the origins and with a contribution of two outsiders, Tony Mares,
historian, and Miguel Gandert, photographer.