“In the Rearview” history series: 10 weeks of the fascinating and strange in Taos, NM

Taos, New Mexico, is not an ordinary American town. In many ways, it is anything but ordinary. A mountain town that is adjacent to one of the oldest continuously inhabited Native communities in the United States, an early site of Spanish settlement in the 1600s, and the home of prominent characters of the Wild West, Taos’ history is staggering. So it comes as no surprise that many interesting things have happened there over the years.

This past summer, as an Editorial Intern with The Taos News, I was tasked with creating a new weekly history column. Sifting through the newspaper’s archives, each week I found a prominent (or more often, weird) event from that week’s stories from 10, 25, and 50 years ago. In this endeavor, I uncovered such varied events as the mysterious “Taos Hum,” some macabre murder cases, archaeological discoveries, Mt. Everest rescues, deadly carnival rides, the arrival of the hippies, and many more. Here, you can take a look at some of the stories I dug up in the ten-article run.

In the early 1990s, a mysterious low-frequency noise called the ‘Taos Hum’ began irritating Taos residents. The sound is still a mystery. Photo Courtesy The Taos News.

A thrilling mountain rescue, an investigation into the ‘Taos Hum’ and reactions to the Tijerina raid” June 22, 2017

In the 1990s, this French cyclist biked through Taos as part of his often dangerous and thrilling globe-spanning journey. Photo courtesy The Taos News.

A terrifying lightning strike, a French cyclist on a globe-trotting journey and first contact with ‘the hippies’” June 29, 2017

A juncture in the Cabresto Dam saga, a curious anatomy class and an esteemed visitor from Spain” July 7, 2017

In the 1990s, a local woman was mysteriously murdered. The case to find her killer was fraught with controversy and mystery. Photo courtesy The Taos News.

A snail-inflicted itch, a grisly murder and the return of the hippies” July 13, 2017

Archaeologists outside the D.H. Lawrence Ranch investigate the ruins of ancient ‘pit-dwellers.’ Photo courtesy The Taos News.

An Amtrak incident, an author’s milestone birthday and an archaeological excavation” July 20, 2017

In the 1960s, a fleet of Navion aircraft visited Taos for a ‘fly-in’—the largest assembly of aircraft in the town at that time. Photo courtesy The Taos News. 

A speedy search and rescue, a deadly carnival ride and a fleet of aerial visitors” July 27, 2017

A chocolate-obsessed bear, op-ed against a missile defense project and a mischievous land dispute” August 3, 2017

A Gorge Bridge inspection, ancient petroglyphs and Taos High School’s delayed 1967 opening” August 10, 2017

An Earthship bonanza, a missing girl and a snobby opera review” August 18, 2017

The legal saga behind a horrifying murder, B-1 bombers and the restoration of San Francisco de Asís Church” August 24, 2017

While that concluded my ten-article run, there’s still more stories I will have coming out of Taos, New Mexico. Stay tuned!


Read “The Plague of Taos?: A History of Plague in New Mexico” in The Taos News

Image Courtesy The Taos News

New Mexico has a problem with bubonic plague. It first arrived in the state in 1949, but at the time, not many imagined that it would never leave. In 2017, there have already been three cases of plague in humans. But the plague had a long journey to New Mexico. Read my feature story published in The Taos News, “The Plague of Taos?: A History of Bubonic Plague in New Mexico,” here.



Read Tortoise’s 2017 Issue Now

Tortoise Cover 2017-01
Image Courtesy Princeton University Writing Program.

The 2017 issue of ‘Tortoise: A Journal of Writing Pedagogy’ is now online and available. The theme this year is ‘Risk-taking in academic writing.’ Over the past year, my staff reviewed more than 87 academic papers, and we selected 15 for publication, with topics ranging from The Great British Bake Off, to Assassin’s Creed, to the refugee crisis. The issue also includes essays by our staff reflecting on their own writing processes. This publication strives to achieve what few other journals have attempted–to better understand the academic writing process and help provide examples of strong academic writing to students as a novel educational tool.

Read the issue here: https://tortoise.princeton.edu/archive/spring-2017/