Friday, April 10, 2009
A Brief History
I drove down through what used to be the township of Black Lake yesterday. Yes, Martha, there is a Black Lake. And there used to be a town. It was a thriving community of ranchers in the late 1800's and early 1900's. This area had been homesteaded in that time by primarily the Trujillo family. Per the 1861 homestead act you could get deeded to you 160 acres if you worked the land for 10 years and made improvements. The menfolk of the Trujillo extended family did and then joined them together into a very large ranch.
In the town of Black Lake - or what remains of it is an old school that is used for little art fairs, the UU Bar Ranch - which was used for filming all the Montana scenes for Lonesome Dove, Poorboy's bar and dance hall - now closed because of the death of the owner, and various adobe and log buildings that have been melting into the landscape.
Us locals that live in "Black Lake" as opposed to Angel Fire have various inside jokes as to where we live here. There is Tween which is between El Bordo hill and the first Black Lake sign. Twixt which is between sign one of Black Lake and sign two of Black Lake. (To get to my house you turn off at Tween but my house is actually in Twixt. ) Then there is Beyond which is as you would likely guess beyond the last Black Lake sign. That actual last Black Lake sign is where the historic community of Black Lake was. And up against the mountains to the west, tucked into the shadows on the UU Bar Ranch is Black Lake, the lake, so named because it is a peat area and between shadows and black bottom does indeed look black.
People miss it all the time. And we constantly get the question, "Is there really a Black Lake?" Yes, Martha, there is. And there is Tween, and Twixt and Beyond too.