About El Rancho de las Golondrinas
El Rancho de las Golondrinas, The "Ranch of the Swallows" was a paraje or stopping place on El Camino Real, the Royal Road from Mexico City through Chihuahua to Old Santa Fe. Acquired as a royal purchase by Miguel Vega y Coca about 1710, it is one of the most historic ranches in the southwest. The family intermarried with the Bacas and the property was subsequently passed to their descendants.
In the diaries and reports of yesteryear, "el paraje de Las Golondrinas" is often mentioned. It became the last encampment before reaching Santa Fe , the end of the long journey on horseback or carretas from far away Mexico City . Juan Bautista de Anza, Governor of New Mexico in 1778, searching for a direct route to Arizpe, Sonora, Mexico, spent the night here with a one hundred fifty-one man expedition, in 1780.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas grew out of the vision of the Curtin-Paloheimo family, who acquired the property in 1932. Existing historic buildings were restored, authentic structures erected on old foundations and related buildings brought in from other sites. Now an 18th century Placita house complete with defensive tower, a 19th century home and all of its outbuildings, a molasses mill, a threshing ground, several primitive water mills, a blacksmith shop, a wheelwright shop, a winery and vineyards depict many of the essential elements of Spanish Colonial culture. The Sierra Village portrays life as it was lived in the mountainous regions of New Mexico. A morada, descansos, a Campo Santo and an Oratorio testify to the deep religious faith that sustained the early settlers.
A living history museum since 1972, El Rancho de las Golondrinas hopes to foster understanding of, respect for and pride in the language, culture and history of Spanish Colonial and Territorial New Mexico. Particular emphasis is placed on its use as an educational facility. It welcomes teachers and students for tours, workshops, seminars and other learning experiences. The Museum is owned and operated by a non-profit corporation.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas is affiliated with the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM).