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The Lost Communities of Navajo Dam

In the early 1960s, Navajo Dam, displaced many communities in northeast San Juan County, northwest Rio Arriba County and southwest Colorado. Patricia Boddy Tharp interviewed many who were displaced from their homes and ranches and has written a second volume. The first first volume, 48 pages, was about the community of Los Martinez.

This second volume, 110 pages, is about Los Pinos, Rosa, and Los Arboles. They include many personal photos of the families that were displaced. The books are published by the San Juan County NM Historical Society and can be ordered for

Santa Rosa Church on Jan 22, 1912. Courtesy of Ramond Gallegos.

$10 each plus postage. Postage: Vol I $1.60, Vol II $2.20, or one copy of each $2.89. They can be ordered by calling 505-334-7136, emailing or writing to the society at P.O. Box 1252, Aztec, NM 87410-1252.

Here is a YouTube video with the author, Patricia Tharp, being interviewed:

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Grandma's Story by Gary De Leon

My Grandmother was Leonor Chavez, born June 19, 1885, in New Mexico. She died March 12, 1932, in Hot Springs, SD. My Grandfather was Esquipula Gallegos, born in Ruidoso, New Mexico, December 7, 1884.


I just bought the books, read them, and will reread many times. My family members lost homes/farms for the dam.. All of whom had children died/buried on their own private lands 1907, 1917, and 1922.

My observations & questions: The government forced all out. Yes they paid them "something," but was it enough to exhume their dead and relocate remains to other sacred/cemetery sites?


May 05, 2021

Jeanette, I got my books and am reading then now.

When I'm done they will go to the FACC Library.


Katie Kemp
Katie Kemp
Dec 14, 2022
Replying to

Hi Tom, was wondering if the library would still have these to check out? I'm looking for more info on the area.


Jeanette Fisher
Jeanette Fisher
Apr 05, 2021

My books are on order. Thank you, Tom, for this valuable information! I hope to find some clue to my Martinez line here.

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