Journey Stories video now online


This great video created by the Smithsonian Institution details the Journey Stories exhibit organized by the Old Trails Museum at La Posada Hotel. This exhibit is on view now through August 4, 2013, and the admission is FREE!

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The world’s largest Navajo rug comes to La Posada: An intimate, behind-the-scenes video


In 1932, Lorenzo Hubbell of the famous Hubbell Trading Post network commissioned Sam and Julia Joe to weave the world’s largest Navajo Rug for promotional purposes. It has not been seen in public in over 50 years. Allan Affeldt purchased the rug in 2012. He donated it to the Winslow Art Trust and it will be displayed at the Route 66 Art Museum at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona. On this day, the descendants of the Joe family have been invited to a private reunion at La Posada.

This event is especially touching because in attendance is Emma Joe, who as a child carded wool for 2 years to help make the rug. This will be the first time most of the members of the Joe family will see and touch the rug.

Filmed and edited by David Herzberg

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La Fonda on the Plaza shares a little history with La Posada


In 1958, during a particularly sad moment in La Posada’s history, the entire contents of the hotel were packed into boxcars and shipped to Albuquerque for auction. Most of the furnishings vanished forever. Only a handful of original items have come back to us over the years.

This is a story about things coming full circle. Our good friends at another wonderful historic Fred Harvey Hotel — La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico — are renovating their rooms and have offered us a large selection of the hand-painted historic furnishings that have graced their hotel for decades. We’re shuttling the furniture from Santa Fe in rental trucks, and La Posada owner Allan Affeldt arrived in Winslow with the first load on May 1st. We’ll be posting updates on this project and showing you some highlights from this historic furniture collection.

All of us at La Posada offer our thanks to all the folks at La Fonda on the Plaza who have helped keep this history “in the family.”

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For Mary: A film journey through a Mary Colter masterpiece


A film journey through the seasons and time of Mary Colter’s architectural masterpiece La Posada – the historic Harvey House Hotel located in Winslow, Arizona.

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La Posada: The History, a new video


Learn the fascinating story behind the famous La Posada Hotel located in Winslow, Arizona. Allan Affeldt, owner and general manager of La Posada, hosts a brief historical overview of architect Mary Colter’s amazing Harvey House, built for the Santa Fe Railroad in 1929.

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Photographic history of Arizona presented at La Posada


AHC Road Scholar and Historian Jim Turner leads a visual tour of Arizona history.

From the geological wonders of the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest, to cutting-edge biotech industries and Native American art galleries, this whirlwind pictoral history tour of Arizona shows it all.

In addition to beautiful landscape photography and historic site images, this engaging program addresses Arizona’s cultural diversity, mining and the history of water use.

Before retiring fromthe Arizona Historical Society in their outreach position, Turner worked with more than seventy museums in every corner of the state, including Old Trails Museum in Winslow. He co-authored the fourth grade text book, The Arizona Story, and his new pictorial history book, Arizona: Celebration of the Grand Canyon State, contains more than 530 images of the state.

Turner will be available for a book signing after the presentation.

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Winslow Arts Trust displays largest Navajo rug in the world


The Winslow Arts Trust has recently acquired the world’s largest Navajo Rug for display in the Route 66 Art Museum which will be located in the original Santa Fe Railroad train station located next to La Posada Hotel. This rug measures 26 by 36 feet and was commissioned by Lorenzo Hubbard Jr. in 1932. The rug was created by the Sam Joe family of Greasewood. It took three years to weave the rug on a specially made 30 foot wide by 10 foot tall loom. 78 head of sheep were sheared (60 white and 18 black) to gather the wool for the rug The rug traveled throughout the nation and was displayed at the New York’s World Fair in 1962. On May 1, 2012, the rug was briefly unrolled in its future home and measurements and images were taken to allow museum designers to create the proper environment for its future display. Renovation of the Route 66 Museum is scheduled to occur in the fall of 2012, with the first phase of the project (including the rug display exhibition hall) completed in the fall of 2013.

The rug on display in its future home in the Route 66 Art Museum located in the original railroad station next to La Posada Hotel. In this image the Winslow Harvey Girls are lined up at the west end of the exhibition space.
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La Posada recommended in AFAR magazine


La Posada Hotel was highlighted along with 5 other railroad inspired hotels in the May/June 2012 edition of AFAR magazine (page 74). The “Stay” section of the magazine recommended 6 train hotels around the world including: The Riffelalp Resort in Switzerland, The Fairmont Chateau in Canada, The Pera Palace in Turkey, St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in England and Hotel Granvia in Japan. 

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The La Posada gardens in winter


Winter 2012 Gardens Report

 

The gardens are dark and silent now, especially at night:
the depths of winter have settled into the Little Colorado River Valley. Now is
the season for the gardens and their gardeners to rest, as we store and
conserve energy for the advent of spring 2012 and the beginning of (we hope)
another long and prosperous growing season. Accordingly, my assistant gardener
and fellow jardinero Manuel Contreras has “retired” for the off season. Manuel
spent several weeks in late November and early December dead-heading flowering
plants like hollyhocks and globe mallow, cleaning up leaves, and building
compost piles. Hotel Manager Dan Lutzick helped us to haul a heavy truckload of
free horse and steer manure from a nearby corral; we added it to the compost
piles as a heat-generating “inoculant.” Once sufficiently decomposed, the
finished compost will return vital soil nutrients to cultivated areas within
the gardens. Composting is essential to the organic approach to gardening.

 

Manuel, believe it or not, is 70 years old, and his
relatively brief wintertime repose will be well deserved. He is, without a
doubt, the hardest working man at La Posada. As is his custom, Manuel will
return to full time work in the gardens on March 1, 2012, having gone to
Durango, Mexico, for a few weeks to visit friends and relatives, including his
mother, who is nearly 90 years old.

 

As for yours truly, I will also be resting a bit during this
cold period between the winter solstice and Valentine’s Day. However, there are
still some important tasks to be accomplished, so I am doing them. The depths
of winter are actually the best time for both pruning and planning. Most shrubs
and trees are dormant by now, meaning that I can make sharp, careful pruning
cuts on live wood without causing “bleeding” (flowing sap) from the “wounds.”

 

Pruning, especially of fruit trees, is one of my favorite
gardening chores. Pruning is especially pleasurable on sunny, windless days,
when the work often becomes almost meditative.
It is easy to get lost in the work. Lately I have been focusing my
pruning upon La Posada’s many fruit trees, both young and old. The oldest trees
are quinces. Like apples and pears, they belong to the Rose family of plants.
We have several quinces growing in the area just east of the Sunken Garden, and
north of the Ballroom. These quinces are elders; they are heirloom fruit trees
that connect us directly to La Posada’s creator, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter,
who included several quinces on her planting palette for the grounds. She
likely did so because the quince is an edible, ornamental species that the
Spanish brought with them to Mexico and the Southwest. As such, the quinces are
part of La Posada’s creation story. Because of their age (at least 80), I
approach the pruning of La Posada’s quinces with great care and respect. In
fact, until this winter I had not done any pruning on them for about six or
seven years (according to my garden journals, which begin in January 2001).

 

This year I decided to remove as much dead wood from the
quinces as I can, along with some “water sprouts” and root suckers (live wood),
which steal vital energy from these old trees. With any luck, and perhaps with
a bit of skill—having to do with the timing of watering and fertilizing—these
antique but still healthy trees will provide another abundant crop of beautiful
yellow quince fruits for Chef John Sharpe and The Turquoise Room. We usually
get a good crop about every other year. Last year there were none. To
paraphrase William Carlos Williams, “so much depends” on the absence of late
spring frosts–which can kill the delicate white flowers—and on the presence of
honeybees, who pollinate the flowers, creating the fruits. Although April
frosts took away last year’s potential fruits, we did have a small crop of apples,
peaches, and grapes.

 

Well, it may be barely winter, but the first signs of
springtime may not be all that far off. In mild winters we have seen the first
crocus flowers and the first leaves on the honeysuckle vines in the Sunken
Garden by the last week of January. In colder winters, the first signs of
spring may not be visible until late February. Like the rooms in the hotel, each
year is different, and yet there are some things that we’ve come to anticipate
and to expect.

 

Happy New Year! We hope to see you outside
in the gardens in 2012.

 

Sincerely,

 

Patrick Pynes, Gardens Manager

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La Posada Featured in Smithsonian Magazine


La Posada Hotel is featured in the February 2012 edition of Smithsonian Magazine. A full page image of the hotel along with a short interview is included in the story “The Mystique of Route 66″ by David Lamb with photographs by Catherine Karnow. To see the article, click on this link: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/The-Mystique-of-Route-66.html

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