Life in gardens: Chamisal

New Mexico, R. Lee, via LoCWoman and baby in a flower garden in front of an adobe oven, July 1940, Chamisal, New Mexico, (along the High Road to Taos) by Russell Lee, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Chamisal was settled by Spanish colonialists in the 18th century.  The name may come from the “chamois” shrub  (Chrysothamnus or rabbitbrush).

Lee and his wife, Jean, spent two weeks in Chamisal and Peñasco documenting the lives of the towns’ Hispanic small farmers and ranchers.

The winding High Road to Taos begins in Santa Fe and crosses the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  The landscape includes high desert, forest, farms, and historic Spanish Land Grant and Pueblo Indian villages.