Barrio de Analco and America’s Oldest House

Santa Fe New Mexico and America’s Oldest House

Santa Fe New Mexico was officially settled in the year 1610. Santa Fe served as the Spanish capital of Nuevo Mexico, the present day state of New Mexico.

oldest house in america

Oldest house in the U.S.

When you visit Santa Fe be sure to take a short stroll up the Old Santa Fe Trail from the Plaza area to De Vargas Street. The adobe structure located just east of the Old Santa Fe Trail is recognized as the oldest house in the United States.

There is a bit of controversy regarding this distinguished title however the owners of the structure located at 215 East De Vargas Street are duly recognized by the city of Santa Fe. The structure was reportedly built in 1646 and has been standing on this site through Spanish, Mexican and United States rule. The other two structures in the United States which claim a similar title are the Gonzalez-Alvarez House in St. Augustine Florida and the Fairbanks House in Dedham Massachusetts.

It’s interesting visiting this house to understand how people lived in this part of North America during the 1600’s. You’ll see some unique artifacts and photos. The structure demonstrates authentic old adobe architecture which is much different than the new adobe structures you see today.

oldest church in america

Oldest Church in the U.S., San Miguel, Santa Fe, NM

Barrio de Analco

San Miguel Chapel, often known as the oldest church in the country, is the key site of the Barrio de Analco National Historic Landmark District.

The Santa Fe neighborhood known as the Barrio de Analco which is centered around the San Miguel church, was established in the early seventeenth century.


The Barrio de Analco represented an active working class neighborhood of Spanish Colonial Heritage. The district contains numerous examples of Spanish-Pueblo architecture, characterized by the adobe construction indigenous to the Southwest.

The area where the oldest house is located is also one of the oldest neighborhood in Santa Fe, Barrio de Analco. Barrio de Analco is just south of the Santa Fe River and was established in about 1620.

san miguel mission santa fe new mexicoBarrio de Analco is a well known Santa Fe Historic District and is home to several other significant structures including the oldest church in America, the Chapel of San Miguel. This chapel is recognized as the oldest continuously occupied church in the U.S. built in 1626.San Miguel chapel in its present form goes back to 1710. The mission church has undergone structural and design changes over the many decades since.

Sunday mass is still held at the Chapel of San Miguel for those wishing for a full experience of the building’s past.

Also at 132 East De Vargas Street is the Gregorio Crespin House. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Gregorio Crespin House was built in 1720 and is now used for various community events.

barrio de analco santa fe

Barrio de Analco, Santa Fe, NM

The barrio settled by Mexican Indians and as mentioned above is just south of the Santa Fe River and thus south of the Plaza area.The Mexican Indians came northward with the Conquistadors.

San Miguel mission was severely damaged during the Pueblo Revolt and was repaired and rebuilt during the early 1700’s.

The Barrio de Analco served as a buffer for any Pueblo Indian attack coming from the south. As it turned, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 was successful from the Pueblo Indian standpoint. The Spaniards were driven out of Nuevo Mexico for some twelve years finally returning successfully in 1692.

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A Very Unique New Mexico Spanish Mission Church

Santa Fe’s Indian Market

The Bering Land Bridge National Preserve / Worth the Visit

A Visit to Fiesta Santa Fe

A very good book about old Santa Fe, it’s history and growth is Old Santa Fe by author James J. Raciti. You may also want to look for the book The Centuries of Santa Fe by author Paul Horgan.

A Santa Fe Visit Offers a Trip Back Into History

When you visit Santa Fe be certain to add the Barrio de Analco area and the Oldest House in America to your trip planner. It’s an opportunity to see the type of architecture during the very first years of Santa Fe’s existence. Be sure to take your camera along for some excellent pictures. The Barrio de Analco Historic District is a perfect embellishment to the history of Santa Fe.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 Trips Into History)

The Resting Place of the Heroes of the Alamo / San Antonio

Just a few blocks off the popular River Walk in San Antonio Texas is the beautiful and historic San Fernando Cathedral. With the formation of the Diocese of San Antonio in 1874, the church was designated a cathedral. The cathedral is still active and received a visit by the pope in 1987.

Historical Facts Regarding the Building and Renovation of San Fernando Cathedral

san fernando cathedral san antonio

San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, TX

The San Fernando Cathedral was built by settlers from the Canary Islands, who arrived in the area in 1731, after they were granted land and title by King Philip V of Spain.The San Fernando cathedral is also very near to the Alamo. The cornerstone of the existing  structure was laid in 1738. The Alamo was also built in the early 1700’s and was given the name Mission San Antonio de Valero.

The Gothic design at the front of the San Fernando Cathedral was finished around the year 1868. This was the time that the church underwent a large renovation. It is said that much of the original church from about 1749 remains as the sanctuary area around the altar. San Fernando Cathedral has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States and the oldest structure in Texas.

san fernando cathedral interior

Altar area of San Fernando Cathedral

A Very Historical Site

San Fernando Cathedral, then a church, witnessed plenty of history including the War for Mexican Independence and then not long after that the War for Texas Independence. Quite a lot of history in what was at that time the largest settlement in Texas.

San Fernando Cathedral sits on what is said to be the center of San Antonio. At one time all distances in Texas were measured from the dome of the then church.

images of alamo heroesThe Heroes of the Alamo

When you visit San Antonio Texas a stop at San Fernando Cathedral is a must. The cathedral is a beautiful structure as you can see from the photos in this article. Along with the cathedrals rich history and beautiful architecture is a very unique story that involves the Texas defenders from the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. In fact the church actually played a part in the battle of the Alamo. It was from the cathedral’s tower that Santa Ana raised a blood red flag to signal the Alamo defenders that no quarter would be given. It’s also been said that Santa Ana also used the cathedral as a lookout post.

Just inside the front entrance of San Fernando Cathedral is a small coffin that most people believe holds the remains of the Alamo defenders. History tells us that after the Alamo was finally seized by the Mexican Army and Texan survivors were rounded up, Santa Ana ordered the prisoners executed and their bodies burned.

The story of what happened to the ashes of the defenders is not without some controversy.

What is Known About the Defender’s Ashes

By the 1800’s the missionaries at the Alamo had left and the former mission essentially became a military compound. In fact the name “El Alamo” came from the soldiers who occupied it. The name comes from the cottonwood trees that surrounded it.

The siege of the Alamo began on February 23, 1836. The battle lasted for thirteen days.

A detail was sent to San Antonio about a year after the battle to recover the remains of the Alamo defenders.

It is said that the bodies were burned at three different locations all relatively near the front of the Alamo.

One story is that the ashes were collected and put in a wooden box and taken to San Fernando Cathedral for a memorial. After the memorial the box was buried at the site of the largest fire.

Another version of events say that the ashes were collected and taken to San Fernando and buried near the altar.

alamo defenders crypt

Crypt allegedly holding the ashes of the Alamo defenders at San Fernando Cathedral

Historians are not in total agreement as to whether the ashes in the crypt are indeed those of the Alamo defenders. Supposedly bits of uniform were said to be found in the ashes and it’s generally believed that no Alamo defenders wore uniforms of any kind.

Today, the ashes are in a stone crypt at the cathedral’s front entrance. Whether the ashes in this crypt are those of the Alamo’s garrison will only be answered by some type of scientific testing.

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Explore Western Art in San Antonio Texas

The Guenther House and Historic Pioneer Flour Mill / San Antonio

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Visit Round Rock Texas / Sam Bass and the Historic Palm House

san fernando cathedral san antonio texas

Another view of San Fernando Cathedral

San Antonio Texas is one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S. Visiting San Antonio allows you to take in the many historic sites and structures in what was once the largest settlement in Texas. Other great family attractions include SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

San Antonio is also home to several other historic Spanish missions in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This large historical park which was established in 1978 preserves four of the five missions built in San Antonio Texas.  When visiting this National Park you’ll be able to follow guided tours of the churches and grounds by very knowledgeable park rangers.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 TripsIntoHistory)


Visit Buffalo’s Theodore Roosevelt 1901 Inauguration Site

Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated President of the United State on September 14, 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley. This marked the moment that Teddy Roosevelt was placed on the world stage and the nation in general was to learn much more about this very unique man.

This article tells of the events at the Pan-American Exposition in 1901, why President McKinley was in Buffalo in September 1901 … where V.P. Theodore Roosevelt was at this crucial and fatal time and some of the historic site you can visit today related to the McKinley assassination and Roosevelt inauguration.

theodore roosevelt inauguration site buffao new yor

Site of the 1901 inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt

President McKinley’s assassination took place at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. In 1901, Buffalo hosted the Pan-American Exposition, which highlighted the cultures and achievements of Western Hemisphere nations.

Buffalo New York and Alternating Current Electricity

Buffalo, New York was a fitting site for such an event which also showcased new technology. Buffalo is located a short 20 miles from Niagara Falls and was one of the first American cities to enjoy electricity. The first hydroelectric generating station was built at Niagara Falls in 1881. The enormous energy derived from the water falls was ideal for generating electricity. In 1893 Westinghouse was brought in to design a plant at the falls that would generate alternating current. Three years later a large scale power system was opened.

Theodore Roosevelt in 1901

Theodore Roosevelt, the governor of New York, had been elected vice president in 1900 on William McKinley’s Republican ticket. This was McKinley’s campaign for a second term. At the turn of the century and prior, the office of the Vice-President was thought to be a steppingstone to oblivion. In other words, the office held no real power and it’s function was primarily social in nature. In Roosevelt’s case, some of his detractors welcomed his ascension to the Vice-Presidency thinking that this would silence the well known ex-Rough Rider and maverick politician.

electric tower exhibit at pan-american exposition

The Electric Tower at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo New York

As governor of New York, Roosevelt was in line for a shot at the presidency however William McKinley was an incumbent president and the Republicans were satisfied with him.

Teddy Roosevelt could have remained governor of New York until only 1902 therefore the V.P. position could take him to 1904 at which time he might ascend to the higher office. In reality, his detractors believed he would never be chosen as a 1904 Republican candidate.

Theodore Roosevelt really did not want to be vice president, but he was a confirmed political realist with presidential ambitions. His supporters liked the idea of he being Vice-President and presiding over the Senate and the national stage it offered.

All of this of course changed in a very short time. Elected Vice-President in 1900, Roosevelt would, much to the chagrin of his detractors and to the joy of his close supporters, become President of the United States in 1901.

The Day of the Assassination

It’s interesting to note that President McKinley had planned to attend the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo during May 1901 but changed the date to September. McKinley was known to enjoy meeting the public. Unfortunately he was not big on security. For a President that could be a fatal combination.

While shaking hands with the public McKinley was shot by an anarchist from the Cleveland Ohio area. Later it would be known that the anarchist had lost his job during the Panic of 1893 and turned to anarchism.

President William McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901. He would eventually die of his wounds on September 14th. Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt was on vacation at t in Vermont at the time of the shooting.  Upon hearing the news Roosevelt and others in McKinley’s cabinet headed to Buffalo. President McKinley appeared to be recovering and was conversational. Roosevelt then left Buffalo for a trip to the Adirondack’s thinking that McKinley would recover in time.

theodore roosevelt presidential portrait

Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Portrait

As mentioned above, President McKinley died on September 14, 1901 from complications from the gunshots. The gunshots did damage to vital organs and infection set in. It was also determined at autopsy that the President was suffering from a degenerative heart muscle. Doctors at that time did not have the infection fighting tools they have today. In addition, it’s questionable whether the wounds were at first properly treated and traced which could have allowed the infections to spread.

While McKinley was fading fast Roosevelt was once again racing back to Buffalo from the Adirondack’s.

Theordore Roosevelt Takes the Oath of Office

On September 14, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office as the 26th president of the United States in Buffalo, NY. The inauguration took place at the Ansley-Wilcox House located at 641 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.

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Visit Theodore Roosevelt’s Inauguration Site

Today the Wilcox Mansion is a National Historic Site and open to the public.This is an excellent historic site and is a must see when in Buffalo New York.

where theodore roosevelt took the oath of office in 1901

Room at the Wilcox Mansion where Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office as the 26th President of the United States

Now a museum, exhibits inside the Wilcox Mansion cover the assassination, the Theodore Roosevelt inauguration, the Pan-American Exhibition and life at the turn of the century. A tour of the mansion museum begins with a film and a tour of the bottom floor. On the tour you’ll be asked to take yourself back to 1901 America and experience what it would have been like leading up to president McKinley’s assassination. More exhibits are on the second floor including some touch screen interactive items.

The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site is easy to reach being fairly close to I-190. There is also plenty of free parking. For more information including directions and hours of operation see website

(Article copyright 2014 Trips Into History. Photos and images in the public domain)

Visit Boston’s Historic Paul Revere House

Boston Massachusetts is home to the house that Paul Revere lived in when he left on his famous ride to Lexington.This was the famous “Midnight Ride” where Revere alerted Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were on the way to arrest them.

paul revere house boston

Paul Revere House, Boston MA

Boston’s Historic North End

This structure is the oldest building in downtown Boston. Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood, the North End, contains some of the city’s oldest buildings. The North End still has plenty of charm.  The windy, cobbled streets, jumble of architectural styles and the large number of historical sites make this 1/3 square mile of land a real pleasure to traverse.

The North End of Boston overflows with character and charm. Another description of Boston’s North End would be beautiful old architecture and a feeling of romance, plus a wide range of delicious food options.

The Paul Revere Home Line of Ownership

The Revere home, built around 1680, was the residence of well known silversmith Paul Revere and his family. The family lived in this house from 1770 to 1800. There’s a lot of history as to who occupied the house after it’s construction.

There are a lot of records available as to the line of ownership of the structure from it’s construction through the 1700’s.

The first occupant was reported to be a man named Robert Howard. Howard purchased the house in 1681.  Howard’s daughter apparently sold the home in 1741 to a Captain Henry Knox. Knox had mortgaged the home and lost it to a John Erving. Beginning in 1763, Erving rented out the home until 1770 at which time he sold it to Paul Revere. It’s unsure how long Revere might have resided in the house prior to him purchasing it in 1770 with a mortgage held by Erving. As mentioned above, Paul Revere lived in this house until 1800 at which time he purchased a larger home.

paul revere museum boston

Paul Revere House and museum

Historical Significance of the Paul Revere Home

The Paul Revere Home is significant for several reasons. As we know it was the home of a patriot who resided there during those crucial years leading up to independence and afterward.

The Boston Massacre was the killing of five colonists by British regulars on March 5, 1770. A patriot mob of workers and merchant seamen were in the street throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks, and a squad of British soldiers shot five of them. At that time there were about 4,000 British soldiers stationed in Boston which had a civilian population of about 15,000. The local anger at these killings resulted in a town meeting where citizens demanded that the soldiers responsible be tried for murder. In the end two soldiers were convicted of manslaughter. The British occupying army was also pulled out of Boston. Most historians believe that the Boston Massacre in 1770 ignited a series of events that eventually led to the Revolutionary War.

Three short weeks after the massacre Paul Revere produced an engraving named “The Bloody Massacre in King-Street“. The engraving shows a line of British soldiers firing into a group of Americans. Along with it is a poem most likely composed by Revere based on his engraving. The engraving and poem was based on an illustration of the Boston Massacre by artist Henry Pelham. It appears that Pelham engraved his own version of the Massacre and lent Revere some version of it, from which Revere made his engraving, adding at the top his title and at the bottom a heroic couplet and the names of those killed or who were expected to die.

Revere’s engraving was on sale within three weeks of the event. It was not intended to be an accurate depiction of the day, but served instead as a powerful propaganda tool that rallied the colonists against British policies.

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The Paul Revere Home After Paul Revere

In the 19th century, hundreds of Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants settled in the North End and many lived in the Paul Revere House.

boston massacre engraving paul revere

A print of the Boston Massacre engraving produced by Paul Revere

The Paul Revere House Today

In the 20th century, the house was restored and converted to a museum. The site is owned and operated by The Paul Revere Memorial Association. Visit this historical site and learn more about the life of Paul Revere.

There is a red brick structure adjacent to the Paul Revere Home which was built about 1711 by glazier Moses Pierce. A shipbuilder by the name of Nathaniel Hichborn, Revere’s cousin, bought the home in 1781.

Revere’s Silver Shop at the Paul Revere House

Paul Revere was a master craftsman, highly praised for his work in silver. Paul Revere’s silver shop was the center of his professional life. In later years Revere became involved in other businesses such as copper and iron works. Learn about his trade, and view items he made during your visit at the Paul Revere House.

The Paul Revere House is located at Richmond and North Streets.

(Article copyright 2014 Trips Into History. Photos of the Revere House from the Trips Into History Collection. Print of the Boston Massacre engraving from the public domain)

Your visit to Boston must include a Walk Into History along the Freedom Trail. You can start your Freedom Trail tour at the beginning, middle, or end and wend your way through the modern city streets. This is Boston’s (and your) indoor/outdoor history experience. The Freedom Trail has 16 official sites. Be sure to visit them all! – See more at:
Adjacent to the Revere House stands the Pierce Hichborn House, a red brick structure built about 1711 by glazier Moses Pierce. In 1781 shipbuilder Nathaniel Hichborn, Revere’s cousin, purchased the Pierce home. – See more at: