After a recent visit to Los Alamos this looks like the perfect read. Thanks to Julie for the book recommend.
"The Wives of Los Alamos" is a novel that sheds light onto one of the strangest and most monumental research projects in modern history, and a testament to a remarkable group of women who carved out a life for themselves, in spite of the chaos of the war and the shroud of intense secrecy.
Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago—and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with a P.O. box for an address in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of a project that didn’t exist as far as the public knew. Though they were strangers, they joined together—adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, full of the banalities of everyday life and the drama of scientific discovery.
A heads up on the author's style. It is is written in first person plural.
San Miguel Chapel is one of the best examples of preserved adobe architecture in Santa Fe. One of it's claims to fame is being the oldest church structure in the United States. The earliest documentation of the existence of San Miguel Chapel is from 1628 but oral history holds that it was built around 1610 and has been rebuilt and restored several times over the past 400 years.
The wooden altar screen or reredos is one of the oldest in New Mexico. In the center is a statue of San Miguel patron of San Miguel Chapel. But it was this bell that really captured my attention. It was beautifully crafted and produced lovely tones when you struck it.
It weighs 780 pounds and is comprised of 764 pounds of copper, 5 pounds of lead with some traces of zinc, tin, silver and gold.
In Willa Cather's famous novel of New Mexico, "Death Comes for the Archbishop" (1927) there is an early chapter entitled A Bell and A Miracle. It relates a special story about Santa Fe's first Archbishop, Fr. Jean Baptiste Lamy and the San Miguel bell.
Check out the reviews of this book, online. All are stellar.
Willa Cather published "My Ántonia" in 1918. It is considered one of her best works and the final book of her "prairie trilogy" of novels, before producing her greatest artistic achievement, "Death Comes for the Archbishop" (1927). With the same power she had used to invoke the landscape of the Plains, Cather represented the beauty and the history of the southwest United States. Drawing from the life of Archbishop Lamy, Catholic French missionary to New Mexico in the 1850s, Cather created Bishop Latour, the man who ministers to the Mexican, Navajo, Hopi, and American people of his diocese. Cather took pains with her presentation; her writing was well researched and her attention to the details of layout made this the most handsomely produced book of her career. Critics immediately hailed it as "an American classic," a book of perfection.
home of the city's most photographed site-The Miraculous Staircase
It's a wooden spiral staircase with two 360 degree turns and no central or visible support.
Go to http://www.lorettochapel.com/staircase.html for an interesting story of why it was constructed.
St. Francis Cathedral-visit a small chapel inside where the oldest Madonna statue in North America is housed.