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Los Alamos Historical Society

image The Los Alamos Historical Society preserves, promotes, and communicates the remarkable history and inspiring stories of Los Alamos and its people for our community, for the global audience, and for future generations. We do this through the Los Alamos Historical Museum, the Los Alamos Historical Society Archives and Collection, publications through Bathtub Row Press, ownership and interpretation of historic buildings, educational programs such as our lecture series, and more.

Photo: A view of Los Alamos looking north on what is now 20th Street. Ashley pond is to the left out of view. Noted are Fuller Lodge and the Big House. People often ask about the location of the Big House. It sat in the approximate location of Central Park Square where Quizno's, El Rigoberto's, and UnQuarked are currently located. Eventually, the oldest boys and a master slept at Spruce Cottage, just north of the current Historical Museum. Younger students slept in the screened-in porches of the Big House. It was built during the winter of 1916-17, and was torn down in 1947.
Wealthy Michigan lumberman, Philo C. Fuller, paid for the construction of the Lodge and donated it to the Ranch School. The Lodge, built in 1928, was designed by Santa Fe architect, John Gaw Meem (1894-1983), who along with Ranch School Director A. J. Connell, personally selected the 771 massive pine trees used in the making of the Lodge. The Lodge housed the dining hall, kitchen, and rooms for guests, staff, and the nurse.

The photograph is reproduced from Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Los Alamos: Beginning of an Era, 1943-1945 (Los Alamos: Public Relations Office, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, ca. 1967-1971). (Overlay text, arrows, and Big House color enlargement added. -ed)


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Public Open House with the US Department of Energy and National Park Service.

The Department of Energy/National Park Service Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) Planning Team kicked off their site visit to Los Alamos at a public meeting and reception that was held on Tuesday, June 2, at Fuller Lodge. An estimated 300 people turned out for the event. The event, hosted by Los Alamos County, gave attendees an opportunity to meet the team and learn more about the park project. The team was in the area for three days, seeing the Los Alamos historic properties listed in the park legislation and learning about our current Manhattan Project exhibits and highlights. The team has already visited the Oak Ridge and Hanford sites. While at the Bradbury Science Museum, they viewed our history gallery and were the first to see an exhibit highlighting a new augmented reality app created by Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Visible Team. The 3-D app recreates what Los Alamos’ historic places looked like during the Manhattan Project, when you are standing in the modern spot today. Be sure to visit the museum to experience the new app for yourself.
The MPNHP Advisory Committee met with NPS and DOE officials on Thursday morning, June 4, at the new Nature Center, to present their vision for the Park, which included ideas for location of a temporary or long term Visitor Center. Their presentation is available for the public to view here.

Los Alamos Historical Society Launched its First ebook.

Launched on Small Business Saturday, is the ebook version of The Secret Project Notebook by Carolyn Reeder. Beloved in print, this children's book tells the story of Fritz, the son of a Manhattan Project scientist, and is now available on your ereader!


Rare interview with Dorothy McKibbin now online!

The Atomic Heritage Foundation just released a never-before-heard interview with Dorothy Scarritt McKibbin on our "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website. As you know, McKibbin was the "Gatekeeper to Los Alamos" and the first reassuring face fatigued Manhattan Project recruits saw upon arriving in Santa Fe. In her interview, she discusses her first encounter with J. Robert Oppenheimer, which left her mesmerized by his delicate charm. She immediately knew she wanted to work for him.
You may also read their article about her interview and discover the chain of events that led to her career at 109 East Palace, in the heart of Santa Fe.


Historical Society Honors Its Legacy Society Members

On Saturday, June 21, the Los Alamos Historical Society honored members of its Legacy Society, those who have donated to the Society through their estate plan. Read more about it in this wonderful article from the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Historical Society Acquires Historic Bathtub Row Home

Thanks to the generous donation of Clay and Dorothy Perkins, collectors of Manhattan Project artifacts, the Los Alamos Historical Society is acquiring the historic home at 1350 Bathtub Row. Originally built in 1931 for the business manager of the Los Alamos Ranch School, the house served as home to two Nobel Prize winners, Edwin McMillan (transuranic chemistry) and Hans Bethe (astrophysics). Because of Bethe's long connection to Los Alamos and leading role in the Manahttan Project and beyond, the Society is calling the house the Hans Bethe House. It is next door to the wartime home of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, which the Society owns in a life trust.
The Historical Society will use space in the Bethe House to tell stories of the role Los Alamos played in the Cold War. As Clay and Dorothy Perkins were close friends of former Los Alamos Laboratory Director Harold Agnew, the new part of the museum complex will be dedicated to telling the stories of Harold's role in Los Alamos and as a Cold Warrior.