I Love New Mexico

About all things New Mexican

Posted by bunnyterry on September - 1 - 2010 | 3 Comments


Second Railroad Bridge Building Across the Canadian - 1901

Logan, New Mexico.  It’s been home to me since 1964, when my daddy decided he could make a fortune farming here, and we pulled up stakes and left San Jon for greener pastures.

It’s generally a great place to live, even if we didn’t make that fortune growing broomcorn.  It’s small – pop 1,094 in the 2000 census.  Safe – No violent crimes that I can recall, other than that one really awful homicide suicide back in 1973, but that was family stuff.  Clean Air.  Good Schools (more on that later).  And a rich history, about which I’ve been reading for months, trying to think of a way to write about it without sounding dry and boring.

Here’s some of what I know:

Like most small towns in the West, Logan wouldnt’ exist if it wasn’t for the railroad. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad moved into northeastern New Mexico in early 1900 and began building a line down the east side of the state.  When construction of the line reached the north bank of the Canadian River, everything came to a halt while a bridge was built across the deep ravine of the Canadian.

Completed railroad bridge in the foreground, highway bridge in the background

In 1901, John and Anastacia Burns, were moving west and looking for a place to start a new life and business.  Their path intersected with that of the railroad construction crews on the Canadian, so the Burns did what any enterprising couple would have done at the turn of the century – they pitched a tent and opened a general mercantile, with supplies being hauled in from Channing, Texas by wagon.  Thus, the first small business in Logan, New Mexico was born.

By the way, as luck would have it for the Burns, the first bridge washed out in 1901 because of bad footings.  The construction crew stayed and built a second bridge, which still stands as the railroad crossing over the Canadian just south of Logan.  The Burns family made so much money that first year they were able to build a permanent general mercantile building in Logan. 

Weber and Dietrich Store, originally built by the Burns family

The history I’ve been reading says that in 1904, “because of family tragedy”, the Burns family sold out to Weber and Dietrich and moved to Nara Visa.  There they bought the McFarland mercantile business, which was sold so that the McFarland Brothers, Sim and Fred, could come to bustling Logan and built a bank.

There’s more.  Lot’s more.  Assuming that I’m more of a history buff than the average Quay County fan, I’ll save it for another post.  I love this stuff. 

Canadian River railroad bridge, still standing in 2010

3 Responses so far.

  1. Kitty brown says:

    I knew you were buff…. but History Buff??
    Like it. See you next week Miss History Buff.
    Miss Kitty

  2. Ben says:

    Dry and Boring you will never be – good stuff!

  3. Tiffany says:

    Great post, Bunny! Keep these history ones coming!

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