During the evening of April 26, around 100 members of the Tucumcari Historical Research Institute gathered at the Elks Lodge for the annual dinner meeting.
Three new board members were elected to replace Joanie Vance, Lala Landess, and Sonny Cast during the business session. They are Lucy Nials, Yetta Bidegain, and Danny Wallace. Acting Secretary Lucy Nials read the minutes from the last meeting, and Vice President Dorothy Randals read certificates of appreciation for the former board members and talked about how much each had meant to the historical society. Treasurer Joy Young thanked President Duane Moore for all his work during his fifteen years in office and explained how much his efforts are appreciated. President Moore thanked all members for their participation during the year and said field trips would be announced soon.
Members of the Elks Lodge served an excellent dinner, during which members did much visiting and just enjoyed each other’s company. The meal and the visiting set the stage for the speaker of the evening.
Mrs. Travis Nelson of Nara Visa most graciously presented the group with an enlightening history of the Nara Visa area, going back to the time of the Indians passing through on their hunting expeditions, the coming of the Spanish settlers, and the beginning of Nara Visa as the first settlement west of the state line. She mentioned many of the pioneers, talked about the coming of the railroad, the number of fires that kept trying to put Nara Visa out of business, and the various bank robberies. She traced the history of the school system and the building of the permanent plant which is used today as the Community Center.
As she talked, the audience was much aware of the research she had done for her speech and could see that she was proud to be among the pioneer families of the area. Her commanding presence as a speaker kept our attention, and her sense of humor added relief to the serious incidents she described. She also asked Bob White, another Nara Visa native, to join her at the podium to tell a humorous story of the past about the coming of the automobile and the problems some people had in controlling such machines. When we can have Quay Countians talk about our history, we are most fortunate because we know they have lived much of our history and know what they are talking about. Whereas, we also enjoy speakers from elsewhere, we realize they are talking about their research in other areas and show their interest in the past without having played much part in it.
Those of us who call Quay County home are eager to know more about our history and continue to try to find out as much as we can in order to preserve that history to go along with our collection of memorabilia at the Tucumcari Historical Museum. By having some of that history to tell to visitors at the museum, we can give them a sense of the past and our reasons for being proud of our heritage.
We welcome new members to the organization throughout the year and hope they will feel free to offer their services at the museum and to help us to collect even more history and memorabilia.