History moved for safekeeping

By Chelle Delaney

A big chunk of Tucumcari�s past, almost two tons, was brought into the present and put on display Friday at Wells Fargo Bank.
The 1934 Mosler safe � that looks like something from the Jules Verne novel �20,000 Leagues Under the Sea � � originally came from the First National Bank of Tucumcari, said Patsy Gresham, Wells Fargo�s district manager.
Gresham, who started her banking career in 1973 at First National, remembers the bulbous safe in that bank�s vault at Main and Second streets.
But it�s not known what is inside, she said.
The safe has two compartments and the combination to the upper round section has been lost over the years, Gresham said.
Phillip Calderon and Keith Ferrell of Albuquerque-based Red Hawk Industries were hired to move the safe. The company specializes in moves and other services for financial institutions.
The thick-walled safe is magnese steel and was made to withstand a blast from any would-be bank robbers using nitroglycerin, Ferrell said.
�There�s only about a square foot of space in the upper section,� Ferrell said. �The most it held was probably $50,000 in 100s.�
First National moved in 1974 to its new headquarters which is now Wells Fargo Bank, and the safe was warehoused, Gresham said.
In 1997 First National, whose majority stockholders were the Jones family, sold its Tucumcari banking operations to Wells Fargo, Gresham said.
There�s a similar safe on display at Wells Fargo in Santa Rosa, another bank that was owned by the Jones family, Gresham said.