TAOS HISTORIC MUSEUMS
Hacienda de los Martinez
The Hacienda de los Martinez is one of the few northern New Mexico style, late Spanish Colonial period, "Great Houses" remaining in the American Southwest. Built in 1804 by Severino Martin (later changed to Martinez), this fortress-like building with massive adobe walls became an important trade center for the northern boundary of the Spanish Empire. The Hacienda was the final terminus for the Camino Real which connected northern New Mexico to Mexico City. The Hacienda also was the headquarters for an extensive ranching and farming operation.
Severino and his wife Maria del Carmel Santistevan Martinez raised six children in the Hacienda. Their eldest son was the famous Padre Antonio Martinez who battled the French Bishop Lamy to preserve the Hispanic character of the Catholic Church in the territory. The Padre was a dynamic social reformer who created the first co-educational school in New Mexico and brought the first printing press to Taos.
After Mexican Independence from Spain in 1821, Severino Martinez and his family became active in trading with the Americans who were bringing badly needed trade goods in by the Santa Fe Trail.
Today the Hacienda's twenty-one rooms surrounding two courtyards provide the visitor with a rare glimpse of the rugged frontier life and times of the early 1800s. Additionally, regularly scheduled demonstrations present the continuing traditions of northern New Mexico.