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April 15-30, 2014

The Great Detective is at it Again

The AHS PlayMakers will be presenting their last play of the year, C.P. Stancich’s Sherlock Holmes and the Spinsters of Blackmead, April 24, 25, 26, May 1, 2, and 3 at 7:00pm in the Aztec High School’s Multi-purpose Room, 500 East Chaco.
This story takes place in 1897, when Sherlock is summoned to Blackmead Manor due to mysterious happenings. What at first seems to be just an interesting case turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Can they find the killer before the killer finds them?
This will be a final showcase for our senior PlayMakers. Charles Dobey, last seen as the narrator in Suessification, will be filling the title role. Other seniors joining him in taking a final bow are: Kortney Anthony, Erika McReynolds, Eric Lang, and Hannah Elsbury. These five have appeared in many PlayMaker productions. Please come and experience the magic of theatre with them one last time.
Sherlock Holmes and the Spinsters of Blackmead is being produced with special arrangements with Heuer Publishing, Inc. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the door, or in advance from any AHS PlayMaker. Group prices are available for any group of ten or more. Please call Sidley Harrison at (505)-334-9414 ext. 1327 for more information."

Old Aztec jail and the 1912 county jail

sturdiest wooden structures in town.
The walls are 2x6 boards laid flat and nailed together.
The jail was built in 1912, off an alley north of Church Street. According to the jail’s display placard, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Heard donated the jail to the museum in 1956 and it was moved to a location just north of the museum. It had not been used for 30 years. In 1988, the jail was moved to Pioneer Village by Aztec Well Servicing Co.
Pioneer Village is the replica frontier town behind Aztec Museum. Not many who visit Pioneer Village can resist going inside the old jail. One leaves with thoughts of how unpleasant it must have been to live in this small fortress.
The jail is 12 feet by 12 feet with walls of 2x6 lumber stacked eight feet high. Not much light comes through two small open-air windows with bars on them. One window is in the door and the other is on the back wall. A narrow metal bed with a grubby mattress is along one side of the room. In a corner is a wood-burning stove. A bucket must have been the bathroom.
To live in the jail was most certainly a miserable experience, but according to an article published in a San Juan County newspaper on March 15, 1912, life in the Aztec Jail may have been better than in the county jail, “that would be disgusting to a vulture.”
The article is on file at Aztec Museum, but the name of the newspaper is missing. The county jail of 1912 was the “modern black hole of Calcutta,” according to the article.
“When rags and matting were lifted, filthy vermin, bugs, worms and other insect life teemed upon the floor, fit only for rodents and reptiles that delight to revel in ungainly sewers and cesspools.”
The Aztec Jail and other buildings in Pioneer Village were flooded by near record rainfall on Sept. 10 and Sept. 12, 2013. Repairs are ongoing in preparation for a mid-May opening of Pioneer Village and the main museum building.
The inside of the jail received about a foot of water. The wooden floor was beyond repair so a new wooden floor is being installed.
If you would like to help restore and make improvements to Pioneer Village and other outdoor exhibit areas that were flooded, you can make a contribution to the Pioneer Village Flood Fund at any Citizens Bank. You can mail a non-cash donation to the Pioneer Village Flood Fund, Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village, 125 North Main Ave., Aztec, NM 87410.
Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village will open for the 2014 season in May.

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