In August of
1852, after traveling through New Mexico, Mexico, California, and
Arizona while overseeing the boundary survey, John Russell Bartlett
returned to El Paso. While he was wrapping up the final details of
the survey in New Mexico he took a short excursion to Fort Fillmore in
the vicinity of Mesilla near the end of September. While there he
traveled out to the Organ Mountains to examine a silver mine and make
some sketches. Here is a lithograph from his book:
from Bartlett's journal:
"Sierra de los Organos," or Organ Mountains, are so named
from their pinnacled summits and sides, which resemble the pipes of an
organ. They are of a light gray granite, and rise to the height
of 3000 feet above the river. The range runs north and south,
and joins the El Paso Mountains, not far from the town of that
name...From the place where we had halted and lunched, I took a sketch
of these mountains and of the defile through which I had passed.
A small stream flowed near us, marked by a line of fine large
oaks. Midway between this spot and the mountains rises a bold
mass of white granite.
My thanks to
Jerry E. Mueller, author of the book "An Annotated Guide to the
Artwork of the United States Boundary Commission, 1850-1853,"
for showing me this place.
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