Cover, Oct. 18: “Waking History”

Straightened record

I was slightly amused at the story in the Reporter of the house on the corner of Grant and Johnson. It's a nice fable for Hallowe'en, but it is tragically short on facts.

It was built by my grandmother, Ada Peacock Moore, who came to Santa Fe from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in 1897. Her husband, William Hayes Moore, was a Presbyterian minister in Doylestown but when he contracted tuberculosis he accepted a call to First Presbyterian Church here in Santa Fe, hoping to be cured of the disease. He died in 1904.

Widowed at a young age with three young girls to raise, Ada was a remarkable woman ahead of her time—an early entrepreneur with lots of courage and vision.

The lot was purchased by her in 1906 for $100 from AB Renehan and Zepora G Renehan. The house was built sometime before 1912 (the 1911 tax assessment was $150 for an empty lot; the 1912 tax assessment was $1,060 for lot and house). The 1908 Sanborn [Company] map shows a vacant lot; [NL] King's map of 1912 shows a house on the corner. It was built to be a rooming house (certainly no "mansion" as claimed in the article). A graduate of the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, Ada taught piano in the house, taught at the Presbyterian mission school, and took in roomers in order to support her and her daughters.

My mother, Mary (1902-1972), was the youngest of the three daughters and lived on the third floor of the house until she got married in 1932. Fresh out of high school, she became the office manager at the Santa Fe Electric Laundry. Ada suffered a stroke in 1937 and was essentially an invalid until she died in 1944. A bedroom was built for her on the first floor of the house where there had been a sleeping porch.

Rather than assumed to be a house with ghosts, the real story is that it is an amazing historic structure that housed a courageous and brave young widow who raised three young daughters, two of whom became college graduates.
Ray Kersting
Santa Fe

Editor's note: Many thanks to Ray for illuminating the house's history—though "mansion" must be in the eye of the beholder. Though it may not have always been intended as one, it sure is a mansion now—at least compared to where we live.

Web Extra, Oct. 26: “Not Done Yet”

At your own risk

This looks like Plan B toward bringing a true Idiocracy to fruition. New Mexico's children deserve better than this and New Mexico's teachers and schools are better than this. The teachers I know will teach the rest, apparently at their own peril and without the support of the PED, which prefers to implement standards that are antithesis to an evidence-based education. Gross.
Rachel Higgins

Editor's note: This letter is in reference to a story we broke online last week; a shortened version of the story is printed on page 7 this week.