Saturday, July 11th, 2015

El Molino de los Duranes
Charles "Corky" Hawk

2:00 PM in the
Kit Carson Electric Coop Boardroom
118 Cruz Alta Rd - Taos, NM

This lecture on the Molino de los Duranes will be
followed directly by a field trip to the Molino.
Contact Paul Figueroa at (575) 779-8579
to make reservations for the field trip.
The lecture will be around 20-25 minutes, followed by questions
and answers. The public is invited to attend this free event.

The Molino de los Duranes, located in Ranchos de Taos on Camino Abajo de la Loma, was built around 1850 and was abandoned in 1938. The Taos County Historical Society, with the leadership of Board member and Historic Preservation Committee Chair, Charles "Corky" Hawk, has been working with the owners of the property who have expressed a desire to restore the mill in its entirety.

The Duran Molino is located on Camino Abajo de la Loma, which runs west from NM Highway 68 in Ranchos de Taos. The land on which the Molino is situated is owned by descendants of Innocencio Duran, the last member of the Duran family to actually operate the Molino. The Molino was built by either Innocencio or his father and possibly other family members. The Molino was built next to one of the largest acequias, the Acequia Madre del Rio Grande, which supplied the water to power the Molino.

During most of the nineteenth century, milling of grain was the most important industrial activity in Taos Valley. Its only distant rival was distilling. Grist mills, in the early days all water powered, were a critical part of the 19th century and early 20th century agricultural economy. They were the way that the abundant wheat and corn grown in Taos Valley was ground into flour and related products for use by Taos residents and for export outside the valley.

The Taos County Historical Society has been interested in preservation of the Duran Molino since 1969. The Molino was placed on the State Register of Cultural Properties by the Taos County Historical Society in that year. The Molino is on private property on what was part of the 1710 Cristobal de la Serna Land Grant.

Since 2012 Charles Hawk has diligently pursued the study and assessment of the Duran Molino on behalf of the Taos County Historical Society's mission "to preserve the irreplaceable". In 2013 his efforts to save the oldest existing water powered grist mill in Taos Valley included contacts with the Historic Preservation Alliance and the Healy Foundation for grants. Contact was made with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp to assist with cleanup of the site and perimeter of the foundation.

In 2014 Charles Hawk, through his effective grant writing, secured a structural evaluation of the Molino de los Duranes prepared by DRUC Engineering of Santa Fe, NM. This report includes historical background, the archaeology of the Molino as well as the site and physical description. Paramount to the Society's continued efforts under Mr. Hawk's chairmanship are sections devoted to existing conditions and recommendations for its foundation, floor, walls and roof. The later is a component Mr. Hawk will undertake with volunteers and in-kind material contributions to prevent further damage.

With a volunteer Board of Directors and volunteers from membership and community, the leadership of Charles Hawk is instrumental for the planning and completion for the preservation of this important landmark in Taos County. His devotion to the project and development of financial resources from grants and individuals continues to move forward this project.. This spring Charles Hawk submitted an article on Molina de los Duranes for the Historical Society's publication Ayer Y Hoy, which can be viewed on the Historical Society's web site.

Furthermore, Charles Hawk is one of the contributing authors to the Society's 2013 publication "Taos A Topical History". His research on the Camino Real and early trails to Taos has been the subject of public lectures for the Historical Society and an exhibition at the Rio Grande Visitor Center in Pilar.

Additionally, on May 8, 2015, the Cultural Properties Review Committee of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Historic Preservation Division, presented Charles Hawk with a Heritage Publication Award for Molino de Los Duranes, Ranchos de Taos, NM due to the structural evaluation of the building under Mr. Hawk's leadership.

Charles Hawk was born and raised in Colorado. He graduated from Yale University with a BA in economics and received his law degree from the University of Michigan. After 29 years practicing in the field of labor relations and employment law, he moved to Taos in 1997. His historical research activities include the Camino Real in Northern New Mexico. Recently, he assisted with the planning of history exhibits and programs for the San Francisco de Asis Church's 200th anniversary, August - October 2015.

The Society encourages support through membership.

The Taos County Historical Society was formed in 1952 for the purpose of "... preserving the history of the Taos area...". It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Monthly meetings, the first Saturday of the month are held at Kit Carson Electric Boardroom with a featured speaker are open to the public and supported through memberships. These are also open to anyone upon payment of annual dues. For more information visit the Society's website,

Taos County Historical Society
has successully launched
"TAOS: A Topical History"

320 pages, 26 chapters and contributors.

Mil Gracias, A THOUSAND THANKS, does not begin to cover the many, many individuals to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. This debt is not only the living but also to those men and women who long ago began to preserve the journals and documents we now depend upon for knowledge of the past: the chroniclers who accompanied the explorers and settlers and who, dusty, tired and hungry, sat in the light of a candle to record in their journals the events of the day and the Franciscan clerics who made detailed reports of their canonical visits to the mission churches of Nuevo México.

Corina A. Santistevan
Acknowledgements in "Taos: A Topical History"

If you would like to order a copy from the
Taos County Historical Society
please send a check for $40 (book+shipping) payable to
Taos County Historical Society and mail to:

Taos County Historical Society
PO Box 2447
Taos, NM 87571

Email us

Phone: (575) 770-0681

PO Box 2447 • Taos, NM 87571