Harvey House holds pictorial history exhibit

........................................................................................................................................................................................

One of Albuquerque's oldest neighborhoods that closely parallels Belen's own history will be front and center at the Harvey House Museum this month.

"Barelas a Través de los Años," or "Barelas Through the Years," will run through Saturday, March 23, at the Harvey House Museum. The pictorial history display is part of the special collections archives of the National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

About two dozen photographs and informational panels will tell the story of Barelas, a tightly-knit Hispanic farming community that grew and prospered when the railroads arrived there in the mid-1800s. For Harvey House volunteer Mike Moreno, who's coordinating the exhibit, it stirred up his own memories of growing up in Belen.

"It's not a big exhibit," Moreno said as he positioned a nine-foot-tall, sepia-colored photograph of a timid-looking, turn-of-the-century Hispanic woman. "It's not big, but it's a great example of what's possible for creating a future exhibit here, of the life and times of Belen."

It is a collaborative effort with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Moreno said, noting that the museum chose this exhibit because of its common ties with the Hub City, its railroad and longtime Hispanic families.

One of his favorite photographs on display shows soot-faced railroad workers washing up after a long day on the job at the Barelas rail yards.

Included are photographs of the people of Barelas from the 1800s through the late 1900s. Moreno said some of Belen's artifacts — donations from the same time period by local families to the Harvey House Museum — will also be on display.

On Saturday, March 9, Carlos Vasquez, director of the history and literary arts at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, will discuss the exhibit's history and purpose. His presentation will begin at 1 p.m.

The Belen Woodcutters will also be at the museum that day, demonstrating their woodcarving skills.

The Harvey House Museum is located at 104 N. First St. in Belen.