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The Traders–Laguna to Grants

Wallace Gunn said people came to his Villa de Cubero because it was in a place they wanted to be. It was. 

It was the place where the research Susan Croce Kelly and I were doing came alive, where people passed us from one good interview to another. It started at the Cubero trading post, built in 1910, where the Gottlieb family had traded with the Lagunas since the 1860s.

We began to learn how trading posts change with the advent of automobiles and Route 66.

Sidney Gottlieb gave his customers credit for their livestock, which they used to by groceries and supplies and gasoline, when automobiles came along.


Cubero Trading Post

Cubero Trading Post



When Route 66 came past his door, he took cash for gas. When 66 moved south of the trading post, he and Wallace Gunn built La Villa de Cubera, a general store and motel and across the road a cafe. Gunn ran the Villa and eventually bought Gottlieb out.

Gottlieb passed us on to Wallace Gunn. Gunn passed  us on to Bud Gunderson, whose father C.K. Gunderson started as a trader with the Laguna, then a trader with the carrot farmers around Grants, and ended as the Standard Oil distributor for western New Mexico with outlets on the I-40 interchanges.

Gunderson went into  gasoline business to service his farmers. He went in the tire business when tourist bumped across the rail spur in front of his trading post and blew out their tires.

Bud Gunderson past us on to Marvel Prestridge, who told us about the growth of Grants.


One Response

  1. You’re gonna get me in trouble! I have so much to do and I could just sit and look at your photos for hours! This is such a beautiful job!

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