Friday Night Alamogordo Learn & Celebrate History, Listen to Free Live Music, See New York Avenue Come Alive
Tularosa Basin Historical Society & Museum and Roadrunner Emporium will celebrate the rededication of the historical cashier’s cages and the historic safes that date back to 1900, Friday night 3-25-22, 6 pm to 8 pm. The rededication gala party will be at 928 New York Avenue. Come join the Tularosa Basin Historical Society and Roadrunner Emporium for live music by Don Thorp, Kathy Barns, Scott Hancock and Glenn Price, celebratory cake, and specialty beverages.
History of 928 New York Avenue, the original First National Bank of Alamogordo, New Mexico began in 1900. The building that now houses Roadrunner Emporium. The building was the anchor building to Alamogordo’s New York Avenue with the bank opening February 1900. A news story in the Alamogordo News dated January 11th, 1900, discusses that it was the intention of the board of directors to open the “First National Bank of Alamogordo at 928 New York Avenue will open on February 1st if the crew keeps up the work on the building.” The article states, “the new safe for the building arrived this week by rail and is already being placed in position into the building. It is one of the best fireproof safes in the US made by the Mosler Safe Company.”
The Mosler Safe Company was a manufacturer of security equipment—most notably safes and bank vaults—from 1874 until 2001.
Founded in Cincinnati by Gustave Mosler and Fred Bahmann as Mosler, Bahmann & Company in 1867. In 1874 after Gustave's death, the Mosler family had a falling out with Mr. Bahmann, leaving Mosler, Bahmann & Company to start the Mosler Safe & Lock Company. Both companies remained in Cincinnati until the 1890s. When Mosler Safe & Lock Co. outgrew its original factory, it relocated to Hamilton in 1891, where it remained until 2001.
Mosler safes and vaults similar to the one at Roadrunner Emporium, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico were renowned for their strength and precision manufacture: several Mosler vaults installed in Hiroshima's Mitsui Bank building prior to WWII survived the nuclear attack, a fact the company widely publicized in its marketing. When the US government began building bunkers and silos during the Cold War, Mosler became the de facto gold standard contractor for blast doors. Mosler built the vault formerly used to display and store the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence. One example, installed at the Atomic Energy Commission's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weighed approximately 138 tons including the frame. Despite the weight ("the largest and heaviest hinged shielding doors in the world"), each 58-ton blade could be opened and closed manually by one person. Mosler also built the gold vaults for the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox.
The main “display safe” located in the upper floor of Roadrunner Emporium, Alamogordo was the primary timed safe operated by the First National Bank of Alamogordo from 1900 to 1928. This safe arrived at a cost of $36,000 in 1900 which would be $1.2 Million dollars in today’s dollars. The safe has survived the test of time and has been restored and is on display for the public to enjoy.
In collaboration with Roadrunner Emporiums owners Rene Sepulveda and Chris Edwards, the Tularosa Basin Historic Society board under the recommendation of Josette Herrel garnered support to loan the original metal racking from the cashier’s cages to Roadrunner Emporium for display. The cashiers cages were in the hands of a private collector for several decades and were recently donated to the Tularosa Basin Museum. Mrs. Herrell felt it appropriate for them to be displayed in their original home given that the Roadrunner Emporium owners were restoring and showcasing the original safes and elements of the buildings’ history.
Rene Sepulveda assisted by Fred Sepulveda, Bobby Smith and Miklós Vincze placed the loaned cashiers’ cages to be displayed at Roadrunner Emporium. The first set of the copper metal cages are on display in a booth representative of the location the original cashiers’ booths were positioned when the bank operated from 1900 to 1928. The second set of cashiers’ metal works are located on display above the art deco Mosler safe. That location also secures other artifacts from that period to include a 1910 Deutch Mark found in the building, a clock from 1908 and a gold scale representative of the time and similar to the style used in the bank. Gold was discovered in Ora Grande according to the same newspaper front page that announced the opening of the bank dated January 11th, 1900, further supporting the reasoning for building this elaborate bank on Alamogordo’s New York Avenue in 1900, well before the town was officially founded.
Also on display is a chandelier from 1910 that took a village to secure as a testament to the early 1900s and the telephone switch board that used to operate the phones in High Rolls from 1880 through the 1940’s. This piece of history was donated by Emmanuel Renteria and Lydia Aspen and restored by Rene Sepulveda to complete the tribute to Alamogordo’s original First National Bank and its’ historical significance to New York Avenue and the growth of Alamogordo.
The public is invited to come and see the showcase historical artifacts and to come hear the stories of this historic building, its artifacts, the ghost stories and more daily from 10 am to 8 pm. The public is also asked to please come join the Tularosa Basin Historic Society and Roadrunner Emporium as it rededicates these historic artifacts and showcases them with a rededication party Friday March 25th from 6 pm to 8 pm. Live Music, beverages, meet the artisans and hear stories of the history of the building as history comes alive that evening showcased in its grandeur. Come on out to Roadrunner Emporium 928 New York Avenue 6 pm to 8 pm Friday night to celebrate and have fun.
Also, on New York Avenue Friday night is even more going on. Come out and see Alice Weinman and her staff at Victoria Alamogordo as Victoria celebrates their Spring Open House from 10 am to 7 pm Friday night. They are offering a special 15% off sale and more. The open house is Friday 10 am to 7 pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm at 913 New York Avenue. Also visit her sister store Pins & Needles right next door for special savings.
Friday night after the party at Roadrunner Emporium and after visiting Victoria pop by Rocket City Game Room for gaming action and more, check out Mission Billiards on the corner of New York Avenue and 10th street for a family friendly game of pool and if you’d like a bite and beer pop down to Picacho Brewing Company at 902 New York Avenue for special delights and an array of craft beers as well as live entertainment.
Friday night check out New York Avenue for history and free live music at Roadrunner Emporium and then shopping and entertainment for the whole family at the variety of there merchants open to entertain and tantalize ones senses. Alamogordo’s Main Street is New York Avenue.