Los Recuerdos del Barrio en Flagstaff

The Los Recuerdos del Barrio en Flagstaff Collection highlights the memories and life stories of Flagstaff's Spanish, Basque, Mexican, and Mexican-American population. Archivists and staff conducted oral history interviews and obtained original photographs and memorabilia from over forty families to produce the collections. As a result, Cline Library filled an important void in the archives.

Antero Bobadilla in El Desierto delivery truck and Ismael Bobadilla leaning against truck.

Spanish, Basque, Mexican, and Mexican-American community members helped fuel much of Flagstaff's growth in the twentieth century. They were sheep herders, railroad workers, lumbermen for the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company, integral pieces of the Navajo Ordnance Depot, and owners of grocery stores and other local commercial enterprises. In the process, they enriched the area with schools and churches still important and popular today.

Alejandro Vergara and Hilario Esparza working for Arizona Lumber and Timber Company as lumberjacks.

The photographs and, particularly, oral histories from the Los Recuerdos del Barrio en Flagstaff Collection add different perspectives to the archives. The individuals interviewed discuss migrating to the northern Arizona, learning English, facing discrimination, and cultivating distinctive religious and cultural practices. Their unique experiences and colorful memories give Special Collections a diverse breadth and provide a noted contrast to more traditional histories of the area.

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