The Story Of Rosetown

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Long before the Mexicans colonized the southwest the Ancients had established a flourishing civilization. Water was a prized commodity and settlements usually sprang up around wells or watercourses. Some dried up permanently, some were seasonal while yet others were poisonous and some health givers.

The natives disappeared and the Spaniards moved in after many centuries. One such oasis was named Sane or, "I heal". The spring was reputed to cure everything from impotence to headaches, from impetigo to hangnails. Several people were supposedly brought back to life and others swore it was a love potion.

Times changed, English-speaking Americans took over the region and moved into Sane. Unfortunately too many people were shot down after losing their sense of humor when the local inhabitants told them they were "in Sane". It was renamed Hog Wallow because of the wild pigs that bathed in some of the local springs. Time passed but Hog Wallow never grew to have more than a few shabby houses.

Let me tell you the story of Grandpa Elgee

Early last century Gramps learned that if he moved to these here parts he would be cured of all the things that ailed him. He bought a few thousand acres and built a small adobe house on a spot he liked. After a while he got tired of hauling water from the nearest town about fifty miles away and bought himself a Model T Stake Bed truck from a fellow named Arte Micrun. He modified the frame, added a platform, winches and motors and rebuilt it into a drilling rig. After which he went prospectin' for water. He didn't go far as he drilled 35 feet from his front door. Instead of finding water though he tapped right into a shallow pool of oil. Luckily it wasn't a gusher and he was able to cap it right away.

So Gramps built a bigger well only about 25 feet away this time but a bit northwest of the house. Unfortunately he was as good at building oil wells as he was at finding water and the thing fell over before he could complete it. That destroyed his one and only room and he decided to hire people who knew how.

Grandpa made a sizable fortune from his oil but squandered it in the numerous gambling halls and houses of ill repute that blossomed in the area after his findings. One of his favorites was a young lady named Rose who took care of him in his dying days. Gramps decreed that henceforth the town would be named Rosetown in her honor instead of Hog Wallow, a name that most people didn't like anyway. For a time they wanted to call it Lionelville in his honor but he turned it down. He died happily several years later, still on top of things.

Today Rosetown is a prosperous and growing city with a beautiful new passenger station, several missions, shops and restaurants, a motel, a police station, fire station as well as a High School. In the old part of town, now the red light district, can still be seen some of the original adobe houses. A hotel and a shopping center are planned for, along with additional housing for its growing population.

As chronicled by Lionel Gazeau in The History of Rosetown.
© 2006, The OtherLionel Publishing Co., USA.

Hi Jürg & Lionel

A few years ago I passed through Rosetown on my way to Pecos. I stopped in the notorious Broken Saddle saloon (which now has one of those fancy "Historic Markers" nailed up next to the swinging doors).

I walked over to an old upright next to the stairway. A fellow with a long gray mustache got off his barstool and said:

"Say, pard, you better git your fingers off that piano; the ghost of Miss Rose is still leanin' and lingering around it".

I immediately stepped back and asked:

"Where did this beautiful piano come from?"

"It was brung over Coronado Pass from Tohelluride in a wagon. That were the 1890's before the narrow gauge line wuz finished up." He replied, then added: "Mister Arte Micrun fell into making pianos after he struck it rich on the Argentine vein... you want to see the wagon? It's out back of the saloon."

Sure enough, there it was; a faded red wagon with a fifth wheel axle. it was still in working shape after over a 100 years! I asked how could this be?

"Miss Rose bought the wagon from the driver 'cause he lost all his money on faro cards. He wuz almost hung for not honoring the house, then Rose offered him twenty dollars for the wagon and fifty dollars for the horse! Driver bought a bottle of whiskey and walked back to were he came from and with more money in is pocket than he earned in a month. Rose kept up the wagon by getting her 'Elgee' to look after it.". I left Rosetown with a smile on face after hearing the story and to this day I swear I could still smell a lingering Jasmine perfume when I had touched that piano.

RegardZ, Reynard

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