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Our HIstory

Red River, NM, is a real ski town, built by miners, not developers. For history buffs, our RV camp is home to the historic Orrin Mallette  Cabin, registered with the Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.
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Mr. Orin Mallette is listed in the New Mexico business directories from 1905 to 1915 as a blacksmith. His shop was located in town, on Main Street, on property that adjoined the log cabin home of his brother Sylvester. In addition to his blacksmithing and his farming and mining activities, Orin operated a brick kiln on his property at the western end of the valley, our current location. He established the kiln about 1894 to provide bricks for the mining boom town. They were a pastel pinkish-orange in color, and were soft. As far as is known, only one structure in Red River was constructed of brick, the Brigham J. Young House, on Main Street. However, the brick was also used for chimney construction in Red River. (Orin Mallette's kilns no longer stands.) In 1925, Orin Mallette, by then a widower, sold his 110 acres in the western end of the valley to Santiago Ortega of Questa for $4,500. Ortega died four years later and his estate listed the 110 acres as grazing land, along with "83 breeding sheep, 28 small sheep, and 3 rams." In a division of Santiago Ortega's estate in 1932, Jose E. Ortega received the 110 acres. He sold the property in 1936 to L. S. Lewis who established a tourist resort there, named Lewis Ranch. He had cabins and horses for rent, and operated a large gambling and dance hall in the town. He established a sawmill on the property in order to construct the cabins and dance hall. He used the refuse of log-slabs from the mill to side his rustic tourist cabins and the additions that he made to the west pen of the Mallette Cabin. The cabins are still in use! Log-slab siding had been a popular building material in the mountains of northern New Mexico since the establishment of sawmills there. It was used for homesteads, barns, and tourist resorts. The slabs are the rounded, bark-covered ends of the logs that remain after the boards have been sawn from the center of the log. The Lewis family made the Mallette Cabin their home in 1936 and kept it until the 1950s, when the Luce family purchased it, and the entire River Ranch site. Bill and Monda Hafley bought River Ranch in 1994, and now it is owned by the Kikers, who bought it in early 2019 from Bill and Monda.
Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright