Lamy was named for Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, and the town lies within the Bishop John Lamy Spanish Land Grant, which dates to the 18th century. Lamy is primarily a railroad town. In 1879, as the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad laid its track through New Mexico, it bypassed Santa Fe because the grade for the roadbed leading to Santa Fe would have been too steep for the engines of the day. The railroad built a spur line to Santa Fe, and Lamy grew up where that spur connects to the main track.
In 1896, when the Fred Harvey Company built the luxurious El Ortiz Hotel by the train station, Lamy became an important railroad junction. Today, Lamy is a stop for Amtrak.
The Lamy Railroad and History Museum features the story of Lamy and the AT&SF railroad. It is housed in a building that dates to 1881. The building was originally the Browne and Manzanares General Store. John Pfleuger took over the store and added a saloon and in 1894 he imported a hand-carved, cherry-wood bar from Bavaria. The saloon and general store served as headquarters for the village’s businessmen. Continue reading