Above: The historic Lawrence Ranch in Taos County. Photograph by Shutterstock.

State Historic Marker: Lawrence Ranch
Arts benefactor Mabel Dodge Luhan gave the Kiowa Ranch, northwest of Taos, to author D.H. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda. Derided in his time as an artistic pornographer, the novelist is today an icon of romantic English literature. While living there in 1924–25, Lawrence wrote much of his short novel St. Mawr beneath a pine that was later made famous in painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s The Lawrence Tree. Friends who visited the ranch included artist Dorothy Brett and author Aldous Huxley, whose Brave New World was set partly in New Mexico. Lawrence succumbed to tuberculosis in France in 1930; his ashes are interred in a petite, pitched-roof building on the ranch, which is now owned by UNM. For information on tours and events, go to dhlawrenceranch.unm.edu.

Excerpted from Roadside New Mexico: A Guide to Historic Markers, by David Pike (UNM Press)

As flames raged, a crew fighting the Capitán Gap Fire in the Lincoln National Forest rescued an orphaned bear cub clinging to a tree on May 9, 1950. The little oso soon became the national embodiment of the National Forest Service’s Smokey Bear campaign—and his memory lives on in the town of Capitán. Pause on the Billy the Kid Scenic Highway (aka US 380) to pop into Smokey Bear Historical Park, where you can learn all about the bear’s history, visit his final resting place, and get cutting-edge tips on preventing and fighting fires today. Kids can earn a Junior Ranger badge, and the gift shop sells cool swag (575-354-2748, nmmag.us/SmokeyNM).

The Fred Harvey Company’s Alvarado Hotel opened in downtown Albuquerque on May 11, 1902. The California Mission Revival complex was considered the most picturesque of all the railroad hotels and eating houses in the world. Abandoned and dilapidated by 1970, it fell to a wrecking ball.

The Sandia Peak Tramway, in Albuquerque, took its first riders up the mountain on May 7, 1966 (505-856-6419, sandiapeak.com).

On May 15, 1912, the state Supreme Court ruled in New Mexico v. Davenport that playing baseball on a Sunday is not a crime.

Trader William Becknell and his three-wagon train set out from Franklin, Missouri, on May 22, 1822, blazing the Santa Fe Trail, which ended at the Santa Fe Plaza.

Dan Dugan and Dave Stitzel discovered gold-bearing ore on the banks of Percha Creek on May 23, 1877. The rush that followed built the town of Hillsboro.

On May 30, 1968, Bobby Unser won the Indianapolis 500, followed later by his brother Al and nephew Al Jr. Dip into car-racing history at the Unser Racing Museum, in Albuquerque (505-341-1776, unserracingmuseum.com).—Kate Nelson