IN 1926, IN A CITY christened with the Spanish word for Bethlehem, Ramon Baca y Chavez and his wife, Eulalia Castillo Baca, replaced a pane in a dormer window. It turned their Belén home into a pilgrimage site after Mrs. Baca, a devout Catholic, spied an image upon it: Jesus ascending into heaven. People traveled from afar. The Fred Harvey Company’s Southwest Indian Detours bore carloads of tourists. The pane resisted all attempts at photography except one. The Bacas sold postcards of Fernando Gabaldon’s image (right) to help the poor and ailing man. When the family moved to another Belén house, they took the window. The pane cracked, but when the window was installed, the image reappeared. The window moved a few more times, finally landing at the Belén Harvey House Museum. Cobwebs spiraled off its wooden case when curator Frances Zeller pulled the window from storage. The image was gone, but Zeller still plans to display it. “It never occurred to us to chuck it,” says Belén-based historian Richard Melzer. “It’s a reflection of New Mexico culture and a desire for miracles.”

See it for youself

The Belén Harvey House Museum is open 12–5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. 104 N. 1st St.