ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The historic Santa Domingo Pueblo Trading post is being rebuilt after a fire in 2001.
The pueblo received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
The building was listed on the State and National Cultural Property lists in the late 1990's. Many pueblo members have fond memories and look forward to commerce and trade picking up again.
During its hey day, the Trading Post was a key stop on Route 66 and the center of activity for mining and the railroad for more than a century. Planning Director, Kenneth Pin says at one time 1,000 people lived in the area. Pin said there were seven saloons and a Chinese hand laundry and that most of the people living there were miners or working on the railroad.
Tuesday, Santo Domingo Pueblo broke ground on the project to restore the trading post.
Many shared memories, like Lt. Mayor Larry Tortalita, who told of how his family would bring gunny sacks filled with chilies, corn or beans and they would trade for sugar or flour.
Lorenzo Coriz is one of the construction workers on the project. He says he came here when he was a little boy. They would buying shotgun shells and go hunting or get ice cream and just hang out as kids
Liana Sanchez is part of the construction company on the project, Avanyu Construction and she says the dollar amount isn't what makes this project big, but the impact on the community and the fact it will bring back business to the area.
The trading post is right across the street from the Kewa Rail Runner station. Pueblo leaders say more than 90 percent of the Santo Domingo people survive on sales of arts, crafts and silver work and look forward to the opportunity.
The pueblo hopes to have the trading post completed by January. In the meantime, the tribe also plans a fundraising campaign to help pay for further construction, equipment and operation costs.
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