Members of the Historical Society’s Preservation Committee applied two coats of mudding to the Talpa Torreon this past July.  The 200-year-old historic structure was showing its age.  The mud coats that covered the torreon’s  200-year-old walls had all but washed off, leaving the adobes exposed.  Members of the Preservation Committee worked with two professional mud plasterers applying a first/base thick coat of mud, then after some days drying, applied a second “sealer” coat.  Photos attached show Preservation Committee members working on this many-day project under the hot July sun. 

Preservation Committee members include David Maes, Charles “Corky” Hawk, Paul Figueroa, and Jack Barret.  Not shown in the photos is the other Committee member, Mark Henderson. Gail Wendorf, owner of the adjacent house once connected to the torreon, also helped with the project.   The photo of the “work gang” standing in front of the freshly plastered torreon include:  Paul, David, Jack, Corky, and plasterer Floyd Gomez. 
The Preservation Committee have been working with the Torreon’s owner, Attorney Alan Maestas, toward restoration to the torreon’s original condition. 

More Photos

Dendrochronology tests on the torreon vigas and lentils conductecd in 2015  reveal that 10 vigas and lentels date to 1836; one viga dates to 1824, and another viga dates to 1822. These are “outer ring” dates, meaning the vigas were cut during the years cited.  
A Spring 2000  Ayer Y Hoy article by Peter Mackaness discusses the historical importance of the Talpa Torreon, and of other torreones strategically placed throughout Taos Valley in the 1700 and 1800’s. Only two torreones remain in Taos County.  The other Taos torreon is located in El Prado. 

David Maes
August, 2020




The Taos County Historical Society is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1952 and dedicated to the
recording and preserving of the irreplaceable in Taos County. Membership is open to anyone upon payment of dues.
For additional information on the programs, activities and history of Taos visit the Society's website at

The Society encourages support through membership.

2020 Summer
Issue #48

Browse the Ayer Y Hoy's Fall 2019 issue:

• Obra de Agricultura
by Michael Miller

• Blue Lake Was A Turning Point
by Rick Romancito

•Evolution of Taos County
by Dave Cordova

• Captain Milton Potts: A Colorful Taoseño
by William Christmas

• A Sweet Refuge
by Jim Levy

• Taos Contributes For Support of the Troops
by Robert J. Torrez

2019 Fall - Issue #47

Browse the Ayer Y Hoy's Fall 2019 issue:

• John Dunn's Story: 1857 - 1953
by Polly Raye

• Our Responsibility to History
by Rick Romancito

• Piñon
by Michael Miller

• The Literary Scene
by T.N. Luther

2019 Spring - Issue #46

Browse the Ayer Y Hoy's Spring 2019 issue:

• Historic Chili Line: Living in Memory
by Anna B. Crews

• La Hacienda de Don Pascual on the Rio Pueblo
by Ruth G. Fish

• Restoration of Peñas Negras Oratorio
by Corina Santistevan

• Family Life West of the Rio Grande
by Francis Cordova


The Taos County Historical Society was formed in 1952 for the purpose of "... preserving the history of the Taos area...". It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Monthly meetings, the first Saturday of the month are held at Kit Carson Electric Boardroom with a featured speaker are open to the public and supported through memberships. These are also open to anyone upon payment of annual dues. For more information visit the Society's website,

Taos County Historical Society
has successully launched
"TAOS: A Topical History"

320 pages, 26 chapters and contributors.

Mil Gracias, A THOUSAND THANKS, does not begin to cover the many, many individuals to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. This debt is not only the living but also to those men and women who long ago began to preserve the journals and documents we now depend upon for knowledge of the past: the chroniclers who accompanied the explorers and settlers and who, dusty, tired and hungry, sat in the light of a candle to record in their journals the events of the day and the Franciscan clerics who made detailed reports of their canonical visits to the mission churches of Nuevo México.

Corina A. Santistevan
Acknowledgements in "Taos: A Topical History"

If you would like to order a copy from the
Taos County Historical Society
please send a check for $40 (book+shipping) payable to
Taos County Historical Society and mail to:

Taos County Historical Society
PO Box 2447
Taos, NM 87571

Email us

Phone: (575) 770-0681

PO Box 2447 • Taos, NM 87571