Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Passes for a Cloudy Day in Lamy

Clouds in Lamy, New MexicoThis past week I drove to Lamy, New Mexico (about 30 minutes outside of Santa Fe) for lunch at the Lamy Station Café. Remember that old standard, "The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe?" Well the train never actually got to Santa Fe--the elevations around Santa Fe were deemed too daunting, so the train was run through Lamy instead, reaching there in 1880. (Eventually an 18-mile spur to Santa Fe was built, which today hosts an excursion train that runs between Santa Fe and Lamy.) The Lamy Station is still the New Mexico stop for trains to Chicago and Los Angeles.

Archbishop Jean-Baptiste LamyLamy was named for Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy (1814-1888), the first bishop and archbishop of the Diocese of Santa Fe. (You may know him from Willa Cather's 1927 novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop, where he served as inspiration for the character of Bishop Latour.) In New Mexico, you pronounce the town as "Lame'-y", though the Archbishop is correctly referred to as "Lah-mee'.)

Lamy Station Café Exterior, Talladega CarThe town of Lamy includes the railroad station, a small museum, and a converted 1950s-era Pullman car that is the location of the Lamy Station Café. Excellent lunch--a distinctly un-1950s pasta with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, and an entire dining car full of friends! Lamy Station Café Interior

Illustration Credits

Photo of Archbishop Lamy from the Santa Fe, New Mexico Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Negative no. 9970 Photo by W. Henry Brown.

Photo of the dining car interior courtesy of the Lamy Station Café website.

Cloud photo taken from the train station looking across the tracks.