Friends & Collaborators

Building community around great food.

La Mesita Ranch Estate is on 140 acres of natural beauty located just minutes north of Santa Fe. There are five residences, several of which were designed by renowned architect John Gaw Meem. The pueblo-style architecture is interspersed with cozy patios and art-filled gardens and shaded by ancient cottonwood trees. There are two river-fed ponds and expansive grassy meadows for walks, picnics, and horseback rides.

La Mesita Ranch - a partner with Open Kitchen Santa Fe

La Mesita Ranch Estate in a lush valley at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos.

It is situated next to the Badlands, a landscape of eroded valleys and arroyos and pillars made from layers of varying colors of earth. It is all set against the majestic backdrop of La Mesita Mesa, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the expansive and ever-changing New Mexican sky – the perfect location for small and large events.

Grand Hacienda at La Mesita Ranch in northern New Mexico

The Grand Hacienda at La Mesita shows a taste of the awe-inspiring art collection.

The ranch and its 140 acres are managed by Pojoaque Pueblo. With the help of the Estate’s Executive Director, Deborah Newman, every space is filled with pieces of an extraordinary collection of indigenous art, from traditional to contemporary. The collection includes works by artists such as T.C. Cannon (Kiowa/Caddo), George Rivera (Pojoaque), Michelle Tapia-Browning (Santa Clara), and Sheldon Harvey (Dine).

We are honored to be able to collaborate with the Pojaque Pueblo and La Mesita Ranch Estate because of the many gorgeous locations to be host to public and private events and the opportunity to share the rich heritage of this small but majestic tribal community.

History

La Mesita Ranch - a partner with Open Kitchen Santa Fe

The Estate is filled with local art and is rich with the history of the land and the people who lived there. La Mesita Mesa was once the ancestral hub of the people of Pojoaque, who settled there around 500 AD. The area is called Posuwaegeh, which means “water gathering place” in Tewa, the language spoken by the six tribes in the Rio Grande Valley. They thrived for hundreds of years in this place of water, until the 17th century, where they barely survived Spanish colonization, two revolts, and several smallpox epidemics. The tribe was disappearing.

In the 1920s, the land was purchased from Pojoaque Pueblo by Clarence Mott Woolley, who owned American Standard, the faucet company that is still in operations today. Woolley had several odd connections to the Southwest: his daughter worked with an ethnomusicologist to make field recordings of Pima songs and Georgia O’Keeffe did a painting of Wooley’s company headquarters in NYC – the Radiator Building.

La Mesita Ranch - a partner with Open Kitchen Santa Fe
La Mesita Ranch - a partner with Open Kitchen Santa Fe

In the 1920s, the land was purchased from Pojoaque Pueblo by Clarence Mott Woolley, who owned American Standard, the faucet company that is still in operations today. Woolley had several odd connections to the Southwest: his daughter worked with an ethnomusicologist to make field recordings of Pima songs and Georgia O’Keeffe did a painting of Wooley’s company headquarters in NYC – the Radiator Building.

La Mesita Ranch - a partner with Open Kitchen Santa Fe

The Woolley’s kept the Estate until the late 1950s. During this time the Pojoaque Tribe was called back to the area; 14 people returned and received land grants. Two years later, in 1936, the Pueblo of Pojoaque became a federally recognized Tribal Reservation.  Menawhile the Estate fell into disrepair until is was purchased and renovated. In 2008, the Pueblo purchased back their ancestral land, which is now held in trust.