San Juan County digitizing historical records

Posted at: 03/07/2014 6:29 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Catherine Davis is the keeper of history.

“Well when you are first walking in the first reaction people will say is , ‘Catherine knows’,” Davis laughs as she explained at the San Juan County Historical Society in downtown Aztec.

Inside these yellowed volumes, and tax records, and maps the story of not just the land in San Juan County, but its people, the history that Catherine knows so well.

She points at a hand written name in a large aging ledger. The ledger contains the original register of land ownership in the County. Davis says it is her favorite. “Mary Eldridge, this is the land that she filed on when she first came here in 1892.” She handles the book gingerly, the first few pages are already falling apart.

Catherine realizes that with the passage of time, things may get lost to the ages.

“I'm not going to live forever,” she sighs.

Along with the records in this building, Davis says, “They have held up well. But they aren't going to last forever, no.”

So she and the San Juan County Historical Society have plans to make this history new again.

“Well the ultimate goal is to put the items we have collected over the years on a digital database so that people can access that information. we are trying to come into the 21st century and get with the program,” Davis explains.

And they have already started. Their Facebook page features pictures of a time gone by, easy access for today's world  that's constantly online.

“Most of today's generation, that's how they  access things. Through the computers and huge databases,” laments Davis.

Until those records are online, the best way to learn about the past, is a trip to the San Juan County Historical Society, housed in the old fire station on Main street in Aztec,  and a visit with Catherine.

She says she will try her very best to help you out.

The San Juan county Historical Society can be found at