Memories are the worn and fingered coins with which we strive to buy back the joys of yesteryear.
Welcome to Memories Restaurant!! This old house is proudly owned by Beverly Coble. The restaurant merely adds aroma to a rich legacy left by its previous owners. It’s easy to kick back by the fireplace, or in the sun room, enjoy a good meal and reminisce about past memories of a good time.
The house was built around 1907 by E.L. Carpenter, the General Manager of Dawson, Colfax County, New Mexico. He purchased the land from the Alamogordo Improvement Company. According to local folklore, Mr. Carpenter’s wife died before he could finish building the house. He then sold it to Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Mitchell.
The Mitchells lived in this home for quite some time. Mr. Mitchell was president of a local bank and owned the home until 1944. During the Depression, the bank went broke. Mr. Mitchell, a man of high integrity, paid back the depositors with his own money. This took his entire savings, and they became impoverished like most people were during these hard times. He died later still in poverty. Mrs. Mitchell lost the home because of back taxes and worked diligently to regain her property.
From 1944 until 1976, the home was owned by the daughters of Oliver Lee. It was originally purchased by Mona Lee Lake, who in turn sold it to her sister, Alma Lee Stevens, who lived here from 1953 until 1976 with her husband Robert.
I once heard of a humorous experience with Alma Lee Stevens. A neighbor of theirs at the time received an emergency phone call from her one day. It seems her glass eye had fallen out and rolled down the sink drain! The neighbor was kind enough to grab his plumbing tools and come to the rescue. All was found, and put back in place.
There have been nine additional owners since the Aeye incident, with Ms. Coble being the present owner.
Many of the original architectural features are still in place in the house. A unique fireplace comes from the Netherlands. The image of a Dutch boy and girl are painted on the side panels, another macabre carved face is at the center top. One of Alamogordo’s experts in antiquities inspected the carved face. He said it was carved by the people of one of the many Shetland Islands. The unique quality about their carvings is that they have inbred for many generations and developed distorted facial features, just as the carving depicts.
The wainscot in the dining room and on the staircase are all made from Brazilian Oak, as are the solid wood floors. Notice the ceiling in the dining room, the northwest corner of the ground floor. It has a cross-hatched beamed ceiling, exactly like the ceiling in the famous painting of the Lord’s Last Supper. The globes on the light fixtures are all from the original gas lights. There is a small shed in the backyard along the south property line, consisting of two tiny rooms. This is the little home provided for the maid in the early days of the occupancy of the home. There used to be an ice requirement sign hanging from the maid’s home. It was originally used by placing it in the front door window to inform the ice man how many pounds of ice were needed that day for the ice box.
The beautiful iron fence in the front was actually rented by Disney Productions to be used in the Disney movie “Scandalous John”. The movie was filmed at the old Oliver Lee place in Dog Canyon. Disney paid Bob and Alma Stevens $100.00 to rent the fence, removed it, took it to Dog Canyon, placed it around a small cemetery, filmed a 12 second sequence, dug it back up, relocated it to 1223 New York and set it on a permanent concrete base. It seems a lot of trouble, but adds to a fun history to read about.
Several different types of business have been housed here in the past few years. Everything from a beauty salon to antique shops. Presently it is Memories, a perfect name for a perfect place. So come in! Relax! Enjoy Good Food, Good Friends, and make Ahh… Sweet Memories!