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Shalam Colony exhibition available on Web

An exhibition on the history of Shalam Colony near Las Cruces has been published on the World Wide Web by the Rio Grande Historical Collections of the New Mexico State University Library. The exhibition, called "Shalam Colony: A Utopian Experiment," can be viewed on the Web at http://archives.nmsu.edu/exhibits/shalam/.

Colony was founded in the fall of 1884, six miles northwest of Las Cruces, by New York dentist and doctor John B. Newbrough and a group of his religious followers called Faithists. The purpose of the colony was to create a home for outcast and orphaned children, and to raise them to be "the spiritual leaders of a new age."

Financed by a wealthy wool merchant from Boston, Andrew Howland, the colony was developed into one of the finest agricultural areas of the Southwest. Disaster befell the colony in 1891, when Newbrough died of influenza. His widow, Frances, and Howland tried to keep the colony going, but the obstacles proved overwhelming and in 1901 Shalam Colony closed.

The exhibition provides historical information about Shalam Colony and about Oahspe, the Bible written by Newbrough. There is also a time line of events about Shalam and a bibliography of resources, compiled by retired librarian Linda Blazer. Blazer conducted the research for the exhibition and archivist Portia Vescio did the Web design.

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Rio Grande Historical Collections at (505) 646-3839 or archives@lib.nmsu.edu.

March 8, 2002