Many of us frequently drive by the historic Kozlowski trading post on NM-63 between Pecos and Rowe. For the past year this pink adobe building has been undergoing a transformation, from an idle building alongside the highway to a wonderful new Pecos National Historical Park improvement that will soon be available to the public.
Pecos, NM: Pecos National Historical Park has been awarded funding to rehabilitate the historic Kozlowski’s Trading Post along Highway 63 in Pecos, NM. The project, which begins in late February 2019, will transform the building into a visitor contact station, museum, and employee office space. Weil Construction from Albuquerque, NM, is the General Contractor and is teamed with Avanyu General Contracting of Española and Pat Taylor Historic Preservation of Mesilla, NM, for the rehabilitation phase of the project. No tax dollars will be used for this project, instead receipts from visitor entrance fees from parks around the country will fund the rehabilitation of this building.
The Trading Post has a storied past. A Polish immigrant named Martin Kozlowski originally constructed the Trading Post along the Santa Fe Trail in 1858. It served as one of the last stage stops before trail-weary travelers arrived in Santa Fe after months on the dusty trail. During the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass, this building served as a Union hospital. In 1925, rodeo-promoter and entrepreneur Tex Austin purchased the building and turned it into ranch headquarters for his famous Forked Lightning Ranch. In the 1940s, E.E. “Buddy” Fogelson bought the ranch and then brought his Hollywood actress wife, Oscar-winning Greer Garson, to the Forked Lightning Ranch. Together, they worked the land as a hobby ranch and entertained many Hollywood guests. In 1990, the National Park Service acquired the ranch and Trading Post and used it as office space, until 2006, when the building was deemed unfit for occupancy.