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The Frank Winston Carriage House in Winston

We’ve been wondering about a building in Winston ever since we first spotted it on a drive through town.

The rectangular adobe is topped with a most interesting and massive decorative tin roof. Matching tin pilasters and corner treatments (whatever those are called), thick wooden doors, and a set of sunbleached antlers complete the building’s curious look.

Really makes you wonder who, what, when, where, and why.

We posted this photo on our Facebook page, and asked if anyone knew.

Winston NM - Frank Winston carriage house

And…we got some comments, but nothing containing historical information.

So we called the Geronimo Trail Visitor Center and LaRena Miller quickly identified it as “Frank Winston’s Carriage House.” She didn’t give us a lot of specifics otherwise, so we decided to see what was on the internet.

Frank Winston of Fairview New Mexico

Frank Winston – sadly, unlike any businessman or politician you’re likely to encounter these days…

According to online sources, Frank Winston moved to what was then called “Fairview” from Wisconsin by way of a stint in Grafton NM, where he’d arrived at the age of 30 to work as a miner.

Some time between 1882 and 1886 he arrived in Fairview, and began a thriving entrepeneurship – opening the Fairview Cattle Company, then Frank Winston Company General Merchandise, and eventually, the Fairview Garage.

He also served as a state legislator.

From the sounds of things, Frank Winston was a big cheese with a big heart.

“He saw the town through its worst times, even giving considerable credit at his store with no real expectation of repayment. He was admired and loved, and a year after Winston died (on November 10, 1929), the townspeople named the communtiy for the man who carried it.”

New Mexico’s Best Ghost Towns: A Practical Gude by P. Varney

 

location of Frank Winston's Carriage House

A real estate listing from a few years ago describes (but does not picture) the tin-roofed building, saying it is situated on 4 lots, and claiming it was commissioned between 1916-1918 by Frank Winston, which would mean he had about ten years to enjoy it before he died.

Guess it’s safe to assume that Frank Winston put his carriages in the Frank Winston Carriage House.  But were they horse carriages, or the horseless kind, or both?  Related to the Fairview Garage, perhaps?

From Wikipedia:

“…many carriage houses have been modified to other uses such as secondary suitesguest houses, automobile garagesofficesworkshops, retail shops, bars, restaurants, or storage buildings. However, such structures are still often called carriage houses in deference to their original function and regardless of their current use.”

All we can do is google, guess, and ask more local experts.  If anyone reading this has info, feel free to share your knowledge (or stories about the building, or local lore) by commenting (you may need to click in to the post to see the comments box).

To see the building for yourself, head out to Winston, hang a left (turn south) at the General Store, and look for it on your left.

Comments

  1. Late-breaking news on this, a local source for info returned our call and said it was “built prior to 1876. The roof is rusted tin. Frank Winston ran a freight line and probably this was a stop-over for extra wagons and would have had corrals for spare livestock to change out one the way to Chloride and back. It is now private property and a private home. I have a friend in Winston that I went to high school with, her mom was the postmaster there. She’s retired back up there to the family home, which she said was the second oldest building in Winston and was built in 1876.”

    So. Did the realtor have it wrong?

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