Throwback: The Gun Rack at the Navajo Lodge, 1940
By Chris Eger
Eighty years ago, a photographer captured a New Mexico lodge in time, and many of the guns on hand were classics both then and now.
In April 1940, Russell Lee, a 37-year-old prolific shutterbug who worked for the government’s Farm Security Administration, crisscrossing the country to document American life, stopped in at the Navajo Lodge along U.S. 60 in Datil, New Mexico.
“Navajo Lodge, Datil, New Mexico” (All Photos: Russel Lee/Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photograph Collection/Library of Congress)
As Lee noted with the Kodak prints he filed- now in the Library of Congress– the lodge “was an old ranch house in the mountains. About thirty years ago the rancher who owned it had it dismantled and moved it piece by piece and rebuilt it at its present location. He is now dead and the house is used as a hotel principally for summer visitors.”
It looked like a pretty sweet place, a rustic remnant of the Old West filled with Navajo rugs, trophies, furniture crafted long before the days of pressboard IKEA junk, and guns. Oh, the guns.
“Entrance to Navajo Lodge. Datil, New Mexico.”
“Interior of the living room of Navajo Lodge. Datil, New Mexico”
“Living room of the Navajo Lodge. Datil, New Mexico.”