Sunday, September 04, 2016

Carrizozo's Paden’s Drug Store a reminder of a by-gone era

While Carrizozo is experiencing a resurgence, based in part on the popularity of its historical buildings, there is one structure that was once the center of social life, but is now abandoned. Despite its disuse, Roy’s Gift Gallery, formerly Paden’s Drug Store, is on the National Register of Historic Places and remains a reminder of past events, as well as an example of a distinctive type of building. Marty Davenport nominated the building in 2004 and it was accepted in Feb. 2005. Davenport was able to draw on information given by Roy Dow who owned the Gift Gallery and several other old-timers who remembered stories of when the building was a hospital. Originally built in 1909, the two-story brick building served as the focus for Dr. Melvin G. Paden’s medical practice. Paden moved to White Oaks from West Virginia in the 1880s. In 1906 he was appointed division surgeon for the railroad, necessitating his move to Carrizozo. He first built the small one-story wood frame building but, as his practice grew, he found it necessary to expand to include a drug store and more modern hospital facility next door. In 1917 a second story was added with rooms branching off a central hallway and a laboratory and operating room on the west side. Offices are located on the east side. A kitchen and bathroom were also added. The door leading to the operating room is over-sized to allow patients on gurneys access. Large windows on the north and west sides were designed to let natural light in to the operating room, and push-button electric switches and drop cord pendant lights were standard in each room. The building itself is made of pressed Ancho clay tile brick. The window lintels on the second floor are made of cast concrete. A coal chute leads to the basement, the location of the boiler, vented by the exterior brick chimney...more

For historical significance and pageantry, nothing surpasses the DuBois Drug Store in Corona, NM.  As in most things of importance, Corona trumps Carrizozo.


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