The rooms of Casa San Ysidro boast period furnishings reflecting different times in the history of our area from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century.
The kiva, or corner, fireplace is a common feature in New Mexican homes.
In Spanish Colonial times these fireplaces were the source of heat for the room, a center of food preparation and often the major source of light in the evenings.
Small, low stools called tarimas, useful for sitting cloe to the fireplace, were generally the only form of a "chair" to be found in the home.
The Sala Grande
Most houses in Spanish Colonial New Mexico were not large enough to have rooms set aside for specialized use.
In large homes, however, la sala grande or great room, was the one reserved for formal occasions, and often would be utilized by the entire community when there was a political meeting or fandango (public dance.)
All Spanish homes contained small, private altars or shrines with a few favorite santos or saints to whom the family prayed.
These small altars were commonly set up in a corner of a multi-use room; it was only in fairly large and wealthy ranchos or haciendas that one found a room specifically designated as a private chapel.
Here the family and servants would join together for daily prayer, and visiting priests would say Mass for the benefit of the family and gathered neighbors.
Tools in the Stone Barn
The stone barn is located in the corral area of Casa San Ysidro. Here the visitor will find early agricultural tools and livestock implements.
Such items as hand-crafted hoes, rakes, hand-sickles, winnowers and a punta de buey (ox-goad) offer a rare glimpse into the daily domestic life of New Mexico in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Located in the corral area, the bunkhouse is a post Civil War cabin from Escabosa, New Mexico; it was salvaged and moved to Casa San Ysidro.
Despite the dirt floor and general lack of amenities, a cowboy's bunk was his own private corner of the world.
All New Mexican ranchos had to be largely self-sufficient, growing their own produce and raising livestock.
In the cookhouse, breakfast is being prepared on a turn-of-the-century wood stove. Fresh eggs are available from the chicken coop located just behind the cookhouse, fruit is seasonally available from the peach and apricot trees planted in the front, and green chile — New Mexico's indispensable seasoning — can be added from the garden.