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As a lifelong resident of Santa Fe, I am quite familiar with locales and historical facts surrounding the area. When I got a copy of the book, “Santa Fe’s Historic Hotels,” part of the Images of America series sold all over the area, I thought I would read the deep history of the hotels I know of and learn about the ones I wasn’t around to see.
I ended up with mixed feelings about this book that seems to read like a history book with photos that allow one to step into the past.
It starts off informative with the early beginnings of the Exchange Hotel, which closed in 1919 and its slew of owners including Abraham Staab — owner of La Posada and husband of resident ghost Julia. There is little else mentioned about him or La Posada until the last chapter.
I did enjoy the chapter on La Fonda — a Santa Fe staple and its description of art and décor throughout the years. The connection to Fred Harvey using the La Fonda as a showplace for art was worth mentioning, as well as the number of celebrities that have graced the halls.