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Fifty years later, the Posse Lodge is likely utilized more now then ever before, said Posse Lodge President Cary Grzadzinski.
“Between our Cowboy Breakfasts held the first Sunday of every month serving between 300-400 people, nearly full of weekend weddings, graduations, birthday party rentals, business meetings and now our annual Rodeo Steak Fry and Dance, the Posse Lodge currently entertains between 10,000-12,000 area residents each year,” Grzadzinski said.
Breakfast proceeds have allowed Posse Lodge board members to complete major renovations to the lodge during the last two years. They’ve upgraded the 1950s electrical and plumbing systems, restored the bar area and renovated the kitchen.
The board is sharing its good fortune by allowing other groups and organizations to host an occasional Cowboy Breakfast to reap some of the profits.
Organizations that have or are scheduled to host a breakfast include school groups, a tennis team, Volleyball FUSION, Chamisa PTA, Alzheimer’s Association, Los Alamos Pony Club, American Cancer Society, the Rotary Club, Empty Bowl and Military Order Of World Wars (MOWW).
The monthly Cowboy Breakfasts run from 7-11 a.m., with an all-you-can-eat menu that includes plain, blueberry, banana and chocolate chip pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, orange juice and coffee.
The meal costs $6 for adults and $4 for children 10 years of age and under.
The Posse Lodge now hosts Square Dancing and Square Dancing lessons at 4 p.m. each Sunday.
“The lodge is available for all types of rentals,” Grzadzinski said. “Equestrian participation is not required. We need people of all ages, talents and commitment levels. We could really use a ‘B’ team breakfast crew to allow current crews a much needed break.”
Piecing together local folklore and what little factual information he could find, Grzadzinski discovered that the Los Alamos Sheriffs Posse was formed circa 1947-48 during the Manhattan Project.
“Local equestrians purchased two lots of horses from the U.S. Calvary,” he said. “To avoid conspicuous movement ‘up the hill’ to Los Alamos, they brought the horses up the back side of Los Alamos over the Jemez passes. Thus the Posse was formed.”
The Posse became The Sheriff’s Posse, Inc. of Los Alamos County, an official non-profit corporation in 1951, Grzadzinski said. They were tied to the Los Alamos Sheriffs Department at one time to be “called to service” as needed for activities such as search and rescue and traffic control, but discontinued that connection in the early 1960s.
Reported by some distant and dated memories, Grzadzinski said the Posse’s first base of operation was an “acquired” military type hut, or “shack” that stood directly behind the building of today at 650 North Mesa.
“Stories then become less clear,” he said. “Some say it burned down, some say it eventually fell down. We just know that there was some kind of original shack preceding the building we see today.”
Construction on the current structure began sometime in late 1956 or early 1957 with a budget of less that $100, he said. The building logs were harvested near the DP site and Rendija Canyon area. Wood, windows, doors and other materials were scavenged from the demolition of the TA-1 Gamma Building.
“With the hard work of the members, generous donations of equipment and materials from local contractors, the building was finished for its first official party at Christmastime in 1958,” Grzadzinski said.
For information about becoming a Posse Lodge member or to volunteer, call Grzadzinski at 412-7845 or Deb at 660-7294.