A portrait of a dreamer

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By Kirsten Laskey

Dreams will only die if you allow them to; Ashley Pond’s life and accomplishments are proof of this. Sharon Snyder, a retired teacher and historian, explained Pond envisioned a ranch school for boys. He had arrived in New Mexico to recuperate from typhoid fever, which he contracted while serving in Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Tampa, Fla. Pond stayed at a ranch in New Mexico and his experience working and living outdoors drove him to create a ranch school to provide the same experience for others.He bought some land in Shoemaker Canyon and fulfilled his dream. It didn’t last long. A flood destroyed the ranch school in 1904, but Pond’s dream was not ruined. He persevered and constructed a new ranch school in an area that is now known as Los Alamos.Pond’s determination to fulfill his dreams also motivated Snyder to share information about the first ranch school with the community during the Los Alamos Historical Society’s lecture series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge. The title of her talk is “Ashley Pond’s First Ranch School.”While the second ranch school eventually paved the way for the Manhattan Project and the development of Los Alamos, the first ranch school connected the residents in Santa Fe and the valley, Snyder said.

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