The Trail supports the Questa community’s shift from a mining town to a broader economy, one that focuses on cultural preservation, and includes sharing our local history and surrounding beauty with visitors, residents, and homecoming family.
Our project had its genesis in round table discussions led by Frontier Communities (a small-town category of MainStreet, USA).
The History Trail is one of the founding projects that motivated the creation of the non-profit Questa Creative Council. Our team was much inspired by the work of the St. Anthony’s Church restoration that brought together so many skilled and generous people working toward a valuable goal.
We exist in collaboration with LEAP (Land, Experience, and Art of Place), an educational group under the local non-profit Localogy, that is building a cache for oral histories and archival imagery. The focus is on local stories, many of which reflect the topics introduced on the Questa History Trail. Find these stories online at www.QuestaStories.org. This, in turn, is part of a larger community archive project for Northern New Mexico.
Another related alliance is with the Creative Council’s Northern New Mexico Music project, a platform to do for music what the Questa Stories does for oral history. The upper Rio Grande is home to a remote, isolated, and unique culture that deserves to be honored.
Our founding team is a diverse group of residents.
Mark Sideris – Historic Saint Anthony’s Church Restoration Project foreman, carpenter, and landscape-engineer advisor.
Flavio Cisneros – Retired history teacher and oral-history facilitator.
Jeannie Masters & Kate Cisneros – North Central NM Food Pantry founders and co-directors, and oral-history facilitators.
Tim Long – Small business owner, carpenter, and seasonal ranger at Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
Alberta Bouyer – Founding Questa Tourism Director, writer, marketing consultant, and project administrator.
Martha Shepp – Artist, editor, and project’s graphic designer.
with thanks to Carrie Leven – archaeologist with the Questa Ranger Station.
Claire Cote, LEAP director – artist and educator, gentle instigator, mother, and radical homemaker. Oral History collector and image archive facilitator.
Gaea McGahee, LEAP Creative Associate – Questa Farmers Market founder and manager, Adjunct Anthropology faculty with NMSU/DACC. Oral History collector and image archive facilitator.
While we lack a self-identified Native American team member, this heritage lives on in the ancestry of many Questa residents and in family stories shared over the generations. Our investigations and research has sought to represent all people within the village’s history in a fair, accurate, and respectful manner. We take pride in the diverse cultures of the Southwest and their distinctive features while seeking the higher truth of a shared humanity.
The Questa History Trail depends on community participation. Join our team and ensure a bright future for this exciting project!
Creation of this project was funded by:
National Park Services’ Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program
Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area
New Mexico Humanities Council
With support from the Village of Questa
and additional support from the US Forest Service, Chevron, and Taos County Lodgers Tax.
The Questa History Trail is a project of the Questa Creative Council. The QCC is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the US IRS Code.
We thank the QCC’s current sponsors for their support of our ongoing projects:
The Taos Community Foundation, Art Questa, Ambitions Consulting Group, Virsylvia Farms, plus many individual donors.