“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Los Alamos in Los Alamos County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Albert J. Connell

Los Alamos Homestead Tour

— Site 1 • Marker 4 —

Albert J. Connell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 24, 2015
1. Albert J. Connell Marker
Albert J. Connell
In Lieu Entry: October 1930

Ashley Pond bought H. H. Brook's ranch in January 1917. That same year, Pond hired Albert J. (A. J.) Connell to be the director of the newly formed Los Alamos Ranch School. The school did not own all the land on Los Alamos Mesa. Much of it was property of the Santa Fe National Forest. Section 16, the so-called school section, which was not open to homesteading, lay in the heart of the school grounds.

Connell had worked hard and successfully to build the school into a respected preparatory school for well-to-do boys. Although the school leased land from the forest service, he felt the school would be more secure by owning the land outright.

The U.S. Forest Service could not sell land but could trade for land of equal value. Connell sought to buy private land that the forest service wanted to acquire. He found that he could not afford enough private land to trade for the entire 640-acre Section 16. In 1930 he began negotiations to trade 160 acres he had purchased in the Pecos area for 40 acres of Section 16. That tract now includes the east parking lot for Mesa
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Public Library and a part of Ashley Pond. He completed the transaction in January 1931.

Connell was still director of the school when the government began negotiations to acquire the property in 1942. Connell had no choice. It was a wrenching process to lose the place to which he had devoted his heart and soul. He died the following year — some say "of a broken heart."
Erected by County of Los Alamos, Fuller Lodge/Historic Districts Advisory Board, and Los Alamos Historic Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1917.
Location. 35° 52.957′ N, 106° 18.087′ W. Marker is in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in Los Alamos County. Marker can be reached from Juniper Street just west of 19th Street. Marker is located along the walkway just north of the Los Alamos Historical Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2132 Central Avenue, Los Alamos NM 87544, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Harold H. Brook (here, next to this marker); Martha Brook (here, next to this marker); William Mackwood Hopper (here, next to this marker); Homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau, 1887-1942 (a few steps from this marker);
Marker detail: Albert J. Connell image. Click for full size.
Los Alamos Historical Society Archives
2. Marker detail: Albert J. Connell
The Romero Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Fuller Lodge (within shouting distance of this marker); Los Alamos Post Office (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Post Office (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Alamos.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Los Alamos Historical Walking Tour
Also see . . .  Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory National Historic Landmark District. A former Boy Scout and forest ranger, Connell modeled the school’s curriculum after the Scouts and its buildings after the rustic style of architecture fostered by the National Park Service for America’s parks. By 1938, Connell had overseen the construction of some 27 buildings around a renamed Ashley Pond. Many structures, including a dormitory and classroom building called the Big House, were demolished after the war. The school’s combined dining hall, social center, and infirmary, Fuller Lodge, still stands. (Submitted on September 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Marker detail: property map image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: property map
Albert J. Connell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 24, 2015
4. Albert J. Connell Marker
A. J. Connell Plaque<br>(<i>inside Los Alamos Historical Museum</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 25, 2015
5. A. J. Connell Plaque
(inside Los Alamos Historical Museum)
Los Alamos Ranch School
Los Alamos, New Mexico
A. J. Connell • 1882-1944
Dedicated to the memory of
Mr. A. J. Connell
Director of the Ranch School, 1917-1943
Los Alamos Historical Society
July 1969
Credits. This page was last revised on September 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 23, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 277 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 24, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Feb. 22, 2024