Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, Western National Parks Association and the Manzano Mountain Art Council will sponsor the fifth annual Winter Lecture Series in Mountainair once again this year. The series will present three free lectures starting on Saturday, Feb. 15, and running through Saturday, Feb. 29.

On Feb. 15, Belen Harvey House historian Jim Sloan will kick off the series with “Belen in Photos,” a lecture and slide show on the history of Belen.

Jim Sloan

Sloan has an extensive collection of photographs covering the history of Belen. In addition to his historian duties, Sloan also serves as a member of the Belen Historic Properties Review Board, the Valencia County Historical Society board of directors and administers the popular Facebook group called Belen Memories. His group, made up of more than 4,000 members, where he shares old photos and facts about the Hub City.

Sloan has lived in Belen for 60 years and attended Belen Schools before joining the Navy at age 17. In 2000, he began to collect old postcards of Belen and soon became obsessed with researching anything and everything about the Hub City.

He is also a great resource for local authors, who he often helps to research the facts. He most enjoys collecting old photos and feels photographs are worthless unless seen and enjoyed.

David Policansky will present “Catholic Churches of New Mexico” on Saturday, Feb. 22. Policansky has been interested in churches, especially Catholic churches for decades. He began photographing New Mexico’s historic adobe, stone and brick churches in 2005 and cannot stop recording their history.

David Policansky – Talking about churches

He stated when asked why churches are so important to him, “I am not a historian or a regular church-goer, but photographing these often remote, historic churches has deepened my appreciation of New Mexico’s marvelous cultural and natural landscapes.”

Living history duo Dixie Boyle and Donna Deiner will present “History of the Shaffer Hotel and its Paranormal Activity” on Feb. 29. Boyle and Deiner present living history programs for museums, historical societies, libraries and other organizations needing a speaker. They became involved in living history while working as park guides for Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.

Boyle is a historian and enjoys researching local history and writing books and articles. Deiner volunteers at the local school system and is involved in many community projects. Both women are former teachers.

All three lectures will start at 1 p.m. The first two lectures will be presented at the historic Manzano Mountain Art Council building, formerly known as the Lawson Store at the intersection of highways 55 and 60 at the only

Dixie Boyle and Donna Deiner – History of Shaffer Hotel and paranormal activity

flashing light in Mountainair.

The third and final lecture will be held at the Shaffer Hotel. The hotel’s dining room will sponsor a lunch special before the lecture, and those planning to attend are encouraged to call for a reservation at 847-2888.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.