D. H. Lawrence Ranch
The 160-acre ranch is located twenty miles north of Taos, New Mexico, off Highway 522 near San Cristobal at 8,600 feet. An ancient Kiowa Indian trail, still used to travel from Taos Pueblo to the red clay pits in Questa by the Taos Pueblo natives, crosses vertically through the property. Under the 1955 Last Will and Testament of D.H. Lawrence’s widow Frieda, it was entrusted to the University of New Mexico (UNM) for the purpose of creating a public memorial to the world-renowned writer.
The Ranch is currently only open by appointment. Please contact the following for an appointment, or to communicate any questions or concerns:
Mary Vosevich, UNM Physical Plant Director, (505) 277-6644; Rick Rumanski, Planning officer/UNM Physical Plant Dept., (505) 277-1698; or Dr. Wynn Goering, UNM Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, (505) 277-7601.
Below is an excerpt from an essay by Dr. Katherine Toy Miller.
read the full pdf D.H. Lawrence Ranch (19 pages)
"After going to Ceylon and Australia, the Lawrences arrived in Taos on September 11, 1922, Lawrence’s thirty-seventh birthday. “I think New Mexico was the greatest
experience from the outside world that I have ever had. It certainly changed me forever,” Lawrence wrote later. “[T]he moment I saw the brilliant, proud morning shine high up
over the deserts of Santa Fé, something stood still in my soul, and I started to attend. . . . In the magnificent fierce morning of New Mexico one sprang awake, a new part of the soul woke up suddenly, and the old world gave way to a new” (“New Mexico”142).
But by September 27 Lawrence complained, “Mabel Sterne (Luhan) is very nice to us--
though I hate living on somebody else’s property and accepting their kindnesses. . . .
Everything in America goes by will” (Letters IV 310). When Lawrence told Mabel they
wanted to go away, she offered him use of her son’s mountain hunting ranch. On
October 25 Lawrence described it as “very nice, about 16 miles from here. We might
possibly fix up that, and live there. . . . I work all morning.--But we don’t get much time to
ourselves.--Wish really we could go to that ranch, more alone. But it is rather
inaccessible” (Letters IV 329).
On October 31 the Lawrences spent a day there: “It was so lovely: and really
free, far more so than here,” he wrote. “Frieda wants us to go and live there. We’ll try it
first for a week, because it will be colder. But I think we shall do it--and try to make a
real life there. It is much more splendid, more real, there, than here” and “There are two
rather poor little houses--most of the lot is timber--all rather abandoned. . . . If we like it
in the long run, MS. [Mabel Sterne] says she will let us have it. It’s a wonderful place,
with the world at your feet and the mountains at your back, and pine-trees” (Letters IV
--Dr. Katherine Toy Miller publishes and presents scholarly narratives on D. H. and Frieda Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, and Georgia O’Keeffe, including recent BBC radio and television documentaries on Lawrence. These mutual friends all lived briefly in Taos, New Mexico, where they stayed at the Lawrences' ranch.