The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Los Alamos Ranch School

Virginia Montoya Archuleta's Interview

[Thanks to David Schiferl and Willie Atencio for recording this interview and providing a copy to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.]

Willie Atencio: This interview is conducted so we can find out about how life was in Los Alamos by people that lived there. Can you tell us how your father was involved with the Los Alamos Ranch School? He has a reputation of being a very good gardener. Can you tell us more about that?

Virginia Montoya Archuleta

Virginia Montoya Archuleta is the youngest daughter of Adolfo and Elaisa Montoya. Her father Adolfo was the head gardener at the Los Alamos Ranch School. In this interview, she describes her father’s work at the school and her memories of living in Los Alamos. She also shares information about her family’s connection to Santa Cruz de la Cañada. Finally, she discusses her family’s role in a lawsuit seeking compensation for homesteaders displaced by the Manhattan Project.

Stirling Auchincloss Colgate

Stirling Auchincloss Colgate was a student at the Los Alamos Ranch School when the site was chosen for use in the Manhattan Project, and he describes the visits of J. Robert Oppenheimer and other project leaders. Mr. Colgate left Los Alamos to go to college and study physics, later working with many of the renowned scientists from the project.

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