Mom and me at Grandma's House on the WS Ranch

Mom and me at Grandma’s House on the WS Ranch

Thanks for visiting my site.  I am Debbie Milligan Lee.  On my Dad’s side of the family, I am fifth generation and on my Mother’s side, I am third generation native to Catron County. Catron County was part of Socorro County until 1921 and both counties are still very large in area.  My roots here are deep and I am very thankful that I live in such a beautiful and historic place.  I have been collecting history since I was a youngster in the 1970’s.  I was raised at the Apache Creek Store which my parents owned during that time period.  We also had a house on the banks of the Tularosa, not far from where Fort Tularosa once stood.  Our store was visited by locals and old-timers and I became accustomed to hearing their life stories and quite frankly, for a while, took those stories of history for granted.  Then as we all do, I developed a deep appreciation for what I was hearing as I realized it was history.  H.B. Birmingham was a regular customer. Later in life, I spent hours visiting with him about the old days and once in 1994, we spent his birthday talking old times while I fed him red enchiladas and coffee.  My brother and I have fond memories of my Mom and Dad buying the store from an old-timer, Romie Price and became super close friends with Romie and Louise Price, Buster Alexander, Preston and Horace Porter and  J.C. and Martha Tucker (of course we were already friends).  They all lived on the creek and at 7 o’clock every night when the store was closed, we’d play pitch or poker for entertainment.  No money involved of course, but it was our community social hour. Every Sunday, when the store was closed, my Mom would take my brother and me to visit her parents, Grandpa and Grandma Thacker.  They lived on the WS Ranch at Alma.  The road to Alma is very winding and I didn’t care for the curves because as a backseat rider, I would get sick.  All was better when we got to Grandpa and Grandma’s because they always had a Hershey bar waiting for the grandkids.  I believe there’s not a better cure for car sickness to a kid than Hershey bars and horseback riding. On the ranch, we helped my Grandpa look after his hogs and garden and rode horses belonging to my Aunt Toni and Uncle John McKeen who owned the ranch.  We’d watch my Grandma make homemade corn tortillas on her wood cook stove for her very delicious red enchiladas.   Catron County, NM – there’s no place I’d rather be.  Please feel free to visit the photo gallery.  Thanks for your interest in our history.  There are those of us who strive to keep it alive which is one of the main reasons for my site and the tours.

Happy Trails!  Debbie 

Schedule a tour today by calling 575.533.6089 – Apache Creek Old West Tours.