New Mexico has a rich history in Alcoholics Anonymous. We preserve our archives so we can share that history with alcoholics who come after us. You can view public archives on this page. However, our archives go deeper than what you see here. We have many more archives to share. To maintain our tradition of personal anonymity, the bulk of our archives can be found on our Area 46 Service Site which is password protected.
The mission of Alcoholics Anonymous in Area 46 Archives is to permanently document the work of Area 46 and its Districts, to make the history of the organization accessible to A.A. members and other researchers, and to provide a context for understanding Alcoholics Anonymous’ progression, principles and traditions.
Records reflect that Rowland H left New Mexico for the last time by train in August 1936. He managed several properties and businesses in Southern New Mexico including the La Luz Clay Pottery Factory. The properties and businesses were dissolved by 1950. The La Luz Clay Pottery Factory was listed on the National Register Of Historic Places in 1979. It is currently used as a private residence.
During WWII Bernard L served as a United States Naval Flight Instructor. He was drinking when he wasn’t flying. He was introduced to AA in Oklahoma City, OK, but shortly thereafter he and his wife moved to Lovington, NM. He wrote Grand Central Annex, New York and asked if there were any AA groups in New Mexico. They wrote back that there was only one. It was in Carlsbad with seven members. This was in 1945. Bernard went to Carlsbad where he met Ick C from Hobbs, NM. Bernard and Ick started meeting first at Bernard’s house, then at Ick’s. They called it the Lea County Group.
In 1946, around February, there were fourteen members getting together one night a week at the downtown meeting on Gold Avenue. I believe that it was then called the Metro Group. About this time the Isleta Group also started. The Metro and Isleta groups went together as one group for a while in the early years. In 1949 or 1950 the Metro Group reformed and moved to Ninth and Kent and changed its name to Metropolitan Group.
(George V 1976)
Dr. Miles N got sober in Kansas City in 1941 on the heels of the Jack Alexander articles. Dr. N vacationed in Santa Fe regularly, and in 1946 was trying to help his nephew Bob N. Ultimately, the first meeting in Santa Fe started as the Santa Fe Group (now known as the Downtown Group). It was started in 1946 by Dr. N’s nephew Bob N, Art S, Bill B Jr and a waitress from La Fonda. Art S’s ex-wife Lenna joined AA in 1948.
Regarding translation work, we read in the February 1947 issue of the AA Grapevine, the following account:
“A second booklet in the Spanish language, based principally on Akron No.1 Group’s Manual for AA., has just been made ready for press by the Santa Fe NM Group. The first booklet, The first booklet, ¿Ha De Ser Esto Nuestro Sino? was a translation into Spanish of the Salt Lake No 1 Group’s Who? Me? And portions of Akron’s Guide to the 12 Steps.”
In early 1949 Art T in Tularosa was having some trouble with his drinking. He was looking through some old magazines and ran across an issue of the Saturday Evening Post of march 1, 1941 which contained the Jack Alexander article about Alcoholics Anonymous.
After reading the article, Art T wrote to Akron for some literature. By the time he received the literature he had contacted another man in Tularosa who was also having some trouble with his drinking. The two of them contacted one of their drinking friends named Jess T. The three of them started holding a meeting in Tularosa once a week in the Fall of 1949.
(Sam B October 1981)
The first AA meeting in Farmington was held in 1952. It was held in the USGS Office by Al K. and a gal named Lola who had been attending a meeting in Durango, CO. Upon receipt of an inquiry from a newcomer in Farmington, they decided to hold their first ever meeting in Farmington. The meeting did not last.
For many years there was no Central Office/Intergroup Office in Santa Fe. In the beginning, Art S. answered the calls in his office. In 1969, Bob L’s first sponsor, Steve was answering AA calls on his home phone. When Bruce I called the AA number listed in the phone book in 1972, an answering service staffed by “Old Helen” sent a twelve step caller named Bert K……By 1987, the community saw a need for a Central Office………The first Santa Fe Central office was opened in the radio building on Marcy Street where the rent was $200 per month. The office was incorporated as a nonprofit organization on August 18, 1989.
(Submitted by D-2 Archives in 2006)
Over the years there have been a variety of regional histories compiled and saved in our Archives. Below are a few links to several of these regional histories. If you are interested, there are some interesting stories about early AA here in New Mexico.
All of the audio archives listed below can be found on the same page at aa.org. Click on any of the archives to listen to any of them.