The Trinity Hotel and Restaurant is housed in what was once the historic First National Bank in downtown Carlsbad, New Mexico. It is one of the oldest buildings in the area having been constructed in 1892. The red brick building was also the home of the first newspaper and later used as offices for the Pecos Irrigation and Improvement Company. They worked to harness the valley’s water resources by constructing dams and canals for irrigation. Pat Garrett, who shot and killed Billy the Kid, maintained an office upstairs on the second floor.
The two-story Victorian-style building was added to the National Historic Landmark register in 1965. It sat vacant for several years until business partners, Balzano, Balzano and Moore formed an alliance to save and preserve the historic landmark on the corner of Canal and Fox.
Presently, the Trinity operates with an upscale restaurant, a drive-through window that features gourmet coffees, a wine tasting room, and a total of nine up-scale hotel suites on the ground floor and above the dining facility.
This writer traveled to Carlsbad NM with another travel journalist who was on assignment to highlight several tourist destinations in the area. Of course, this gave us opportunities to check out several Carlsbad locations, too. One of Nancy’s writing targets included the Trinity Hotel.
After a wonderful dinner at the Trinity, the owner took us on a tour of hotel accommodations on the ground floor. We followed him upstairs to see the lavishly furnished rooms ready for guests traveling through historic Carlsbad. Book a room and enjoy dining in the same building? What more could one ask for!
The owner directed us to another location. He invited the two travel writers to meet him back at the restaurant in the morning, and he would lead us out to his vineyard near the Seven Rivers area.
Early the next morning, we headed north towards the area where the town of Seven Rivers once stood. Seven Rivers was named for the seven arroyos that entered the Pecos River. It was once a booming town of 300 citizens in the 1880’s. The Seven Rivers Warrior’s gang was a group of small time ranchers who had been victimized by John Chisum and his large herds of cattle that ate most of their grassland. The gang stole Chisum’s livestock and attempted to make life hard for him. On the run, Billy the Kid ended up at the home of Heiskell Jones and spent some time living with the family. They later gave him a horse when he was ready to ride on. The town of Seven Rivers was flooded and disappeared into the chapters of history when Brantley Lake was created in 1988. The lake provided a dam and recreational facility for the area.
Balzano commented on his connection with Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett. Billy the Kid frequented the nearby area on which the vineyards were planted. Meanwhile, Pat Garrett was once a part owner of the building where the Trinity reigns today. He felt it was a wonderful tie to New Mexico’s western history, and he is right.
The wine growing expert cultivating the vineyard suggested the owner do a ceremony of prosperity and protection. They cooked a meal and dined at the end of the vine rows. A rose bush was planted at the end of the row and an empty wine bottle was buried bottoms up near the bush. What a great tradition and great wine!
The Trinity Hotel and Restaurant
201 S Canal Street
Carlsbad, NM 88220