I received E-Mail that said:

Now... For more castles in New Mexico!!! Don't forget about Montezuma's Castle just outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico... It was built by rich rail road owners as an exclusive hotel, back in the old days.... Today it is an International College and has some ties with the Prince of Wales...He has been here a time or two for dedications at the collage, and Camilla too... It sits on top of a hill, You can take distant fotographs, but it is protected by security guards, and they won't let you get too close...I guess some of those international students are from wealthy, or politically important families...who knows??? You can't miss it either, as you drive on the road, and it winds it's way in the valley, things green up a bit, you make a turn, and then there across from the road on a hill stands this huge stone building with onion shaped roofs on the towers...very Germanic looking...

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

I have found some info on the castle in Montezuma, NM, it is now a college prep school. The school is near the Pecos Wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. It is a 70-mile drive from Santa Fe and 130 miles from Albuquerque. The campus is the site of a once-famous resort hotel, developed a century ago by the Santa Fe Railroad. Visitors were attracted by the area's climate and nearby hot springs and historic sites. The 100-acre campus was redesigned to meet the College's needs.

The Armand Hammer United World College is one of nine colleges under the International Board of the United World Colleges, whose central office is in London. All colleges follow a curriculum and set of programs similar to the one first developed at Atlantic College in Wales in 1962. The term college is used in the British sense, meaning the last two years of schooling before entry into a university. Through national committees, each institution recruits students ages 16 to 19 from around the world. The chairpersons of these committees form the International Council.

I received E-Mail that said:

Montezuma Castle, in Montezuma, N.M., was designed by the firm of Burnham and Root, Architects

More E-Mail:

This castle was built as a hotel in the village of Montezuma, NM because of the hot springs and as the gate way to Gallinas ( means chicken in Spanish) canyon great trout fishing. It had it own rail line and train going to it ( I think narrow gage). Also as part of the entertainment there was a stone grandstand horse race track, called Kings Stadium. It was a favorite place of Prince Albert's, Queen Victoria visited it often.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Montezuma Castle is now one of the 11 most endangered historical site in the United States, and will be under renovation as soon as there is enough funding. The castle is part of the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West, and the students there are from over 70 countries. Most of them are not rich students but are those interested in inter-cultural exchange. It is possible to get a close look at the castle, although no one, including the students, are allowed to get in because of safety reasons. Visitors can go to the Administration Building and sign the guest book. If you don't visit it at the middle of the night, I'm sure (as I was a student there) that the security will not block you from visiting.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Some movies were made in Montezuma's Castle. The Evil is one. Montezuma's Castle also has been rebuilt many times. The first were burned. At one time it was called "The Phoenix" as it has risen from ashes.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

As for the Montezuma Castle, I had a tour of it when I was a university student in Las Vegas. Of course the guards will not let anyone in unless you have 'special' permission from the people who own the castle. The castle rests in the center of the United World College but it is not actually part of the college itself.

The castle went through different uses at one time. First it was a hotel and resort for those who were into the gambling habit. (this was before Las Vegas, Nevada became the big spot for gambling) After it became a monastery for a short period. There is a legend (whether it is true or not I do not know but I have been told it is so) about the time when the monks lived in the Castle.

There are six rooms on the the 3rd floor that have been blocked up and never reopened. It is in these rooms that several of the monks were walled up inside of these rooms alive and were left there to suffer a certain doom of slow starvation and what-have-you. A total of 12 monks were walled up because they were considered a threat to the others living there. This was before skytsophrenia (sp?) was 'well-known'.

After that, active interest in the castle died out until the two movies were filmed there. It is up for sale the last time I checked on the castle. There is one condition though for whoever happens to buy it. What I am told is that whoever purchases the castle must restore it to it 'original' essence; preserving the castle.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Here's some more information about Montezuma Castle in New Mexico, provided by my father who lived there with his parents and two sisters from fall of 1922 to December of 1992 while his father taught at the college.

In 1922 a Baptist College called Montezuma College was founded in Montezuma, NM. All of the student body and faculty lived in the castle, where all the classes were held. The first freshmen arrived in the fall of 1922. Each year another class was to have been added. The first president was named Maddox. The main source of meat were mule deer shot in the immediate vicinity by faculty and students. They were still using the ice house with ice from a nearby stream. A very small football team was enthusiastically supported by the student body of about 50.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Montezuma Castle in Las Vegas, New Mexico is currently undergoing a restoration that will cost over $10 million and will be used as dormitory space for the United World College of the American West as well as for other uses. The Hotel, which was built in 1882, burned down in 1884, was rebuilt, then burned again a few years later. The structure shown in your photo is much as it looks today, except today it is encased in scaffolding.

Just yesterday I was able to tour the castle while construction goes forward. One entire floor, which is above the original ballroom, had to be raised six inches to its original position. The effort required nearly one million pounds of force to jack up the floor. The amount of work left is daunting, considering the deadline for completion is July 2001.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

We just toured the old hotel thanks to the very helpful and gracious construction crew. 70% of the 90,000 square feet is being redone. It is not an accurate restoration per se, but a remodel. It will house 120 students and the families of two teachers at the school as well as the office for the school's president, classrooms and a modern kitchen/cafeteria. The old ballroom has been restored and will serve as a dining hall for the students. The lobby is also being restored and will be beautiful. They are putting in a "Royal Suite" (Queen Victoria supposedly stayed there) which I assume will be for VIP guests. They are working around the clock to be finished before school starts on August 20th. They may allow visitors prior to the start of the school year, possibly on August 13th. We understand the renovation costs are well beyond ten million dollars at this time, but judging from what we saw it is money well spent.

On 5-17-05, I received E-Mail that said:

I am currently a student at the United World College, in Montezuma, Mew Mexico, which owns Montezuma Castle. As it was unclear in other e-mails, the school is for students from all over the world (currently over 80 different countries) who follow the International Baccalaureate program--it's not so much a prep school, it's more like senior year of high school and freshman year of college. There are around two hundred students.

Montezuma castle has been renovated for several years now, and it now holds the school's cafeteria, Student Center, guest rooms, many classrooms, several offices, and two dormitories. In fact, I'm writing this e-mail from my dorm room in the castle. At this point in time, the castle is open for tours, and you can see pictures of the castle from the school's website--it's Armand Hammer United World College of the American West, or UWC-USA. The renovation has, for the most part, preserved the historical aspects of the college. There are also plenty of ghost stories about the castle--the movie The Evil was filmed here, and legend has it that the proprietor of the original hotel walks around at night, and that an opera singer who died here can be heard singing sometimes.

On 4-6-09, I received e-mail that said:

I organized the dept of music in 1982 for the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West, while simultaneously serving as a Professor of Music at nearby New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas NM. So, I personally spent quite a bit of time there, and have a pic of the castle (a special drawing given to each of the faculty that year).

There was a local legend that you could not take a clear pic of the fireplace, as the place was haunted. Of course, we did (and if I can get it digitalized, I'll send it along.) Nothing of the sort in reality!

The United World College is not quite what you described. The school accepts anybody of any background, but entrance is strictly on merit. When I taught there, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! The students were...lets just say they are absolutely the brightest people you will ever meet.

Tuition is paid through scholarships in the vast majority of cases. The students I worked with were from all socio-economic levels.

For more information, google the site for the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West.

\ On 5-24-13, I received e-mail that said:

My grandfather, Percy Joseph Farmer, was the medical director of a Wellness/Hotel effort at the Montezuma from 1904-1908. He was a married neurologist from St. Louis, whose father, Joseph Bryant Farmer, bought the hotel as a place where Percy could go and work and also recuperate from his own heart problems. Percy’s wife Mabel went with him and his sister Jenny Farmer. Sadly, Jenny died in her 20s. Percy, his father, his son, and his daughter ( my mother) all died of heart problems.

I have one or two letters written back and forth from his father and him in about 1906 about various people coming to stay there, how they were feeling, etc. Percy returned to St. Louis and practiced there until his death in the 30’s. There is no mention on any website that I have found about this period of time for the Castle, but I did find his name listed on the list of postmasters for the area.

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