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Tulie library -- An artist's rendering of the new Tularosa library (Photo provided)

With the completion of a library in November, a family that helped found Tularosa will ensure its family legacy.

According to Tularosa Mayor Ray Cordova, this new building in an old town would not have been possible without the Kreutzcamp family of Utah.

"Our family ties go back to Tularosa to 1815," said Allen Kreutzcamp, of Orem, Utah.

In that year, Jose Bernal came from Spain and with other families settled the area initially known as Tula del Osa, which eventually became shortened to Tularosa. Jose's wife was pregnant with a son, Francisco, when she arrived. Francisco was born in Tularosa, as were the following two generations of his family.

"My mother (Alma Kreutzcamp) was born in Tularosa on a kitchen table," Kreutzcamp said.

Five years later, in 1948, the family left Tularosa and only returned to visit periodically over the next 60 years. The family still owned property in town, however. And that ownership brought the Bernal family's descendants back to Tularosa in 2005.

"Nobody (in the family) has lived in Tularosa for 60 years," Kreutzcamp said, adding that family members would drive through occasionally to check on the property. "But because of the family ties, nobody wanted to sell the property."


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is the trustee of his family trust and as such, he came to Tularosa two years ago to check on the property and see what could be done with it.

"I talked to Lance Giest, a local resident, and in talking to him, he said Tularosa had never had a village library," Kreutzcamp said.

Tularosa currently has a library of sorts, but it's more of a crumbling room with books in it, according to part-time librarian Rayanne Northrop.

Tularosa's current library in housed in an 18-by-20-foot room in the community center. The room leaks whenever it rains.

"We've had quite a bit of damage to books, shelves, carpets. Everything has gotten ruined at some time or another," Northrop said.

Upon hearing of the needs in Tularosa, Kreutzcamp returned home. After talking with the family and making a second visit, he decided to donate family property on Fresno Street to the city for a library.

The Kreutzcamps' generosity didn't end there, however. The family owned several city lots in Tularosa and a 460-acre tract of land. They sold the remaining property and used the money to fund the new library's construction, to the tune of $214,000.

"We don't have a very large tax base," Mayor Cordova said. "We wouldn't be able to afford a library like this without their help.

Kreutzcamp explained that his family's only interest in the project was to do something for the community. Before his grandfather died, he often spoke to Kreutzcamp about the property, and often asked that the property be used for the community. When Kreutzcamp visited Tularosa, it was obvious there was a need and the property was not being utilized or maintained.

"I think it really just stems from the fact that my matriarchal ties go back to Tularosa to 1815. The town has always been important to my family," Kreutzcamp said.

He added that the project has also brought his mother considerable joy.

"She thinks it's absolutely wonderful. There's an appreciation there that comes from our roots of what were very humble beginnings," said Kreutzcamp, whose family has earned its living in ranching and real estate since moving to California, and then Utah.

The story of Tularosa's library, however, has another chapter. According to Cordova, the money contributed by the Kreutzcamp family wasn't quite enough to finish the library. So Cordova took matters into his own hands and traveled to Santa Fe. He went to ask Gov. Bill Richardson if he could help.

"(Richardson) asked me how much we needed to finish the library. I told him $100,000, and he turned to his aid and told her, ŒGet it for them today,'" said Cordova, adding that the experience left a big impression on him.

Cordova explained that typically, government leaves the expectation that one has to clear multiple hurdles in order to get funding. "But he said to his aide, do it today."

Of course, in government parlance, today doesn't actually mean today. But Cordova did receive a call Friday from a frantic woman at the state. She needed an address because she was under instructions to get that check in the mail no later than the end of August.

Cordova said the money the state is providing will allow them to complete the library to a stage that it can open for business. An additional $100,000 is still needed to complete a parking lot and landscaping. However, the grand opening is tentatively scheduled for November, where Richardson and the Kreutzcamp family are expected to attend.