ORCHARD PARK

NAME: ORCHARD PARK COUNTY: CHAVEZ ROADS: 2WD GRID: 6 CLIMATE: GREAT! BEST TIME TO VISIT: ANY TIME COMMENTS: ORCHARD PARK. Post office 1907/25 REMAINS: inquire locally

ORCHARD PARK. On US 285, and AT&SF RR, 13 mi SE of Roswell. Named by early settlers who planted orchards in 1893, which soon failed. Formerly ALELLEN. Submitted by: Samuel W McWhorter

Sirs, Here is some more interesting stuff on Orchard Park. The Post office closed prior to world war II, but it did become a POW camp during the 1940's. I believe it housed prisoners from the Balkan region. They helped the local farmers and locals were not overly concerned for their safety. There were a few foundations left, but I think they were dug up last year for ag purposes (bummer). Submitted by Paul Lessard

From 1956 to 1962 I lived in Orchard Park...after WWII the prison camp was turned over to a group that converted some of the buildings into "apartments" (two families to a building)...and these were rented to U.S. Air Force enlisted men with families...very cheap too. Our rent was $75 per month..and a $5 extra if you had a TV..(there was only one station in Roswell and they went off the air at 11:00pm)....when I wanted to move in, there were no vacancies in any of the converted buildings...they told me if I would do the carpentry work..I could get a place...they gave me the materiels (2x4s and drywall, paint, etc) ...I did the renovations on weekends and a month later, my wife and 2 kids moved in. It was a different experience for us..our neighbors were G.I.s too. They were from everywhere, Guam, Hyspanics from all over the southwest...and all over the country...we ate our first Mexican food (we were from Baltimore, and in those days, there was no Mexican food back east)the Guamanian group showed us how to barbicue chicken marianated in soy sause and garlic (another new thing) we hunted rabbits in the nearby desert...had a great time with those new friends......I was at Walker AFB ....oh yes..I was mechanic on B52's and B36's...had security clearance to go anywhere on that base...there was NO hanger 54 (??)...and no aliens...... richard ashburn

I would like to post more comments on Orchard Park.I lived there from 1946 till they closed it down after closing down Walker air force base. It was an oasis in the middle of the desert. lots oftrees ,grass a small park, and a small grocerystore/post office.They had single family housing, apt style and some buildings were duplexas. They an Officers club, turned into a sorta social club after the wae, a large gym for sports where we could go roller skating, play basketball hold Holloween partys. That is what they had turned the milatary side of the camp into. The area where the prisoners were housed had been torndown or moved.It was a great place to grow up. It was owned by the Chavez County Housing corp, ran By a man called Zikes Bomewhere in my trunks I have rosters of some of the familys that lived there on and off
 They kept Nazi Japennese and Italian prisoners ther. Ah such fond memories.
Harry Bailey

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