The Case for Hyde Park…

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MAY 2016
by dal…

 

I call it Hyde Park for short but its proper name is Hyde Memorial State Park

Many searchers feel that Forrest must have hidden Indulgence in New Mexico. There are more than a few logical reasons why this could be true. The number one argument for New Mexico appears to be that it is the State where Forrest lives, and if he were to head out from home to hide his box of goodies,  not having to travel far would make it easier for him to escape and return unnoticed. He would probably not raise a single eyebrow among those in his immediate family if he were only gone for a few hours, many advocates of the New Mexico dogma point out.

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Although I was once a follower of the “New Mexico creed”, I have since moved on. But ever since Cynthia announced that Fennboree 2016 would be held in Hyde Memorial State Park, Just about 8.2 miles northeast of Santa Fe I started thinking how clever it would be for Forrest to hide his treasure in a place called Hyde Park. So, I spent a little time looking into this place.

First of all, Hyde Park is in the Sangre de Cristo range of the southeastern most extension of the Rocky Mountains. I am not the only person who believes this. The United States Geological Survey states this on their Rocky Mountain geographical description website. As does just about every other reliable organization that talks about the southern Rocky Mountains. In fact, Hyde Memorial State Park is just about 25 miles north of the absolute southern limit of the Rockies.

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The park is situated on 340 acres between 8,400ft and 9,440ft elevation.

I believe that calling Hyde State Park NORTH of Santa Fe is a stretch. It’s more East than anything…but none-the-less, when I draw an east/west line on a map through Santa Fe…Hyde Park falls well north of that line.

Okay…so we’ve got a place on public land, not far from Forrest’s home, in the Rocky Mountains, potentially north of Santa Fe and in the possible elevation range with an interesting name that could be associated with a clever hiding place…What else ya got?

I got B. T B. Hyde…

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The park is named after Benjamin Talbot Babbitt Hyde, known as “Uncle Bennie” or “B.T.” or B. T. Hyde”. It turns out that Bennie was passionate about making sure kids had an opportunity to learn about and explore the outdoors…sound familiar?

Bennie was an original thinker and amassed a fortune by taking an ordinary product and thinking differently about how to market it…sound familiar?

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Bennie’s product was soap…bar soap. He was the first to manufacture and market soap in individual bars. Babbitt’s Best Soap was a colossal hit. He was the first manufacturer to give public tours of his factories so families could appreciate the cleanliness of his plant and the pureness of his product. He was also one of the first to give away free samples. He was willing to take chances with marketing his products and it almost always paid off. His soap became such a household staple that Babbitt was touted as a marketing genius…sound familiar?

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Babbitt often told this story at speaking engagements:
“I met a young shoeshine boy with the name B. T. Babbitt. When I told the boy my name was also B. T. Babbitt, the surprised boy said, ‘Lawd mister, did your momma get your name off a soap box too?'”

Benjamin Talbot Babbitt Hyde and his brother Frederick E. Hyde, Jr. were amateur anthropologists…sound familiar?

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They financed an expedition in the winter of 1893-1894 to excavate the cliff dwelling civilization in Pueblo Bonito. In addition to the cliff dwellers, evidence of an earlier “Basketmaking” civilization was discovered beneath the canyon floor. The finds were substantial, including thousands of cylindrical pottery vases unique to this site, turquoise, flutes, baskets, and human remains…sound familiar?

There is also an intriguing connection between the Hyde brothers and Richard Weatherill’s work at Mesa Verde.

Uncle Bennie was always interested in educating children about the outdoors and when he retired in 1927 he moved to Santa Fe and started The Children’s Nature Foundation on a large ranch near Tesuque. He often lectured on snakes, poisonous and non-poisonous which he usually brought with him in a suitcase. He argued that, in fact, snakes were man’s best friend, not dogs.

Since then, the foundation has purchased and set aside hundreds of mountainside acres for public use. The 350 acre Hyde Park property was donated to the State in 1934 for the sole purpose of creating New Mexico’s first State Park. Which finally happened in 1938.

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Well…okay, but is there a blaze?

Depends… One possible blaze is a waterfall in the park on the Little Tesuque Creek that runs thru the park. But the creek is intermittent at that point and derives its flow from snowmelt. The waterfall is often missing any water to fall. But that would not be the only blaze possibility.

What about Brown and meek and etc. etc…

Well…actually, I have found some curious places in and around the park…that are very interesting…and, of course the park itself is not far, but too far to walk from an exciting location where warm waters halt.

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I am not saying that this is the place…I’m only thinking out loud that it’s a REMOTE possibility…but I’ll be snooping around and you might just want to do a little research before you show up for Fennboree 2016….

Just my opinion…of course…
No one else would have this opinion but me…

dal-