By Mary Davis
West Ella at Old Church Road, 1963
Did you know that this is what the intersection of West Ella and Old Church Road looked like in 1963?
Few or no houses, dirt roads, a pony cart and a solitary fence. The entire length of Ella Drive from the Sandoval Lateral on the east to the Main Canal on the west had been platted (subdivided) in 1955 by Ella Gonzales Silva.
Ella, for whom the road was named, was the youngest daughter of Alejandro Gonzales, a prominent Corrales resident who had farmed the entire stretch of land for decades. From this 1963 photograph, it appears that little of the western portion of the large Vista Corrales subdivision had been filled in during the previous eight years.
However, an aerial mid-1970s photograph shows at least 20 houses had been built between the old Corrales Acequia and the Main Canal, and even a few had appeared west of the canal.
Corrales began to grow significantly in the 1970s. The completion of the I-25 freeway in 1966 certainly made it an easier commute into Albuquerque.
John Green took this photograph. He had built his home in 1952 near West Ella on 25 empty acres between Old Church Road and the Main Canal. The woman on the buggy is Matilda Palladini who lived on La Entrada and was one of the Green family’s closest neighbors. Today, Milagro Winery sits on the southwest corner of the intersection.
Photograph courtesy of Jane Green