|Birth: ||Jul. 20, 1923|
|Death: ||May 8, 2004|
The caretaker of Bland
July 30, 1923 – May 8, 2004
It's hard to think of Bland without Helen. When she was eight years old she moved to Bland, as her father having been gassed in World War I was advised to move West for his health. He purchased the town and they lived up there self sufficiently with a cow, chickens, and a garden. At that time, there were a few others still up the road for company, but mainly Helen was self-educated and self-entertained.
She went to High School in Albuquerque, was married to a serviceman during WWII, and had three children: John, Kathy, and Alley. When she was divorced, she moved back to Albuquerque, working two jobs as a cab driver and in the shoe department at Sears.
Bland meanwhile had been purchased by a Mr. (Thomas Harry and Effie F.) Jenks (approximately 1938), who hoped to revive it as a gold mine again. He died soon after and his wife Effie (a former Harvey girl) stayed up there for the rest of her life and Helen would visit and finally stayed with her during her frail last years. Effie died in 1987 (should be 1983) but had sold seven acres to Helen—which included the Exchange Hotel, the Doctor's House, the Tavern, the Shadow House, and Kathy's house.
I first met Helen in 1989 while she worked at Allsup's in Cochiti Lake and learned of her home up in Bland, from which she commuted every day, winter and summer. My first trip up there was at Christmas. At that time Helen had Sarah, her horse, Cookie a stray part wolf, and offspring Chips, plus numerous cats. Helen took in strays—animals and humans, and treated nature as lovingly. As her close friend Sandy Kadisak says "Helen had a huge heart."
Helen, a member of the Sandoval County Historical Society, was a gracious host to the Society's field trips to Bland on several occasions.
All of us who knew her will mourn our loss. She was a frail looking but very tough lady, who could pack a gun on our hikes to scare any bears that might threaten her dogs—a unique human, whom we have been blessed to know. She leaves behind three children, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
by Nan Stackhouse -- This article was originally printed in El Cronicón (June 2004), the official publication of the Sandoval County Historical Society.
Helen Blount, July 30, 1923 - May 8, 2004
Long term resident of the ghost town of Bland, NM, loved and now missed by so many. She is survived by her children, John L. Helmer, Kathy Ulrich, D.C. and Alley C. Helmer; her grandchildren, Louise Hackney, Jordan Helmer, Paul Prock III, Kresha Allen; and her great-grandchildren, Tiffany and Justin Hurst, Zeena Helmer, Jarred Allen and Danielle Prock.
Helen Blount had retired after 17 years of employment at Sears and Roebuck and became the sole continuous resident of the ghost town of Bland, where she had grown up and where she lived her last 25 years.
Her friends from many walks of life will gather for a final picnic in her memory at the Exchange Hotel in the ghost town of Bland, in Bland Canyon, NM from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, May 15, 2004. Last good-byes will occur at 3:45 p.m. at the Bland Township Cemetery, close by.
Donations to the Bland Exchange Hotel Restoration Effort will be accepted in Helen's memory by Alley C. Helmer. Contact John Helmer for info (505) 384-1156.
Albuquerque Journal - Published on: Wed May 12, 2004
April 15, 1965 - wife of Capt. John E. Blount
TRESPASSING ON AND ALL ACCESS IS STRICKLY FORBIDDEN
BLAND, NM IS PRIVATE PROPERTY
John Callahan (1888 - 1972)
Grace Adella Spence Callahan (1889 - 1965)
Bland Albemarle Cemetery
New Mexico, USA
Created by: WWII Vet *111111*
Record added: Feb 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65648140