Bandelier NM is located outside of Los Alamos, The Town That Never Was. In 1917, a successful ranch, The Alamos Ranch, was purchased Ashley Pond, a Detroit entrepreneur and former “Rough Rider”. Pond converted the working ranch to the Los Alamos Ranch School, a school designed for “privileged eastern boys so they might become robust, learned men.”
After the U.S. entered WWII an area was needed to develop nuclear power, an isolated area but easy to reach, with little population. Los Alamos Ranch School was the perfect spot. In 1943, the school closed and the facilities began to house the greatest scientific minds tasked with unlocking the secrets hidden in the atom. Both military personnel and civilians were sent orders to report to Los Alamos. They were told to not tell anyone where they were going, or what they were going to be doing. All letters sent from the area were censored and sent back if they included any statements not allowed out. The mesa was bulldozed and new buildings put up. The Los Alamos Ranch School was used to house the main personnel and the out builders housed the married scientific personnel. Apartments were built for other workers. Likewise a hospital was built. The address for all personnel was P.O. Box 1663, Santa Fe, NM, even new baby birth certificates showed them as being born in the P.O. Box.
It was only after the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945 did the world discover the true happenings at Los Alamos.
Today the town seems to exist for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Nearly 10,000 personnel are attached to the lab. The town is build on the top of the mesas with bridges linking one mesa to another. The actual lab lies across the canyon and just outside of Bandelier NM.
We visited the Historical Museum and the Bradbury Museum. The Historical Museum had more on the town during the years of bomb development than the Bradbury did. Bradbury did have an excellent movie about the towns development.