724 Canyon Road
Early records for many houses in this area have not been found. There is, however, a Spanish deed for the property in which the Borrego House is located dated September 14, 1753, at which time it was sold to Geronimo Lopez by Ysidro Martin, a soldier in the Spanish army who may originally have received it as a grant for military service. The conveyance was for farmland described as bounded on the south by the Acequia Madre and on the north by "a Royal Road which comes down from the mountain range” now known as Canyon Road.
ln his will dated 1769, Gerónimo López stated that he owned two houses, one newly built, adjoining an orchard of fourteen trees and farmland. His widow later sold the property to Gerónimo Gonzáles, and because she was unable to write her name, Gonzáles, as buyer, witnessed the deed for her. In 1839 he in turn sold it to his son-in-law, Rafael Borrego, and for more than seventy-five years thereafter it was owned by members of the Borrego family.
During the late nineteenth century the Borregos added the large front room, and as they were prominent in New Mexico political circles, it was probably the scene of many political gatherings and social events. The long front portal with tapered hand-hewn columns, windows, and doors, typical of the territorial period, may have been added at the same time.
When Rafael Borrego died, sometime between 1839 and 1845, half of the property was inherited by his children and the other half by his widow, Maria Refogio Gonzáles de Borrego. When she died in 1872, she left her residence—a three-room house with a hall and portal— to her son, Pablo. A room abajo, below, was willed to a servant. It was a common practice in those days to bequeath individual rooms, and sometimes parts of rooms, to one's children as their inheritance, thereby creating many deed complications for later generations to untangle. It was not until 1939 that all portions of the house came again into a single ownership.
By 1906 the property had passed out of Borrego hands, and after a series of different owners the main portion of the house was bought for preservation in 1928 by Margretta S. Dietrich, who had acquired EL ZAGUÁN for the same purpose the previous year. In 1939 she bought the remaining two rooms and had the house restored under the supervision of Mrs. Kenneth L. Chapman. ln 1931 the house received the Cyrus McCormick prize for the best restoration of a residence during the preceding two years. In 1940 the house was selected for study by the Historic American Buildings Survey, and drawings of its plans are now on file in the Library of Congress.
After later ownerships, when the future of the famous old house seemed endangered, it was bought by the Old Santa Fe Association. They subsequently resold the building with restrictive covenants to insure its continued preservation.