Ignacio de Roybal House
(Jacona, New Mexico, Private residence)
One of the oldest residences in the Pojoaque Valley, the Ignacio de Roybal House is an excellent example of New Mexico's Spanish Colonial architecture. Situated south of the Rio Pojoaque at the east side of the Jacona plaza, it is a one-story, flat-roofed adobe structure with a T-shaped floor plan. The multilayered adobe brick walls of the house are covered by the traditional layer of soft plaster reinforced with bits of straw. Long canales protrude just below the firewall to drain the roof, while on the west a portal braced by log pillars and corbels shelters the kitchen, living room and study which are arranged in tandem. All the doors and windows of the house are topped by pedimented lintels characteristic of New Mexico's Territorial style. Heavy vigas support the ceilings.
Spanish land conveyances show a dwelling on this location in the mid-l750s but its nucleus may date from 1705 when Don Ignacio de Roybal y Torrado purchased the land to augment his adjoining holdings. A veteran of the de Vargas Reconquest of 1693, Roybal was one of New Mexico's leading citizens during the first half of the eighteenth century, holding municipal offices in Santa Fe and serving as High Sheriff of the Inquisition.
Roybal first acquired land in the Pojoaque Valley from his brother-in-law, Captain Jacinto Pelaez, who had received a large tract in the area north of Santa Fe after the 1696 uprising of the Pueblo Indians, when the Pueblo of Pojoaque was abandoned. In 1705 Roybal enlarged his holdings by trading "a good traveling horse" for lands that extended to the Rio Cuyamungue. It was on this part of the Jacona ranch that Don Ignacio and his wife, Dona Francisca Gomez Robledo, maintained their residence and raised their family of nine children. In 1707 the abandoned Pojoaque Pueblo was reoccupied by member families who had been living elsewhere. At that time it became apparent that the properly that Roybal had purchased two years before constituted an encroachment on Pojoaque land. The matter remained in dispute for over two centuries. Meanwhile, despite various conflicting legal actions and decisions involving separate parties, the Roybals and their relatives, along with others in similar situations, continued to hold their property by rights of adverse possession. Finally, on November 24, 1937, a patent was granted to Porfirio Roybal by the United States government for the land that includes the Ignacio de Roybal House.
Before the end of that year, the house and land were purchased from Porfirio Roybal by Jon Glidden and his wife. At that time Glidden was embarking upon a new career that was to lead to his becoming the very successful Western writer who wrote under the name of Peter Dawson.
At the time of its purchase by the Gliddens, the house had been haphazardly altered on the interior through makeshift modifications and permitted to deteriorate. Minimal maintenance, but virtually no real improvements, had been performed. With the assistance and advice of several people who had considerable experience with restoration of houses in the Pojoaque Valley, the Gliddens embarked on the restoration of their new home.
All the dirt floors were prepared for pine planks. In redoing the kitchen floor–the only wooden floor in the house–an infant burial was uncovered. The wood from this floor was used as sheathing in a hallway. The Gliddens installed considerable interior woodwork and did all of the wood finishing themselves.
The front door was designed around a lock from the old Pojoaque Church, which had burned in the 1920s. The screen doors were designed by Mrs. Glidden, using willow saplings from the nearby irrigation ditch. The latillas in the bedroom ceiling were removed, scrubbed in lye water, and relaid.
Perez Roybal, later a county sheriff for many years, mixed the adobe plaster for the house. The plastering was done by Francisca Roybal, Porfirio's wife, with the help of neighbors.
In 1976 the Ignacio de Roybal House was placed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties in recognition of its historic importance.