Tag Archives: Corby Burns


The annual remembrance ceremony was held yesterday in downtown Columbus under the auspices of the Columbus Historical Society (CHS) and within their dedicated memorial park behind their well-known “Depot Museum.”

CHS President, Shirley Garber lead the ceremony which featured Professor Brandon Morgan, whose presentation was entitled: “Protector and Aggressor: Pancho Villa’s Complicated Relationship with the Lower Mimbres Valley.

Visitors came from as far as Kansas, Washington (state), and several from El Paso, Texas, as well.

The CHS always holds its service on the exact date of the tragic raid, regardless of which day of the week on which that date falls, whereas Columbus itself, holds their Raid Day events over the closest weekend to that date of March 9, 1916, assuring working families can make the occasion.  Next year, in 2024, the date of the actual raid will fall on a Saturday, which will mean the attendees will number in at least the hundreds.

Yesterday’s turnout was estimated to be just short of 60 people.  This weekend the renowned “Cabalgata Binacional,” traditionally witnesses a large group of Horsemen and women coming up from Mexico to meet with hundreds of horsemen and women from the states.  It’s an across-the-border celebration less of the raid, and more about the kinship and closeness of the sister nations.  As in recent years past, the large public event is directed by its principal organizer and promoter, Norma Gomez, who is the landlord for the FASF headquarters Office in Columbus.  The celebratory occasion is usually attended by several thousand celebrants.

The following photos are of yesterday’s Memorial Service:

          Richard and Elizabeth Pendleton in the foreground speaking with John Tyo

L to R: Allen Rosenberg (an ex-Marine!), in a 1916 Army uniform, joking with Corby Burns, and Patricia Kiddney

 CHS Officers and distinguished guests on the Gazebo for the Ceremony – with Professor Brandon Morgan at Podium

Audience gathering in readiness to hear the program

After the ceremony concluded, Steven Zobeck (L)  and Dr. Kathleen Martin (R) look on as  Dr. Morgan shakes hands with Pancho Villa look-alike re-enactor, Rafael Celestino

L to R: Rafael Celestino, Patricia Kiddney, Head Columbus Librarian, Maria Constantine, and Columbus C of C Director, Norma Gomez pose with Darrel Nash (R), Historian for the famed Buffalo Soldiers of the Punitive Expedition – Norma had just presented the Environmental Book Chihuahua to the Library, courtesy of the Mexican Government.

L to R: Maria Constantine and Norma Gomez discuss the Buffalo Soldiers museum and the soldiers’ organization with Darrel Nash


The Columbus Historical Society Elects New Officers for 2023

By far the oldest Columbus historical organization, the Columbus Historical Society (CHS), was formed in 1972, which makes it 50 years old, whereas our First Aero Squadron Foundation (FASF) wasn’t organized until 2007.

While the two sister groups both focus on the historical impact of the March 9, 1916 raid by Pancho Via on the once thriving border city of Columbus, only the CHS actually has a popular operational Museum facility, affectionately called the “Depot Museum.”

Why the “Depot?” Simply because it is housed in the old Columbus Railroad Station building.  Additionally, the principal focus of the FASF is primarily on the aviation aspect of the 1916 event, whereas the CHS addresses the entire raid episode and its following “Punitive Expedition” aftermath – – – and all other aspects of the history of Columbus.

On this special occasion of the Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary year, the Village of Columbus designed a hand-crafted Commemorative Plaque to honor one of its two still living founders, Anne Marie Beck, who along with her late husband, Ed Beck, Jr., actually organized the CHS and then acquired and subsequently fully restored the run-down old city train depot into the charming facility it is today.  Outgoing President Stan Stevens did a recent makeover of the entire sales floor area, so the Museum is quite an attractive asset 106 years after the infamous Raid on Columbus.

You might recognize Ms. Beck’s name because she is also a long-time member of the FASF Board of Advisors.

Today the Depot Museum is one of the Village’s most popular tourist attractions.  If you are ever fortunate enough to pass through or visit Columbus, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Depot.  The large quantity and quality of its exhibits will more than make your visit worth the time.  It is regularly manned by well-trained Docent volunteers, and also has an interesting array of Raid-era memorabilia and other related artifacts for sale – – – tax-free.

Every year, the CHS officially conducts a solemn ceremony in memory of the 16 American deaths caused by Pancho Villa’s invading marauders.  This coming year the event will take place on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM at the CHS Rotunda just South of its Depot Museum.

While at the Depot Museum you might want to join the organization since membership is very reasonable: $5 for individuals, and just $8 for a family.

To see any of the below photos full-size and in high resolution, simply click on them.

L to R: Dr. Kathleen Martin, Trustee and newly elected Historian, and Liz Pendleton, member

L to R: Ann Marie Beck, CHS Founder, and member, with Rita Kittrell, a visitor from Arizona

L to R: Gordon Taylor, CHS member, Mart Schneider, VP, and Velvet Fackeldey, re-elected Trustee

L to R: Rita Kittrell, Shirley Garber, Treasurer, and newly elected President, Stan Stevens (turned away) Velvet Fackeldey, Kathleen Martin, Gordon Taylor, Mart Schneider, Corby Burns, member, and Liz Pendleton

On left, Steven Zobeck, and Maria Constantine, Head Columbus Librarian. Both are CHS members.

L to R: Corby Burns, Leonard Steward, newly elected Treasurer, and Sarah Powell, member

President Stan Stevens explains the election procedure to the attendees.

L to R: Dr. Martin with Chuck Forgrave, a member

Liz Pendleton, Dr. Martin, Chuck Forgrave, Stan Stevens, Mart Schneider, Velvet Fackeldey, and Shirley Garber

L to R: Stan Stevens, Annette Schuster, Velvet Fackeldey, Shirley Garber, July McClure (standing), member, Chuck Forgrave, Dr. Martin, and Maria Constantine

On Right, Jim Tyo awards the Columbus Historical Society Plaque to Stan Stevens in recognition of his leadership as CHS President

Close-up of the Special Columbus Historical Society’s Special Award to Mr. Stevens in appreciation for his service

L to R: Stan Stevens, President, Jim Tyo, newly elected VP and Ann Beck with Shirley Garber, newly elected President

Close-up view of the Columbus Village custom Plaque awarded to Ann Marie Beck as a key founder of the CHS.