Lamy is a railroad town created in 1880 when the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad laid its main track through New Mexico. The AT & SF by-passed the city of Santa Fe, so an 18-mile spur line was built. Lamy grew up where the spur line connects Santa Fe to the main track. Lamy once had a round house and a Fred Harvey hotel called El Ortiz. Unfortunately, they were torn down years ago. The Lamy depot is still open for Amtrak service, and the Santa Fe Southern Railway brings a tourist train to Lamy over the spur line almost daily.
The Legal Tender building was donated to the Lamy Railroad & History Museum in 2006. The Legal Tender was built in 1881 as the Browne and Manzanares General Store. It is Lamy’s oldest surviving structure. In the 1950s it was converted into a restaurant called The Pink Garter. Around 1970 it was remodelled and renamed The Legal Tender. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. The Museum is proud to have the opportunity to preserve this venerable old building and to develop it as the home of the Museum.