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A Diamond in the Rough

A Brief History of Timberon, New Mexico, USA

The following information about Timberon was taken from the Winter issue of the Timberon Mountaineer in 1984, submitted, in part, by the late Bill Berkebile, of Timberon. It is now included in the book, That Illusive Rocking Chair, written by Harry West, the founder, first publisher and editor of the Timberon Mountaineer.

The property know as Timberon, was purchased by Judge Paul Moss of Odessa, Texas, in this land was agriculture.  He developed some rather extensive irrigation systems supplied water from Carrisa Springs to the growing area in the valley where the day airstrip is located.  A secondary interest of the Judge was housing and of guests for hunting and social gatherings.  His son, William, married child movie star, Jan Withers, and they were frequent visitors here, as was Jane's, Ann Miller. The Timberon Lodge Building, which is now the Timberon Community Center, was made from logs of ponderosa pines which are abundant on the property. The logs were cut at a sawmill located at a site of today's vehicle maintenance shop.  Construction of the building began in 1941, but was interrupted during the period of World War II.  The project was resumed after the war and was completed in about 1950.

Following the demise of Judge Moss, the land was purchased from his heirs by Willie Farah of El Paso, Texas. Farah had a substantial interest in aviation and built the first airstrip here. The airstrip was not paved at that time, but was adequate to accommodate small aircraft.

In March of 1969, the land was sold by Farah to a group of businessmen, headed by Johnny Mobley, who formed the corporation know as North American Land Developments (N.A.L.D.) The name "Timberon" was chosen by Johnny Mobley during an informal business discussion in July of 1969. The corporation has deeded property for parks, to the Timberon Property Owners Association, as well as to the church and school.

The Timberon Fire Department was organized in October 1974, by Joe Fetters. The Department was certified by the state in 1976. A three bay fire station was built during the latter part of 1981, under the direction of Fire Chief, Bill Berkebile. The Emergency Medical Service was formed within the fire department on February 20, 1982.

The Timberon Property Owner's Association was formed on October 1, 1969, as the Sacramento Mountain Property Owners Association. The name was officially changed to Timberon Property Owner's Association (T.P.O.A.) in 1970. N.A.L.D. deeded 18 acres if land and the 90,000-gallon heated swimming pool on March 13, 1975, Harry G. West became the first General Manager of the T.P.O.A. in February 1982.

The Timberon Protective Association was formed in July of 1983, and among other things assumed the architectural control and security functions.

On October 31, 1981, Don and Ruby Roberts were awarded the community Post (CPO) contract. The zip code 88350, became effective on September 14, 1984.

The only telephone service available at Timberon before 1981 was a radio/telephone unit located at the lodge building. Regular underground lines were installed throughout the property in the Fall of 1981 by Dell City Telephone Cooperative. Telephone service became available in October 1981.

In 1977 at a regular church meeting at the lodge building, Harry G. West was asked to contct the supervisor of the Mountain Valley Baptist Association, and request his help in building a church in Timberon. This supervisor was Frank Wheeler, who worked hard for this building. With a donation of $18,000 from the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, this became a reality in 1979, and the dedication and first worship was held on May 20 of that year. In March, 1981 two additional acres to the church property were purchased and set aside as a cemetery. In June 1981, the Timberon Memorial Park Association was formed and assumed ownership of the cemetery.

On December 1, 1980, a three-month elementary school (K-6) was established. At first it was a one-room school, then it was expanded to two rooms. It was closed in May, 2000.

Timberon precinct #18 was established in 1979. The first election was held here on June 3, 1980, with 60 registered voters.

Electric power lines were first run to and through this area by the Otero County Electric Cooperative in 1961 to serve the several ranches along the Sacramento River. The Contractor for the power lines was J. Buck Construction of Lubbock, Texas. The first service to the development was in the summer of 1971.

Civic and fraternal organizations followed. In March 1981 the Lions Club was chartered, with Lewin Perry the first president. The Timberon Home Extension Club was charted in November 1984 with Rose Whitesell as president. On March 3, 1990, a dispensation was granted for a Masonic Lodge, "Mountain Top Lodge #81 A.F. & A.M" by Grand Master Ernie Hazelwood. Norm Welborn served as Master under dispensation, and Harry G. West was the first elected Master in 1991, under charter.

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