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Photos: With the return of historic bell, locals ring in annual community day at the Ruidosa Church

The Ruidosa Church was decked out for its third-annual community day. People traveled from all over to visit the adobe building that stands as a testament to the history of the small border village.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
The Ruidosa Church was decked out for its third-annual community day. People traveled from all over to visit the adobe building that stands as a testament to the history of the small border village.

Over the weekend, the nonprofit group the Friends of the Ruidosa Church held its third annual community day in Ruidosa, a rural community in south Presidio County.

The event was a celebration of the ongoing restoration of the historic site as well as the return of a special artifact — a bell that’s believed to have hung in the church around a century ago.

“This is one of the last structures in Ruidosa that is original," said Clara Bensen, President of the Friends of the Ruidosa Church. "[It's] a record of this town along the border, so tracking down these artifacts is also maintaining the historic memory and that’s why I think it’s really important.”

Small bells, hand-painted by Presidio High Schoolers strewn the sanctuary marking the return of the church bell that’s believed to have hung here nearly a century ago.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
Small bells, hand-painted by Presidio High Schoolers strewn the sanctuary marking the return of the church bell that’s believed to have hung here nearly a century ago.
The Matachines De Santa Teresa helped kick off the festivities by performing in the church’s sanctuary.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
The Matachines De Santa Teresa helped kick off the festivities by performing in the church’s sanctuary.
Guests watched as ornate Matachines from Presidio performed.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
Guests watched as ornate Matachines from Presidio performed.
The Ruidosa is currently being restored by the nonprofit Friends of the Ruidosa Church. The project is estimated to take tens of thousands of dollars to restore the adobe structure that was largely left to decay for years.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
The Ruidosa is currently being restored by the nonprofit Friends of the Ruidosa Church. The project is estimated to take tens of thousands of dollars to restore the adobe structure that was largely left to decay for years.
Photos of community members lined the entry way into the church, making it possible for visitors to point out their friends and family.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
Photos of community members lined the entry way into the church, making it possible for visitors to point out their friends and family.
Dozens of candles were lit on an alter honoring the returned church bell — which was the focus of the days celebration.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
Dozens of candles were lit on an alter honoring the returned church bell — which was the focus of the days celebration.

Currently, the Friends of Ruidosa Church are raising money to complete the construction needed to raise the bell, which was found in Alpine and up until recently held at a local archive.
Mitch Borden
/
Marfa Public Radio
Currently, the Friends of Ruidosa Church are raising money to complete the construction needed to raise the bell, which was found in Alpine and up until recently held at a local archive.


Disclosure: Marfa Public Radio was a media sponsor for the Friends of the Ruidosa Church event. Media sponsorships do not influence editorial decisions made by our newsroom.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.