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Louise Rapaport Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-2010-007

Scope and Content

The photographs depict exterior and interior views of the trading post located in Bluewater, New Mexico, off Route 66, along with photos of members of the Brock family, Navajo Indians, Feast Day at Laguna Pueblo, Monument Valley, and carrot harvesting. The photographs are only available in digital format. Small Collections Box 10 only contains Louise Rapaport’s booklet, Louise in Bluewater, New Mexico. Some of the photographs in the collection can also be found in the booklet


  • 1947-1952

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. Copyright was transferred to CSWR. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


Louise Rapaport, née Brock was born in 1923 in Waterbury, Connecticut. When she was one year old her parents Mae and Otto and older brother Walter moved to California. The Brocks soon settled in Pasadena, California. Rapaport attended Pasadena City College and later Woodbury Business College in Los Angeles. Rapaport worked various jobs while in Southern California including for the Lockheed Corporation in Burbank and the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in San Diego.

In October 1947, she moved to Bluewater, New Mexico, 10 miles west of Grants and purchased the Frontier Trading Post. The trading post, located off Route 66, did very well in the post-war era as people began traveling across the country for the first time in many years. A few years later Rapaport’s parents, Mae and Otto, moved to Bluewater, invested in the trading post, and renamed it the Brock’s Bluewater Trading Post. The trading post consisted of one large building with a grocery store, a gas station, a café, a curio shop, and living quarters (two bedrooms and a kitchen).

In 1952, Louise married Irving “Rusty” Rapaport. Irving graduated from the University of Minnesota in Geological Engineering and then attended graduate school at Columbia University in New York. He arrived in Bluewater in 1951, working for the Atomic Energy Commission searching for uranium, which was soon found. Bluewater would change dramatically with the arrival of mining companies such as Anaconda, Home Stake Mining, Kerr-McGee Corporation, Phyllis Petroleum, Santa Fe Pacific Coal Corporation, as well as miners from Sweden, Africa, Canada, Indonesia, British Guinea and every mining district in the United States. The dirt roads of Bluewater were paved and houses were built to accommodate the new workers from Albuquerque and elsewhere.

In 1953, while searching for uranium in Chile, Irving Rapaport left the Atomic Energy Commission and started his own company, Four Corners Exploration Company. From 1953 to 1954, a divided highway was built through New Mexico, which meant the trading post had to be torn down. A new one was rebuilt in the style of a Quonset hut. Mae and Otto Rapaport did not rebuild the café and in 1955 they moved back to Pasadena. Louise felt the new highway changed Route 66. Prior to 1957, when Interstate 40 was built, she sold the trading post, the land, the water rights and the liquor license. Louise and Irving moved to Albuquerque where they raised four children Janna, Lisa, Laurel and Eric. Louise Rapaport passed away January 16, 2011.

Source: Louise in Bluewater, New Mexico by Louise Rapaport


88 items (1 folder) : 1 booklet, 81 black & white digitized images on-line


This collection contains photographs from Louise Brock Rapaport’s photo album. Louise Rapaport, and later her parents Mae and Otto Brock, owned the Frontier Trading Post, later renamed the Brock’s Bluewater Trading Post, in Bluewater, New Mexico. The photo album focuses on the trading post, the Brock family, Navajo Indians, festivals, Monument Valley and carrot harvesting.

Arrangement of the Collection

Images are numbered in the order in which Louise Brock Rapaport placed them in her photo album.

Physical Location

B2. Small Collections box 10. Filed by Pictorial Number. Digital-only portions of the collection available on New Mexico’s Digital Collections.

Collection Available Online

This collection is available via New Mexico’s Digital Collections.

Related Material

William J. Lucas Route 66 Photograph Collection, 1967-1986, PICT 986-012, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.


See Louise Rapaport Collection online to view digital images.
Finding Aid of the Louise Rapaport Photograph Collection, 1947-1952
Edited Full Draft
Brianne Stein, Clare Daniel
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131