100 Clayton Rd, Raton, NM United States (575) 445-3689 RatonChamber@RatonNM.US

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2019-03 Newsletter

The Raton Chamber of Commerce is now collecting information and pictures for the 2019 Raton Community Guide. Do you have bear pictures? We are looking for another bear picture for our Visitor Guide front cover. For information about advertising in the guide, contact Dee Burks at (575)445-3689.

The Raton Ambassadors will hold a ribbon cutting on Thursday, March 21, at 11:00 AM for the Ice House Restaurant at 945 South 2nd Street, Raton followed by their regular monthly meeting

Featured Business – March 2019

Bacavalley Telephone and Sierra Communications

Baca Valley Telephone Company Inc., headquartered in Des Moines, New Mexico, was founded by Paul J. Briesh, Sr. who began his career in the telephone industry with Western States Telephone in 1962.

In 1973, Paul started negotiations with Mountain Bell to acquire the Laughlin Telephone Company, located in Capulin, New Mexico.  The Co-op consisted of forty-five subscribers, a Magneto Switch and nearly 100 miles of open wire.

The purchase was finalized and the new company was incorporated under the name of Baca Valley Telephone Company, Inc.  on February 4, 1974.  In 1975 Paul negotiated the purchase of the Mountain Bell Central Office Switch in Des Moines, New Mexico.

The sale was approved and the Briesh family moved from Arizona to Des Moines.  During the next three years, the Briesh family spent many hours maintaining the old switches and lines while working to obtain an REA loan.  Their goal was to expand the company’s customer base in northeastern New Mexico. The Briesh boys drove to Utah and tore down ten miles of aerial cable.  They rolled it onto empty reels, drove back to Des Moines and then re-hung it on an existing open-wire toll line from Des Moines to Capulin.  With this cable installed Capulin and Des Moines residents were able to enjoy two or four party dial service.

Paul Sr. died suddenly of a heart attack on August 7, 1979.  With the help of their friends and the assistance of the telephone engineers and employees who had worked for Paul Sr., the Briesh family managed to keep the company together.  The REA loan was approved in November, 1979, and that fall Baca Valley Telephone purchased Maxwell Telephone Company.

With the REA loan in hand, the company proceeded with the building of a new headquarters facility, burying hundreds of miles of cable and installing two new switches in Des Moines and Maxwell.

Today, Baca Valley Telephone Company has a service area covering more than 2,600 square miles and employs twenty-seven people.  In addition to residential service in the Des Moines and Maxwell exchanges, we provide local Internet access, business telephone systems, security systems, two way radios, NOC (Network Operations Center) services and network cabling throughout northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado.

The Raton Chamber of Commerce is proud to have Baca Valley Telephone & Sierra Communications as a long-time member and supplier of our phone and internet service at the Raton Visitor Information Center.

The family members of this company have also been involved in the community through volunteer efforts in several organizations and participation in many local events.

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