Photo by Craig Varjabedian
Bode’s started as Grants Mercantile in 1890 as a general store, post office, stage coach stop and jail when Abiquiu was the starting place of the Old Spanish Trail. The Grant Brothers were from New York and became successful merchants who at one time owned three general stores in Northern New Mexico. In the early 1900s, the Grants sold their stores to the Gonzales and Sargent families and moved to Santa Fe where they were involved in the process of making New Mexico a State.
The Gonzales and Sargent families, holders of large tracts of land in El Norte, were successful sheep and cattle ranchers and their families are still active in the rural life of northern New Mexico.
Martin Bode, our namesake, immigrated to the United States at the turn of the century to work for an uncle, a rancher and merchant in the town of Rodney, in the southern New Mexico. With the Mexican Revolution spawning unrest throughout that region Martin decided to move north. He then worked for the Bond and Nohl Companies in Espanola, eventually working for Miguel Gonzales in Abiqiuiu. In 1919 Martin purchased the store and became a important member of the community.