B Ruppe MicroMuseum dedicated to history of drugstore's Barelas location - Albuquerque Journal

B Ruppe MicroMuseum dedicated to history of drugstore’s Barelas location

The B Ruppe MicroMuseum, in the Barelas neighborhood, will open to offer a window into the unique place the B Ruppe Drugstore occupied in Albuquerque. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Barelas is filled with history.

That’s why Homewise worked with the community to keep the B Ruppe Drugstore open for the public.

“The building is a treasure trove of a lifetime of work,” says Johanna Gilligan, Homewise director of development. “I was responsible for the redevelopment of the space.”

On Nov. 5, the B Ruppe MicroMuseum opened to offer a window into the unique place.

The drugstore was the longest continuously operating drugstore in Albuquerque, founded in 1883 by German immigrant Bernard Ruppe.

B Ruppe Drugs had a 50-plus-year history in Barelas before being purchased in 2017 by Homewise. It is now the B Ruppe MicroMuseum. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

The drugstore changed locations, eventually settling in the Barelas neighborhood in 1965 when Tom Sanchez took over the business.

In 1981, Sanchez’s sister-in-law, Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora, went to work at the B Ruppe Drugstore and led The B Ruppe’s transformation from a traditional pharmacy into a yerbería, or medicinal herbal shop, and place of natural healing, or curanderísmo.

Sanchez de Zamora devoted the rest of her life to healing people until she died in 2017.

That’s when Homewise, a New Mexico-based homeownership and community development organization, stepped in and purchased the Ruppe building, with guidance from the Barelas Community Coalition.

Gilligan says that inside, the time capsule of the business remained, and Homewise contacted the National Hispanic Cultural Center to help create a B Ruppe Drugstore archive to protect and preserve this part of Albuquerque’s history.

“Connecting with the NHCC, we were able to begin to understand the history and the importance of capturing it forever,” she says. “They helped develop a digital archive and cataloged everything for us.”

The B Ruppe MicroMuseum has items that Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora used in her healing. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Homewise also wanted to further ensure that the cultural legacy of the space was preserved and so, the MicroMuseum was created.

It occupies over 700 square feet in the back of B Ruppe and contains informational displays, a historic timeline of the business, examples of common herbs found in New Mexico, and the legacy of Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora.

“Maclovia’s history is told, and we have relics form the actual store,” Gilligan says. “In New Mexico, there has always been a need for learning how to heal naturally. The information about curanderísmo is fascinating, because generations of New Mexicans have turned to it for healing.”

The MicroMuseum was funded by a grant from the Albuquerque Community Foundation, with assistance and content from the National Hispanic Cultural Center; Dr. Eliseo Torres, University of New Mexico vice president for student affairs and curanderísmo scholar; local artist and writer Rudy J. Miera; and the UNM Center for Southwest Research.

Gilligan says the families of Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora and Bernard Ruppe were also instrumental in bringing the museum to life.

“We’ve been open for a couple weeks, and we’re figuring out if we need to be open more to the public,” she says. “This is piece of history that we didn’t want to go away. The Ruppe building is part of Barelas history, one that is strong and runs deep. The MicroMuseum captures a portion of this story. We’re also hoping to do more community-based classes in the near future and want it to be a space for community.”

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop


‘Mean Girls’ to launch a seven-performance stand at Popejoy ...
Nadina Hassan remembers begging her mother ... Nadina Hassan remembers begging her mother to get the "Mean Girls" DVD from Netflix so she could wat ...
Bow and Arrow Brewing's Native Land beer program spreads ...
Bow and Arrow Brewing Co. started ... Bow and Arrow Brewing Co. started a project that has spilled over into more than two dozen communiti ...
Salvage-yard finds fuel artist's work
1"I work full time in my ... 1"I work full time in my studio – at least 8 hours a day – and my process has to ...
Grammy-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra to play two shows in ...
Oscar Hernández is meticulous when it ... Oscar Hernández is meticulous when it comes to music.As the leader of the Gramm ...
Six bands to perform in benefit for charity that ...
Six local acts are coming together ... Six local acts are coming together to raise money for charity for the third annual Burque Niñ ...
Santa Fe steakhouse a decadent evening for carnivores, pescatarians ...
Dining Reviews
As we roll into the holiday ... As we roll into the holiday season and think about restaurants we can take friends and family for an ...
Location manager creates film for international competition project
Alex Gianopoulos is used to deadlines.A ... Alex Gianopoulos is used to deadlines.A location manager in the film industry, he has ...
NM artist Leah Garcia to show her cyanotype works ...
It's been months since Leah Garcia ... It's been months since Leah Garcia has had some downtime.The New Mexico-based artist h ...
'Encanto' a charming tale of magical new Disney family
The end credits for today's animated ... The end credits for today's animated films run for so long that if you live within a mile or two of ...
'House of Gucci' is pure, unapologetic and over the ...
Everything in "House of Gucci" is ... Everything in "House of Gucci" is over the top. The accents. The performances. The fashion. The sett ...