Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Elspeth Bobbs

Elspeth Bobbs

Honored October, 2008

Elspeth G. Bobbs

Elspeth Bobbs was born in Devonshire County, England, in 1920 to an American father and a British mother. From her father she inherited a degenerative disease, otosclerosis, which left her totally deaf by the time she reached her 20s. When World War II broke out, living in England was particularly difficult for the deaf, for they could not hear air-raid warnings. So Elspeth came to America.

She read all the books by Taos-based writer Mabel Dodge Luhan and developed a great desire to see New Mexico. She moved to Santa Fe, and worked at an abstract company. In 1945, shortly after the war’s end, she met her future husband, Howard Bobbs, a sixth-generation artist in his family. Soon they had three daughters, and in 1955 opened a bookstore called The Book Specialist.

In 1967 the Bobbses bought on Canyon Road four acres of land with a few run-down buildings and not much else. Even so, they named their home La Querencia--“The Beloved Place”--and step by step worked to make it a beautiful estate. Yet its greatest beauty came only after the sadness of Howard’s death in 1984. Feeling an artistic void in her life after his passing, Elspeth started a garden.