01. Maverick, The Day They Hanged Bret Maverick (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails
03. © 2015 Google Maps (retrieved December 15, 2015)
Situated along the Santa Fe Trail just south of La Mesa, near the mouth of Cottonwood Canyon.
First settled on December 12, 1868 by ranchers Shaw and Mason, who founded the Hallelujah Ranch just outside of La Mesa. The small town of Hallelujah grew from the need to supply the ranch, as well as to serve travelers along the Santa Fe Trail.
In September of 1876, Cliff Sharp robbed the Hallelujah Wells Fargo office of $40,000 and killed its clerk during his getaway. Sheriff Chick Tucker's posse gave chase and tracked him to nearby Elbow Bend, where Bret Maverick had just ridden into town from Cimarron. Sharp managed to place incriminating evidence in Bret's hotel room so when the posse found the only stranger who had been seen riding into town that night, they found Bret with the evidence, arrested him, and took him back to Hallelujah to stand trial. He was immediately found guilty and sentenced to hang the next morning, but the townsfolk were upset that Bret never revealed where the stolen money was hidden. Sheriff Tucker became greedy and arranged for his friend, Coroner Oliver Poole, to place mattresses under the gallows to break Bret's fall at the hanging. Bret's coffin was buried without him in it so he could lead Tucker and Poole to the hidden money, but Bret managed to escape instead. Tucker and Poole were forced to stage a mock burial for Bret and were stunned, as were the rest of the townsfolk, when Molly Sharp arrived in Hallelujah claiming to be Bret's widow. She led them to believe "Bret Maverick" was merely one of many aliases her husband Cliff used, and the town came to believe they had actually tried and hanged Cliff Sharp. Bret caught up to Molly's stage while on her way to her husband's side in Santa Fe where he hoped to recover the stolen money and clear his name. Bret killed Sharp in self-defense and returned with Molly and the stolen Wells Fargo money to Hallelujah, where Tucker and Poole were jailed for their involvement in trying to steal the lost money.
ABOVE: The site of Hallelujah today, looking northeast along New Mexico State Highway 555.
Today, no buildings of Hallelujah exist, and the site has been incorporated into within the city limits of Raton, New Mexico.
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