Cottonwood Madonna – Virgin of the Tree
Supposedly, Toby Avila who was a parish member of San Felipe de Neri, Albuquerque’s oldest Catholic parish, carved the image of the Virgin de Guadalupe into a cottonwood tree. It is one of the hidden treasures of Old Town. The carving sometimes appears to change so people wonder if it is haunted but it just reflects the condition of the tree.
Mr. Avila was part of the Korean conflict and promised that if he returned home safely he would create an image of the Virgin de Guadalupe to show his gratitude. He worked on this project for a year and he died two days after it was finished. He still had blue paint on his hands as he was lying in repose.