Andrew Vander Wagen, born in Friesland province in northern Holland in 1868, arrived in Zuni on October 11, 1897, along with his wife, Effa Hofma Vander Wagen . An accomplished horseman, Andrew came west as a scout and missionary for the Christian Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Effa, a trained nurse, endeared herself to the Zuni people by saving numerous lives during the smallpox epidemic of 1898. Andrew and Effa opened their first trading post in 1903 (close to the current site of the family business) and purchased the present store, to be eventually named Halona Plaza (located to the immediate west of the current Inn), in 1910 (for one thousand sheep!). This store’s actual building was erected in 1866. The couple raised eight children in Zuni. Bernard J. Vander Wagen, the eighth child of Andrew and Effa Vander Wagen, became a second generation trader in the early 1930s. Other family members took turns owning and running the company, whose momentous history and significance in the Zuni community were celebrated in 2010 with a Centennial Event (including food, music, Zuni social dances and various speeches) to which the whole community was invited.

Located just east of the store, The Inn at Halona now occupies the residence which Bernard built in 1940 as well as the second story of  Andrew and Effa’s historic home, also currently the residence of the Inn’s host, Roger Thomas (who along with his dear, now deceased spouse, Elaine, one of Andrew and Effa’s granddaughters, made Bernard’s and the historic Vander Wagen homes into the Inn at Halona in 1998).  The sometimes unusual but wholly solid construction of the Inn’s main building was originally accomplished by carpenter, Clarence Pendergast, who boasted of “never needing a square-rule or level”. Clarence, who was “shell-shocked” during World War I, lived with the Vander Wagen family until his death in 1979. A number of Clarence’s primitive, vivid and sometimes poignant oil paintings of Zuni and other Western scenes are now on display at the Inn. One of Andrew & Effa’s great grandson, Rick Murphy of Murphy Builders, Inc., and his crew of Zuni tradesmen, retained much of Clarence’s building style while remodeling the Inn’s premises in 1998.  They also  built the wonderful neighboring Zuni Christian Reformed Mission’s “Andrew & Effa Vander Wagen Ministry Center”, and are currently working on building a completely new christian school on the Mission’s premises. Another great grandson of Andrew & Effa, multitalented Christopher Dodson (a previous, long time resident of Zuni), was instrumental in initially bringing the Inn At Halona to the Web in 1998.

A third great grandson, Loren Thomas, arrived in Zuni in June 2009 to assume the functions of CEO/CFO of overall company Zuni Shopping Center, which includes Halona Plaza (a medium size grocery store and community hub), a small restaurant, a lapidary supplies department (silver, coral, turquoise, findings, for the local reputed Zuni craftspeople), as well as the Inn at Halona Bed & Breakfast Inn.  Spouse Crystal Massoth Thomas has been applying her professional talents to  websites (this one included!), brochures, and other essential company promotional materials. They both are providing much appreciated and needed energy and professional talents to our company… Along with delightful daughter Maya.