What happened at this New Mexico, U.S. site in 1945, known as the McDonald Ranch House or Trinity Site?
Located at the White Sands Missile Range in Socorro County, southern New Mexico in the Oscura Mountains in the U.S. is the McDonald Ranch House, also known as the Trinity Site. The nearest city in San Antonio, New Mexico. The ranch house was built in 1913 by Frank Schmidt, a German immigrant, acquired by the McDonald Family in the 1930s.
It sits within an 85-by-85 foot (26 by 26 m) low stone wall. The family vacated the premises under protest in 1942, when the U.S. Army condemned the land and took it over as part of the Alamogordo Bomber and Gunnery Range to use in training bomber crews during WWII. The occupants were given the option to fight the eviction in court or accept a settlement. The McDonalds chose to go to court and were awarded about $60,000 for their patented land.
This was the site of the assembly of the world’s first nuclear weapon, the active components of the Trinity test “gadget”, a plutonium Fat Man-type bomb similar to the one later dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. The assembly occurred on July 13,1945.
The completed bomb was winched up the test tower the following day and detonated three days later as the Trinity nuclear test.
Today the site is part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
In the picture is the ranch house that includes the concrete box at the foot of the stone wall, the remnant of the 1984 time capsule, buried for 25 years on the completion of the home’s restoration