Evidence of a Paleo-Indian culture in present-day New Mexico dates to least 10,000 years ago. The discovery of fluted projectile points near the towns of Clovis and Folsom indicates that these early occupants were hunters, but little else is known about them. Around the beginning of the modern era, a group known as the Anasazi flourished in the San Juan River valley in the Four Corners area. Their highly developed civilization included the cultivation of corn and cotton, but declined somewhat mysteriously after 1000 A.D.
The Pueblo, descendants of the Anasazi, were prominent by 1300 and lived along the Rio Grande River in central New Mexico. They are noted for weaving and pottery skills, extensive agriculture, and multi-story adobe homes.
The Mogollón also had ties to the Anasazi and peaked as a culture after 1280. They inhabited the area now occupied by the Gila National Forest near the Arizona border and constructed intricate cliff dwellings.
Around the time of European arrival, other native peoples entered New Mexico. The Apache and Navajo migrated into the area in the 1400s and began protracted warfare against the Pueblo. Later the Comanche and Ute also competed for the region’s scarce resources.
European arrivalÁlvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish nobleman and adventurer, may have been the first European to visit what is now New Mexico. He was shipwrecked in the Gulf of Mexico in 1528 and came ashore in what became Texas. He spent eight years wandering through the Southwest with a few companions before arriving at Mexico City. During his travels, Cabeza de Vaca heard stories of the riches of the Seven Cities of Cibola and reported them to intrigued Spanish authorities. Subsequent efforts to find vast wealth were not successful, but added much to Spanish knowledge of the area’s geography.
One of Cabeza de Vaca’s companions, Estevanico, had been a Moroccan slave. In 1539, he guided a party organized by the Franciscan priest Marcos de Niza in search of the fabled wealth. Estevanico was killed on the expedition and no wealth was found, but Niza did claim the area for Spain.
In 1540, Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado continued the search for the cities and visited Hopi and Zuni villages in the future states of Arizona and New Mexico.
In 1581, a Spanish force of missionaries and soldiers journeyed into New Mexico from their post on the Pacific. The priests remained in the area and lived among the Pueblo. The following year, a relief column was dispatched and discovered that the natives had snuffed out the missionaries’ evangelistic message by killing them.
Spanish efforts to establish a grip on New Mexico were advanced by the efforts of Juan de Oñate. Under a grant received from the Crown, Oñate’s party surveyed the country bordering the Rio Grande and in 1598 established a capital at San Gabriel on the Rio Chama near present-day Española. Failure to discover mineral wealth and the apparent abuse of neighboring Indians led to Oñate’s removal as governor in 1607. His successor, Pedro Peralta, constructed a new fortified capital at Santa Fe in 1609 or 1610.
Development of Spanish society
Failure to discover mineral wealth in Mexico del Norte freed the Spanish to concentrate on a single objective: to spread the faith to the native inhabitants of the area. Tensions resulted. The Pueblo in particular resented heavy-handed efforts to terminate their spiritual practices. Further discontent arose from a tax imposed on Indians under Spanish control, that required payments in corn and woven goods. As time passed, an increasing number of natives were virtually enslaved. Further chaos was visited on the area by ongoing quarrels between the missionaries and civil authorities.
By 1640, outbreaks of native violence had become commonplace. A major uprising began in 1680 when a Pueblo leader, Popé, allied with sympathetic Apache. More than 400 Spanish lives were taken, missions burned, and the capital of Santa Fe fell. Spanish authority was not restored until 1696. The end of hostilities with the Pueblo ushered in a period of relative peace that lasted for the following century and a quarter until the overthrow of Spanish control by Mexican nationalists. During that time, intermarriage between Spaniard and Pueblo became common, occasioned sometimes by the need to strengthen commercial alliances and other times by uniting families to ward off threats from marauding Apache.
The Mexican drive for independence from Spain was successful in 1821 and ushered in a change that exerted an important impact on New Mexico. The new government rejected the old Spanish policy of actively excluding foreigners from the northern province. As a result of this new openness, an active trade developed with merchants in the United States. William Becknell was one of the first to develop the new market by transporting goods from Missouri to Santa Fe over a route that would become known as the Santa Fe Trail.
A truly multicultural society developed in New Mexico during the 1830s and 1840s. The indigenous tribes were joined by increasing numbers of New Mexicans, meaning those of mixed native and Spanish blood, and Anglos migrating from the United States. Harmony was not always a keynote of the relationship with tensions stemming from differences over religion, language, political allegiance and a myriad of economic issues. In 1837, resident New Mexicans joined with disaffected Indians in overthrowing the local Mexican government; the Palace of the Governors was seized by the rebels and the governor was executed. This uprising, however, was quickly and brutally suppressed.
Four years later, another threat to Mexican control was mounted, this time from independent Texans who made an abortive attempt to claim New Mexico. They were arrested and sent to prison in Mexico City, but were eventually released.
The voice of expansionist Texans was heard again in 1846 at the outbreak of the Mexican War, when they pressured the U.S. government to seek control of all of the Southwest. General Stephen W. Kearny led an expedition to Santa Fe, where little resistance was met and the U.S. flag was raised in August. This land grab was formalized in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), which added the area that included New Mexico to the United States.
Territory of the United States
Under the provisions of the Compromise of 1850 the New Mexico Territory was organized, comprising present-day New Mexico and Arizona. This area and the new Utah Territory were to be open to both pro-slavery and free-soil advocates in what was regarded as middle ground on the nation’s most hotly contested issue. In 1853, the southern boundary of New Mexico was fixed at its present location through the purchase of additional territory from Mexico for the purpose of gaining more-favorable terrain for railroad construction.
During the Civil War, there was a significant Confederate presence in New Mexico. Pro-slavery Texans seized portions of New Mexico, calling the area the Territory of Arizona. Union forces prevailed in 1862 in the Battle of Glorieta Pass, sometimes dubbed the “Gettysburg of the West.” Civil war did not interrupt the continuing conflict between white settlers and Indians. Beginning in 1862, Kit Carson led an effort to force the Navajo and Mescalero Apache onto reservations.
In 1863, the United States created the new Arizona Territory from the western portion of New Mexico and in the process, established the present-day boundaries of both states.Economic developmentMining became briefly important in the 1820s when a minor gold strike was made in north-central New Mexico. Later and more substantial strikes occurred in the 1860s, but gold never figured as prominently in the economy as in some other western states.
A coal mine was operated by the U.S. Army near present-day Socorro in west-central New Mexico in the early 1860s. This small industry was given a boost in the 1880s with the arrival of the railroads, which needed coal to fire their boilers and also offered a cheap means to get the product to faraway markets. Coal production reached a peak during World War I, then went into steep decline.
Livestock provided the primary economic base during the territorial years. Both cattle- and sheep-raising interests grew, but often clashed violently. The tendency for sheep to chew grasses off at ground level made it impossible for cattle to use the same lands. Competition among the ranchers also was heightened by the scarcity of water.
Economic development was slowed by continuing Indian warfare and general lawlessness. The Mimbres Apache under Victorio resisted incursions onto their homelands in 1879 and 1880, and Geronimo continued his warfare until 1886. In the years from 1878 to 1881, chaos prevailed in Lincoln County in south-central New Mexico. A business rivalry there resulted in murder, then in a string of reprisals. Some of the old Southwest’s most colorful characters played a role in the so-called Lincoln County War, including Sheriff Pat Garrett and General Lew Wallace, a Civil War veteran, governor of the New Mexico Territory and author of Ben Hur. Billy the Kid led a cattle rustling gang in Lincoln County at this time, but was killed by Garrett in 1881.
The arrival of the first railroad in 1879 brought a small wave of settlers in the following years. The new arrivals demanded an end to lawlessness and helped to establish a more-stable society. Change also occurred among the ranchers who began to enclose their operations, marking the decline of the open-range era. Farming was introduced in many areas, but was risky because of limited water supplies. The first important irrigation project was started in the 1890s in the Pecos River Valley of eastern New Mexico. “Dry farming” efforts also were undertaken — a process that concentrated on crops that could be harvested in the spring or fall and left the fields fallow during the scorching summers. During the growing seasons, the crops were often given a mulch cover to retain moisture.
New Mexico statehood
Statehood for New Mexico was not a high priority in Washington, D.C., where political leaders often viewed the territory as one inhabited only by Roman Catholics, Indians and Spanish speakers. Support eventually materialized in the person of William Howard Taft, which enabled New Mexico to enter the Union on January 6, 1912 as the 47th state. William C. McDonald became the first governor.
The state’s economy in the early 20th century was led by mining, oil and an emerging tourism industry that took advantage of the area’s scenic beauty, a warm and dry climate, and growing interest in Indian crafts and ceremonies.
Lawlessness made a brief return to the state in 1916, when Francisco “Pancho” Villa staged a raid on Columbus in southwestern New Mexico, killed 17 residents and burned the town. A punitive expedition was sent under the command of Black Jack Pershing, who pursued Villa into Mexican territory. The incursion severely strained relations with the Venustiano Carranza government, to which United States had extended recognition. Carranza was Villa`s rival for power in Mexico. President Wilson summoned home the unsuccessful and frustrated Pershing in 1917 when the U.S. was preparing to enter World War I.
New Mexico struggled in the 1920s and 1930s — a time of drought, widespread unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures. Small measures of relief were brought by oil discoveries and the development of the Carlsbad Caverns as a tourist destination, where many of the facilities were constructed by young workers in the Civilian Conservation Corps.
During World War II, the town and research facility of Los Alamos were built by the federal government as a center for the development of the atomic bomb. In July 1945, the new weapon was tested at the White Sands Proving Grounds outside of Alamogordo.
An extremely valuable contribution was made to U.S. Marine operations in the Pacific by the Navajo “code talkers,” who transmitted vital battlefield information by radio in their native language. Japanese cryptologists were able to break the codes of the American army and navy, but not the marines.
A number of locations in New Mexico were used as internment camps for Japanese Americans, including Lordsburg, where two male internees were shot and killed under questionable circumstances in 1942.
A number of events occurred in the postwar years that were aimed at increasing the rights of native peoples in New Mexico. A federal court order forced a change in the state’s constitution, and in 1948, Indians gained the right to vote. During the 1960s, the Federal Land Grant Alliance was led by Reies López Tijerina, a Chicano leader who sought to reclaim forest reserve lands. Violence was associated with this movement.
In March 1999, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a longterm storage facility for radioactive waste, opened after nearly 20 years of controversy. The facility provides underground storage rooms in a 2,000-foot- thick salt formation located in the Chihuahuan Desert near Carlsbad.
Dam and irrigation projects have been responsible for a diversification of New Mexico agriculture, but the lack of a dependable economic base has caused the state to remain behind others in education and health services.
Bill Richardson has become one of New Mexico’s most prominent political figures in recent years. He represented the state’s Third Congressional District as a Democrat for 15 years, served as United Nations ambassador and Secretary of Energy during the Clinton administration, and in 2002 was elected governor of New Mexico.
See Indian Wars Time Table and New Mexico.
New Mexico History
Take a peek at New Mexico history. Discover an overview of New Mexico's rich history, heritage, historic events, and culture.
In 1540, the Spanish conquistador Coronado trekked through the area known today as New Mexico in search of the fabled seven cities of gold. New Mexico, called the "Land of Enchantment," was the 47th state, entering the Union in 1912. Part of the "Old West," New Mexico was a place known for cowboys and cattle drives. The influence of the Apache Indians who live there is evident in the artwork and culture. The Pueblo Indian presence is also very apparent, most visibly in the tribe's buildings. The state also has a large Hispanic population, as New Mexico was under Spanish control from the 16th century until about 1846. The capital city of Santa Fe, founded in 1610, has the oldest continually used seat of government in North America. The state flower is the yucca.
New Mexico History Timeline
Colonized by Spain, the land that is now New Mexico became US territory as part of the Gadsen Purchase in 1853, though New Mexico did not become a U.S. state until 1912.
16th Century New Mexico History Timeline
1536 - Cabeza de Vaca, Estevan the Moor and two others reach Culiacdn, Mexico, after possibly crossing what is now southern New Mexico, and begin rumors of the Seven Cities of Cibola.
1539 - Fray Marcos de Niza and Estevan lead expedition to find Cibola and reach the Zuni village of Hawikuh, where Estevan is killed.
1540-42 - Francisco Vasquez de Coronado explores area from Gulf of California to present-day Kansas, discovers the Grand Canyon.
1580-81 - Fray Agustin Rodriguez leads expedition to New Mexico four members of the party killed by Indians.
1582-83 - Fray Bernadino Beltran and Fray Antonio de Espejo lead expedition to New Mexico to search for survivors of the ill-fated Rodriguez mission.
1598 - Juan de Onate establishes the first Spanish capital of San Juan de los Caballeros at the Tewa village of Ohke north of present-day Espanola
17th Century New Mexico History Timeline
1600 - San Gabriel, second capital of New Mexico, is founded at the confluence of the Rio Grande and the Chama River.
- Mass desertion of San Gabriel by colonists
- New recruits front Spain and Mexico sent to reinforce colony.
1605 - Onate expedition to the Colorado River visits El Morro, leaves message on Inscription Rock.
- Onate removed as governor and sent to Mexico City to be tried for mistreatment of the Indians and abuse of power.
- Decision made by Spanish Crown to continue settlement of New Mexico as a royal province.
- Gov. Pedro de Peralta establishes a new capital at Santa Fe.
- Construction begins on the Palace of the Governors.
- Gaspar de Villagra publishes epic history on the founding of New Mexico, the first book printed about any area in the modern United States.
1626 - Spanish Inquisition established in New Mexico.
1641 - Gov. Luis de Rosas assassinated by colonists during conflict between the church and state.
1680 -August 10 - Pueblo Indian Revolt Spanish survivors flee to El Paso del Norte.
Late 1600's - Navajos, Apaches, lies, and Comanches begin raids against Pueblo Indians.
- September 14, 1692, Don Diegode Vargas proclaimed a formal act of possession and recolonizes Santa Fe.
- Spanish civilization returns to New Mexico.
1695 - Santa Cruz de la Cahada (Canada) founded.
1696 - Second Pueblo Revolt efforts thwarted by Gov. De Vargas.
18th Century New Mexico History Timeline
1706 - Villa de Albuquerque founded.
1743 - French trappers reach Santa Fe and begin limited trade with the Spanish.
1776 - Franciscan friars Dominguez and Escalante explore route from out New Mexico to California.
1786 - Gov. Juan Bautista de Anza makes peace with the Comanches.
1793 - First school text printed in New Mexico by Padre Antonio Jose Martinez of Taos.
19th Century New Mexico History Timeline
- Zebulon Pike leads first Anglo American expedition into New Mexico.
- Publishes account of way of life in New Mexico upon return to US
1828 - First major gold discovery in western U. S. made in Ortiz Mountains south of Santa Fe.
1837 - Chimayo Revolt against Mexican taxation leads to the assassination of Gov. Albino Perez and top officials.
- Texas soldiers invade New Mexico and claim all land east of the Rio Grande.
- Efforts thwarted by Gov. Manuel Armijo.
- Mexican-American War begins.
- Stephen Watts Kearny annexes New Mexico to the United States.
1848 - Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends Mexican-American War.
1850 - September 9 - New Mexico (which included present-day Arizona, southern Colorado, southern Utah, and southern Nevada) is designated a territory but denied statehood.
1851 - Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy arrives in New Mexico and establishes schools, hospitals and orphanages throughout the territory
1854 - The Gadsden Purchase front Mexico adds 45,000 square miles to the territory
- July - Confederates invade New Mexico front Texas.
- The Confederate Territory of Arizona is declared with the capital at La Mesilla.
- Territory of Colorado is created. New Mexico loses extreme northern-most section to the new territory
1862 - February 12 - Battles of Velarde de and Glorieta Pass fought, ends confederate occupation of New Mexico.
1863-68 - Known as the "Long Walk," Navajos and Apaches are relocated to Bosque Redondo: finally allowed to return to their homelands after thousands die of disease and starvation.
- The railroad arrives in New Mexico, opening full-scale trade and migration from the east and midwest.
- Lincoln County War erupts in southeast New Mexico
1881 - Billy the Kid shot by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner N.M.
1886 - Geronimo surrenders Indian hostilities cease in the Southwest.
1898 - First movie filmed in New Mexico, Indian Day School by Thomas A. Edison.
20th Century New Mexico History Timeline
1906 - People of New Mexico and Arizona vote on issue of joint statehood, New Mexico voting in favor and Arizona against.
1911 - January 21 -New Mexico Constitution drafted in preparation for statehood.
1912 - January 6 - New Mexico admitted to the Union as the 47th state.
1916 - March 16 - Pancho Villa raids Columbus, N.M.
1920 - Adoption of the l9th Amendment gives women the right to vote.
1922 - Secretary of State Soledad Chacon and Superintendent of Public Instruction Isabel Eckles elected first women to hold statewide office.
1923-24 - Oil is discovered on the Navajo Reservation.
- Great Depression.
- Federal New Deal funds provide employment for many and causes numerous public buildings to be constructed.
- New Mexico soldiers serving in the 200th Coast Artillery during World War II are captured by the Japanese and forced to endure the Bataan Death March.
- Navajo "Codetalkers" are influential in helping end the war.
- Secret atomic laboratories established at Los Alamos.
1945 - World's first atomic bomb detonated at Trinity Site in southern New Mexico after its development at Los Alamos.
1947 - UFO allegedly crashes between Roswell and Corona, believers claim US government institutes massive coverup of the incident.
1948 - Native Americans will the right to vote in state elections.
195O - Uranium discovered near Grants.
1957 - Buddy Holly records Peggy Sue at Norman Petty Studio in Clovis.
1966 - New state capitol, the "Roundhouse," is dedicated.
1969 - Proposed new state constitution is rejected by voters.
1982 - Space shuttle Columbia lands at White Sands Space Harbor oil Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo.
1992 - New Mexico observes Columbus Quincentenary, welcomes Cristobal Colon XX, direct descendent of Christopher Columbus.
1994 - North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) increased trade with Mexico.
1998 - New Mexico celebrates its cuartocentenario, 400th anniversary commemorating its 1598 founding by Juan de Onate.
21st Century New Mexico History Timeline
2000 - Valles Caldera National Preserve established
2005 - 11.65% of state's employment was derived directly or indirectly from military spending
2008 - New Mexico had highest poverty rate in US
2009 - Death penalty abolished
- Runway opened at world's first spaceport in New Mexico
- Governor Richardson announced he would not pardon Billy the Kid
2011 - Wildfire forced officials to close Los Alamos National Labratory, voluntary evacuation issued for residents
Early History of Native Americans in New Mexico
The names of the New Mexico tribes included the Apache, Comanche, Jemez, Kiowa, Manso, Navaho, Pecos, Ute, Pueblo and Zuni.
The Clovis-Paleo Indians later discovered the eastern plains of New Mexico, the same expansive romping grounds of the dinosaurs around 10,000 BC The river valleys west of their hunting grounds later flooded with refugees from the declining Four Corners Anasazi cultures.
Sometime between AD 1130 and 1180, the Anasazi drifted from their high-walled towns to evolve into today's Pueblo Indians, so named by early Spanish explorers because they lived in land-based communities much like the villages, or pueblos, of home. Culturally similar American Indians, the Mogollon, lived in today's Gila National Forest.
The Anasazi occupied the region where present day Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet. They were among the most highly civilized of the Native American cultures. They raised corn and cotton, and tamed wild turkeys, using the meat for food and the feathers for clothing. In the winter, the Anasazi wore garments fashioned from turkey feathers.
The Anasazi were cliff dwellers and built many apartment houses out of closely fitted stones. One such building, the Pueblo Bonito, had nearly 800 rooms.
Around 1500 AD, the Navaho and Apache tribes came to the New Mexico region from the north. Utes and Comanches entered the area a few years later.
Territory and state
During the Mexican-American War, which began in 1846, New Mexico was taken by U.S. forces under the command of Gen. Stephen Kearny. All residents were granted amnesty and citizenship in return for an oath of allegiance to the United States. The Territory of New Mexico was established by Congress in 1850. During the American Civil War an invading Confederate force was driven out by the Colorado Volunteers (infantry), though southern New Mexico remained a stronghold for rebel sympathizers during and after the war.
The Navajo tribes were quelled in 1864 and forcibly resettled on a reservation near Fort Sumner. In 1868 they were given a large reservation in northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona, but the Apache, who were settled on two reservations in 1880, continued their rebellion until 1886. The burgeoning cattle industry was the main development of the late 19th century, and bloody battles often were fought between cattle and sheep ranchers and large and small landowners in a series of range wars. The legendary gunfighter Billy the Kid and his lawman-nemesis Pat Garrett were party to this struggle in Lincoln county, the epicentre of the local range war in its bloodiest year, 1878. The Apache leaders Geronimo, Cochise, and Victorio, though mainly active in Arizona, also made forays into southwestern New Mexico. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which reached Albuquerque in 1880, brought new immigration, and farming grew rapidly with the development of new irrigation methods and resources.
Following New Mexico’s admission as a state on Jan. 6, 1912, its economy was still based on agriculture, and it maintained its frontier image. In some isolated areas, stagecoaches still made connections with trains, and cowboys herded cattle on ranches, some of them vast enterprises. Hispano and Native American communities were little touched by the changes brought by statehood. There were, however, forces at work that were to materially change the state and its people.
Not the least of these forces was the introduction of the automobile, which soon ended the isolation of even the most remote village or Indian pueblo. Younger people moved to the city, and farm products were more easily marketed by truck. Another force at play was the implementation of the New Deal, the Great Depression-era federal relief program that brought most rural New Mexicans into contact with government for the first time.
World War II acted as a catalyst to speed the changes already under way. Young Hispanic and “white” men were conscripted into the military, and others found employment at government installations in New Mexico or in the defense plants in other states. A Japanese internment camp was set up outside Sante Fe. Research facilities established at Los Alamos became the centre of the project that created the first atomic bomb in 1945. After World War II, many of the military activities continued in New Mexico, and a large number of military families settled in the state.
From 1940 to 1960, New Mexico’s population nearly doubled. Santa Fe and Taos became havens for health seekers as well as the locations of second homes for the more affluent. The population continued to grow well into the 1990s as many residents of California migrated to the state. Despite the rapid swell in population, New Mexico remains one of the poorest states in the country, even though there has been an increase in the exploitation of oil, natural gas, and other mineral resources as well as an expansion of agriculture through improved irrigation. Despite some resistance from environmental activists, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the world’s first underground storage receptacle for radioactive wastes, opened in southeastern New Mexico in March 1999.
New Mexico’s population continued to grow in the early 21st century, especially in the greater Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas. Albuquerque’s growth was especially pronounced in the high plains to the east of Tijeras Canyon once a formidable obstacle, it has since been traversed by roads and bridges. Santa Fe similarly witnessed rapid growth on the plains south of the city proper.
Most were mining towns, where men lusted after the earth’s riches — gold, silver, turquoise, copper, lead and coal. A few were farming communities that flourished for a time and mysteriously fell silent. Literally hundreds of towns not only died, they vanished.
By some estimates, New Mexico is home to more than 400 ghost towns — most are nothing more than a few foundations and some occasional mining equipment.
But traces of many linger on, haunting ties to days that used to be. They molder into oblivion, their shells of buildings like specters against the sky, these towns that witnessed some of America’s most romantic and rapacious history.
And if you listen, you can hear the names of fabled mines whispered on the wind: Bridal Chamber, Confidence, Little Hell, Calamity Jane, Hardscrabble, Mystic Lode, North Homestake, Little Fanny, Spanish Bar. If you look, you can read the names of legendary people written in the dust: Johnny Ringo, Russian, Bill, Toppy Johnson, Roy Bean, Butch Cassidy, Madame Varnish, Black jack Ketchum, Mangas Coloradas, Billy the Kid, James Cooney.
More than a score of these towns have enough life in spite of the ravages of vandals and weather to be interesting to the special breed of human whose eyes light up at the mention of them. Quite a few towns have a number of inhabitants. Please respect their privacy. Many are on private property.
The Jicarilla Apache Nation is located in the scenic mountains and rugged mesas of northern New Mexico near the Colorado border. There are approximately 2,755 tribal members, most of whom live in the town of Dulce. Nomadic in nature until just before European contact, the Jicarilla tribe established trade with Taos and Picurís pueblos. They wandered and traded as far east as Kansas until they settled deep in the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the mid-1720s.
Wild West Legends Buried In New Mexico
What is New Mexico known for?
The wild west in New Mexico may be one of the many things the state is famous for – or was, in this case. While the old shootouts and rustling of the wild west are long over, there are new things that the Land of Enchantment has become famous for. The beautiful hot air balloons drifting over the landscape during the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is one. The state’s love of chile is another, which is not surprising considering people believe the best chile in the world comes from the state. New Mexico has even become known as a UFO-sighting hot spot, with cities like Roswell embracing the possible alien visitors to the fullest.
What are the most unique facts about New Mexico?
If you love learning new trivia about New Mexico, here are a few more interesting and unique facts about the state you might have never guessed. The iconic Smokey the Bear, of “only you can prevent forest fires” fame, is from New Mexico. The real bear was rescued from forest fires in New Mexico in 1950 and became a symbol that is still well-known today. The first atomic bomb to ever be detonated was in New Mexico, tested in the desert area nearby today’s White Sands National Monument. The oldest church in the United States is located in New Mexico. It’s located in Santa Fe and known as the San Miguel Mission, originally built in 1610.
What is the oldest town in New Mexico?
The history of New Mexico is vast. Other than the many towns that were around in the days of the wild west and still hanging on today, there are some truly ancient places here. The Taos Pueblo is the oldest, continuously-inhabited place in the state. It has been occupied and carefully preserved for a thousand years. Did you know that New Mexico also has the oldest capital city in the country? Santa Fe was established in 1610, pre-dating the existence of the United States by over 150 years. You can still visit the beautiful historic areas of Santa Fe for some beautiful architecture and fascinating history.
Before European colonization of the Americas, the area Santa Fe occupied between 900 CE and the 1500s was known to the Tewa peoples as Oghá P'o'oge ("White Shell Water Place") and by the Navajo people as Yootó ('Bead' 'Water Place').   In 1610, Juan de Oñate established the area as Santa Fe de Nuevo México–a province of New Spain.  Formal Spanish settlements were developed leading the colonial governor Pedro de Peralta to rename the area La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís (the Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi).  The Spanish phrase "Santa Fe" is translated as "Holy Faith" in English. Although more commonly known as Santa Fe, the city's full, legal name remains to this day as La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís.  The full name of the city is in both the seal and the flag of the city, although, as pointed out by Associated Press in 2020, Assisi in Spanish is misspelled, reading Aśis instead of Asís. 
The standard Spanish pronunciation of the city's name is SAHN -tah- FAY , as contextualized within the city's full Spanish name La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís.   However, due to the large amounts of tourism and immigration into Santa Fe, an English pronunciation of SAN -tuh- FAY is also commonly used. 
Spain and Mexico Edit
The area of Santa Fe was originally occupied by indigenous Tanoan peoples, who lived in numerous Pueblo villages along the Rio Grande. One of the earliest known settlements in what today is downtown Santa Fe came sometime after 900 CE. A group of native Tewa built a cluster of homes that centered around the site of today's Plaza and spread for half a mile to the south and west the village was called Oghá P'o'oge in Tewa.  The Tanoans and other Pueblo peoples settled along the Santa Fe River for its water and transportation.
The river had a year-round flow until the 1700s. By the 20th century the Santa Fe River was a seasonal waterway.  As of 2007 [update] , the river was recognized as the most endangered river in the United States, according to the conservation group American Rivers. 
Don Juan de Oñate led the first Spanish effort to colonize the region in 1598, establishing Santa Fe de Nuevo México as a province of New Spain. Under Juan de Oñate and his son, the capital of the province was the settlement of San Juan de los Caballeros north of Santa Fe near modern Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. Juan de Oñate was banished and exiled from New Mexico by the Spanish, after his rule was deemed cruel towards the indigenous population. New Mexico's second Spanish governor, Don Pedro de Peralta, however, founded a new city at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in 1607, which he called La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís, the Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi. In 1610, he designated it as the capital of the province, which it has almost constantly remained,  making it the oldest state capital in the United States.
Lack of Native American representation within New Mexico's early government led to the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, when groups of different Native Pueblo peoples were successful in driving the Spaniards out of New Mexico to El Paso, the Pueblo continued running New Mexico proper from the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe from 1680 to 1692. The territory was reconquered in 1692 by Don Diego de Vargas through the war campaign called the "Bloodless Reconquest" which was criticized as violent even at the time, it was actually the following governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez that truly started to broker peace, such as the founding of Albuquerque, to guarantee better representation and trade access for Pueblos in New Mexico's government. Other governors of New Mexico, such as Tomás Vélez Cachupin, continued to be better known for their more forward thinking work with the indigenous population of New Mexico. Santa Fe was Spain's provincial seat at outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. It was considered important to fur traders based in present-day Saint Louis, Missouri. When the area was still under Spanish rule, the Chouteau brothers of Saint Louis gained a monopoly on the fur trade, before the United States acquired Missouri under the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The fur trade contributed to the wealth of St. Louis. The city's status as the capital of the Mexican territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México was formalized in the 1824 Constitution after Mexico achieved independence from Spain.
When the Republic of Texas seceded from Mexico in 1836, it attempted to claim Santa Fe and other parts of Nuevo México as part of the western portion of Texas along the Río Grande. In 1841, a small military and trading expedition set out from Austin, intending to take control of the Santa Fe Trail. Known as the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, the force was poorly prepared and was easily captured by the New Mexican military.
United States Edit
In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico. Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearny led the main body of his Army of the West of some 1,700 soldiers into Santa Fe to claim it and the whole New Mexico Territory for the United States. By 1848 the U.S. officially gained New Mexico through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Colonel Alexander William Doniphan, under the command of Kearny, recovered ammunition from Santa Fe labeled "Spain 1776" showing both the lack of communications and quality of military support New Mexico received under Mexican rule. 
Some American visitors at first saw little promise in the remote town. One traveller in 1849 wrote:
I can hardly imagine how Santa Fe is supported. The country around it is barren. At the North stands a snow-capped mountain while the valley in which the town is situated is drab and sandy. The streets are narrow . A Mexican will walk about town all day to sell a bundle of grass worth about a dime. They are the poorest looking people I ever saw. They subsist principally on mutton, onions and red pepper. 
In 1851, Jean Baptiste Lamy arrived, becoming bishop of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado in 1853. During his leadership, he traveled to France, Rome, Tucson, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Mexico City. He built the Santa Fe Saint Francis Cathedral and shaped Catholicism in the region until his death in 1888. 
As part of the New Mexico Campaign of the Civil War, General Henry Sibley occupied the city, flying the Confederate flag over Santa Fe for a few days in March 1862. Sibley was forced to withdraw after Union troops destroyed his logistical trains following the Battle of Glorieta Pass. The Santa Fe National Cemetery was created by the federal government after the war in 1870 to inter the Union soldiers who died fighting there.
On October 21, 1887, Anton Docher, "The Padre of Isleta", went to New Mexico where he was ordained as a priest in the St Francis Cathedral of Santa Fe by Bishop Jean-Baptiste Salpointe. After a few years serving in Santa Fe,  Bernalillo and Taos,  he moved to Isleta on December 28, 1891. He wrote an ethnological article published in The Santa Fé Magazine in June 1913, in which he describes early 20th century life in the Pueblos. 
As railroads were extended into the West, Santa Fe was originally envisioned as an important stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. But as the tracks were constructed into New Mexico, the civil engineers decided that it was more practical to go through Lamy, a town in Santa Fe County to the south of Santa Fe. A branch line was completed from Lamy to Santa Fe in 1880.  The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad extended the narrow gauge Chili Line from the nearby city of Española to Santa Fe in 1886. 
Neither was sufficient to offset the negative effects of Santa Fe's having been bypassed by the main railroad route. It suffered gradual economic decline into the early 20th century. Activists created a number of resources for the arts and archaeology, notably the School of American Research, created in 1907 under the leadership of the prominent archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett. In the early 20th century, Santa Fe became a base for numerous writers and artists. The first airplane to fly over Santa Fe was piloted by Rose Dugan, carrying Vera von Blumenthal as passenger. Together the two women started the development of the Pueblo Indian pottery industry, helping native women to market their wares. They contributed to the founding of the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.
In 1912, New Mexico was admitted as the United States of America's 47th state, with Santa Fe as its capital.
20th century Edit
1912 plan Edit
In 1912, when the town's population was approximately 5,000 people, the city's civic leaders designed and enacted a sophisticated city plan that incorporated elements of the contemporary City Beautiful movement, city planning, and historic preservation. The latter was particularly influenced by similar movements in Germany. The plan anticipated limited future growth, considered the scarcity of water, and recognized the future prospects of suburban development on the outskirts. The planners foresaw that its development must be in harmony with the city's character. 
Artists and tourists Edit
After the mainline of the railroad bypassed Santa Fe, it lost population. However, artists and writers, as well as retirees, were attracted to the cultural richness of the area, the beauty of the landscapes, and its dry climate. Local leaders began promoting the city as a tourist attraction. The city sponsored architectural restoration projects and erected new buildings according to traditional techniques and styles, thus creating the Santa Fe Style.
Edgar L. Hewett, founder and first director of the School of American Research and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, was a leading promoter. He began the Santa Fe Fiesta in 1919 and the Southwest Indian Fair in 1922 (now known as the Indian Market). When Hewett tried to attract a summer program for Texas women, many artists rebelled, saying the city should not promote artificial tourism at the expense of its artistic culture. The writers and artists formed the Old Santa Fe Association and defeated the plan. 
Japanese American internment camp Edit
During World War II, the federal government ordered a Japanese American internment camp to be established. Beginning in June 1942, the Department of Justice arrested 826 Japanese-American men after the attack on Pearl Harbor they held them near Santa Fe, in a former Civilian Conservation Corps site that had been acquired and expanded for the purpose. Although there was a lack of evidence and no due process, the men were held on suspicion of fifth column activity. Security at Santa Fe was similar to a military prison, with twelve-foot barbed wire fences, guard towers equipped with searchlights, and guards carrying rifles, side arms and tear gas.  By September, the internees had been transferred to other facilities—523 to War Relocation Authority concentration camps in the interior of the West, and 302 to Army internment camps.
The Santa Fe site was used next to hold German and Italian nationals, who were considered enemy aliens after the outbreak of war.  In February 1943, these civilian detainees were transferred to DOJ custody.
The camp was expanded at that time to take in 2,100 men segregated from the general population of Japanese American inmates. These were mostly Nisei and Kibei who had renounced their U.S. citizenship when asked to sign a loyalty oath that had confusing language, saying the person agreed to "give up loyalty to the Japanese emperor." Men born in America who had never identified with the emperor were insulted, especially as they were being asked to enroll in the armed forces while their Japanese-born parents were interned in camps. and other "troublemakers" from the Tule Lake Segregation Center.  In 1945, four internees were seriously injured when violence broke out between the internees and guards in an event known as the Santa Fe Riot. The camp remained open past the end of the war the last detainees were released in mid 1946. The facility was closed and sold as surplus soon after.  The camp was located in what is now the Casa Solana neighborhood. 
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.4 sq mi (96.9 km 2 ), of which 37.3 sq mi (96.7 km 2 ) are land and 0.077 sq mi (0.2 km 2 ) (0.21%) is covered by water. [ citation needed ]
Santa Fe is located at 7,199 feet (2,194 m) above sea level, making it the highest state capital in the United States. 
Santa Fe's climate is characterized by cool, dry winters, hot summers, and relatively low precipitation. According to the Köppen climate classification, depending on which variant of the system is used, the city has either a subtropical highland climate (Cwb) or a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dwb), unusual but not uncommon at 35°N. With low precipitation, though, it is more similar to the climates of Turkey that fall into this category.   The 24-hour average temperature in the city ranges from 30.3 °F (−0.9 °C) in December to 70.1 °F (21.2 °C) in July. Due to the relative aridity and elevation, average diurnal temperature variation exceeds 25 °F (14 °C) in every month, and 30 °F (17 °C) much of the year. The city usually receives six to eight snowfalls a year between November and April. The heaviest rainfall occurs in July and August, with the arrival of the North American Monsoon.
|Climate data for Santa Fe, New Mexico (1981–2010 normals), elevation 7,198 ft (2,194 m)|
|Record high °F (°C)||65 |
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||55.7 |
|Average high °F (°C)||43.5 |
|Daily mean °F (°C)||30.5 |
|Average low °F (°C)||17.5 |
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||2.2 |
|Record low °F (°C)||−14 |
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.60 |
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||4.0 |
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||3.4||3.7||4.7||4.0||4.7||5.6||9.6||10.3||6.3||5.2||4.0||4.2||65.7|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||1.9||1.5||1.3||0.4||0||0||0||0||0||0.3||0.8||2.2||8.4|
|Source 1: NOAA  |
|Source 2: WRCC  (mean max and mean min data only)|
The Spanish laid out the city according to the "Laws of the Indies", town planning rules and ordinances which had been established in 1573 by King Philip II. The fundamental principle was that the town be laid out around a central plaza. On its north side was the Palace of the Governors, while on the east was the church that later became the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.
An important style implemented in planning the city was the radiating grid of streets centered on the central Plaza. Many were narrow and included small alley-ways, but each gradually merged into the more casual byways of the agricultural perimeter areas. As the city grew throughout the 19th century, the building styles evolved too, so that by statehood in 1912, the eclectic nature of the buildings caused it to look like "Anywhere USA".  The city government realized that the economic decline, which had started more than twenty years before with the railway moving west and the federal government closing down Fort Marcy, might be reversed by the promotion of tourism.
To achieve that goal, the city created the idea of imposing a unified building style – the Spanish Pueblo Revival look, which was based on work done restoring the Palace of the Governors. The sources for this style came from the many defining features of local architecture: vigas (rough, exposed beams that extrude through supporting walls, and are thus visible outside as well as inside the building) and canales (rain spouts cut into short parapet walls around flat roofs), features borrowed from many old adobe homes and churches built many years before and found in the Pueblos, along with the earth-toned look (reproduced in stucco) of the old adobe exteriors.
After 1912 this style became official: all buildings were to be built using these elements. By 1930 there was a broadening to include the "Territorial", a style of the pre-statehood period which included the addition of portales (large, covered porches) and white-painted window and door pediments (and also sometimes terra cotta tiles on sloped roofs, but with flat roofs still dominating). The city had become "different". However, "in the rush to pueblofy"  Santa Fe, the city lost a great deal of its architectural history and eclecticism. Among the architects most closely associated with this new style are T. Charles Gaastra and John Gaw Meem.
By an ordinance passed in 1957, new and rebuilt buildings, especially those in designated historic districts, must exhibit a Spanish Territorial or Pueblo style of architecture, with flat roofs and other features suggestive of the area's traditional adobe construction. However, many contemporary houses in the city are built from lumber, concrete blocks, and other common building materials, but with stucco surfaces (sometimes referred to as "faux-dobe", pronounced as one word: "foe-dough-bee") reflecting the historic style.
In a September 2003 report by Angelou Economics, it was determined that Santa Fe should focus its economic development efforts in the following seven industries: Arts and Culture, Design, Hospitality, Conservation Technologies, Software Development, Publishing and New Media, and Outdoor Gear and Apparel. Three secondary targeted industries for Santa Fe to focus development in are health care, retiree services, and food & beverage. Angelou Economics recognized three economic signs that Santa Fe's economy was at risk of long-term deterioration. These signs were a lack of business diversity which tied the city too closely to fluctuations in tourism and the government sector the beginnings of urban sprawl, as a result of Santa Fe County growing faster than the city, meaning people will move farther outside the city to find land and lower costs for housing and an aging population coupled with a rapidly shrinking population of individuals under 45 years old, making Santa Fe less attractive to business recruits. The seven industries recommended by the report "represent a good mix for short-, mid-, and long-term economic cultivation." 
|City of Santa Fe Executive Branch |
|Mayor Pro-Tem||Peter Ives|
|City manager||Brian Snyder|
|City attorney||Kelley Brennan (interim) |
|City clerk||Yolanda Y. Vigil, CMC|
|Municipal Judge||Ann Yalman|
|Chief of police||Patrick Gallagher |
|Fire chief||Erik Litzenberg|
|City councilors||Signe Lindel, Renee Villareal, Peter Ives, Joseph Maestas, Carmichael Domiguez, Christopher Rivera, Ronald S. Trujillo, Michael Harris|
The city of Santa Fe is a charter city.  It is governed by a mayor-council system. The city is divided into four electoral districts, each represented by two councilors. Councilors are elected to staggered four-year terms and one councilor from each district is elected every two years.  : Article VI
The municipal judgeship is an elected position and a requirement of the holder is that they be a member of the state bar. The judge is elected to four-year terms.  : Article VII
The mayor is the chief executive officer of the city and is a member of the governing body. The mayor has numerous powers and duties, and while previously the mayor could only vote when there was a tie among the city council, the city charter was amended by referendum in 2014 to allow the mayor to vote on all matters in front of the council. Starting in 2018, the position of mayor will be a full-time professional paid position within city government.  : Article V Day-to-day operations of the municipality are undertaken by the city manager's office.  : Article VIII
Federal operations Edit
The Joseph M. Montoya Federal Building and Post Office serves as an office for U.S. federal government operations. It also contains the primary United States Postal Service post office in the city.  Other post offices in the Santa Fe city limits include Coronado,  De Vargas Mall,  and Santa Fe Place Mall.  The U.S. Courthouse building, constructed in 1889, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. 
The city is well known as a center for arts that reflect the multicultural character of the city it has been designated as a UNESCO Creative City in Design, Crafts and Folk Art. 
In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS MoneyWatch and U.S. News & World Report.  
Visual arts Edit
Canyon Road, east of the Plaza, has the highest concentration of art galleries in the city, and is a major destination for international collectors, tourists and locals. The Canyon Road galleries showcase a wide array of contemporary, Southwestern, indigenous American, and experimental art, in addition to Russian, Taos Masters, and Native American pieces.
Since its opening in 1995, SITE Santa Fe has been committed to supporting new developments in contemporary art, encouraging artistic exploration, and expanding traditional museum experiences. Launched in 1995 to organize the only international biennial of contemporary art in the United States, SITE Santa Fe has drawn global attention. The biennials are on par with such renowned exhibitions as the Whitney Biennial and the Venice Biennale. 
Santa Fe contains a lively contemporary art scene, with Meow Wolf as its main art collective. Backed by author George R. R. Martin,  Meow Wolf opened an elaborate art installation space, called House of Eternal Return, in 2016. 
There are many outdoor sculptures, including many statues of Francis of Assisi, and several other holy figures, such as Kateri Tekakwitha. The styles run the whole spectrum from Baroque to Post-modern.
Santa Fe's daily newspaper is the Santa Fe New Mexican and each Friday, it publishes Pasatiempo, its long-running calendar and commentary on arts and events. The Magazine has been the arts magazine of Santa Fe since its founding by Guy Cross in 1992. It publishes critical reviews and profiles New Mexico based artists monthly. Each Wednesday the alternative weekly newspaper, the Santa Fe Reporter, publishes information on the arts and culture of Santa Fe.
Video games Edit
The 2006 racing video game Need For Speed: Carbon has an unused part of its Palmont City setting called San Juan, which you briefly play in, in the tutorial for the game's career mode. The San Juan setting is very loosely based on Santa Fe. It has New Mexico flags all over the roads. [ citation needed ]
Music, dance, and opera Edit
Performance Santa Fe, formerly the Santa Fe Concert Association, is the oldest presenting organization in Santa Fe. Founded in 1937, Performance Santa Fe brings celebrated and legendary musicians as well as some of the world's greatest dancers and actors to the city year-round.  The Santa Fe Opera stages its productions between late June and late August each year. The city also hosts the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival which is held at about the same time, mostly in the St. Francis Auditorium and in the Lensic Theater. Also in July and August, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale holds its summer festival. Santa Fe has its own professional ballet company, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, which performs in both cities and tours nationally and internationally. Santa Fe is also home to internationally acclaimed Flamenco dancer's María Benítez Institute for Spanish Arts which offers programs and performance in Flamenco, Spanish Guitar and similar arts year round. Other notable local figures include the National Dance Institute of New Mexico and German New Age musician Deuter.
Santa Fe has many museums located near the downtown Plaza:
- – collections of modern and contemporary Southwestern art – contemporary Native American arts with political aspects – devoted to the work of O'Keeffe and others whom she influenced – located behind the Palace of the Governors – a contemporary art space
Several other museums are located in the area known as Museum Hill: 
- – folk art from around the world – Native American arts – Native American art and history
- Museum of Spanish Colonial Art – Tradition arts from the Spanish-colonial era to contemporary times. 
The New Mexico Style were an American Basketball Association franchise founded in 2005, but reformed in Texas for the 2007–8 season as the El Paso S'ol (which folded without playing an ABA game in their new city). The Santa Fe Roadrunners were a North American Hockey League team, but moved to Kansas to become the Topeka Roadrunners. Santa Fe's rodeo, the Rodeo De Santa Fe, is held annually the last week of June.  In May 2012 Santa Fe became the home of the Santa Fe Fuego of the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs. They play their home games at Fort Marcy Park. Horse racing events were held at The Downs at Santa Fe from 1971 until 1997.
Santa Fe has had an association with science and technology since 1943 when the town served as the gateway to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a 45-minute drive from the city. In 1984, the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) was founded to research complex systems in the physical, biological, economic, and political sciences. It has hosted such Nobel laureates as Murray Gell-Mann (physics), Philip Warren Anderson (physics), and Kenneth Arrow (economics). The National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR)  was founded in 1994 to focus on research at the intersection among bioscience, computing, and mathematics. In the 1990s and 2000s several technology companies formed to commercialize technologies from LANL, SFI and NCGR.
Due to the presence of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and the Santa Fe Institute, and because of its attractiveness for visitors and an established tourist industry, Santa Fe routinely serves as a host to a variety of scientific meetings, summer schools, and public lectures, such as International q-bio Conference on Cellular Information Processing, Santa Fe Institute's Complex Systems Summer School,  and LANL's Center For Nonlinear Studies  Annual Conference.
Touch the country [of New Mexico] and you will never be the same again.
Tourism is a major element of the Santa Fe economy, with visitors attracted year-round by the climate and related outdoor activities (such as skiing in years of adequate snowfall hiking in other seasons) plus cultural activities of the city and the region. Tourism information is provided by the convention and visitor bureau  and the chamber of commerce. 
Most tourist activity takes place in the historic downtown, especially on and around the Plaza, a one-block square adjacent to the Palace of the Governors, the original seat of New Mexico's territorial government since the time of Spanish colonization. Other areas include "Museum Hill", the site of the major art museums of the city as well as the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, which takes place each year during the second full weekend of July. The Canyon Road arts area with its galleries is also a major attraction for locals and visitors alike.
Some visitors find Santa Fe particularly attractive around the second week of September when the aspens in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains turn yellow and the skies are clear and blue. This is also the time of the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe, celebrating the "reconquering" of Santa Fe by Don Diego de Vargas, a highlight of which is the burning Zozobra ("Old Man Gloom"), a 50-foot (15 m) marionette.
Popular day trips in the Santa Fe area include locations such as the town of Taos, about 70 mi (113 km) north of Santa Fe. The historic Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera can be found about 30 mi (48 km) away. Santa Fe's ski resort, Ski Santa Fe, is about 16 mi (26 km) northeast of the city. Chimayo is also nearby and many locals complete the annual pilgrimage to the Santuario de Chimayo.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the 2010 census, there were 67,947 people living in the city. The racial makeup of the city residents was 78.9% White, 2.1% Native American 1.4% Asian and 3.7% from two or more races. A total of 48.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 46.2% of the population. 
As of the census  of 2000, there were 62,203 people, 27,569 households, and 14,969 families living in the city. The population density was 1,666.1 people per square mile (643.4/km 2 ). There were 30,533 housing units at an average density of 817.8 per square mile (315.8/km 2 ). According to the Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey, the racial makeup of the city was 75% White, 2.5% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 0.4% African American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 16.9% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 44.5% of the population.
There were 27,569 households, out of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.7% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals living alone, and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.90.
The age distribution was 20.3% under 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.7 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 89.0 men.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,392, and the median income for a family was $49,705. Men had a median income of $32,373 versus $27,431 for women. The per capita income for the city was $25,454. About 9.5% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.2% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.
- Bukhara, Uzbekistan (1988)
- Hidalgo del Parral, Mexico (1984)
- Holguín, Cuba (2001)
- Icheon, South Korea (2013)
- Livingstone, Zambia (2012)
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1992)
- Santa Fe, Spain (1983)
- Sorrento, Italy (1995)
- Tsuyama, Japan (1992)
- Zhangjiajie, China (2009)
Santa Fe is served by the Santa Fe Municipal Airport. Since June 2009, American Eagle has provided regional jet service to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. In November 2009, the airline expanded the Dallas service and added service to Phoenix. Since December 2012, Great Lakes Airlines has offered twice daily flight service between Santa Fe and Denver.  Passengers may also fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport and connect via ground transportation.  
Santa Fe is located on I-25. In addition, U.S. Routes 84 and 285 pass through the city, along St. Francis Drive. NM-599 forms a limited-access road bypass around the northwestern part of the city.
In its earliest alignment (1926–1937), U.S. Route 66 ran through Santa Fe. 
Public transportation Edit
Santa Fe Trails, run by the city, operates a number of bus routes within the city during business hours and also provides connections to regional transit.
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail service operating in Valencia, Bernalillo (including Albuquerque), Sandoval, and Santa Fe Counties. In Santa Fe County, the service uses 18 miles (29 km) of new right-of-way connecting the BNSF Railway's old transcontinental mainline to existing right-of-way in Santa Fe used by the Santa Fe Southern Railway. Santa Fe is currently served by four stations, Santa Fe Depot, South Capitol, Zia Road, and Santa Fe County/NM 599.
New Mexico Park and Ride, a division of the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and the North Central Regional Transit District operate primarily weekday commuter coach/bus service to Santa Fe from Torrance, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel and Los Alamos Counties in addition to shuttle services within Santa Fe connecting major government activity centers.   Prior to the Rail Runner's extension to Santa Fe, Park and Ride operated commuter coach service between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Along with the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, a commuter rail line serving the metropolitan areas of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, the city or its environs are served by two other railroads. The Santa Fe Southern Railway, now mostly a tourist rail experience but also carrying freight, operates excursion services out of Santa Fe as far as Lamy, 15 miles (24 km) to the southeast. The Santa Fe Southern line is one of the United States' few rails with trails. Lamy is also served by Amtrak's daily Southwest Chief for train service to Chicago, Los Angeles, and intermediate points. Passengers transiting Lamy may use a special connecting coach/van service to reach Santa Fe.
Multi-use bicycle, pedestrian, and equestrian trails are increasingly popular in Santa Fe, for both recreation and commuting. These include the Dale Ball Trails, a 24.4-mile (39.3 km) network starting within two miles (3.2 km) of the Santa Fe Plaza the long Santa Fe Rail Trail to Lamy the Atalaya Trail up Atalaya Mountain and the Santa Fe River Trail. Santa Fe is the terminus of three National Historic Trails: El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, the Old Spanish National Historic Trail, and the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.
Santa Fe has three public high schools:
Public schools in Santa Fe are operated by Santa Fe Public Schools, with the exception of the New Mexico School for the Arts, which is a public/private partnership comprising the NMSA-Art Institute, a nonprofit art educational institution, and NMSA-Charter School, an accredited New Mexico state charter high school.
The city's institutions of higher education include St. John's College, a liberal arts college the Institute of American Indian Arts, a tribal college for Native American arts Southwestern College, a graduate school for counseling and art therapy and Santa Fe Community College.
The city has six private college preparatory high schools: Santa Fe Waldorf School,  St. Michael's High School, Desert Academy,  New Mexico School For The Deaf, Santa Fe Secondary School, Santa Fe Preparatory School, and the Mandela International Magnet School. The Santa Fe Indian School is an off-reservation school for Native Americans. Santa Fe is also the location of the New Mexico School for the Arts, a public-private partnership, arts-focused high school. The city has many private elementary schools as well, including Little Earth School,  Santa Fe International Elementary School,  Rio Grande School, Desert Montessori School,  La Mariposa Montessori, The Tara School, Fayette Street Academy, The Santa Fe Girls' School, The Academy for the Love of Learning, and Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences.
New Mexico - History
The Albuquerque Historical Society (AHS) is a non-profit, membership organization of residents interested in promoting and preserving all matters relating to the history of Albuquerque, New Mexico and the surrounding communities. Founded in 1947 as the Old Town Historical Society, it originally focused on efforts to preserve the historic character of Old Town Albuquerque. Currently, AHS sponsors a series of monthly Programs and provides Educators with teacher resource guides. We also maintain a Speakers Bureau for primary and secondary schools, host a repository of Source Documents for education and research and honor individuals or group with Albuquerque History Accolades. To learn more about us visit our About page.
Downtown Albuquerque Walking Tours Suspended
The Albuquerque Historical Society Downtown Albuquerque Walking Tours have been suspended until further notice. Please check back for information on resumption of this service.
June AHS Program – Life of Mrs. Carnis Salisbury: Albuquerque Fair Housing and Civil Rights Pioneer
On June 20, 2021 at 2 pm, Brian Eagan, Attorney for the Albuquerque Housing Authority will present “Life of Mrs. Carnis Salisbury: Albuquerque Fair Housing and Civil Rights Pioneer.” Brian will be speaking about the remarkable life and lasting legacy of Mrs. Carnis Hightower Salisbury, an Albuquerque Fair Housing and Civil Rights Pioneer. We will learn about her upbringing, formal education and career in the federal government, her personal activism as a leader in the NAACP and work as a teacher. We will learn how she worked her whole life to help people overcome ignorance, racial discrimination and segregation, and to affirmatively further fair housing opportunities and equal employment opportunities for all people. We will learn how she helped lead the way forward to changing laws in our city and nation, then helped to educate local people, including local attorneys, on how to enforce those laws to ensure that equal justice under law would be a reality in our city.. The program will be live-streamed on the AHS Facebook page. Read More
June 2021 Online & In-Person New Mexico History & Culture Opportunities
Most State of New Mexico museums and historic sites are now open and metro Albuquerque museums are open on a limited basis. However, m any museums and history organizations are still providing free lectures & programs via Zoom, YouTube or the Facebook page of the organization. View the June 2021 Online & In-Person New Mexico History & Culture Opportunities web page compiled as a volunteer effort by Janet Saiers
Become a Member of the Albuquerque Historical Society
We welcome new members of all ages. It is not necessary to be a historian or have prior knowledge of Albuquerque or New Mexico history. Members receive advance notice via e-mail about forthcoming events sponsored by the AHS, and other societies interested in history, plus opportunities to participate in community and educational outreach activities. To become a member or to renew your current membership, visit our AHS Membership page.
Past AHS Presentations Available for On-Line Viewing
The Albuquerque Historical Society provides videos of scheduled program presentations that are live-streamed to the Society’s Facebook Page. If viewed live, the Facebook live stream event allows those who are unable to attend the opportunity to participate in the question and answer session following the event. The video presentations are permanently available in the “Videos” section of the AHS Facebook page as well as embedded in the appropriate AHS Program pages.To see a list of AHS program videos, visit our AHS Program Videos page.
A History Lover’s Guide to Albuquerque available for online purchase
Signed copies of AHS Board Member Roger Zimmerman’s book, A History Lover’s Guide to Albuquerque are available to purchase on the AHS Website. Shipping is free and payment is via PayPal, but a PayPal account is not required if you wish to use a credit card. Please allow about a week for shipping. Roger will also be selling copies at AHS and other functions (credit cards accepted). Roger is donating a portion of proceeds for AHS online and personal sales to the Albuquerque Historical Society.
This book goes beyond the traditional guidebook to offer a historical journal through an area rich with diverse cultures and their fascinating past. Major museums, libraries, ethnic centers, historical displays and special historical treasures will be discussed. It is intended that this guide will help the reader find satisfaction in either visiting or exploring topics of choice.
Albuquerque History Accolades
The Albuquerque Historical Society Accolades Program recognizes the contributions of individuals, businesses, groups, and public or private institutions whose efforts bring awareness to and/or contribute to our knowledge of the broad patterns of Albuquerque’s history with an emphasis on recently occurring commemorative events. The criteria for receiving an AHS Accolade is broad and includes, but not limited to, recognizing institutions or groups that sponsor events to celebrate or raise awareness of Albuquerque history and individuals who raise awareness of Albuquerque history through talks, lectures, or other actions. To find out how to suggest a History Accolade or to view those awarded, visit our Albuquerque History Accolades page.
Journalist Elaine Briseño – Investigates Albuquerque History
Investigative Journalist Elaine D. Briseño has been recognized by the Albuquerque Historical Society for an Albuquerque History Accolade. She has objectively worked towards uncovering the hidden truths and facts about some of Albuquerque’s little known history. Elaine has demonstrated that she possesses the knowledge, patience and persistence to find the facts on a topic through interviews and research. Her widely disseminated articles have promoted and fostered a deeper understanding of Albuquerque and its history. Read More.
Vista Larga Historic District Booklet
The Vista Larga Mid-Century Modern Residential Historic District has recently created a booklet that provides a brief history of the neighborhood from its platting in 1947 to 1967, the year when most of the homes were completed. It describes how the subdivision exemplifies Albuquerque’s post-war housing development and its place in the city’s history. The booklet also describes the architectural movement known as “Mid-Century Modern” which includes house-styles that became extremely popular in the second half of the twentieth century, including Ranch House, Contemporary and International styles. A grant from the City of Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund was used to produce the booklet. The Albuquerque Historical Society supported the Vista Larga Historic District application for the grant and serves as the fiscal agent for the grant. However, no AHS funds were used in its production. To view this excellent booklet, you can download it here. You can also download the Vista Larga Walking Tour Map.
AHS Member Participation Opportunity
The Albuquerque Historical Society often receives questions from people about Albuquerque history in general or as it relates to their personal lives. AHS volunteers reply to these questions with answers or referrals to other individuals and organizations that may have answers. AHS is inviting its members to help reply to such questions if they choose. If you are a member of AHS and would like to volunteer to help respond to AHS website inquiries, see our Member Participation on AHS Website Inquiries page.
Roswell and &aposFlying Saucerism&apos Today
Today, many people continue to believe that the government and the military are covering up the truth about alien landings at and around Roswell. In 1994, the Pentagon declassified most of its files on Project Mogul and the dummy drops, and the federal General Accounting Office produced a report (“Report of Air Force Research Regarding the Roswell Incident”) designed to debunk these rumors. Nevertheless, there are still people who subscribe to the UFO theory, and hundreds of thousands of curiosity seekers visit Roswell and the crash site every year, hoping to find out the truth for themselves.
Access hundreds of hours of historical video, commercial-free, with HISTORY Vault. Start your free trial today.