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Socorro County Markers
New Mexico (Socorro County), La Joya — Acomilla
The Camino Real wound its way below the black basaltic buttes of San Acacia, seen to the southeast. Named Acomilla, or Acomita (little Acoma) by the Spanish, these buttes form the walls of a narrow passage for the Rio Grande, along which hostile Apache frequently waited in ambush. Travelers had to organize into well-armed caravans to assure their safety along this section of the Camino Real — Map (db m45215) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), La Joya — La Joya de Sevilleta
Present-day La Joya is located near the site of an ancient Piro Indian Pueblo that the Spanish named Nueva Sevilla, or Sevilleta. During the eighteenth century, this was the southernmost settlement along the Camino Real before the travelers ended the despoblado, or uninhabited area, between here and El Paso del Norte. Every fall, caravans assembled here in preparation for this portion of the journey. — Map (db m67105) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), La Joya — Rio Salado Sand Dunes
Dunes along this part of the Rio Grande Valley are formed by sand blown northeastward from the normally dry bed of the Rio Salado (salty river). The Rio Grande is in a deep trench between the uplifted Los Pinos Mountains to the east and the Ladrones Mountains to the northwest. Rocks from the crest of the Ladrones are found four miles deep below the dunes. — Map (db m45219) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Lemitar — Sabino Y Lemitar
The Camino Real passed near here below the bluffs on the east bank of the Rio Grande. Apache raids prevented permanent Spanish settlement of this area until the early 1800s, when the village of Sabino was established on the east bank of the river and Lemitar on the west side. A ford across the river linked the villages, and a west bank branch of the Camino Real soon developed. — Map (db m45178) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Espejo's Expedition(On the Camino Real)
In 1582 and 1583, Antonio de Espejo and his party followed the Rio Grande north to the Bernalillo area. Espejo was trying to learn the fate of two Franciscan friars who stayed with the Pueblo Indians after the Rodriquez – Sanchez/Chamuscado expedition returned to Mexico in 1581. — Map (db m68057) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Fort Craig Rest Area
Fort Craig is on alluvial gravelly sands, derived from the mountains to the west, sloping toward Rio Grande to east. Magdalena Mountains to northwest and San Mateo Mountains to west are mainly thick piles of volcanic rocks. San Andres Mountains on southwest horizon are of older limestones an shales. Elevation 4,810 feet. — Map (db m68055) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Kelly
Silver was discovered in Kelly around 1866 and the town site was laid out in circa 1879. Kelly boomed with silver mining and eventually zinc mining, becoming one of central New Mexico's most prosperous mining towns. At one time it boasted a population of 3,000. When zinc played out in the 1930's, Kelly began to die and is now a ghost town. — Map (db m38862) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Magdalena
Magdalena is located in a mineral-rich area which became a center of silver mining in the 1860's. In 1885, a railroad was built to the smelter in Socorro, and Magdalena became an important railhead for cattle, sheep, and ore. — Map (db m38860) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Magdalena Fault
Magdalena Mountains to the west are topped by South Baldy at 10,783 feet; Magdalena Peak at 8,152 feet. La Jencia plain to the east is bisected by Water Canyon three miles below this marker. The bench along the edge of the mountains is Magdalena Fault, dividing uplifted mountains from the plains below. — Map (db m38471) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Magdalena Fault
The Magdalena Mountains to the west are topped by South Baldy at 10,783 feet; Magdalena Peak at 8,152 feet. La Jencia plain to the east is bisected by Water Canyon three miles below this marker. The bench along the edge of the mountains is Magdalena Fault, dividing the uplifted mountains from the plains below. — Map (db m38885) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Magdalena Livestock Driveway
South across the road lies one of the west's historic "hoof highways" which was used annually from 1885 until 1971. Sheep and cattle were driven to and from the railroad at Magdalena, NM or to Springerville, AZ. The driveway was 5 to 10 miles wide and covered 200 square miles. The peak trailing year, 1919, saw 150,000 sheep and 21,600 cattle pass this point. In the 1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps fenced the driveway and drilled water wells every 10 miles. During the drives, cowboys and . . . — Map (db m60565) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Paraje De Fra Cristobal
The mountain range seen along the east bank of the Rio Grande is named after Father Cristobal de Salazar of the 1598 Juan de Onate expedition. The northern edge of the twenty-one mile range is said to resemble the profile of the good friar. This paraje, or encampment, was a place of rest for caravans on the Camino Real as they entered or exited the Jornada del Muerto. — Map (db m68056) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), San Acacia — Rio Salado Sand DunesElevation 4,850 ft.
Winds blowing across the usually dry, sandy riverbed of Rio Salado formed dunes along this part of the Rio Grande Valley. The Rio Grande, just southwest here, follows a massive geological trench shaped millions of years ago when huge blocks of land sank as the earth in central New Mexico slowly began pulling apart. The resulting Rio Grande Rift uplifted Los Piños Mountains to the east. Northwest are the Sierra Ladrones. Rocks on their 9,000–foot crests are similar to those buried four miles beneath these dunes. — Map (db m67211) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), San Antonio — Carthage-Tokay-Farley
In the 1860s, a coal field east of San Antonio was occasionally mined by soldiers for heating fuel and to fire their blacksmith ovens. In 1883, the Santa Fe railroad built a bridge across the Rio Grande at San Antonio and laid track to the new coal mining town of Carthage. The settlements of Farley and Tokay sprang up around the nearby lime kilns and coal mines. — Map (db m45175) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), San Antonio — San AntonioOn the Camino Real
Established in the mid 1600s, the mission of San Antonio de Senecú was the last outpost on the Camino Real before the Mesilla Valley to the south. Around 1820 Hispano settlers from the north re-occupied the area after the Pueblo Revolt. Conrad Hilton got his start here, carrying luggage from the train station to his father's hotel located in his family's adobe house. — Map (db m45172) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), San Antonio — San Pedro
Established in the 1840s on the east bank of the Rio Grande, San Pedro became an important trading center along the Camino Real. The sister village of San Antonio, it was once known for its extensive vineyards and other agricultural produce. The village waxed and waned over the years, declining significantly in the 1940s, and is now almost abandoned. — Map (db m45174) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), San Marcial — Fort Craig
Fort Craig, which replaced Fort Conrad located about nine miles north, was established to control Indian raids along the Jornada del Muerto. Troops from Fort Craig were defeated by Confederate forces at the Battle of Valverde, 7 miles distant, in 1862. Capt. Jack Crawford, the "Poet Scout," was stationed here. — Map (db m24312) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — For Southern Independence
(front): Victory Awaits You. (back): This monument honors and perpetuates the memory of the brave Texas citizen volunteers who offered their lives and fortunes in the defense of the Confederate states of America during the war for southern independence throughout the New Mexico campaign of 1861-1862. Marching from San Antonio Texas these men honorably served in the confederate army of New Mexico commanded by Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley. Lest we never forget . . . — Map (db m64055) HM WM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — Fort Craig
Fort Craig was established in 1853 and garrisoned in 1854 with troops from Fort Conrad located about nine miles north. Named after Capt. Louis S. Craig, it was used to control Indian raids along the Jornada del Muerto. Troops from Fort Craig were defeated in 1865 by Confederates at the Battle of Valverde, 7 miles distant. Between 1863 and 1865 it was headquarters for campaigns against the Gila and Mimbres Apache. — Map (db m45130) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — Jumbo
This is a fragment from Jumbo, a huge steel vessel designed to contain the explosion of the first nuclear device at the Trinity Site some 35 miles southeast of here on July 16, 1945. Jumbo was 25 feet long, 12 feet in diameter, and weighed 214 tons. Its steel walls were 14 inches thick. Although Jumbo was not used in the tests, it was 800 feet from ground zero at the time and escaped without damage except for a steel superstructure around it which was crumpled by the blast. Jumbo was used in . . . — Map (db m35908) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Museum
Based on personal collection willed to the New Mexico School of Mines by C.T. Brown in 1928, this museum displays thousands of mineral specimens from around the world with special emphasis on minerals found in New Mexico. Highlights include smithsonite from Kelly (Magdalena District), linarite from Bingham, Grants District uranium, Carlsbad potash, Silver City copper, Harding pegmatite minerals, and numerous fossils. — Map (db m38753) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — New Mexico Tech
Founded in 1889 as New Mexico's School of Mines, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology offers degrees through the doctorate in a number of science and engineering disciplines. In addition to its academic functions, the institute also conducts extensive research and development activities. — Map (db m38461) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — Paraje De Fra Cristobal
The mountain range seen along the east bank of the Rio Grande is named after Father Cristobal de Salazar of the 1598 Juan de Oñate expedition. The northern edge of the twenty-one mile range is said to resemble the profile of the good friar. This paraje, or encampment, was a place of rest for caravans on the Camino Real as they entered or exited the Jornada del Muerto. — Map (db m45132) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — Socorro
The Piro Indian pueblo Teypana was visited by Juan de Onate in 1598. The people of the village reportedly supplied corn to Onate who bestowed the name Socorro ("aid" in Spanish) on the pueblo. In 1626, the mission of Nuestra Senora de Socorro was built at the nearby pueblo of Pilabo. Abandoned during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the present town was founded in 1815. — Map (db m38462) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — Socorro
In 1598, Juan de Oñate's Spanish colonization expedition arrived here at the Piro Indian Pueblo of Pilabo, They renamed it Socorro owning to the food and shelter provided by Pilabo's inhabitants. The pueblo and its Spanish mission were destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt, and the area was not resettled until 1815. A west bank road connected Socorro to the Camino Real on the east side of the Rio Grande. — Map (db m45177) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — The Garcia Opera House
Using the gold he had left her, the widow of Juan Nepomuceno Garcia began construction of the Garcia Opera House is 1884. It was completed three years later in 1887. It served as the main center for cultural and community events including theatrical productions, balls, marriages etc. The curved shaped of the massive 34-inch walls strengthened the building and improved acoustics. The "rake" stage is one of very few still in existence in the U.S. Restoration began in 1983 and was completed in . . . — Map (db m45176) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — Vásquez de Coronado’s Route
In 1541 an expedition from the army of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, New Mexico’s first explorer, marched south 80 leagues to investigate the pueblos along the lower Río Grande. The group reached that part of the infamous Jornada del Muerto, now covered by Elephant Butte Lake, where the river disappeared underground. — Map (db m45129) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Socorro — Women of the Camino Real
Front of Marker In 1598 the first Spanish settlers in New Mexico traveled up the Camino Real from north-central Mexico. Of the 560 people so far identified on that expedition, at least 20 percent were women. They came on foot, on wagons or horseback, and were the first of thousands of women who suffered the arduous journey traveling back and forth, sometimes more than once, on the trail. Rear of Marker The legacy of these women is evident from place names, communities . . . — Map (db m45131) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Veguita — Las Nutrias
During the late 17th century, this area had become well known to the Spanish. Called La Vega de Las Nutrias, or meadow of the beavers, it was a welcome paraje, or stopping place, for caravans on the Camino Real. Eighteenth century attempts at settlement in this region failed, but by 1860 the current village had been established and a church had been built by the new settlers. — Map (db m67080) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), White Sands Proving Grounds — McDonald Ranch House Trinity SiteNational Historic Landmark — 1972
Restored by US Army White Sands Missile Range US Department of Energy National Park Service 1984 In the front room of this humble ranch house the world's first nuclear device was assembled on 13 July 1945. The device was then taken to Trinity Site, two miles from here, where it was placed into a test bomb and detonated at dawn on 16 July 1945. This historic event signaled the dawn of a new age and was forever to change the human experience. While nuclear technology was born of war, it . . . — Map (db m15072) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), White Sands Proving Grounds — Trinity Site
. . . — Map (db m4314) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), White Sands Proving Grounds — Trinity Site
The world's first atomic explosion occurred on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity Site near the north end of the historic Jornada del Muerto. It marked the beginning of the nuclear age, and the culmination of the Manhattan Project. The site, now part of the White Sands Missile Range, is closed to the public. — Map (db m15073) HM
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