Local History Articles
There is plenty of history along El Camino Real in New Mexico. Foundation board member Paul Harden authors history articles for Socorro'sEl Defensor Chieftain newspaper. These articles are more or less specific to the rich and varied history of Socorro County and
surrounding areas. Some of the articles are found below. Most articles contain numerous historical and present-day photos.
writes these articles to document and share the history of Socorro County and may be printed out for your personal use and excerpts
may be used in publications with proper credit. However, these articles are copyrighted and are not to be used in whole or placed
on the internet or other websites without consent of the author (usually, easily granted, email na5n at zianet.com).
Local history articles by Paul Harden
Mission Churches of Socorro County, Part 1
History of early Spanish missions along
El Camino Real in the early 1600s to a
few more "modern" ones. Includes early Socorro missions, San Miguel, Santa Rita, Lady of Fatima (Florida)
Mission Churches of Socorro County, Part 2
More mission churches in Socorro County, most along the east and west branches of El
Camino Real. Includes San Acacia, La Joyita, Alamillo, Polvadera, Lemitar, Bosquecito, San Antonio, San Marcial, Magdalena
Ghost Towns (and nearly forgotten towns) of Socorro County, Part 1
The history of some of the old towns and villages on the
EAST side of the Camino Real trail.
Includes Abo and Abo Pass, Scholle, Carthage, Tokay, Adobe, Ozzane, Claunch
This webpage of local history articles provided by:
El Camino Real Historic Trail Center
South of Socorro, New Mexico on I-25
Ghost Towns (and nearly forgotten towns) of Socorro County, Part 2
The history of some of the old towns and villages on the WEST
side of the Camino Real trail.
Includes Rosedale, Turkey Springs, Water Canyon, Ojo Caliente, Puertocito, Manuelo Rito
La Leyenda de La Llorona
One of New Mexico's most enduring legends ... the spirit ghost of La Llorona ... roaming the Rio Grande looking
for her children. This version is that common to Socorro and southern New Mexico. Did the legend spread throughout New
Mexico and Mexico along El Camino Real?
Click on photo to launch file (or on Part 1 or Part 2 tag)
All articles open as a .pdf file
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, Part 1
Early history of El Camino Real through Socorro County and Jornada del Muerto from 1598 to
the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Includes maps and photos of the trail.
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, Part 2
Later history of El Camino Real through Socorro County and Jornada del Muerto from the
1698 de Vargas conquest to the 1880s arrival of the railroad. Includes maps and photos of the trail.
The Lost Adams Diggings (2-part article)
Without a doubt, one of the Southwest's
most famous lost gold stories. It appears the Lost Adams Diggings and the zig-zag canyon are located near the Socorro-Catron County
line. But where?
<---click on map to enlarge.
Socorro County History: El Camino Real - Ghost Towns - Lost Adam's Diggings - Mission Churches - La Llorona - more
Cold Cases (2-part article)
A look at New Mexico's most famous unsolved crime (Col. Albert Fountain), and some of Socorro
County's cold cases from the 1880s to the present day.
Las Posadas y Las Pastorelas
Franciscan friars from Mexico and Spain came to New Mexico along El Camino Real, bringing with them song
and theatrical performances to teach the native Pueblo Indians the Christmas story -- a rich part of New Mexico's holiday heritage
The Pedro Armendaris Land Grant
In 1819, Pedro Armendaris applied for a "little" land grant that turned out to be a half-million acres. El
Camino Real along the Jornada del Muerto runs through much of the Armendaris. It is today's Ted Turner Ranch.
through the Jornada del Muerto
The famous ride of John Cremony and his trusted steed chased by Apache warriors for 100
miles of the Camino Real and his other 1850s exploits surveying the U.S.-Mexico border.
Apache Warriors (2-part article)
An honest look at the Apache - those that lived
in peace and those that remained warriors until the final surrender. All Apache became "prisoners of war," their numbers dwindled
from thousands to a few hundred while in captivity. Today, they are our neighbors in New Mexico and Socorro County.
Blazing the Overland Trails (2-part article)
A look at emigrant trails other than El Camino Real
that brought tens of thousands
of emigrants to the West. Part I
covers the California-Oregon
looks at the Mormon Battalion
the Southern Emigrant Trail
, the Brewsterite Mormon sect
that settled in Socorro, and the Oatman Massacre
The Last Flight of B-17 No. 4161
On October 15, 1942, a B-17 on a training mission from Alamogordo, NM crashed into North Baldy Peak
near Magdalena. This is the complete story from the official U.S. Army Air Corps accident report to local witnesses.
The 1964 Socorro UFO Incident
In April 1964, Socorro City Policeman Lonnie Zamora witnessed what has become one of the most well-known
UFO landing cases. This is the real story as it occured in Socorro and from many of the local people involved.
In memory of Lonnie Zamora, who died Nov. 2009 after this article was published and prepared with his assistance.
What's In A Name? (2-part article)
The origins of New Mexico's
families, many arriving 1600-1700s over El Camino Real from Spain and Mexico - New Mexico's 1st families.
Murder At Mogollon
In February 1912, two ruffians robbed the Mogollon Mercantile store of the payroll for the Last Chance mine -- killing
two store clerks. The manhunt, trial, and execution is an interesting look at New Mexico's history shortly after statehood.
Lemitar y La Sagrada Familia mission church
A history of the village of Lemitar and the 1830s built La Sagrada Familia de Lemitar Catholic
church. North of Socorro, Lemitar was built on the west branch of El Camino Real.
Note: This historic church collapsed in 2011 andis being rebuilt in its original splendor.
Polvadera y Chamisal: Historic Villages
A history of Polvadera and Chamisal, the San Lorenzo Land Grant and San Lorenzo mission
church. North of Socorro, Polvadera and Chamisal were built on the west branch of El Camino Real.
Socorro's Territorial Saloons -- Part 1
A history of Socorro's Territorial Saloons, Socorro's old vineyards and breweries, and who
built and owned them.
By Robert Eveleth and Paul Harden
Socorro's Territorial Saloons -- Part 2
The Capitol Bar
The history of the Capitol Bar -- Socorro's only surviving Territorial Saloon.
Robert Eveleth and Paul Harden
The Trinity Test - Day of the Double Sunrise
A look at the first atomic bomb detonation near Socorro, NM, and the "secret" base, from a
local perspective and eye witnesses still living in Socorro.
San Marcial & Floods of the Rio Grande
Disasterous floods down the Rio Grande have destroyed towns and villages for centuries.
San Marcial and other towns were completely destroyed by floods in 1929 and 1937.
Western Union and the Railroad Telegraphers
In 2006, Western Union sent the last Telegram - ending an era. This article presents the
history - and a tribute to - the old railroad telegraphers, the birth of "wireless" and Western Union that changed our world
to how we communicate today.
The New Mexico Rangers
The history of the New Mexico Mounted Police, today's State Patrol.
And, it all started in Socorro.
Fraley Limestone Quarry & Kilns
History of Fraley, one of Socorro County's ghost towns, and once one of the largest limestone kiln
operations in the state.
By Robert Eveleth and Paul Harden
Railroading Abo Pass
History of railroading in NM with the ATSF and now BNSF, from the building of Raton Pass to Abo Pass, and the
recent double track expansion through Abo Pass.
Some local stories of haunted buildings, ghost sightings, and people "out of time."
The Foods of New Mexico
Corn, wheat, beans, watermelons, and of course green or red chili. What foods were native to the
pueblo Indians of New Mexico?, and which foods were brought here from Europe by the Spaniards along El Camino Real ? Some tasteful history.
The Crown Mill and the Greenwald Family
Once one of the largest grist mills in NM built by the Greenwald family, a German family immigrating
to Socorro from Odessa, Ukraine.
Addendum: Internal photos of the mill and the surviving machinery and other information.
RMS Titanic (1912-2012)
In rememberance of the Titanic 100 years ago, some history of the event seldom told, the Carpathia rescue and
the role of wireless.
The Confederat Retreat from New Mexico
150 years ago (1862-2012), the Confederate Army was defeated at Glorietta Pass and forced to
walk back to San Antonio, Texas - one of the longest retreats in U.S. military history.
Legend of "the Lady in Blue"
A story of Sor María de Jesús de Ágreda, the
Blue Nun, who spiritually traveled to minister to the
pueblo Indians along El Camino Real and beyond in the 1600s -- a mystery to this day.
In memory of Ray Carrero (SK), one of the last railroad telegraphers, who died Oct. 2011.
Some of the "buried treasure" stories in southern New Mexico and around Socorro ... from lost 1600s Spanish gold
to the "lost mines" of the 1800s.
There's gold in them thar hills!
Teipana Pueblo -- the First Socorro
was on El Camino Real and renamed Socorro by Onate in 1598 for the help and
aid they received. The people, and the name, moved to the Pilabo pueblo in the 1620s - today's Socorro
- History of Teipana
- the 1st Socorro
- Archaeological excavations of Teipana
(Plaza Montoya) by Dr. Michael Bletzer
Death of an Editor
The killing of Anthony Conklin, editor of the Socorro Sun, and how his murder caused the formation of the Socorro