Local History Articles
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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.
Usage: Paul 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
Home                   El Camino Real International Heritage Center 
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 Exit 115
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
Click here to contact the author
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.
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The Lost Adams Diggings (2-part article)
Part 1 here       Part 2 here
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)
Part 1 here    Cold cases from the 1800s
Part 2 here    1900s cases, including the Lorius case.
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.
Updated 28 DEC 2013
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 today.
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.
Cremony's Ride
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)
Part 1 here      Part 2 here
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 and the
Mormon Trails.
Part II 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)
Part 1 here - Abeyta to Marquez
Part 2 here - Romero to Vargas
The origins of New Mexico's families, many arriving 1600-1700s over El Camino Real from Spain and Mexico - New Mexico's 1st families.
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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.
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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.
By 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.
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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.
Haunted Socorro
Some local stories of haunted buildings, ghost sightings, and people "out of time."
Part 1 (Halloween 2009)
Part 2 (Halloween 2011)
And, just for fun . . .
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.
History articles related to El Camino Real trail
History articles of other local interest
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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.
Buried Treasure
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
Part 1 - History of Teipana - the 1st Socorro
Part 2 - 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 Vigilantes.
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