New Mexico Historic Sites

New Mexico Historic Sites Visiting a New Mexico Historic Site promises to grant you a deeper understanding of those who have gone before us and helped make us who we are today.

The Leasburg Diversion Dam

Water is a vital part of the New Mexico economy. In this episode of Alexandra's Adventures, Alexandra visits the Leasburg Diversion Dam. The Dam was built as part of a larger national effort to help improve access to irrigation water for farmlands and communities throughout the American West. Today, the Leasburg Diversion Dam is not only a key component in in helping Southern New Mexico thrive, but is also a beautiful spot to visit along the Rio Grande.

For more from New Mexico Historic Sites' summer video series follow this link:

July 19th 1878, is the anniversary of the final scene of the “5 Day Battle” of the Lincoln County War. At approximately ...

July 19th 1878, is the anniversary of the final scene of the “5 Day Battle” of the Lincoln County War. At approximately this hour, Billy the Kid and several other Regulators were surrounded by the Murphy-Dolan Faction and attempted a daring escape from the “Burning” McSween House to the Rio Bonito, which was located behind the house. Although Billy the Kid escaped, others in his group were not so lucky, including Alexander McSween.


🎵🎶 Music with Marlon, "Pollen Flower", Week 7🎶🎵
Join Jemez Pueblo tribal member and Jemez Historic Site Instructional Coordinator, Marlon Magdalena as he performs one of his songs entitled, "Pollen Flower" on a wooden Native American Style Flute.

For more summer activities got to

On August 24, 2020, our beloved friend and mentor, J. Paul Taylor, will celebrate his 100th birthday. Join the Virtual C...

On August 24, 2020, our beloved friend and mentor, J. Paul Taylor, will celebrate his 100th birthday. Join the Virtual Celebration! The Taylor Friends and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs are going to honor Mr. Taylor by producing a special video to celebrate his birthday. It will be premiered on the Friends web site and on Facebook on Sunday, August 23, 2020 at 3:30 pm. Help us by telling your friends and family about the virtual event. To find more information go to the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property's page.

Historic Lincoln’s Tunstall Store is full of brands and products from yesterday. A retail scene frozen in time! What are...

Historic Lincoln’s Tunstall Store is full of brands and products from yesterday. A retail scene frozen in time! What are your favorite items on display in the Tunstall Store?

🏕🥾Campfire Stories with Carly: Camping with Georgia O'Keeffe and Maria Chabot

"No matter how much one wants, or how carefully one plans to do a thing, when it is done under the sky....the sky determines it" - Maria Chabot, 1943

On this week's Campfire Stories with Carly we listen to Maria Chabot recall her experience camping in the Bisti Badlands, or as O'Keeffe calls it "The Black Place," in a letter she writes to O'Keeffe's husband, Alfred Stiegletz.

Deposition From a Navajo Woman CaptiveBy Rebekha C. CrockettAs has been discussed in previous articles, while orders wer...

Deposition From a Navajo Woman Captive
By Rebekha C. Crockett

As has been discussed in previous articles, while orders were to only shoot adult men, the Navajo Campaign presented many dangers and hardships to women and children as well, not the least of which was the booming slave trade of Native peoples during this time period. Yet the voices of women and children were seldom recorded in the historical record. In this week’s article we contrast the experience of a person named only as “a Navajo woman captive” (documented by Captain Francis McCabe) with a letter from Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Felipe Delgado which places a positive spin on the practice of slavery. Both pieces of correspondence were written in July 1865.

On July 9th, 1865, in Albuquerque, Captain Francis McCabe recorded a deposition from a Navajo woman captive. Jose Maria Ruis was the interpreter (see images for an excerpt of the deposition). He mailed headquarters a copy of the deposition along with the following letter:
“It is evident from the examination that Capt. Calloway was mistaken when he stated that this woman had escaped from the reservation; but whether the parties who captured her had a right to sell her or not is a question… submitted for the consideration of the General Commanding. It is certain that her case is a sad one and would excite the sympathy of any person not dead to the nobler feelings of humanity. That she has suffered hard treatment from her last owner I do not at all doubt, and she is still inconsolable for the loss of her 3 small children, one of whom was killed and 2 others captured when she was taken. Subsequent to the above examination the interpreter stated that the woman said she had been brutally beaten by the person who kept her prisoner & also by his wife. The only hope she has is that the General Commanding will order that she be sent to Bosque Redondo where she can live with some of her relatives, and that her sisters who are held as prisoners at some distance below this place be sent there with her. I have never seen a case before in which my sympathies were so deeply enlisted and none which in my opinion is more deserving the attention of the General Commanding the Department. The woman who is unusually intelligent says that many of the wandering Navajoes now roaming in the Navajoe country would voluntarily surrender, if they did not dread falling in with armed parties of citizens from whom they expect no mercy. From all I can learn there were no other captive Indians near Bernalillo except some captives living at the residence of Hon. S. A. Hubbell who have been captured several years ago, and the judge says that they could not be induced to leave his service voluntarily…” In a postscript, McCabe added: “…She desired that her sisters be sent to the Bosque along with her”

Regarding the subject of slavery in New Mexico, on July 16th, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Felipe Delgado, wrote Commissioner William Dole:
“… the representation made to the government upon this subject have been greatly exaggerated. It is true there are among the citizens of the country a large number of Indian captives belonging to various tribes, that have been acquired by purchase from the Utah, Navajo, and other tribes; but rather from a Christian piety on the part of the whites to obtain them in order to instruct and educate them in civilization, and at the same time to leave them at full liberty whenever the Indians desired it; in some cases to remain until they were 21 years of age. This has been the practice in the country for the last century and a half, and the result arising from it has been to the captive favorable, humane, and satisfactory. When those Indians wish to marry, their guardians do not object, but rather treat them as their adopted children, and give them pecuniary aid [money] at the time of their marriage. When the guardian dies they usually leave something to the captives. But in my official capacity I am always ready to obey the laws and comply with the orders of my superiors. With this motive in view I hope you will give me such further instructions as may seem proper on the subject. I have already given orders to the several agents under my charge that under no pretext whatever will Indians be permitted hereafter to be bought and sold, or held as slaves. I will use all my vigilance to the end that this practice may be forever discontinued”

While the two accounts of slavery differ wildly, it is telling that the former is from the perspective of someone who was actually held as a slave.. After Carleton ordered all Dine (Navajo) slaves to be freed and taken to the Bosque, soldiers would go to homes where there were reports that Dine were being kept as slaves. From this, there are several documented cases of Dine telling soldiers at the first opportunity that they are being held against their will and often abused. There are also documented cases of slave owners going to great lengths to prevent handing over these individuals. Including in one instance where a Dine elder was found with infected sores on her wrists and ankles from being tied up at night to prevent her escape, and another woman being hidden under a pile of pots and pans in the kitchen and only being found when she called out to the soldiers for help, just to name some examples. While the hardships of Bosque Redondo were known, many Dine would choose it in order to at least be with their families and people. But those who traveled to Fort Sumner or other military posts to surrender risked being attacked, captured, killed, or sold into slavery en route by local New Mexican militias and slave traders, as demonstrated by the experiences of the woman McCabe interviewed. Delgado’s depiction of slavery in New Mexico was, at best, the exception not the norm.

The Healing History of Occupational Therapy at Fort Stanton

👩‍⚕️✂In this lesson and accompanying activity, kids will learn about the profession of Occupational Therapy and the legacy of healing at Fort Stanton. Through the use of arts and crafts, soldiers, students, seniors and wounded warriors have experienced the holistic healing of mind, body and soul for over 100 years. After the lesson, stick around to learn how to make a "whirligig!"

Visit for other activities and detailed "whirligig" instructions.

The Hermit of the Organ Mountains

In this week’s video, Alexandra visits with local historian David Thomas and learns about Giovanni Maria de Agostini, a monk who traveled all over the world creating religious communities. After unsuccessful attempts to create a religious group in Mesilla or Las Cruces, he died a mysterious death in the Organ Mountains. On his birthday weekend, hear the amazing story of the Wonder of the Century (the 19th century)!

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Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property

The Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property has its own page! Like and follow for updates on the property and share an invite with your friends list. Thank you for supporting the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property and all of the New Mexico Historic Sites.

Located on the historic plaza in Old Mesilla, the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property embodies the rich history and heritage of the Southwest Borderlands.

👨‍❤️‍👨👰Campfire Stories with Carly: New Mexico Poems

Grab your s'mores, jammies, and your hot cocoa! Campfire Stories with Carly brings you new stories from New Mexico each week. This week we are reading a selection of poems that follow the life of Sophia, a woman living her life in the Española Valley. Poems are from the book Sophia written by Joan Logghe. What aspects of these poems seem very "New Mexico" to you?

Her Feet Were Blisteredby Rebekha C. CrockettOn July 10th , 1864, a local Rancher named John L. Taylor wrote to Carleton...

Her Feet Were Blistered
by Rebekha C. Crockett

On July 10th , 1864, a local Rancher named John L. Taylor wrote to Carleton from his ranch in San Miguel County New Mexico, regarding a young Navajo girl he had found and taken in during the height of the military campaign against the Navajo:
John L. Taylor, writing to Carleton, stated: “On or about the 10th of March 1864 I found a Navajoe Girl about 13 years of age in a starving condition. Her feet were blistered and she could not Walk more than 40 or 50 yards without resting. Her covering was composed of a piece of old wagon sheet & a sheep skin which she had tied about her person…” Mr Taylor took the girl to his home. “…Mrs. Taylor now has her. She has been instructing, clothing and feeding her. She can now talk quite well in the Spanish language and has become very much attached to the Family & she now openly declares that she is an orphan & that she is not willing to go and live with the tribe and that if she is forced so to do that she will run away. The Family also have become very much attached to her & would like very much to keep her…”

The condition in which Mr. Taylor finds the girl is consistent with many other oral histories and written documents from the time period. General James Carleton, and his field commander, Colonel Kit Carson, launched a scorched earth warfare campaign that effected not just the warriors of the Navajo and Mescalero Apache, but the women and children. Crops were burned, food storages, clothing, tools, and other belongings were destroyed, water sources were poisoned, sheep and cattle were confiscated or slaughtered and left to rot, and homes were leveled. Orders were to shoot all men on sight and to capture women and children, but in the confusion women and children were often caught in the crossfire. Families became separated, children were left orphaned, and people would journey miles on foot seeking water, food, and shelter. Many Navajo were described as arriving at Bosque Redondo or military forts in a state of starvation and dressed in little more than rags due to the war. Often survivors would be forced into peonage, a form of slavery, by local New Mexicans. It is unclear what the situation of the girl is in regards to Mr. Taylor's family. Carleton had ordered all Navajo or Mescalero Apache being held as peons to be freed and sent to the Bosque Redondo Reservation. In order to avoid complying, owners would often lie and say that their slaves were attached to the family and were staying by choice. However, there are also several instances of New Mexicans sincerely taking in women and children who were victims of the Navajo Campaign that happened to cross their paths and were in need of help, including raising orphaned children as their own. Such might very well be the case in this instance. Regardless, while a cursory glance at the records does not reveal an immediate reply, in other similar cases, Carleton is known to have denied almost all requests of the kind, regardless of the particular circumstances.

Photo: Two navajo girls at Fort Sumner, Bosque Redondo Era, New Mexico. 1864-1868?. From the Collection of John Gaw Meem. Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors. Negative # 38197

The Paradoxical Pecos

Floods, winds, drought and salt. That's really the story of the Pecos River during the 1860's. The Mescalero Apache and Navajo people farmed land and irrigated near and from the Pecos River. Follow along with Instructional Coordinator Rhonda Gutierrez as she tells the story of the Pecos River on a typical windy day on the plains. Click the link to play the game Luck of the Draw and try your chances at farming near the Pecos River.

For more summer camp activities:

The Mesilla Riot of 1871

In August 1871, a deadly political riot broke out on the Mesilla Plaza. At least nine people died and more than 35 were injured. Join Instructional Coordinator Alexandra McKinney from the Mesilla Plaza as she tells the story of an event considered one of the bloodiest days in the Territorial History of New Mexico.

For more summer activities follow this link:

The Languages of New Mexico/ Los idiomas de Nuevo Mexico(In English y en español) On June 12, 1865, Chief Justice Kirby ...

The Languages of New Mexico/ Los idiomas de Nuevo Mexico
(In English y en español)

On June 12, 1865, Chief Justice Kirby Benedict wrote to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, William P. Dole the following report mentioning the lack of English speakers in the department in New Mexico and the issues that entails, stating:

“Neither the lately appointed superintendent (Felipe Delgado), nor either of the 4 agents recently commissioned, can keep their accounts or report to you in the English language. Labadie can nearly keep his accounts in English, and in Spanish can keep them in good form and style. He understands much of the English when he hears it spoken. (He is the one reappointed.) Salazar speaks a very little English. The superintendent and agents will necessarily have to depend upon clerks or friends to make out their accounts and reports for them. Much, therefore, will rest upon the integrity and good faith of the clerks or friends who may be trusted in a confidential relation with the officers in this portion of the Indian affairs…”

New Mexico has a long and rich linguistic history. For centuries, the area now known as New Mexico, has been home to a plethora of Native American tribes with many and diverse languages. Spain and then Mexico brought with them the Spanish language. French traders and trappers introduced a little French to the mix. Then, of course, with the acquisition of the territory of New Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 (and even before that through trade networks with Mexico) English was brought in. This legacy of multilingual and diverse populations has had both its unique advantages and challenges. Translators and interpreters, both official and unofficial, became crucial if effective communication were to occur among the diverse populations of the region. Even paperwork, the important yet tedious requirement for government operations, often needed to be translated in order to be useful. Errors in translation could lead to serious misunderstandings. Chief Justice Benedict’s emphasis on the need for clerks or friends with integrity and skill reflects the growing understanding of New Mexico’s rich linguistic history and the unique challenges it can sometimes present. Yet, it is worth noting that he does not mention the need for individuals who speak the languages of the Native American communities they work with. He also criticizes local New Mexican officials for not knowing English, and not those higher up in the Department of Indian Affairs for not knowing Spanish without seeming to realize the irony.

In the spirit of recognizing and appreciating the many languages spoken in New Mexico, this is my first, though hopefully not my last, bilingual article. Note: Spanish was chosen solely because they are the only two languages in which the author considers herself fluent enough to make the attempt to write an article.

El 12 de junio de 1865, el Presidente de la Corte Suprema del territorio Kirby Benedict, escribió al Comisionado de Asuntos Indígenas, William P. Dole, este informe mencionando la falta de hablantes de inglés en el departamento en Nuevo México y los problemas que esta situación presenta:

“Ni el superintendente recientemente designado (Felipe Delgado), ninguno de los 4 agentes recientemente encargados, pueden mantener sus cuentas o dar sus informes en inglés. Labadie más o menos puede mantener sus cuentas en inglés, y en español puede mantenerlas en buen estado y estilo. Él entiende gran parte del inglés cuando lo escucha. (Él es el que fue reinstalado). Salazar habla muy poco inglés. El superintendente y los agentes, por necesidad, tendrán que depender de secretarios o amigos para hacer sus cuentas e informes para ellos. Por lo tanto, mucho dependerá de la integridad y la buena fe de los secretarios o amigos en quienes se puede confiar una relación confidencial con los oficiales en esta parte de los asuntos Indígenas ... "

Nuevo México tiene una larga y rica historia lingüística. Durante siglos, el área ahora conocida como Nuevo México ha sido el hogar de varias tribus nativas con muchos y diversos idiomas. España, y luego México, trajeron con ellos el español. Los comerciantes y tramperos franceses introdujeron un poco de francés a la mezcla. Después, con la adquisición del territorio de Nuevo México por los EE.UU. en el Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo en 1848 (e incluso antes, con el intercambio comercial con México) se introdujo el inglés. Este legado de poblaciones multilingües y diversas ha tenido sus ventajas y desafíos. Los traductores e intérpretes, profesionales y novatos, se volvieron indispensables para tener una comunicación efectiva entre las diversas poblaciones de la región. Incluso el papeleo administrativo, el requisito importante pero tedioso para las operaciones del gobierno, a menudo necesitaba ser traducido para ser útil. Los errores en la traducción podían causar graves malentendidos. El énfasis de Benedict en la necesidad de secretarios o amigos capaces y con integridad refleja su comprensión de la rica historia lingüística de Nuevo México y los desafíos únicos que a veces puede presentar. Pero es notable que no menciona la importancia de tener personas con conocimiento de los idiomas de las poblaciones nativas con quienes trabajan. También critica a los funcionarios locales de Nuevo México por no poder hablar en inglés, pero no critica a los miembros principales del Departamento de Asuntos Indígenas por no poder hablar español, sin darse cuenta de la ironía.

En reconocimiento y apreciación por los muchos idiomas de Nuevo México, este es mi primer artículo bilingüe, aunque espero que no sea mi último. Nota: esto fue traducido al español, y no otros idiomas, solamente porque el inglés y el español son los únicos dos idiomas en los que la autora se considera lo suficientemente confidente como para tratar de hacer una traducción.


725 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM


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New Mexico Historic Sites

New Mexico Historic Sites are eight storied places to experience history where it happened. They invite you to hit the road and explore New Mexico. Follow in the footsteps of indigenous people, Spanish conquistadors, Civil War soldiers, outlaws, and lawmen. How often do you see a Native American kiva next to a 16th century Spanish colonial church, get a glimpse of military fort life, or walk through an historic town little changed from the 1800s? New Mexico Historic Sites offer exactly such unique experiences, and allow the visitor to discover the diverse history and prehistory of the state—all within a few hours drive by car.

Visiting a New Mexico historic site promises to grant you a deeper understanding of those who have gone before us and helped make us who we are today. Each site tells a unique story, important to the understanding of New Mexico history. So enjoy a day of discovery and Travel Back in Time. . . to each of the New Mexico Historic Sites.

Nearby museums


POST FB FEW YEARS BACK SO WHAT IS TOWN NAME I tried to call but fast busy. Please message me. We will be a great addition to all of your celebrations
The last magical night of lights at Jemez Historic Site this decade!
I love all the beautiful photos people are sharing of our wonderous state. Thank you.
CORADO MONUMENT visit each time is beautiful even more when you take an wonderful friend out of state like JIM FERGUSON, for his first visit or earlier time with JOHN LACAZE
It's long history, it's peoples, and colorful paste
Lived in Albuquerque 1976-77 Kirtland AFB Would love to come back and visit...
Greetings New Mexico history buffs. I have a question to ask... what is the name of the historian of the wild west, cowboys, bad guys etc who often appears on the History Channel (?) and a host of others as an expert. He has white/grey hair and I think has taught at the university of NM or Arizona. Anyone know the name of the gentleman I'm referring to?
I would not normally post a video game here, but this is part of New Mexico's more recent history and the game in question is on Old West video game from many years ago.
Thank you for the invitation.
Good morning folks Enjoy happy Sunday