Luis Lopez, New Mexico
Luis Lopez is an unincorporated community between
Socorro and San Antonio in New Mexico
In 1667 Captain Luis Lopez was
alcalde mayor (mayor) of the Piro Pueblo of Senecú. It appears that he had an
hacienda on the east bank of the Rio Grande. During the 18th century the
estancia was mentioned in the journals of a few travelers though it had been
abandoned after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The village of Luis Lopez appears to
have been founded in the mid to late 1830s. At that time it was located on the
west bank of the Rio Grande just east of its present day site.
Lopez has been listed in United States census every decade since 1850, except
for 1870. Since the village was not counted in that year, it is thought that it
may have been abandoned for a short time and then relocated to its present
position above the flood plain.
Today, the village of Luis Lopez
consists of farms and a small suburb. New wells have brought growth to the
community. The present population is estimated at 128. The village is a suburb
of Socorro, New Mexico
Magdalena is a village in Socorro County, New Mexico, USA. The
population was 913 at the 2000 census.
The Lady on the Mountain is a rock
formation on Magdalena Peak overlooking Magdalena. Spanish soldiers saw the face
of a woman on the west face of the peak. A priest with them was reminded of a
similar peak in Spain called "La Sierra de Maria Magdalena", so he called the
New Mexico one "La Sierra de Magdalena". The natural pass to the south of the
peak became known as Magdalena Gap, and when a town grew up it received the same
In 1883, about 2.5 miles south of Magdalena, the Kelly Mine opened
in Kelly, New Mexico. In 1884, the village of Magdalena was named after
Magdalena Peak when its post office opened. The next year the railroad completed
a spur out from Socorro, New Mexico, orignally intended to ship cattle from the
Plains of San Augustin, but which also proceeded to ship out ore from the Kelly
Mine and others. Magdalena was incorporated in 1913.
The village of San Antonio is in Socorro County, New Mexico
which is roughly in the center of the state. The entire population of the
county is around 18,000; the population of San Antonio is hard to pin down
because the area is somewhat ill-defined, but a reasonable estimate is
San Antonio, when part of New Mexico Territory, was
the birthplace of Conrad Hilton. Hilton was one of the original legislators
in the newly formed State of New Mexico, and founded the Hilton Hotels
Corporation. Hilton's name can still be seen ("C Hilton 1903") carved on the
wall of what was once the schoolhouse, since then a mechanic's garage, and
now a barn. The Owl Bar and Cafe, located on Highway 380, was once part of
Hilton's store. Several workers from the Trinity site stopped there.
The Founding of Socorro
In June 1598, Juan de Oñate led a group of
Spanish settlers through the Jornada del Muerto, an inhospitable patch of desert
that ends just south of the present day city of Socorro. As the Spaniards
emerged from the desert, Piro Indians of the pueblo of Teypana gave the
Spaniards food and water. Therefore, the Spaniards renamed this pueblo Socorro,
which means "help" or "aid." Later, the name "Socorro" would be applied to the
nearby Piro pueblo of Pilabó.
Nuestra Señora de Socorro , the first
Catholic mission in the area, was probably established c. 1626. Fray Augustin de
Ventancurt would later write that around 600 people lived in the area during
During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Spanish refugees stopped
in the pueblo of Socorro. A number of Piro Indians followed the Spaniards as
they left the province to go south to safety. With no protection of Spanish
troops, Socorro was destroyed and the remaining Piro were killed by the Apache
and other tribes.
The Spanish did not initially resettle Socorro when
they re-conquered New Mexico. Other than El Paso, there were no Spanish
settlements south of Sabinal (which is approximately 30 miles north of Socorro)
until the 1800s. In 1800, governor Fernando Chacon gave the order to resettle
Socorro and other villages in the area. However, Socorro was not resettled until
about 1815. In 1817, 70 Belen residents petitioned the crown for land in
Socorro. The 1833 Socorro census lists over 400 residents, with a total of 1,774
people living within the vicinity of the village.
The mission of San
Miguel de Socorro was established soon after Socorro was resettled. The church
was built on the ruins of the old Nuestra Señora de Socorro.
In the late
1870s and into 1881, noted lawman and gunman Dallas Stoudenmire served as the
town Marshal for Socorro.