Enjoy your visit ...

Dear Visitor, I would like to take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to visitors and guests of Socorro County. On behalf of all of us who live and work here, I thank you for your interest in our beautiful and peaceful hometown. In addition to our beautiful clear skies, Socorro County is home to several wonderful attractions for the outdoorsman. Our county features two worldrenowned wildlife refuges, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, where visitors can learn more about our area’s habitat and wildlife. We also have excellent rock climbing opportunities in our many canyons and hiking opportunities in the Magdalena Mountains. We hope you will have time to visit Escondida Lake, our popular fishing hole with a park for children and RV sites for longer visits. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array is also open to visitors interested in learning more about astronomy and exploration of our stars. Our open skies are ideal for observing by amateur astronomers. For the historical enthusiast, we invite you to visit El Camino Real International Heritage Center, historic Fort Craig and the ruins of Gran Quivira in the Salinas National Monument. We invite you to get to know the many features and different faces of Socorro County. I hope you enjoy your visit as much as we enjoy sharing our home with you. Sincerely, Rosalind F. Tripp Dear Visitor, As mayor of the City of Socorro, I would like to welcome you to our fair city. The City of Socorro has much to offer to both short- and long-term visitors. The City of Socorro provides a Heritage and Visitors Center, located at 217 Fisher St., where information regarding various events and sites can readily be obtained. The Heritage and Visitors Center also contains many items pertaining to our community’s rich history. Call 575-835-8927 for information. We at the City of Socorro hope you enjoy your stay and we look forward to your continued visits throughout the year. Below is an abbreviated list of events that may be of interest to you: • Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (open year-round) • Trinity Site Open House at White Sands Missile Range (April 3 and Oct. 2) • Battle of Socorro Civil War Reenactment (February) • New Mexico State Science Fair at New Mexico Tech (April) • Cinco de Mayo Celebration on the Plaza (May 1) • Socorro Open Golf Tournament at New Mexico Tech Golf Course (June 6-12) • Magdalena Old-Timers Reunion (July 9-11) • Chile Harvest Triathlon (Aug. 7) • San Miguel Fiesta at San Miguel Mission (Sept. 24-26) • Socorro County Fair & Rodeo (Sept. 1-4) • Enchanted Skies Star Party (Oct. 6-9) • Festival of the Cranes (Nov. 16-21) • Christmas Candy Cane Electric Light Parade (Nov. 27) • Luminarias on the Plaza Arts Crawl (Dec. 3) Sincerely, Ravi Bhasker Dear Visitor, Welcome to Socorro County and the Village of Magdalena. Our village is small but has a lot of friendly residents, as well as a lot of history. The Magdalena Livestock Drivewway and mining in the nearby Magdalena Mountains played a big part in the history of our village. More recently the village has become a center for various types of artists. Their work is displayed in several galleries and shops around town. Magdalena is surrounded by the Cibola National Forest and other public lands. This makes Magdalena a good jumping off point for getting off the beaten path and enjoying your favorite outdoor activities — such as camping, hiking, and biking — or just getting away for awhile. While you are in Magdalena or just passing through, take time out to dine at one of our local restaurants, visit the various galleries and shops or just explore the historic sites that are scattered throughout the village. Sincerely, James A. Wolfe

Board of Commissioners Chair Socorro County El Defensor Chieftain

Mayor City of Socorro

Mayor Village of Magdalena
Discover socorro & surrounDing areas 3

4 Discover socorro & surrounDing areas

El Defensor Chieftain

Heritage Welcome ................................................................. 6 Our Rich History ...................................................... 7 Heritage and Visitors Center ................................ 9 2010 Calendar of Events .................................... 10 OutdOOrs Bosque del Apache ............................................. 11 Sevilleta ................................................................. 15 Nature Areas ......................................................... 16 Culture Socorro’s Historic Plaza ......................................... 17 Agriculture ............................................................. 18 Farmers Market ..................................................... 18 San Miguel Mission ............................................... 19 El Camino Real International Heritage Center ................................................... 20 Fort Craig ............................................................... 21 Hammel Museum ................................................ 22 Ghost Towns .......................................................... 22 Gran Quivira ......................................................... 23 sCienCe and teCHnOlOgy Very Large Array .................................................. Astronomy ............................................................. Trinity Site .............................................................. New Mexico Tech ................................................. Mineral Museum .................................................. As seen on TV ...................................................... 24 25 26 28 29 29

Table of Contents

On the Cover: The cover of this year’s visitors guide

— designed by Rebecca Apodaca — reflects some of the elements that make Socorro County worth discovering.
Discover Socorro is a copyrighted publication of El Defensor Chieftain, a part of Number Nine Media, Inc.

COmmunities San Antonio .......................................................... 30 Magdalena ........................................................... 34 Boxcar Museum .................................................... 35 Alamo .................................................................... 36 Our communities ................................................. 37 spOrts and reCreatiOn New Mexico Tech Golf Course ........................... 38 Active Interests ...................................................... 39 Rock Climbing ...................................................... 40 Mountain Biking ................................................... 41 Camping ............................................................... 42 Birding ................................................................... 43 Horseback Riding ................................................ 44 Rock Hounding .................................................... 44 Hiking ..................................................................... 45 City Parks ............................................................... 46 On the Fly ............................................................. 47 arts and entertainment Performing Arts Series ......................................... Garcia Opera House ........................................... Theater .................................................................. There’s lots to do .................................................. Arts and Music ...................................................... For More Information .......................................... 48 49 49 50 52 53

El Defensor Chieftain
T.H. Lang

David B. Puddu
Vice President/COO

Departments T.S. Last . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . General Manager Jackie Schlotfeldt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editor Suzanne Barteau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reporter Nat Holland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sports Reporter Rebecca Apodaca . . . . . . Production Manager Mary Baca . . . . . . . . . Administrative Assistant Becky Romero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertising Katherine Noe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertising Paul Ulibarri Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Distribution Melissa Montoya . . . . . . . . . .Business Manager
©2010 El Defensor Chieftain

200 Winkler St., Socorro, NM 87801 Telephone: 575-835-0520 • Fax: 575-835-1837 On the web at: www.dchieftain.com

Contact us at

direCtOries Education .............................................................. 54 Church Directory ................................................... 54 Socorro County Resource Guide ........................ 55 Business Directory ................................................. 58 Vital Statistics ......................................................... 61 Socorro County Map ............................................ 61 Magdalena Map .................................................. 61 Socorro Map ......................................................... 62

e welcome readers to Socorro County and our Discover Socorro Visitors Guide, and hope you find our community as unique and enchanting as we do. Renowned for its diversity and contrasts, New Mexico is one of the nation’s gems. Socorro, the second oldest community in this culturally rich state, is one place you definitely don’t want to miss. Inhabited for more than 800 years, Socorro remains integrally linked to its storied past while blazing new technological trails that will, no doubt, lay the groundwork for a vibrant future as well. While much of the county is rural, it also plays host to one of the nation’s premier research universities, New Mexico Tech. While archaeologists survey the remains of 800-year-old Indian villages, astronomers are using a vast radiotelescope array to peer deep into the past and future of the universe. While visitors from around the world visit the site of the first atomic bomb explosion in 1945, researchers a few miles away are developing the very latest information on
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Bienvenidos! ... Welcome to Socorro County
explosives and counter-explosives technology in one of the nation’s leading Homeland Security programs. Thousands of visitors come to see the two wildlife refuges in the county — many to attend the annual Festival of the Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Hundreds more come to reenact one of the most important Civil War battles for control of the West, the Battle of Valverde, and to visit the remains of 150-year-old Fort Craig, the Union fort associated with that battle. Others come to follow the route of El Camino Real, the “Royal Road to the Interior” that brought 16th-century Spanish explorers through the valley. Their story is now told at the one-of-a-kind El Camino Real International Heritage Center south of Socorro. While old-timers return to Magdalena each year to celebrate the village’s glory days as a cattle railhead, just a few miles away on 10,600-foot Magdalena Ridge stands a new state-of-the-art, rapidresponse 2.4-meter optical telescope for defense and private use. Magdalena Ridge Observatory received “first light” late

in 2006. It has since been joined by an optical interferometer (an array of several optical telescopes) that have the equivalent viewing power of a 400-meter telescope, and keep the area on the cutting edge of astronomical research. While residents here enjoy a smalltown atmosphere year-round, Socorro is home to one of the finest entertainment venues — Macey Center — and a Performing Arts Series unheard of in cities this size. The following pages expand on these features and so much more that this unique region has to offer the visitor, the newcomer and even those who’ve been around awhile. In the end, you will likely conclude that discovering Socorro and the surrounding areas is an ideal pursuit. We recommend, however, that you give yourself ample time. There’s a whole world of excitement and enchanting times to be had — make sure you don’t miss out on the myriad of sights, sounds and attractions that make Socorro County one of the richest destinations — not only in New Mexico but in the country. El Defensor Chieftain

Our Rich History ... Cultures come together
o say Socorro and the surrounding communities are steeped in history and tradition would be a huge understatement. More than two centuries before Christopher Columbus’ fabled sojourn to the New World from Spain, Piro Indians — the southernmost Pueblo tribe — inhabited nearly two dozen villages along the Rio Grande from San Marcial to La Joya. The Piros, living in pueblos since at least the 1200s, weren’t the only Indians to call this land home — Apache Indians also inhabited much of the area that today is called the Middle Rio Grande Valley. As the Spanish explorers in the mid16th century began to make their way north from Mexico, they followed the Rio Grande and established El Camino Real — the Royal Road into “New Spain.” As a result, they were frequent visitors at the Piro villages. Socorro got its name in 1598 from explorer Juan de Oñate, whose tired and hungry men were given food and shelter by the Piros. He renamed the Pilabo pueblo “Socorro,” which means “help” or “succor” in Spanish. In the early 1600s, Franciscan friars built missions at Socorro, Senecú, near San Marcial, and Sevillita, near La Joya. In 1680, when the Pueblo Indians of Northern New Mexico staged their revolt against the Spaniards, the people of Socorro and surrounding areas fled. The Piros did not participate in the revolt and headed south to El Paso, Texas, with the Spanish troops and settlers. When the Spaniards came back up the valley, they found the abandoned pueblos from Senecú to Sevillita had been pillaged by the Apaches. For the next 100 years, there were few settlers in the area. The resettlement of Socorro began in the early 1800s, and, in 1815, 21 families were given land grants to settle here. Socorro flourished because of the fertile farm land and grazing along the river. However, occasional attacks by the Apaches remained a constant threat. When New Mexico became a territory of the U.S. in 1848, the region saw some relief as the military established a series of forts for protection against the Apaches. In Socorro County, the Army established El Defensor Chieftain


Fort Conrad in 1851, but found it indefensible and relocated to the newly built Fort Craig in 1854. The Civil War made its way into New Mexico and Socorro County. On Feb. 21, 1862, Union and Confederate forces engaged in a daylong battle south of Socorro near Fort Craig — called the Battle of Valverde. On March 30, the Confederates met stiffer resistance and lost the Battle of Glorietta near Santa Fe, which forced their retreat from New Mexico back to Texas. The Battle of Valverde is reenacted every year in Socorro, with hundreds of Civil War buffs in attendance to participate or watch the many demonstrations of warfare. Socorro and the surrounding area boomed after the Civil War, thanks to mining strikes — lead and zinc in the Magdalena area and silver on Socorro Peak. The railroad arrived in 1882, fueled from the vast coal fields east of San Antonio. Socorro, with her mines, mills, and smelters, became the center to this diverse mining activity. In 1889, the government chose Socorro as the site for its new School

of Mines (now New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, or New Mexico Tech for short), which opened in 1893. The glory days of mining are recalled each year in Socorro during the ’49ers celebrations, events put on by New Mexico Tech to relive the school’s early days and pay tribute to the area’s mining history. Livestock, ranching and agriculture has always been integral to the fabric of the area and those who call it home. Huge cattledrives were commonplace, with thousands of cattle driven to Magdalena – “The Trails End” – where the cattle trail met the railroad. The cattledrive days are over. Cattle from area ranchers are now shipped by truck. Magdalena still relives those days each July in its annual OldTimers Days. Agriculture remains a mainstay of the area and is a key element of the annual Socorro Fest. Local farmers sell their goods on the Socorro Plaza every Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning during the city-sponsored Farmers Market. n See History, Page 8
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Continued from Page 7 Today, a new economy has emerged in Socorro. It is based in part on New Mexico Tech, recognized as one of the nation’s premier research universities. An explosives test range, seismic research center, optical telescopes, the Very Large Array radiotelescope, and other facilities have also made Socorro a premier high-tech center. Nature also plays a big role, since the county contains two of the nation’s most important national wildlife refuges, one of which draws thousands to the area annually to enjoy the majesty of the migrating sandhill cranes. And the area’s rich and varied history has spawned a number of annual celebrations that continue to grow in popularity. Sources: City of Socorro, Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, New Mexico Tech, Socorro County Historical Society, El Defensor Chieftain archives.

Don’t miss this

Battles for Socorro
The fourth weekend of February, Union and Confederate camps set up near Socorro to reenact the historic Battle of Valverde and occupy the town’s Plaza in the Siege of Socorro. The Battle of Valverde and other skirmish scenarios are held out at “Fort Escondida,” about three miles north of Socorro. Tours of the camps, dances, period secession debates and other entertainment also occur during the event.

Feb. 26-28

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ocorro’s Heritage and Visitor Center, at 217 Fisher, is the central hub of planning and organizing for a wide array of special events and activities sponsored by the city for the entertainment and enjoyment of tourists and residents alike. Housed in a historic structure built in 1913 for the City Water Commission, and later used for the Police Department. The Visitor Center is open to the public from March to October on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Winter hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to brochures for area attractions, the center displays historical and cultural artifacts, including portraits of Socorro mayors from 1883 to the present, photographs of the 1929 flood that devastated the town of San Marcial, and a letter signed by the notorious former lawman and mayor Elfego Baca. Visitors can watch short documentaries about Socorro’s Hispanic heritage, and purchase T-shirts, postcards and other souvenirs. For more information, call 575-835-8927 or visit www. socorronm.gov.


Socorro Heritage and Visitors Center

Your first stop ...

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Socorro Heritage and ViSitorS center

2010 Calendar of Events
Jan. 29-30 — RioFest Environmental Film Festival, Macey Center, www.riofilmfest.com or 575-312-1730. Feb. 6 — Community Arts Party, Finley Gym. Local artists bring projects for kids and adults to make and take home. Ronna Kalish, 575-835-5688. Feb. 20 — Science Olympiad, N.M. Tech Campus. Middle and high schools compete for the state cham pionship, 575-835-5678. Feb. 20 — “Historic Forts Day,” El Camino Real International Heritage Center. Discover forts along the ancient Camino Real. Admission: $5 for adults, children 16 and under are free. www.elcaminoreal.org or 575-854-3600. Feb. 26-28 — Civil War Reenactment. A reenactment of the fight between Union and Confederate sol diers at the historic battle of Valverde. 575-835-8927. March 21-23 — New Mexico Seniors Match Play Golf Tournament, New Mexico Tech Golf Course. 575-835-5335. March 27 — Socorro County Arts Spring Open House. Alamo Mercantile Gallery. 575-838-2724. April 3 — Trinity Site, White Sands Missile Range. This is where the first atomic bomb was exploded July 16, 1945. 575-479-6124. April 3 — Very Large Array Guided Tours. Learn about the radiotelescope array on the Plains of San Agustin 50 miles west of Socorro. 575-835-7243. April 3 — Egg Show, Bear Mountain Gallery (Magdalena). Decorative eggs and other items. Yvonne, 575-854-2151. April 9-10 — New Mexico Science and Engineering Fair, New Mexico Tech. State competition for students in grades 6-12. 575-835-5678. April 17-18 — Tour of Socorro Mountain Bike Race. This event combines two competitive mountain bike races on the New Mexico Off-Road Series. Camille, 505-350-4116. April 22 — Earth Day Celebration, Socorro’s Historic Plaza. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. May 1 — Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Historic Plaza. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. May 8-9 — Socorro Mother’s Day Pow Wow, Sedillo Park. Gathering of Native Americans to showcase their dances, colorful clothing, and arts & crafts. Donna Monette, 505-881-8847. May 9-11 — NMAA 5A State High School Golf Tournament, New Mexico Tech Golf Course. 575-835-5335. June 6-12 — Socorro Open Golf Tournament, New Mexico Tech Golf Course, and the Elfego Baca Shoot from the top of “M” Mountain to the base. 575-835-5335. June 19 — Socorro General Hospital Golf Tournament, New Mexico Tech Golf Course. Peter, 575-835-0861 or 575-835-5335. July through October — Socorro Farmers’ Market, Tuesday early evening and Saturday morning, Historic Plaza. Deborah Dean, 575-835-8927. July 4 — “Fourth of July Celebration,” New Mexico Tech Campus. All-day events with lots of activities for kids and adults. Fireworks after dark. Ronna Kalish, 575-835-5688. July 9-11 — Magdalena Old-Timers Reunion, throughout Magdalena, 24 miles west of Socorro. An annual event reliving the areas glory days as a livestock and mining railhead. Donna Dawson, 505-401-4352. July 10 — Magdalena Old-Timers Parade, 10 a.m., Magdalena. Eleanor Dawson, 505-854-2261. July 24-25 — Sun Country Women’s Championship Golf Tournament, New Mexico Tech Golf Course. 575-835-5335. Aug. 7 — 16th Annual Socorro Chile Harvest Triathlon. One of New Mexico’s biggest triathlons. 400-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. Robert Gonzales, 575-517-0827. Aug. 13 — Hot August Nights, 6-10 p.m., Historic Plaza. Live entertainment, food and fun. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. El Defensor Chieftain

Just west of Plaza 217 Fisher Socorro, nM 575-835-8927

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Socorro celebrates History, Technology, Birds & Enchanted Skies
Sept. 1-4 — Socorro County Fair & Rodeo, Fairgrounds south of Socorro. Rodeo, exhibits, music, games, judged art, quilting, and more. Socorro County Extension, 575-835-0610. Sept. 4 — Socorro County Fair Parade. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. Sept. 11 — “Hispanic Heritage Celebration,” El Camino Real International Heritage Center. Special performances, video presentations and more. www.elcaminoreal.org or 575-854-3600. Sept. 24-26 — San Miguel Fiesta, San Miguel Mission. Fiesta celebrating the Patron Saint of the Mission with music and food and craft vendors. Parish Office, 575-835-2891. Oct. 2 — Trinity Site, White Sands Missile Range. This is where the first atomic bomb was exploded July 16, 1945. 575-479-6124. Oct. 2 — Very Large Array Guided Tours. Learn about the radiotelescope array on the Plains of San Agustin 50 miles west of Socorro. 575-835-7243. Oct. 2 — Oktoberfest, Hammel Museum. Annual celebration to commemorate the museum’s founding, 600 N. Sixth St., Bob Eveleth, 575-835-5325. Oct. 2 — Blessing of the Animals, Historic Plaza. People bring pets of all kinds to be blessed by local priests and ministers. 575-835-2891. Oct. 2-3 — Chile Proppers Fly-In, held at New Mexico Tech. The local Chili Proppers Model Airplane Club model airplane competition. Carl Moore, 575-835-4568. Oct. 6-9 — 17th Annual Enchanted Skies Star Party. One of America’s leading star parties. The event includes a full night of observing at 10,000 feet atop South Baldy Peak, workshops, a daytime lecture series, and the famous Chuck Wagon Dinner. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. Oct. 8-9 — Alamo Indian Days, Alamo Navajo Reservation. The event includes food and craft vendors, gourd dancing and more. Christine Monte, 575-854-2759. Oct. 8-9 — 8th Annual Socorro Fest. Held on the Historic Plaza. There is live music all day, dancing, food and craft vendors, music, games and a wine and beer tasting. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. Oct. 9 — Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge Open House. This event is held in northern Socorro County at the fifth largest National Wildlife Refuge in the Continental U.S. There will be tours and speakers. 505-864-4021. Oct. 22-24 — 88th Annual 49ers Celebration, mainly on New Mexico Tech Campus. Festivities and contests to celebrate the history of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Colleen, 575-835-5352. Oct. 23 — 88th Annual 49ers Parade, California Street. Colleen, 575-835-5352. Oct. 30 — Socorro Amateur Radio Association Hamfest, Fire Training Academy. 575-835-3370. Nov. 16-21 — 23rd Annual Festival of the Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The largest event in Socorro County held each year the week before Thanksgiving. The event has dozens of workshops, birding tours, keynote speakers, fine arts show, photography seminars and a holiday crafts show. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, 575-835-2077. Nov. 19-21 — Festival of the Cranes Arts & Crafts Show, Garcia Opera House. This show features vendors that sell jewelry, quilts, pictures, pottery, etc. Garcia Opera House. 575-835-8927. Nov. 20 — 4th Annual Festival of the Cranes Art Studio Tour. 575-835-8927. Nov. 20 — Celebración de Otoño, El Camino Real International Heritage Center. Celebrate the Center’s fourth anniversary with living history demonstrations of period-life on the El Camino Real. www.elcaminoreal.org or 575-854-3600. Nov. 27 — Posole Cook-Off, Historic Plaza. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. Nov. 27 — Christmas Candy Cane Electric Light Parade. Colorful nighttime parade down California Street. Socorro Visitors Center, 575-835-8927. Dec. 3 — 8th Annual Luminarias on the Plaza Arts Crawl, Historic Plaza. Behold the site of the Plaza filled with luminarias, then check out works by local artists displayed in the Plaza stores. Socorro County Arts, 575-838-2724. Most events are sponsored by the Lodgers Tax Fund. For more information, stop at the Socorro Visitors Center, located at 221 Fisher St., just west of the Plaza. Call 575-835-8927, or visit www.socorronm.gov. El Defensor Chieftain
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Bosque del Apache ... A natural treasure
estled along the banks of the fabled Rio Grande just south of Socorro lies the expansive Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge — one of the Southwest’s greatest natural treasures. Located on more than 57,000 acres at the northern tip of the Chihuahuan desert, the Bosque — as it’s referred to locally — is home to hundreds of species from mammals to birds and reptiles to fish. And while this unique wildlife wonderland boasts extensive farmlands and riparian forests — perfect habitat for countless critters — it’s the 12,900-plus acres of moist bottomlands that serves as home to the Bosque’s most famed residents — the birds. Tens of thousands of ducks, Canada geese, light geese and sandhill cranes make an annual sojourn to the Bosque del Apache, where the often mild climate provides a perfect winter habitat for these majestic winged, part-time residents. As you move away from the water, the landscape changes dramatically. Rising from an elevation of 4,500 feet — where reptiles and amphibians share space with their feathered friends — up to more than than 6,200 feet, the riparian and desert habitat welcomes a wide range of mammals, including elk, deer, bobcats, coyotes and javelina, among others. If it’s more tame scenery and sightseeing
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opportunities you’re looking for, fret not. Bosque del Apache is also home to breathtaking flora. While it’s an easy destination to reach by vehicle, visitors will want to make a pit stop at the refuge’s Visitor Center where they can get some friendly advice about where to go, pick up a souvenir or two and glean some knowledge about this veritable paradise. In addition, a 15-mile tour loop offers hundreds, if not thousands, of spectacular viewing and photographic opportunities. For those who wish to experience the Bosque on a more up-close-and-personal level, a network of trails crisscross the Bosque landscape. Strategically placed benches and observation points line the refuge trails offering respite for weary sightseers. Picnic areas are popular for those who need to refuel before hitting the trail again. Three wilderness areas — Indian Well, Little San Pascual and Chupadera — boasts plenty of options for hikers who want to further explore this outdoor paradise. Numerous educational and instructional sessions — intended to arm visitors with knowledge and insight — are held throughout the year. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bosque del Apache NWR is one of the nation’s most progressively managed facilities. The refuge’s management — a team of talented and dedicated

individuals with a wealth of varied skills and knowledge — works tirelessly to ensure the Bosque’s goal of providing habitat and protection for migratory birds and endangered species is achieved. The management team is not the only group that makes the Bosque hum. The Friends of the Bosque del Apache, a dynamic and energetic group of volunteers, operates with the singular goal of helping to ensure the refuge’s visitors — whether feathered, finned, furred or human — are well cared for. So whether you’re stopping at the Bosque del Apache for a few hours or a few days, you will undoubtedly leave a little wiser about the Refuge, its mission, its inhabitants and the New Mexico treasure that continues to draw a flock of visitors each and every year. The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 10 miles south of San Antonio, N.M. Exit 139 off I-25. Drive approximately two miles and take a right on N.M. 1. The Visitor Center is located on the west side of the highway. For additional information, call the Bosque del Apache NWR at 575-8351828, visit the Web site at www.fws. gov/southwest/refuges/newmex/bosque/ or visit the Friends of the Bosque’s Web site at www.friendsofthebosque.org. El Defensor Chieftain

Don’t miss this

he biggest event held in Socorro County each year, the Festival of the Cranes will celebrate its 23rd year this November. Thousands of human visitors from around the world will flock to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, where what some call a “miracle of nature” occurs each year. The event is a celebration of the sandhill crane’s return to prominence in the Rocky Mountain flyway. But other featured guests of honor are the blue heron, Canada geese, light geese, bald eagles, American coot, owls, swans, American white pelicans and others. The festival is not just about viewing and photographing these fabled flyers. More than 100 special, festival-related events — from hands-on workshops to informational presentations — are held continuously over the course of the five-day event. Make plans early for this popular event, which is a collaborative effort between the Bosque del Apache NWR, the Friends of the Bosque del Apache and the City of Socorro. Visit the Friends’ Web site at www. friendsofthebosque.org/crane, or call 575-838-2120.


Festival of the Cranes

November 16-21

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El Defensor Chieftain

he Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is about 20 miles north of Socorro and covers an expanse of 230,000 acres. The refuge includes four major ecological zones ranging from Chihuahan desert to the riparian forest of the bosque. The land belonging to the refuge was once part of the La Joya land grant under Spanish rule and stayed as a large block until it eventually came under ownership of Socorro County. The land was purchased from the county, in 1936, by Thomas Campbell who operated it as a cattle ranch for 30 years. The land was later donated to the Nature Conservancy and then transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 1973, and the refuge was officially established. In 1988, the refuge become home to the Sevilleta Long-Term Ecological Research Program, conducted by the University of New Mexico. The refuge plays host to dozens of research sites that monitor the slow ecological changes occurring on the refuge. For information about the research conducted and photos of animals and wildlife at the refuge, visit http://sev.lternet.edu. While much of the refuge is off limits to the public due to the research-oriented nature of the facilities, the site does have a visitors center and a short informative hiking trail. Small sections are open to the public for limited hunting during the winter and for birdwatching, photography and other activities during the summer. For more information about visiting the refuge, visit www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/newmex/Sevilleta/index.html


Sevilleta ... A study of ecology

Don’t miss this

Sevilleta Open House
Most of Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is closed to the public, but some areas are opened up for special tours and hikes once a year at its annual open house. The open house will feature guided tours, hikes, exhibitions and lectures relevant to the refuge. For more information call 505-864-4021.

October 9

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ocorro has many options for a quick picnic or a nature walk within a few minutes of Socorro. • Escondida Lake: Located a few miles north of Socorro, Escondida Lake offers angling opportunities, camping, playgrounds, picnic facilities and rest rooms. Catfish are stocked during summer months and trout are stocked in the winter months. • Box Canyon: The 320-acre Box Canyon Recreational Area is a rugged and scenic area that is renowned for its technical rock climbing and bouldering opportunities. The site is frequented by both veterans and amateurs, as well as commercial companies that bring visitors from Albuquerque to climb at the site. Rest rooms are the only facilities at the site. • Socorro Nature Area: The Socorro Nature Area is an environment education area in the bosque north of Socorro. Two trails are available for a self-guided tour, one a half-mile long and the other just over a mile long. An information kiosk, picnic tables, group shelter and rest rooms are available at the site. Groups can also reserve the site for events or camping. • San Lorenzo Canyon: A hidden jewel tucked into the hills below Polvadera Peak north of Socorro. The scenic canyon is great for day hikes and picnics. There are no facilities at the site. • Quebradas Back Country Byway: The byway offers 24 miles of great views with the luxury of not having to leave your air conditioned vehicle. The route winds its way from Escondida to U.S. 380, just east of San Antonio, N.M., and a stone’s throw from the entrance to the Stallion Gate at White Sands Missile Range. • Riverine Parks: A dozen small parks dot the Rio Grande between San Antonio and San Acacia. There is access to the river and picnic tables, but no other facilities.


Nature Areas ... Enjoy the outdoors

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Socorro’s Historic Plaza ... The center of attention
ocated in the heart of the city, the Historic Plaza is the venue for many treasured events for which the City of Socorro is well known. Like the end of the trail, it is the Plaza where events such as the Fourth of July, 49ers and the Christmas Candy Cane Electric Light parades come to the end of their downtown route. It’s like coming home. A roundabout adds to the enchantment of the Plaza, offering visitors an extraordinary view of the community park. The Historic Plaza’s charming gazebo, tall shade trees and cozy benches provide an inviting atmosphere where old friends gather and new friends are made. A hot spot, the Plaza is the go-to place for music, socials, cook-offs, history and arts. Socorro Fest is but one of the annual celebrations of the community held at the Plaza. The daylong event is held every October, and what you will find there is live music, dancing, food and craft vendors as well as homegrown fruits and vegetables. Other events include the Blessing of the Animals, where our four-legged and sometimes two-legged friends receive the Lord’s blessing. And if you are more of a history buff, then the Battle of Socorro reenactment will take you back in time and back to the Historic Plaza. From posole cook-offs, Hot August Nights, the Farmers Market to Earth Day celebrations and community yard sales, the


events may differ but the location never changes. However, like the seasons, what does change is the look of the Plaza — from cool spring-like colors when the buds on the trees are blooming, to the rich greens of summer, and the oranges and yellows of autumn. Winter sparks a different look as the glow from the luminarias light up the night at the Plaza and local artists brave the cold to display their work and offer unique gift ideas for the upcoming holidays. The Historic Plaza is more than just a venue for events — it’s a magical place, a foundation that brings the community together, maintaining old traditions and creating new ones along the way.

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ocorro County is the third largest county in New Mexico and is abundant in farming and ranching. From raising cattle to growing alfalfa and chile crops, Socorro is rich in agriculture. New Mexico State University Socorro County Cooperative Extension agent Tom Dean said ranching consumes approximately 60 percent of the land mass in Socorro County, with cattle production playing a big part. “New Mexico produces a lot of beef for the nation,” Dean added. Alfalfa and chile are two of the largest crops raised, along with a variety of others such as corn, Sudan, oats and winter wheat rotated in and out. “Socorro has some of the best chile in the state,” Dean said. And there’s nothing better than the smell of fresh green chile being roasted at local roadside produce stands. What also makes Socorro so unique, Dean explained, is that produce grown by farmers is sold to produce stands in the county. “It goes from the field to the produce stands, and people like it and keep coming back,” Dean said of the fresh chile and produce. There is also a number of dairy producers, with approximately 13 dairies located at the northern end of the county. County 4-H and FFA clubs are also very active through the extension service and Socorro High School. These organizations participate in livestock and rodeo competitions at the County Fair.


Agriculture ... A ‘growing’ industry

Don’t miss this

Socorro County Fair and Rodeo
A four day celebration of heritage and agriculture with rodeo events, country-western music, livestock competitions, community parade, carnival fun, gardening and home economic displays and plenty of food vendors.

September 1-4

he Socorro County Farmers Market makes it easier to get your recommended five to seven daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables — as well as locally produced canned goods, cheeses and crafts. Traditionally the Farmers Market operates from July through October, until the first freeze occurs. This year’s market will start in mid-June. Vendors can be found selling their wares every Tuesday, 5-7 p.m., and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until noon, on the Historic Plaza. The Magdalena Farmers Market starts in August. Residents of Magdalena can shop for fresh produce every Thursday, 4-6 p.m., in the Peppers Gallery parking lot. Deborah Dean, director of the City of Socorro’s Tourism Department, stresses the importance of the Farmers Market. “You’re getting the freshest produce, supporting local farmers, helping the local economy and you know the person you bought the food from — and it’s fresh,”
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Farmers Market ... Locally grown goodies
Dean said. “Most of the time it’s picked the same day.” Vendors pay a fee of $25 for the season or $5 per visit. Participating vendors are only allowed to sell products they have grown, caught or made themselves. The market also serves as a social event. “That’s what a farmers market is. It’s a social gathering,” explained Dean. “You know that every Tuesday you can go to a place and talk with friends, buy some food, and go home and cook it. One of the benefits is that we’re here on the Plaza, the hub of the community.” In recent years, the Women, Infants and Children program has partnered with the Farmers Market, offering nutrition vouchers to their clients for produce. The Farmers Market is also involved in two nutritional enhancement programs for seniors in which they are also given vouchers to purchase produce at the Farmers Market. A Socorro couple started the Farmers Market over a decade ago. As many as 20 local farmers and artists participate in the event, which has attracted more than 600 shoppers at one time.

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ounded by two Franciscan priests traveling on El Camino Real, with Don Juan de Oñate in 1598, the mission now known as San Miguel was originally called Nuestra Señora del Socorro (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) and gave Socorro it’s name. The mission was abandoned during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, and rebuilt on the same site in the early 1800s. Local legend tells the story that before settlers fled in 1680, parishioners took apart the solid silver Communion rail and buried it along with other sacred and valuable items belonging to the church. The buried treasure has been never been found, although many have searched, and as recently as 1980 a reward was offered for its recovery. The story is also told that the mission was renamed San Miguel in honor of an apparition said to have appeared during an Apache raid, of the Archangel Saint Michael standing on the church steps, brandishing a sword and scaring off the attackers. Once the center of a Spanish land grant extending three miles in every direction from the middle of the church, San Miguel Mission is now the the center of a thriving parish where Mass is celebrated in both English and Spanish. For more information, call 575-835-2891 or visit the San Miguel Web site at www.sdc.org/~smiguel/.


San Miguel Mission ... A place of sanctuary

Don’t miss this

San Miguel Fiesta
The annual San Miguel Fiesta honors the patron saint of the mission with a three-day celebration of music, dance and tradition. Events include a Mariachi Mass, a procession from the church to the Historic Plaza, and the coronation of the Fiesta King and Queen. Enjoy live music, bingo, food booths, and raffle drawings daily; and dances every night.

September 24-26

Your hometown COMPLETE LINE of home furnishings

Plaza Fur


215 Fisher (on the plaza) Socorro, NM Open: M-F 9am-5:30pm • Sat 10am-3pm
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El Camino Real International Heritage Center ...
l Camino Real International Heritage Center, a New Mexico State Monument, honors the contribution El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro — The Royal Road to the Interior — has had on New Mexico and its people. Located between Socorro and Truth or Consequences, the center overlooks the still prestine desert known as the Jornada del Muerto (the Journey of Death), a 100-mile stretch of the trail where no water could be found. When the Spaniards began their conquest of “New Spain” in the 1500s, thousands of Pueblo Indians lived along the Rio Grande in today’s New Mexico. Trails along the river connected these pueblos. In 1598, Juan de Oñate led the first expedition of colonists into New Spain. Establishing a trail from Zacatecas, Mexico, to near Santa Fe, he followed these Indian trails in places and blazed his own trail in others. For the next 300 years, El Camino Real was the dominant road into New Mexico. Over the trail came thousands of Spanish and Mexican colonists. Many of the old New Mexican families living here today are direct descendents of these early travelers. Along with these adventurous settlers came the culture and heritage of Old Spain and Mexico. Franciscan priests and friars, the Spanish language, music, stories, and legends. All of these cultural elements arriving over the centuries are what formed the New Mexico culture we know today — and a heritage unique to the rest of the United States. El Camino Real International Heritage Center is open six days a week, and closed on Tuesdays. To get there, take Exit 115 off I-25 and travel east for about 3 miles. For more information, call 575-854-3600 or visit www.elcaminoreal.org.


A monument to ‘The Royal Road’

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Don’t miss these

Historic Forts Day
The event includes living history reenactments of soldier camp activities including bullet making, black powder demonstrations, treadle sewing, open fire cooking and more. Held at the El Camino Real International Heritage Center 35 miles south of Socorro.

February 20

Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Various educational activities and programs celebrating the Hispanic Heritage of New Mexico will be held at the El Camino Real International Heritage Center 35 miles south of Socorro.

September 11

Celebracion del Otoño
El Camino Real International Heritage Center will celebrate its fifth anniversay with ongoing activities that include a caretta (wagon) building demonstration, living history reenactments, and a folklorico dance performance.

November 20

Fort Craig ...

A Civil War battle site

ort Craig was established in 1854, after the failure of the briefly occupied and illconceived Fort Conrad, seven miles to the north. Like other forts of its day, Fort Craig was built to protect travel routes and settlements from Indian attacks. The location was chosen to protect both El Camino Real and the Jornada del Muerto, both of which were primary links between the Mexican port of Vera Cruz and cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The fort is famous for the ensuing Civil War Battle of Valverde on Feb. 21, 1862. Many consider the battle to have been a Confederate victory, however the Union forces held the fort and destroyed a number of Confederate supply wagons. What supplies remained were destroyed later at the Battle of Glorietta and forced a retreat that ended the Confederate push for military conquest of the West. In 1885, with the Indian Wars essentially over, the fort was permanently closed. Nine years, later it was sold at auction. It was later donated to the Archaelogical Conservancy and was transferred to the Bureau of Land Management in 1981, but nearly a century of looters, scavengers and nature have taken their toll on the site. El Defensor Chieftain
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Hammel Museum ... A remarkable piece of history
he Hammel Brewery and Museum, formerly known as the Illinois Brewing Company, was built in the early 1880s by the Hammel brothers after they headed west from Illinois and settled in Socorro. The museum started out as a beer garden and progressed into a successful brewery. A June 16, 1893, Chieftain newspaper article, said the brewery produced “the best beer made anywhere in New Mexico.” Over its years of operation, the brewery evolved into an ice plant and soda bottling plant after Prohibition shut down beer production in 1919. Although electric refrigerators were introduced in the 1920s, the ice plant continued to prosper, along with the introduction of cola drinks, the Hammel’s bottled products for Pepsi Cola, 7-Up, Nesbitt and Grapette flavored drinks. The brewery itself consists of four sections, including a three-story section


Don’t miss this

An annual event and celebration of the founding of the Hammel Brewery and Museum.

Oct. 2

used for storage. The two-story section, the brew house, was used for cooking and mixing hops during the boom years. Although Prohibition was repealed in

1933, the brewery never went back to making beer. In 1986, Clarence Hammel donated the brewery, located on the corner of Sixth and Vigil streets, to the Socorro County Historical Society. From the original adobe building where the brewery first opened its doors to the later additions made of stone, the Historical Society has preserved the brewery as a museum, making it a “must see” attraction for visitors. Eight rooms, each numbered, tell the story of the history of the brewery that once was a flourishing business for nearly a century. From the main office, where Hammel conducted business, to the mash room where the beer was made, the museum is a remarkable piece of history. The museum is open the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, contact the Socorro County Historical Society at 575-835-3183 or visit www.socorrohistory.org.

Ghost Towns ...

Gone but not forgotten

any ghost towns are scattered throughout Socorro County, dating from the Territorial days before New Mexico became a state in 1912. Some, like Council Rock and Rosedale, were founded on the promise of silver and gold, but were abandoned when the riches failed to materialize or the mines were depleted. Others, like Adobe and San Pedro, began as stage stops and trading posts that faded when trading routes changed over time. Still others, like Riley, were victims of drought or, like San Marcial, were drowned by floods. All of them serve as reminders of Socorro’s rich and varied past. However, not all of them are accessible to the public. When the U.S. government approved the establishment of the White Sands Proving Ground in 1945, several ghost towns located within the missile range’s boundaries became permanently off-limits. In other cases, the original town sites are located on private property and can’t be visited without the permission of the property owner. A Ghost Town Guide, written by local historian Paul Harden and published by the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, is available that gives driving directions and GPS coordinates for six sites that are open to the public and can be reached year-round by vehicles with two wheel or four wheel drive. For more information, call the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce at 575-835-0424 or visit www.socorro-nm.com.
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Gran Quivira ...

Ruins of a lost society

ocated in the far northeast corner of Socorro County, Gran Quivira is one of three pueblo ruins that make up the Salinas Pueblo Missions, a National Monument. Abo, Quarai and Gran Quivira were home to a people who lived in stone, apartment-style complexes for centuries until they abandoned the area in the 1670s. They forged a stable agricultural society and participated, through rule and ritual, in the cycles of nature. These Pueblo Indians were a mix of two ancient southwestern cultural traditions — the Ancestral Puebloans, or Anasazi, and Mogollon — whose roots date back 7,000 years. When the Spanish came to the area some 400 years ago, they worked to Christianize the natives and had missions built at each pueblo. At Gran Quivira, two mission sites can be found, although one was never completed. Remnants of kivas, used by the native people in practicing their own religion, are located nearby. Gran Qiviria, also known as Las Hermanas, is the largest of the Salinas pueblos and was an important trade center before and after the Spanish entrada. The people who once lived there were absorbed by other communities after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Gran Quivira is located about 20 miles south of U.S. 60 on N.M. 55. A visitor center for the Salinas Missions is located at the turn-off in Mountainair. For more information, call 505-847-2585 or visit www.nps.gov/sapu. El Defensor Chieftain

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Very Large Array ... A heavenly experience
he National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which operates radio telescopes from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, has the majority of its workforce in Socorro County, where it operates the Very Large Array. The VLA consists of 27 radio antennas, 82 feet out over the Plains of San Agustin, about 20 miles west of Magdalena and 50 miles from Socorro on U.S. 60. The signals from each antenna are combined electronically to simulate the resolution of an antenna capable of extending 22 miles in diameter. The original Very Large Array was the backdrop to the 1997 film “Contact,” starring Jodie Foster. Radio telescopes observe spectrums outside the range of visible light, helping scientists make discoveries that would never be detectable to the naked eye. Using VLA technology, scientists recently were able to detect water in a galaxy 11 billion light-years away, track the continued expansion of a supernova that happened 140 years ago, and observe a distant galaxy that is creating 700 new suns per year – 200 times the rate of the Milky Way Galaxy. In 2010, the VLA flipped the switch on retooled telescopes,
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Don’t miss this

VLA Tours
Special two-hour guided tours are offered twice a year at the Very Large Array west of Magdalena, coinciding with the two dates Trinity Site is open to the public. The tours are held every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 575-835-7243 to sign up.

April 3 and October 2
with new electronics that replaces outdated parts to become the Expanded Very Large Array. This expands the spectrum and bandwidth available for scientists to explore. The updates also increase the array’s efficiency about 10 times, improving its sensitivity enough to detect the weak transmission of a cell phone from as far away as Jupiter. For information on the VLA and the research of the NRAO, visit www.nrao.edu. The VLA is open everyday from 8:30 a.m. to dusk for self-guided walking tours. A gift shop and learning center is located on site. El Defensor Chieftain

Astronomy ... A star gazer’s delight
he high desert climate of Socorro and its location well-distant from urban light pollution create excellent dark sky observing opportunities year-round for both amateur stargazers and professional astronomers. When there are no clouds, the Milky Way shines overhead in the night sky. Given the ideal conditions, it’s no wonder that public and private star parties and astronomy workshops abound at the local observatories and many other locations. The Etscorn Observatory on the New Mexico Tech campus, built in 1993, is run by the New Mexico Tech Astronomy Club and is surrounded by earth berms to minimize light pollution from the campus and town. Telescopes include a 20-inch Dobsonian inside a 15-foot dome and a Celestron 14 on a Paramount GT-1100 mount, and visitors are welcome to


come take a look. To find out about public outreach events at Etscorn Observatory, call 575-835-5101. The Magdalena Ridge Observatory — at 10,600 feet on top of South Baldy Mountain to the west of Socorro — is a prime astrophotography location. Although its primary purpose is for research, the MRO is open to the public on special occasions, including the annual Enchanted Skies Star Party. Guests of the ESSP are also given another rare opportunity to tour a facility normally off-limits to the public. Twenty miles east of San Antonio is the U.S. Air Force GEODSS site at White Sand Missile Range, one of three deep space surveillance operations that are part of the United States Strategic Command’s Space Surveillance Network. Scientists at the GEODSS can track objects as small as a basketball and as far as 20,000 miles away.

Don’t miss this

Enchanted Skies Star Party
Isolated from big city lights, Socorro is an ideal location for nighttime viewing of planets, stars and galaxies. For 17 years, Socorro has played host to the Enchanted Skies Star Party, a four-day event that features seminars, workshops, lectures and star gazing. While some events require a fee and advanced registration, some activities are free and open to the public. For more information, call 575-835-8927 or visit www.enchantedskies.org.

October 6-9

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Trinity Site ...

Where ‘The Bomb’ was born

he sun rose twice over the New Mexico desert southeast of Socorro on July 16, 1945. Trinity Site is the location of the detonation of the first atomic bomb on White Sands Missile Range. Twice a year, on the first Saturday of April and October, the site is open to the public for a walk-through visit. A monument and various artifacts associated with the test are available for viewing — such as a sample of Trinitite, a glass-like substance left behind when the sand fused together from the heat of the blast. Buses leaving at regular intervals take visitors to the McDonald Ranch House where the plutonium bomb was assembled. For more details on the site and requirements for visiting, visit the Web site at www.wsmr.army.mil.

Don’t miss this

Trinity Site Open to Public
Located on White Sands Missile Range, Trinity Site is open to the public just twice a year. Socorro Transportation offers a shuttle to the site each day. Call 575-835-1501.

April 3 and October 2

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ocorro is home to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, originally founded in 1889, as the New Mexico School of Mines. As the largest employer in the county, the university offers not only a world-class education to students; it also is an important economic cornerstone to Socorro. The student population at Tech is close to 2,000. Graduate and undergraduate degrees are offered in areas such as science, technology, engineering, math, physics, computer science, earth sciences, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, biology and chemistry. Education isn’t the only focus at Tech. Sometimes referred to, in jest, as a “research institution with a university attached,” the university has more than a dozen research divisions that allow for groundbreaking science experiments to be conducted. From the skies, with the Magdalena Ridge Observatory located high atop Mount Baldy, to below ground at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, scientists’ study how the world works. The largest research division at Tech is the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, which conducts anti-terrorism training and land mine detection. Socorro residents are accustomed to earthshaking explosions and deep booms that drift down from the research facility behind “M” Mountain.
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New Mexico Tech ... World class education

New Mexico Tech is also well known among scientists, engineers and employers — and that reputation gives Tech graduates an advantage in the job market, often with higher-paying salaries. While education and research are top-notch at Tech, there is also an abundance of opportunities for students as well as community members. The school has more than 40 clubs and organizations that range from rock climbing, caving and off-roading to ballroom dancing and rugby. The Performing Arts Series at Tech brings musicians and artists from around the world to Macey Center, where more than a dozen shows are performed each year. Tech’s year-round swimming pool and full-featured gym are available to students and faculty. The university’s outdoor facilities include a rock-climbing wall, tennis courts and intramural fields. In addition to all the academic and community programs, Tech offers classes to the general public through its Community College at Tech program. There are a multitude of courses to choose from including: fine arts such as photography, ceramics and metal art, to classes that get your heart rate going like aerobic kickboxing and karate. Classes in yoga and pilates are also available as well as classes in dance, music and basic computer programs. In 2010, Tech was ranked number 12 in the nation in the “best value” category by the Princeton Review. To find out more about what New Mexico Tech has to offer, visit www.nmt.edu. El Defensor Chieftain

Mineral Museum ... As seen on TV ...
A hidden gem
he New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources’ Mineral Museum is one of Socorro’s hidden gems. Located in the Workman Addition on the NM Tech campus, the collection features more than 15,000 specimens, with a special emphasis on minerals found in New Mexico. Highlights include a collection of gold, silver and precious gems referred to as “Coronado’s Treasure Chest,” smithsonite from the nearby Kelly Mine, and a stunning ultraviolet-mineral exhibit. Historic tools and equipment used in the mining industry throughout time are displayed in the main gallery. Other exhibits include meteorites, fossils, thematic displays illustrating the mineral wealth from around New Mexico. In addition to the display gallery, the Mineral Museum maintains a large reference collection for scientific research. Access to the reference collection can be arranged by contacting the museum director. One of the big events of the year is the New Mexico Mineral Symposium. Celebrating its 31st anniversary in 2010, the symposium is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13-14. The museum is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 575-835-5420 or visit http://geoinfo.nmt. edu/museum.

Ka-booms, busters, burgers & UFOs


irst-time visitors may have first heard about Socorro County by seeing it on television. No less than four television productions featuring local talent were aired on TV in 2009. Beginning in April, the first of several episodes of the popular science show “Mythbusters” filmed at New Mexico Tech were shown on the Discovery Channel. Tru-TV aired the mini-series “Man vs. Cartoon” last summer. The premise of the show was to see if Wile E. Coyote had a proper engineering education, would he have been able to successfully catch the his nemesis, the Roadrunner. Assisted by Energetic Materials Research Testing Center personnel, two teams of Tech engineering students attempted to recreate 10 stunts that were featured in six hourlong episodes. Meanwhile, over on the Food Network, Bobby Olguin, proprietor of the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, N.M., prevailed in a “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” Although Flay cooked up a great gourmet burger that rated high on the judge’s scorecard, Olguin’s traditional New Mexico green chile cheeseburger rated higher. Switch back to Discovery Channel, and there was an episode of “UFO Hunters” dedicated in part to the UFO sighting by Socorro Police Officer Lonnie Zamora, in 1964. Co-host Pat Uskert interviewed several Socorroans, including Zamora.


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an Antonio, N.M., is known to some as the gateway to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge where thousands of visitors come every year to photograph the flocks of Sandhill Cranes and other migrating birds who make the refuge their winter home. San Antonio is also the birthplace of Conrad Hilton, one of New Mexico’s earliest legislators and founder of the Hilton hotel empire. Since the 1940s, when scientists working on the Manhattan Project at the nearby Trinity Site stopped here for meals, San Antonio has been known as the place to go for a world-class green chile cheeseburger. For decades, hungry travelers in the know have planned their itineraries to arrive at San Antonio just in time for lunch or dinner. The Owl Bar Café & Steakhouse serves up several slices of history with their World Famous Burger. While waiting — it’s not a long one — to get on the outside of a hot juicy burger, visitors can look at


San Antonio ... A ‘Burger Town’

framed photographs and articles about the men who prepared the ground for the first test of the atomic bomb. The beautiful hardwood bar that runs the length of the café came from the first Hilton Hotel. The story goes that after the hotel burned down, Civilian Conservation Corps workers carried the bar from its original site to the Owl Bar. It took them two days, and all they asked for in compensation was burgers and a little beer. A tradition for many years at the Owl Bar is for first-time customers to write

their name and home town on a dollar bill and pin it to the wall. At the end of the year, the bills are taken down and the money is donated to charity. So many visitors honor this tradition that by December every year, the walls and ceiling are covered with the names of people who have come to the Owl Bar from all over the globe. In 2003, the Owl Bar Café & Steakhouse was listed on Epicurious.com as one of the top 10 burgers in America. n See San Antonio, Page 31

San Antonio General Store

Home made Fudge Ice Cream Beverages Refreshments Gasoline
575-835-4594 #75 US Hwy 380 San Antonio NM 87832
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San Antonio:
Continued from Page 30 Across the street is the Buckhorn Tavern, built in 1943, and known to locals as just Manny’s for the original owner, Manny Olguin. Since the early days, the Buckhorn has been a place where people come to listen to live music and enjoy an outstanding burger. Manny’s piano has a place of honor on the stage, and since his death, people claim to have heard his ghost playing the piano at odd hours of the night. The tavern is still in the family, run now by Manny’s son, Bobby Olguin, a blues musician who takes to the stage every other Monday night with a band called Blue Monday. The succulent Buckhorn Burger has had its share of accolades. In 2005, GQ magazine named it the seventh best burger in America and, in 2009, Marlboro.com’s “Nightlife Flavor Roundup” called it the No. 3 “baddest burger in the land.” The Buckhorn Burger gained national attention again in 2009 when Food Network Chef Bobby Flay came to town and challenged Bobby Olguin to a Green Chile Cheeseburger Throwdown. Since then, people regularly flock to San Antonio from as far away as Las Cruces and Albuquerque just to eat the burger that bested Bobby Flay. Which burger is best? Our suggestion is that you try them both, and make up your own mind. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Socorro Plaza Realty
116 Plaza, on the Plaza • 575-835-2498 • Fax: 575-838-0095 socorroplazarealty.com

Don Brown Qualifying Broker
(505) 507-2915

norma meeks
Associate Broker

DenelDa Chavez
Associate Broker

(505) 550-0235

(575) 418-1408

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Magdalena ... A real Old West town
icknamed “Trail’s End,” Magdalena was once the destination for those who traveled the “Hoof Highway.” The historic Stock Driveway was a thoroughfare used by ranchers and cowboys to drive cattle and sheep from as far away as Arizona across the San Agustin Plains to the stockyard in Magdalena. The driveway was used annually from 1885, when a railroad spur was built connecting Magdalena to Socorro, through 1971, when trucking supplanted transport by train. The trail became a designated driveway by the Grazing Homestead Act of 1916. The driveway was 5 to 10 miles wide and extended about 125 miles west to Springerville, Ariz. Another branch of the trail extended from Reserve and merged with the main trail at Datil. Cowboys could drive cattle about 10 miles a day, while herders moved their sheep about 5 miles a day, allowing them to graze along the way. Wells were drilled every 10 miles to accommodate the herds. In 1919, as many as 150,000 sheep and 21,000 cattle used the trail to reach the stockyard. The original stockyards are still intact. The village celebrates its history as an


Old West town with its annual Old-Timers Reunion in July. Acknowledging its past, the Magdalena Schools adopted the Steer as its mascot. But Magdalena also owes its origins to the mining industry. The operators of Kelly Mine, located about 3 miles south of town in the Magdalena Mountains, were at least partly responsible for bringing the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad spur to Magdalena, so its ore could be brought to Socorro some 20 miles away by rail to be smeltered. When the mining ran its course and Kelly became a ghost town, Magdalena absorbed many of its residents during the early 1900s. Serving both the ranching and mining industries, Magdalena was once a bustling Old West town. The post office was established in 1884. Several saloons and hotels catered to the cowboys, miners and frontier families that lived in the area. Cattle rustling, shootouts on Main Street and barroom brawls are part of the town’s legendary history. Even today, the Magdalena Trail Drivers Association regularly holds Cowboy Action

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Shooting events a few miles west of town. The railroad also played a big part. Much of the town’s history is preserved at the Box Car Museum, located next to the restored railroad depot that now houses the village’s administrative offices and library. Many of the historic buildings are still in use, either as homes or housing businesses. Today, Magdalena is a quiet town of roughly 1,000 residents. It’s history, galleries and outdoor recreation opportunities make it a popular tourist destination. Magdalena is also home to the London Frontier Theatre, housed in the old WPA building on Main Street. There’s plenty to see and do within easy driving distance of Magdalena. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Expanded Very Large Array is just 19 miles west on U.S. 60. The Alamo Indian Reservation is a half-hour drive down N.M. 169. There are also numerous hiking trails and camping facilities in the surrounding Cibola National Forest. Deer and elk hunters also are attracted to the area during hunting season. For more information on Magdalena, visit the Web site: www.magdalena-nm.com. El Defensor Chieftain

Boxcar Museum ...

Next stop: Magdalena’s past

Don’t miss this

Old-Timers Reunion
For more than 30 years, the Village of Magdalena has celebrated its history as an Old West mining and cattle-shipping center on the second weekend of July. The event includes a rodeo and street dance on Friday; a parade and barbecue cookout and more rodeo events on Saturday; a pancake breakfast and the Kelly Mine walk-run on Sunday; as well as a arts, crafts and music throughout the weekend. One of the highlights is the crowning of the Old-Timers Queen, preceded by the parade down Main Street on Saturday morning.

July 9-11

he Village of Magdalena could not have a more fitting place to house the stories of its early mining and ranching days than the Boxcar Museum. The museum is located in a Santa Fe Rail Road boxcar at the former train depot, now the village library. The railroad spur built in 1885, connecting Magdalena to Socorro, played a huge role in the village’s history. Until the 1970s, ranchers drove cattle from as far away as Arizona to the Magdalena stockyards to be shipped by train, and ore from the Kelly Mine was transported by rail to smelters until the mine closed in the 1950s. The Boxcar Museum collection holds photographs, memorabilia and artifacts donated by residents that tell the story of miners, cowboys and the homesteaders who settled the area. Museum volunteers are compiling notebooks of letters and photographs for more than 40 area families. The museum hours are the same as the hours of the library in the former depot: Monday, Tuesday and Friday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Children of people who moved away come back to look up their family history,” said Lucy Pino, director of the library, who unlocks the museum for visitors. “We also get a lot of visitors who worked on the railroad or who had family members who were railroad men.”

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Alamo Navajo ... A ‘state’ of a nation
early 30 miles from Magdalena on N.M. 169 is the Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation, an isolated division of the Navajo Nation. Alamo Navajo encompasses 63,000 acres in the northwest corner of Socorro County, an area that provides spectacular views of mountains, rolling hills and slanted mesas. Bordered on the south by the Gallinas Mountains, the landscape is dotted with chamizal and cactus, juniper and piñon trees. Sheep can be spotted grazing in secluded sections of the countryside, even on the north side of “Unnecessary Ridge” — so named in a previous era when it blocked access to a trading post. Shepherd markers still stand atop some peaks. Former homes (called hogans) and sweat lodges used for purification rituals remain scattered on parts of the reservation. Other evidence of the past can be found in petroglyphs painted on rock bordering the Rio Salada. Fossils millions of years old are imbedded in rock and shark teeth have been found scattered over some of the land’s flat, rocky floor. Today, roughly 2,200 residents live on the reservation and many of them carry on the traditions and language passed down from their ancestors. How the people came to live at Alamo remains a bit of a mystery. It could be the Anasazi migrated to the area after abandoning settlements to the north. Another theory is that bands of nomadic Indians wandered from Canada and the Northwest — perhaps initially across the Berring Straight — down the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The Navajo people — known in their native language as Diné, which means “the people” — meandered to the American Southwest. The tribe probably sustained themselves as hunters and gatherers long before bands turned to shepherding and formed settlements. The bloodlines of the people living at Alamo are largely mixed. The territory roamed by the Apache Indians and settled by the Navajo overlapped and intermarriage between the tribes occurred. Some residents of Alamo claim to be descendents
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of the great “war shaman” Geronimo. The Alamo people hold a celebration of their culture and customs each October. Alamo Indian Day is typically held the weekend prior to Columbus Day. Although rich in culture, Alamo is one of the poorest communities in New Mexico and it has suffered the affects of socioeconomic conditions. Much of its development has come in recent decades, with the building of a modern school, courthouse, health clinic and wellness center. The modern development that has come to the reservation in the last 10 years is largely due to the Alamo Navajo School Board Inc., which has been instrumental in bringing services to the area. In 2009, the T’iis Tsoh Mini-mart opened, providing the people with convenient access to food and gasoline. Previously, residents had to travel 29 miles to Magdalena for such services. Housing is another priority on the reservation, since some residents still live in a traditional fashion without indoor plumbing and electricity. Tribal leadership is also working to bring a new senior center to the community.

Don’t miss this

Alamo Indian Day
Alamo Indian Day celebrates the heritage and culture of the people of the Alamo Navajo Indian reservation. The event includes the crowning of Miss Alamo, a parade, dance, song, storytelling, cooking and weaving demonstrations, exhibits and contests, most of which takes place at Walter’s Park.

October 8-9

Alamo is served by KABR-AM radio, which, for the last 25 years, has provided information and entertainment to those who reside there. As a chapter of the Navajo Nation, Alamo is governed much like a state in the United States. Decisions affecting tribal members and Alamo’s infrastructure are made by elected officials at the Chapter House — the center of the reservation. For more information on Alamo, call the Chapter House at 575-854-2686. El Defensor Chieftain

Abeytas — North of Bernardo along the west banks of the Rio Grande, the small farming and ranching community of Abeytas has ties to the Belen Land Grant of 1740. Alamillo — Alamillo lies north of Socorro, on the east side of I-25 across from San Acacia. In the early 17th century, Franciscans established the Santa Ana de Alamillo mission at the Piro Indian Pueblo there. Bernardo — Bernardo is mainly thought of as the place where U.S. 60 intersects with I-25. Navajo and Apache horse thieves, and later American ones, hid in the mountains to the west, known as Los Ladrones (The Thieves). Escondida — Escondida, at the north edge of Socorro, boasts a recreational lake and a State Police station, despite its small size.

Our Communities ... More places we call home
Farley — Farley was a project of the one-time train master at San Marcial, J.B. Frailey. Workers quarried limestone, loaded it onto wagons or rail cars, which were hauled to San Antonio, N.M., and connected there to AT&SF rail lines. Las Nutrias — The Las Nutrias community exists on N.M. 304 between U.S. 60 and Veguita. In 1765, 30 families settled in an area known then as San Gabriel de Las Nutrias. La Joya — Spanish for “the jewel,” the area just across the Rio Grande from the I-25 Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge offramp. Piro Indians inhabited it before the Spaniards came. Lemitar — The small community of Lemitar lies just off I-25 several miles north of Socorro. The town started around 1831, according to David Pike’s book, “Roadside New Mexico.” Polvadera — Polvadera lies just north of Lemitar. The name is from polvareda, the Spanish word for dusty. The book “Roadside History of New Mexico” mentions a story that God told the people that the spot would be a desert if no rain came by Aug. 10. When it didn’t, they named the town “Polvadera,” according to the story. Sabinal — Heading north from Abeytas on N.M. 116, the tiny community of Sabinal is the last stop before crossing into Bosque and Valencia County. Don Fernando de la Concha, governor in the late 1780s and early 1790s, established the idea of an Indian reservation long before the United States introduced the concept. The farming and ranching town sits on the west bank of the Rio Grande. San Acacia — The town of San Acacia lies east of

Alamilla, between I-25 and the Rio Grande. In the area, a black basalt butte that was a landmark on the trading route El Camino Real carries the same name. San Marcial — On the east bank of the Rio Grande between what is now the Bosque del Apache Nation Wildlife Refuge and Fort Craig. The town was buried in a flood in 1929. Today there are a few scattered residents of San Marcial. San Pedro — About a mile east of San Antonio, N.M. is the small town of San Pedro. Listed as a ghost town, there are still residents in the area. Veguita — This small community is located in a hilly area east of the Rio Grande in the northernmost part of Socorro County. Originally part of the land grant of Casa Colorado (sometimes Colorada).

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olf enthusiasts enjoy the New Mexico Tech Golf Course for its challenging layout, scenic vistas and value. The 18-hole championship course is located just west of the university and boasts “M” Mountain as a backdrop. The track takes golfers over rolling hills and dramatic elevation changes, while providing dynamic views of the Rio Grande Valley. Golfers will use every club in the bag to get around the 6,688-yard, par-72 course (5,887, 73 for women). The course carries a 71.2 rating and 126 slope for men; 72.8, 122 for women. Trees line the well-groomed course, which features several devious doglegs and requires players to dodge water hazards. There are two dozen sand bunkers to contend with and 11 ponds, which come into play on 10 holes. The greens are mostly level but are known to be quite fast. The signature hole is No. 10, which runs east of the clubhouse parallel to Canyon Road. Players strike their tee shot between a funnel of trees that line both sides of the fairway. Their second shot on the 371-yard par-4 is aimed at a green completely surrounded by ponds. While the course is open year-round, it blossoms in the spring. The Bermuda fairway grass turns green, and when all the trees are in bloom the fairways become narrower and the course becomes more scenic. New Mexico Tech Golf Course has all the amenities, including a well-stocked pro shop, men’s and women’s locker rooms, a driving range, and putting and chipping greens. The “M” Mountain Grill serves breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages. Typically uncrowded, the course fills up for various tournaments throughout the year. In 2010, the New Mexico Tech Golf Course plays host to the New Mexico Seniors Match Play Golf Tournament on Sunday through Tuesday, March 21-23. The course will attract the top teenage players in the state for the Class 5A state high school tournament Sunday through Tuesday, May 9-11. The Sun Country Women’s Championship Golf Tournament comes to NMTCG on Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25. Dozens of other tournaments are held throughout the year that serve as fundraisers for local groups and organizations.

New Mexico Tech Golf Course ... G

18 challenging holes

The Socorro Open, held Sunday through Saturday, June 6-12, is an official Sun Country PGA tournament open to professionals and amateurs. The tournament, known as the Hilton Open in its early years, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2010. A side event to the Socorro Open is the Elfego Baca Shoot, one of the most unique — and challenging — golf competitions in the world. Golfers tee off from atop “M” Mountain, at an elevation of 7,423 feet, and play to a 50-foot wide “hole” near the base of the mountain that’s roughly 2,000 feet below and three miles away. But most people prefer playing the championship course, which is challenging enough. For more information on the New Mexico Tech Golf Course and the events it hosts, call 575-835-5335 or visit http:// externalweb.nmt.edu/nmtgolf.

Don’t miss this

Socorro Open Elfego Baca Shoot
Socorro’s own professional golf tournament will celebrate its 50th year in 2010. While the pro flight attracts some of the best golfers in the Southwest, the tournament is open to amateurs who are Sun Country Golf Association members and have registered handicaps. In addition to the 54-hole headline event, the tournament includes the famous Elfego Baca Shoot, where golfers tee off from near the peak of “M” Mountain and play over rugged terrain to a target 2,000 feet below.

June 6-12
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ocorro offers a many opportunities for casual outdoor recreation and there are a number of groups to link up with depending on your interests. Socorro Striders and Riders is one of the most active groups and regularly holds small events for area residents who are into running and cycling, and some larger competitions that draw hundreds of athletes from around the state and beyond. Many of the SSR events are designed to be competitive for participants at all levels of fitness. For current and upcoming activities visit www.stridersandriders.blogspot.com. The Socorro Tennis Association had a wide range of players from teens to seniors. Players meet daily and tournaments are held once a month. Visit www.socorro.com/sta/ for more information. The City of Socorro sponsors sports leagues for both adults and children. During the summertime, youth baseball, T-ball and men’s and women’s softball is played weeknights at Sedillo Park. During the fall and winter, the city has adult volleyball and youth basketball leagues that compete at Finley Gym, the city’s recreation center. For young soccer players, AYSO Region 364 holds spring and fall seasons that play at Sedillo Park. For more information visit www.ayso364.org. Socorro has a junior wrestling team and several boxing clubs for those who are interested in martial competition. Magdalena is home to the Magdalena Traildrivers, a club for those who are interested in Cowboy Action Shooting. For more information visit www.magdalenatraildrivers.com.


Active Interests ... Living a healthy lifestyle

Don’t miss this

Chile Harvest Triathlon
Socorro Striders and Riders hosts the annual Chile Harvest Triathlon, which is part of the Southwest Challenge Series. The sprint triathlon starts with a 400-meter swim followed by a 20K bike route ends with a 5K run on a loop course. It has a seeded, time trial event start and follows all USA Triathlon rules. For more information on the triathlon and details on the route visit www.socorro.com/ssr/chile/.

August 7


We never stop moving!

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Rock Climbing ... Ascending new heights
e’re going to let you in on a notso-well-kept recreational secret: Socorro rocks! Climbers from around the state, country and even points beyond flock to Socorro County to experience one of the state’s greatest outdoor recreational pastimes — rock climbing. Box Canyon — a Bureau of Land Management holding located some six miles southwest of Socorro on U.S. 60 — boasts a wealth of climbing opportunities for novices, weekend warriors and seasoned rock jocks, alike. Whether you’re a sport climber or a boulderer, the Box will not leave you wanting. Dozens of top-roped routes — ranging in difficulty from easy to daunting — await traditional climbers. For those who want a more pure climbing experience, thousands of boulder problems stand ready to challenge even the most skilled.


The Box comprises 320 acres of predominately igneous outcroppings. The porphyritic andesite, which typifies the popular Waterfall wall, is brutal on tender skin, but solid for making ascents. Although getting to the Box is easy, deciding where to climb once you arrive provides the biggest challenge. From the parking lot — where a developed restroom facility adds to the functionality of the venue — roped routes and stellar boulders, including Ultimate, are within a few hundred yards. Traveling north from the parking lot, Waterfall is about a half-mile hike. For those who are looking for additional challenges, a quick jaunt past the parking lot broadens the bouldering options exponentially. From the recently established Fight Club Wall to the consummate Unbeatable and the expansive Spook area, Box is truly a bouldering paradise. Socorro’s climbing aficionados are constantly discovering new rocky treasures to

ascend so “stale” is a rarely uttered word when describing this Mecca. Climbing opportunities, however, are not limited to the Box alone. Further west on U.S. 60 lies the town of Datil, where traditional climbers have been taking the sport to new heights for more than two decades. Climbs here range from easy to “there’s no way a human being could make it up that” routes. Continuing on past Datil, Monster Island — a recently discovered granite playground — is gaining popularity and providing further challenges for climbers to tame. To the east of Socorro lies the Quebradas Backcountry area, where pockets of limestone afford climbers yet another option. Regardless of experience and ability, climbers are reminded that risk is involved with every route. Climbing with partners is always recommended as are regular equipment checks to ensure that gear is working properly. El Defensor Chieftain

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Mt. Biking ... Fat tire fun
he Socorro area offers a plethora of routes for those who are interested in mountain biking. Many experienced mountain bikers prefer the roads and trails that circuit their way through the rough Quebradas hills just east of Socorro. Others tackle the high altitude trails that can be found along Magdalena Ridge or near Mount Withington. For more casual riders, the ditch banks and roads around Socorro offer seemingly endless miles of trails to explore. Bikers can stick to shorter loops near town, travel north to San Acacia or south to San Antonio, N.M., in the scenic Bosque. For up-to-date information on trails and accessibility it is a good idea to stop by the Bureau of Land Management Office at 901 S. Highway 85, or the Magdalena Ranger District Office in Magdalena.


Don’t miss this

Tour of Socorro
The Tour of Socorro consists of the grueling South Baldy Hill Climb, an 8.3-mile course that climbs nearly 4,000 feet and the Cerillos del Coyote, a course that winds through the arroyos and hills of the Quebradas, just east of Socorro. Event information can be found on-line at www.socorro.com/ssr/tour/.

April 17-18

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Camping ... Pitch a tent and enjoy the outdoors
ith more than 800,000 acres of national forest land located within the immediate vicinity, camping opportunities abound in the Socorro area. The Cibola National Forest has six campgrounds for people to enjoy that are available during the spring and summer months. Arguably the most popular camping spot is Water Canyon. • The Water Canyon campground is a popular camping venue that was recently renovated, and has about 15 sites for overnight camping, as well as picnicking areas and a spot dedicated to a large-group gatherings. There is no water at the campground, but there are areas for garbage and restroom facilities. • The Bear Trap campground has restrooms, camping and picnicking areas, and trailer parking. • Springtime campground offers restrooms, and camping and picnicking areas. • Hughes Mill offers restrooms, camping and picnicking areas, and trailer parking.


All of the established campgrounds afford visitors with countless hiking trails, wildlife viewing opportunities and other recreational pursuits, including rock climbing, mountain biking trails and much, much more. For up-to-date and complete information on trails and campgrounds visit the National Forest office located on U.S. 60

in Magdalena, or call 575-854-2281. The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and offers a variety of National Forest and Wilderness maps for sale. Since water is scarce, visitors are strongly encouraged to bring their own water. See Directory on next page for area commercial campgrounds.

AG Country Propane

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Campground Directory
Bosque Bird Watchers RV Park 1481 N.M. 1 San Antonio, NM 87832 575-835-1366 Casey’s Socorro RV Park 1101 S.Frontage Road Socorro 575-835-2234 Datil Well Campground Datil 575-835-0412 Escondida Lake Park Escondida 575-835-2041 Montosa RV Park & Campground U.S. 60, Magdalena 575-854-2235 Santa Fe Diner & RV Park I-25 & Highway 107 Exit at Mile Marker 115 575-854-2784 Tom’s RV Park #4 506 U.S. 60 #4, Socorro 575-838-2075 Water Canyon Campground Cibola National Forest U.S. 60, Mile Marker 123.5 575-854-2281 The Western Bed & Breakfast/RV Park 404 First St., Magdalena 575-854-2417

Birding ...

Seek out our feathered friends

isitors from all over the globe come to Socorro for the opportunity to see sandhill cranes and other migratory birds wintering at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge — but birdwatching on the refuge can be excellent year-round. A list of 377 species sighted throughout the year is available from the Friends of the Bosque del Apache’s Web site, www.friendsofthebosque.org. At Water Canyon, 16 miles west of Socorro on U.S. 60, birders can spot Scaled Quail, Western Tanagers and Red-faced Warblers among the many species supported by the varied habitat, which ranges from desert grassland to montain forest. Water Canyon is also considered an excellent location to see noctural

birds like the Flammulated Owl and the Western Screech Owl. Closer to Socorro, but also on U.S. 60, is Box Canyon, where you can see Montezuma Quail, Grey Vireos and many others. North of Socorro, the LaJoya Waterfowl Area and the Gordon Ladd Waterfowl Complex provide winter feed and a secure habitat for many species of water fowl and the occasional bald eagle.

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Horseback Riding ... Saddle up and enjoy the ride
ome of the most breathtaking views in Socorro County are those that can be seen from horseback. With the Rio Grande River to the east of Socorro, and “M” Mountain to the west, riders can experience a multitude of terrain right in their own backyard. Dacodah Herkenhoff, owner of San Acacia Riding Adventures, said there is a tremendous amount land, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, open for horseback riding. “There are hundreds of thousands of acres to ride on,” Herkenhoff said. “Any kind of terrain you can experience throughout the country we have right here in New Mexico.” So what makes horseback riding in Socorro County so good? Herkenhoff said the reason is that 90 percent of the time you can walk, trot and gallop in a safe manner because of the terrain in the area, where in other parts of the country that’s not always the case. “We have the best terrain for full-out run rides,” he said. “As a beginner you can experience cantering on your first time out.” In addition, the many canyons in the surrounding area allow for riders to explore the hidden treasures visitors may otherwise not see. “San Lorenzo Canyon is one of the most beautiful canyons in the world,” Herkenhoff said. “It’s absolutely phenomenal.” You don’t own a horse? No worries. SARA provides all kinds of riding opportunities to those who want to experience the thrill of riding. With 22 horses in the stable, Herkenhoff said their horses are gentle enough for even the most inexperienced rider. Another organization that explores the great outdoors by horseback is the Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico. The Socorro chapter received their charter in 2006, and has been active in preserving trails and conducting clean-ups — all the while enjoying the ride. “We are a service organization,” Socorro BCHNM president Tom Bryant emphasized. “We maintain trials and work to keep trails open.” While anyone is welcome to join the BCHNM, as a general rule, you need to have your own horse to participate in the trail rides, or know someone who can lend you a horse. The BCHNM members conduct two rides per month, one trail ride and one work project, Bryant said. In addition, they also conduct horsemanship clinics for those who are interested in learning more about horses as well as riding in the back country.


“Our mission and goal and purpose is to keep the trials open, and we do this by volunteering our time, effort, and by educating people,” Bryant explained. Although there is some work involved in preserving and cleaning up trails during some of the rides, being out in nature, on horseback, is the only way to see some of the beautiful, New Mexico landscape. “There are great trails here,” BCHNM board member John Young said. “We get to see petroglyphs and really neat rock formations. You get to go to a lot of locations you (normally) couldn’t go to by yourself.” Bryant added that Socorro County is one of the best-kept secrets around, where five minutes out of town you can find plenty of places to ride horses. “We live in one of the nicest places in the world,” Bryant said. “You can ride all year round.” For information on San Acacia Riding Adventures, visit www.acaciaridingadventures.com or call Dacodah Herkenhoff at 575-517-0477. For information on Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico, visit www.bchnm.org or call Tom Bryant at 575-517-0413. BCHNM meets the third Tuesday each month.

or rock hounds there are dozens of locations in Socorro County to find interesting minerals. A stroll in San Lorenzo Canyon can yield beautiful agates. Magdalena Ridge has locations with fluorite. Limestone outcrops in the Quebradas, and elsewhere in the county, have fossilized shells and other sea creatures in them.
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Rock Hounding ... Sniffing out stones

Many abandoned mine sites have outcroppings or tailing piles with unique crystals and minerals — but be sure to check whether the mine is on claim status first, and do not enter mine shafts. For more information on sites around Socorro or mineral tips, stop by the Mineral Museum at New Mexico Tech first, or visit www.geoinfo.nmt.edu. El Defensor Chieftain

Hiking ... Hitting the trail
n abundance of scenic trails and wildlife viewing opportunities are available in Socorro to hikers who want to trek their way to hidden vistas. Hikers have more than 200 miles of trails through the backcountry to experience. During the warmer months, a honeycomb of hiking trails are available in the Cibola National Forest areas. The mountain heights help to provide cool relief for hikers during the summer months, but be prepared for rapidly developing rain storms and strong winds at the higher elevations. Water is scarce and the New Mexico sun, particularly at high altitudes, can quickly cause dehydration. Hikers should pack plenty of water and dress appropriately for the conditions. A half-dozen wilderness study areas open to hiking are within 15 to 30 minutes driving timee from Socorro for those who are looking for a more primitive experience. Explore the narrow canyons and vivid sandstone cliffs on display in the Quebradas, which means “broken hills.” Each ridge and canyon offers something different to see as a jumble of geology creates unique rock formations and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts meet in the Quebradas for an extremely wide variety of desert plants. Explore hidden routes through the hills and valleys of the Sierra Ladrones that may have once harbored bands of robbers


that preyed upon travelers of El Camino Real. For a greater challenge, take an extended hike all the way to the top of Ladron Peak for an unmatched view of central New Mexico. For information on hiking trails, one of the best sources is the National Forest office, located on U.S. 60 in Magdalena, or call 575-854-2281. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and offers a variety of National Forest and Wilderness maps for sale.

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City Parks ... Plenty of places to play
hether you’re into relaxing under a shade tree, reading a book or engaging in more physical activities such as jogging, baseball or basketball, the City of Socorro has more than six parks to choose from when making vacation plans or, for residents living in Socorro County, simply looking for a way to spend a day off. Residents and visitors alike can take their pick of one of the many parks scattered throughout the City of Socorro. With amenities such as jogging tracks, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, a swimming pool, outdoor grills and picnic tables, in addition to every child’s favorite park attraction — playground equipment — you may want to take your time and visit them all. Sedillo Park, located on Francisco de Avondo, offers fun for the whole family. Patrons of the park can choose to utilize the athletic fields, tennis and basketball courts, regulation horseshoe pits, two playgrounds, an Olympic-sized swimming pool or the baseball diamonds. The park also has a covered picnic area with outdoor grills that can be reserved for private parties or celebrations. Without even knowing it, children and adults can turn exercise into fun by bringing along their own sports equipment, creating games and a little competition through these available outdoor amenities. Even in winter, the mild temperatures in Socorro make for


year-round pleasure at all the parks. One event you don’t want to miss is the Annual Easter Egg Hunt held the Saturday before Easter at Sedillo Park. It’s guaranteed fun for everyone. A new park addition the city offers is Clarke Field, located at the corner of California and Spring streets. Clarke Field has a jogging track and skate park, as well as covered picnic tables, outdoor grills and playground equipment. Reservations can be made if you’d like to host an event or party. Other public playgrounds include B Street Park, on B Street behind the Circle K convenience store; Western Hills Park, on Garden Circle; West Place Park on West Street; and Lena Jaramillo Park, on Granada Street off U.S. 60. Although not as large as Sedillo Park and Clarke Field, these parks have plenty of playground equipment to entertain young and old alike, and are wonderful picnic spots. For more information on reserving outdoor grills for private parties or events, call Socorro City Hall at 575-835-0240 or 575-835-8927 for the Parks and Recreation Department.

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On the Fly ... Airports give aviators access
ecreational flyers have access to two public airports in Socorro County. Socorro Municipal Airport, located south of town, has undergone several upgrades in the last year. The terminal was completely renovated and an Automated Weather Observation System went online for the first time in July 2009. Pilots can now set their radio frequency to 118.325 to hear the weather conditions at the airport, including temperature, wind speed and direction, ceiling, visibility, altimeter, and density altitude. The same information is available to pilots — or anyone else for that matter — before take off by calling 575-838-3993. At an elevation of 4,875, Socorro Municipal Airport consists of two asphalt runways. Runway 1 runs east-west and is 60 feet wide and 4,590 feet long. Runway 2, the north-south approach, is 100 feet wide and 5,841 feet long.


The airport plays host to the “M” Mountain Fly-in on Sept. 25. Airport Manager David Chavez can be contacted at 575-835-4477. Magdalena’s Ambers Guin Field is located a few miles west of the village limits at an elevation of 6,727 feet. It has a natural soil runway that runs 5,650 feet in length and 50 feet wide. The airport gets most of its use during the fall and winter, during deer and elk hunting seasons. Airport Manager Ambers Guin, can be reached at 575-854-2462. Model airplane enthusiasts also have a place to fly their planes. The Chile Proppers model airplane club has its own airfield located on Energetic Materials and Testing Center property. The club holds an annual flyin of its own, this year it’s scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2-3. For information on the Chile Proppers, call club president Larry Vanlandingham at 575-418-0678.

Don’t miss this

Aviation Day
Airplane enthusiasts will enjoy the “M” Mountain Fly-in on Aviation Day at the Socorro Municipal Airport. The event attracts dozens of planes, from modern Cessnas to old war birds. The hundreds of visitors who come for the event can walk the tarmac and get an up-close look at a variety of flying machines.

September 25

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ocorro may be small, with a population under 10,000, but it boasts an exceptional diversity of arts and entertainment to rival any major metropolitan area. The New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series, currently under the direction of Ronna Kalish, has been bringing internationally acclaimed performers to Socorro audiences since the mid-1980s. The list of artists who have performed at the NM Tech Macey Center in recent years includes Arlo Guthrie and Family, Leo Kotke, Tish Hinojosa, and Natalie MacMasters. Visitors to the Performing Arts Series have seen concerts by the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, operettas by the Santa Fe Opera Apprentices, dance programs by the National Ballet Hispanico and performances by the Golden Dragon Acrobats from China and the Shidara Taiko ensemble from Japan. “One of my biggest priorities,” said Kalish, “is working with a statewide consortia of non-profit performing arts presenters throughout the state to put together tours and make it worthwhile for artists to come our smaller venues.” Another priority for Kalish, who recently won a New Mexico Distinguished


Performing Arts Series ... Taking center stage
Public Service Award for her contributions to the community and the state, is bringing performance artists into the schools to interact with the youngest members of the community. The Performing Arts Series is also a partner in community events from the annual Fourth of July Celebration to Socorro Fest to the annual Community Arts Party. The Performing Arts Series concert line-up for the spring season includes Grammy Award-winning artist Robert Mirabal, performing ancient and contemporary Native American flute at the Macey Center in April 2010. For more information about upcoming shows, call 575-835-5688 or visit www.nmtpas.org. The Macey Center is a spacious and versatile venue, and hosts not only the Performing Arts Series but a multitude of other events and conferences throughout the year. The 615-seat theater is used for dance recitals and school concerts, spring musicals and winter feasts, film festivals and workshops. The large lobby and meeting rooms accomodate a variety of functions, from weddings and banquets to the occasional Sci-Fi Convention and the annual Mineral Symposium every fall. The state Science

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Fair and the Science Olympiad are held there each year in spring. The Macey Center includes a 3400 square foot art gallery featuring exhibits by local photographers, painters and fiber artists, open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery space is large enough to hold catered luncheons and the annual spring fashion show, and on some occasions, even local arts and crafts vendors. For information about upcoming events or available services, call 575-835-5342. The center is also home to classical music performance sponsord by NM Tech President Dr. Dan Lopez. The Presidential Chamber Music Series holds concerts four times a year, hosted by New Mexico Symphony Orchestra violist Willy Sucre. The concerts are free, and open to the entire community. Socorro’s thriving local arts and music scene includes other venues. Visitors can enjoy many kinds of live music at restaurants, coffeehouses and bars, from country to Celtic to the blues. Events as varied as plays and poetry slams can be found on weekends. For information about upcoming events, check the calendar listings in the El Defensor Chieftain, or visit www. socorromusic.com. El Defensor Chieftain

Garcia Opera House ...

A vintage venue

Theater ...

Go see a show

he Garcia Opera House was built in 1886, in a decade when the discovery of lead and silver in the nearby Magdalena Mountains transformed Socorro from a quiet town of a few hundred people to a thriving center of commerce and industry, with a population of more than 4,000. The opera house opened on Dec. 1, 1886, with an event advertised as a “musical festival composed of 100 musicians, followed by a grand dance and supper.” Since that first spectacular extravaganza, the Garcia Opera House has been the setting for events including masquerade balls, political rallies, arts and crafts festivals, school concerts, weddings and banquets. For more information, contact the Garcia Opera House Foundation at 575-835-8211 or visit www.socorrobanking.com/garciaoperahouse.

• The Socorro Community Theater has staged an average of two productions a year in the historic Garcia Opera House, from Shakespearian plays to modern comedies and dramas, every year since 1994. For more information about Socorro Community Theater, call 575-835-2564 or visit www.socorro.com/sct/. • The London Frontier Theatre performs inhouse plays and melodramas at the historic WPA theater at Main & Fourth street in Magdalena. For more information, call 575-854-2519 or visit www.londonfrontiertheatre.com. • The New Loma Stadium Cinema on Manzanares Street is the place to go to see a flick. The movie theater was recently renovated with stadium-style rocking seats, new curtains, new stucco on the building’s exterior, new poster cases and state-of-the-art digital video and sound systems. Movies are shown every evening beginning at 7 p.m. with afternoon matinees on the weekends. For more information, visit www.lomacinema.com

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There’s lots to do ... Enhancing the Quality of Life
ocorro’s mayor of 20 years, Dr. Ravi Bhasker, makes it his personal and public goal to strive continuously to raise the quality of life in Socorro for the benefit of both residents and visitors. The City of Socorro organizes and sponsors a variety of activities all through the year that make Socorro not just a great place to live, work and raise a family, but also a fun and exciting place to visit. Every February, civil war reenactors recreate the Battle of Valverde and the Siege of Socorro, and tourism director Deborah Dean collaborates with them to produce a celebration of Victorian-era fashion, music and dance. Every May, the city organizes an annual Cinco de Mayo celebration with live music, dancing, food and drink, and games and art projects for the kids. The annual Posole Cook-Off and Tortilla Making Contest, in November, is another free city-sponsored event that celebrates Socorro’s rich cultural heritage. Not all the events arranged by the city hark back to Socorro’s past. April’s Earth Day Celebration draws the community together with a common purpose, with live music and special events throughout the day. Competitors and spectators alike take a special interest in the Trash Fashion and Costume Contest, which requires all entries to be made from “trash” or at least from materials that would otherwise be discarded. On the same theme, the city sponsors a program called Keep Socorro Beautiful, that rewards school groups and civic organizations who spend a day picking up litter with donations to support their fundraising efforts. The annual Community Arts Party, held every February, draws hundreds of families to Finley Gym for free arts and crafts activities. The annual Community Yard Sale every summer is a great way to spend the day, strolling around in the sunshine and visiting with your neighbors. In Socorro, everyone is your neighbor. The gazebo on the Plaza is the perfect stage for free music concerts featuring local bands. In the spring, summer and fall, when the weather can be counted on to be clear and sunny, the


Don’t miss this

Mother’s Day Pow Wow
The annual Mother’s Day Pow Wow is held each May on Mother’s Day weekend, at Sedillo Park. The event includes gourd dancing, singers and drum groups, and a Chicken Dance contest. Food as well as arts and crafts vendors are also on hand, and it’s traditional for all mothers in attendance to receive flowers on Sunday. For information call Donna Monette at 575-881-8847.

May 8-9

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city welcomes visitors who come to Socorro for special events like the Chile Harvest Triathlon and the Socorro Open Golf Tournament with a “Social on the Plaza.” Other city-sponsored events that draw visitors from all across the country and the world include a Hamfest, for amateur radio enthusiasts, and the Enchanted Skies Star Party, for astronomers of every stripe. One of the most anticipated celebrations of the year is the annual two-day music festival known as Socorro Fest. The event began seven years ago as a one-day showcase for local musicians, and has grown into a major draw that still showcases local talent but also features an eclectic mix of performers from around the Southwest. Everybody loves a parade, and the City of Socorro has several. For the Candy Cane Electric Light Parade in late November, participants build elaborately decorated floats and compete for a number of prizes, including Best Illuminated. The illumination theme is continued the following weekend with the annual Luminarias on the Plaza and Beyond Art Stroll, which combines tradition and shopping in an evening of holiday cheer. For more information about the many exciting things happening in and around Socorro, contact the Heritage and Visitor Center at 575-835-8927, or visit the city’s Web site at www.socorronm.gov. El Defensor Chieftain

Don’t miss this
Socorro Fest
Socorro Fest is a free outdoor music festival sponsored by the City of Socorro. The festivities begin Friday evening with a street dance on the Historic Plaza. Live music is performed nonstop on two outdoor stages all day Saturday. Performances and workshops are scheduled throughout the day at various indoor venues as well. Socorro Fest features regional bands as well as local musicians, playing every kind of music from folk to latin to country to rock. But Socorro Fest is more than just music. The event is held at a time when the chile harvest is still fresh, and there’s a wide variety of food vendors stationed around the Plaza throughout the day. Spirits tents serve alcoholic beverages to the over-21 crowd, including wine from New Mexico vineyards and award-winning micro-brewed beers from the Socorro Springs Brewing Company. There are also activities scheduled especially for the kids, who can build sandcastles, play games and participate in arts and crafts. A popular feature of Socorro Fest celebrates a 1953 proclamation declaring Socorro a free and independent state. Free passports to the Free State of Socorro are issued at the “Port of Entry” on the Plaza.

October 8-9

Featuring Super Start Breakfast Daily Wireless Internet 1121 Frontage Rd. NW • Socorro, NM 575-835-4626 • 800-800-8000 Fax: 505-835-3988 www.super8.com
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See you along the way

Arts & Music ... Sights and sounds abound
hile Socorro County is well known for the science and technology that is being initiated at such places as the New Mexico Tech and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, there’s also astonishing work emanating from its art studios, galleries and local establishments that provide live music. Socorro County Arts, a loosely affiliated group of local artists, operates the newly revived Alamo Mercantile & Gallery on California Street in Socorro. The store provides space for 25 artists, specializing in virtually every medium, from watercolor paintings to jewelry to woodwork to sculpture. The Fullingrim-Isenhour-Leard Gallery on Abeyta Street is Socorro’s most well-known gallery. But artwork by other local artists can be found at various other shops and galleries around town. The arts scene has blossomed in Magdalena, and there are now more than a half dozen places one can go to shop for original works. Many private studios are also scattered across the county from San Antonio to Polvadera. Music can be heard streaming from such Socorro establishments as the Stage Door Grill, which holds weekly jam sessions on Thursdays, and provides live music on Fridays and Saturdays. The Capitol Bar regularly brings in bands on weekends, and


the Manzanares Coffeehouse periodically features Celtic music or entertainment by local musicians. The Roadrunner Lounge also brings in bands and is Socorro's venue for karaoke. The Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, N.M., hosts a blues night every other Monday. And the Golden Spur Saloon is the place to check out live music while in Magdalena. So while there’s a lot of science and technology coming out of Socorro County, the arts and music also thrive.

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Socorro County Chamber of Commerce 101 Plaza, Socorro 575-835-0424 www.socorro-nm.com chamber@socorro-nm.com Socorro Heritage & Visitors Center 201 Fisher, west of the Plaza 575-835-2927 Socorro Public Library 401 Park 575-835-1114 Magdalena Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Main St., Magdalena 866-854-3217 toll-free www.magdalena-nm.com Magdalena Visitors Center (Bear Mountain Coffee House & Gallery) 902 W. First St. 575-854-3310 Magdalena Public Library 108 N. Main St. 575-854-2361

For More

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Education ... Getting Schooled

Public Schools
Socorro Consolidated Schools 700 Franklin 575-838-0300 Midway Elementary Grades K-5 9 Midway, Polvadera 575-835-1098 Parkview Elementary Grades K-3 107 Francisco De Avondo 575-835-1086 San Antonio Elementary Grades K-5 South Highway 380, San Antonio, N.M. 575-835-1758

Zimmerly Elementary Grades 4-5 511 El Camino Real NW 575-835-1436 Magdalena Middle School Grades 6-8 575-854-8011 Magdalena High School Grades 9-12 575-854-8011

new Mexico tech

Socorro Cooperative Nursery School 304 McCutcheon Ave. Socorro, NM 87801 575-835-1336

Sarracino Middle School
Grades 6-8 1425 El Camino Real NW 575-835-0283 Socorro High School Grades 9-12 575-835-0700 Magdalena Municipal Schools 200 Duggins Dr., Magdalena 575-854-2241 Magdalena Elementary School Grades PreK-5 575-854-8006

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) 801 Leroy Place Socorro, NM 87801 575-835-5011 New Meico Tech Community College 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801 Cramer Hall 201 575-835-6581

Charter Schools
Cottonwood Valley Charter School 201 Neel Ave., Socorro 575- 838-2026

Headstart 239 Garfield 575-835-0008

Church Directory ... Where to worship
Calvary Chapel 701 S. Hwy 85 575-838-9535 Church of Christ 1001 El Camino Real 575-835-2272 Cops for Christ Non-Denominational Christian Fellowship Meets at Socorro Baptist Temple, S. Fairgrounds Rd. #2 575-835-3306 El Buen Pastor Park St. Behind BLM 575-835-2172 Epiphany Episcopal Church 908 Leroy Pl. 575-835-1818 Family Christian Center Assembly of God U.S. 60 and Fowler 575-835-0185 First Baptist Church 203 Spring Street 575-835-0041 First Presbyterian Church 304 McCutcheon Ave. 575-835-0942 Hope Lutheran Church 908 Leroy Pl. 575-835-9648 Jehovah’s Witnesses 922 Ake Ave. 575-838-2049 San Miguel Mission 403 El Camino Real 575-835-2891, 575-835-1620 Seventh Day Adventist 218 Garfield 505-440-9587 (leave a message) Society of Friends (Quakers) 94 Hope Farm Road 575-835-0013, 575-835-0998 Socorro Baptist Temple South Fairgorunds Rd. #2 575-835-3306 Socorro Unitarian Universalists 908 Leroy Place, Parish Hall 575-838-7114 St. Paul’s United Methodist 1000 Goad St. 575-835-1372 The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints El Camino Real 575-835-0570, 575-835-4806 Trinity Christian Fellowship 1403 El Camino Real 575-838-9000 First Baptist Church of Magdalena Kelly Road at Poplar 575-854-2389 St. Mary Magdalene Third and Elm St., Magdalena, NM 575-835-2891

MagdalenaDatil-Pie Town
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Pie Town 575-773-4623 Community Church in Magdalena Main St. at Fourth 575-854-2364 Datil Baptist Church 575-772-5577

Chihuahua Bible Chapel 1 Carlos Maritnez Rd., Vegita, NM 575-861-0008 First Assembly of God Rt. 1, Box 156, Rd. 6 ABC, Polvadera 575-835-3817

54 Directories • Discover socorro

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Socorro’s finest shops, stores and merchants
The Chamber recommends these businesses because they exhibit quality, reliability, and excellence.
Socorro County Chamber of Commerce Member Directory

Welcome to Socorro!
Auction Tumbleweed Equipment & Auction Co., 575-835-2321 Auto Repair All Around Auto, 575-835-2667 Leseberg’s Auto, 575-838-4101 Rudy’s Auto Repair, 575-838-2012 Socorro Auto Clinic, 575 835-4611 Southwest Auto Body LLC, 575-835-1006 Auto Sales Monette Ford, 575-835-1190 Auto Supplies Scott’s Auto Supply, Inc., 575-835-0550 AGGI Bros. CarQuest, 575-838-4382 Avon Sales Representatives AVON, 575-835-2842 Awards & Recognition All About Trophies & More, 505-881-2504 Banks Bank of America, 575-835-1569 Wells Fargo Bank, 575-835-2410
HeLynn’s Mane Attraction Beauty & Barber Salon, 575-838-4247

Abstract & Title JM Abstract & Title Company Inc., 575-835-1997 Security Title and Abstract, 575-838-1440 Superior Title Co., 575-835-4743 Accountants Beckham & Penner CPA, 575-835-1091 Caroline R. Hooper, Accountant, 505-761-0138 Adult & Children’s Services Tresco Inc, 575-835-0204 Advertising Directory Plus, 575-937-4482 Local Pages, 505-264-7234 PenGwen Productions/Steppin’ Out, 575-835-2127 Sun Vista Outdoor Advertising LLC, 505-239-3125 Aerospace Aerojet, 575-835-2070 Apartments Loma Vista Apartments, 575-835-3393 Socorro Village, 575-835-2330 Vista Montaño Apts, 575-835-0500 Appraisals Winton Appraisal Company, 575-835-1857 Architect Gerard R. Brown, Architect, 505-877-2838 Arts BJ Lesperance, 575 418-1848 Fernando Mercado, 575-418-7238 Fullingim, Isenhour, Leard Galleries, 575-835-4487 Georgette Grey, 575-838-0680 Holly Modine Studio, 575-854-2918 NM Tech Performing Arts Series (PAS), 575-835-5688 Pictographics, 575 835-2406 Socorro Community Theater, Inc., 575-838-0379 Socorro County Arts, 575-838-6047 Socorro Picture Framing & Art Gallery, 575-835-3348 Wild Horses of the West Art Gallery, 505-417-7005 Arts and Banquet Facilities and Conference NM Tech Macey Center, 575-835-5342 Attorneys Deschamps Law Firm, 575-838-0777 Fitch & Tausch LLC, 575-835-0048 Jerry Armijo, PA, 575-835-1400 John Gerbracht, Attorney, 575-835-2520
58 Directories • Discover socorro

Disabled American Veterans, Chapter #24, 575-835-0843 Fraternal Order of Eagles 4017 Auxiliary, 575-835-9952 Friends of the Bosque, 575-838-2110 Friends of the Socorro Public Library, 575-835-1114 Literacy Volunteers of Socorro County, 575-835-4659 Merry-Achi Christmas, 575-838-4696 NARFE Chapter 1402, 575-835-2040 Save Our Bosque Task Force, 575-835-3516 Socorro Civitan, 575-838-4716 Socorro County Fair & Rodeo Association, 575-835-0360 Socorro Lions Club, 575-835-2855 Socorro Rotary Club, 575-835-1768 The Socorro Storehouse, 575-517-7194 Clothing Brownbilt Shoe & Western Wear, 575-835-0730 Jessie’s Fine Clothing, 575-835-1772 Computer Sales & Service Computers By LTJ Services, 575-838-0576 Conservation LaJencia Creek Conservation Ranch, 505-992-8316 Construction and Contractors William H Hall, General Contractor, 575-835-3636 A-1 Quality Redi Mix Inc., 575-835-2417 Christensen Construction, 575-443-3544 Copy Shop Corner Copy, 575-835-9054 Cycles Spoke ‘N’ Word Cycles, 575-835-9673 Dance Instruction Julie Cottom’s School of Dance, 575-621-9622 Dentists Dr. C. Bonner Oates, Dentist, 575-835-1623 Dr. Duane Beers, DMD, 575-835-3662 Dog Training ABC Dog Training LLC, 505-410-5810 Dumpster Sales and Rental Dumpster Express, 505 899-3867 Education Alamo Navajo School Board, Inc., 575-854-2545 Cottonwood Valley Charter School, 575-838-2026 New Mexico Tech, 575-835-5011 NM Tech Community College, 575-835-6581 El Defensor Chieftain

Beauty & Barber

Blinds Hartwell Custom Blinds, 575-838-1677 Body Shops Goehrings Body Shop, 575-835-4792 Hicks Body Shop & Towing, 575-835-2973 Casinos Cities of Gold Casino Resort, 866-455-0515 Catering Chartwells, 575-835-6710 Greens Kitchen, 575-418-1291 Cellular and Wellness/Health Michelle’s, 575-418-0442 Churches First Baptist Church, 575-835-0041 Hope Lutheran Church, 575-838-0540 San Miguel Church and Missions 575-835-2891 Socorro Baptist Temple, 575-835-3306 Civic Organizations & Community Service Groups Animal Protective Association of Socorro 575-835-2948 Big Brothers Big Sisters, 505-837-9223

Visit www.newmexico.org and www.socorro-nm.com

Business Directory:
Socorro County Chamber of Commerce Member Directory

Small Business Development Center, 505-925-8980 Socorro Consolidated School District, 575-835-0300 Electricians Ross Electric Inc., 575-835-1320 Equine Middle Rio Grande Riding Stables, 575-517-0477 Equipment Acosta Equipment, 575-835-3961 Exercise Curves for Women, 575-835-2646 Exterminators Milton Ulibarri Pest Control, 575-835-2881 Fabric & Embroidery Bobbie’s Bobbin, 575-838-0001 Farms/Ranches/Markets A & J Family Farms, LLC, 575-838-0802 Rosales Produce, 575-835-3611 Feed, Clothing Western Mercantile, 575-835-1155 Financial Services Farm Bureau Financial Services, 575-835-0555 Florists & Nurseries and Gift Shops Bambi’s Flowers and Gifts, 575-835-2683 Christmas Store Gifts & Flowers, 575-838-0575 Gene’s Flowers & Gifts, 575-835-0552 Favor-It Things LLC, 575-838-0300 Hope Farms Nursery, 575-838-4512 Toonda’s Treasures, 575-835-1033 Casa De Regalos Gifts, 575-835-0770 Harold’s Southwestern Gifts, 575-835-3231 Sundance Gifts, 575-835-2498 Honey Bee Chama Honey, 575-918-1023 Funeral Services Steadman-Hall Funeral Home, 575-835-1530 Individual Members Mary Aguilar Bill Basham Susan Bieber Fara Earl George and Rebecca Funkhouser Mary Gillard Carol Griswold Gin Jue Judge Ted Kase Judy Lovelace El Defensor Chieftain

Donna Monette Gary and Vanetta Perry Barbara Romero Denise and Mike Shrum Gerald Watson Clinton Wellborn Furniture/Appliance Sales Plaza Furniture, 575-838-0499 Hub Furniture & Carpet Co., 505-864-4536 Aaron’s Sales & Lease, 575-838-2336 Gardening Socorro Garden Club, 575-838-2539 Golf NM Tech Golf Course, 575-835-5335 Sierra del Rio Golf Course, 575-744-5135 Government Agencies Bosque Del Apache NWR, 575-835-1828 Bureau of Land Management (BLM), 575-835-0412 County of Socorro, 575-835-0589 El Camino Real International Heritage Center, 575-854-3600 Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, 505-864-4021 Socorro County Sheriff’s Department, 575-835-0941 Socorro Heritage & Visitor Center, 575-835-8927 Socorro Municipal Court, 575-835-2558 Socorro Soil & Water Conservation District, 575-838-0078 South Central Council of Governments, 575-744-0039 City of Socorro, 575-835-0240 Graphic Design Creative Graphics, 575-418-7113 Lucky Signs, 575-854-2264 MsWisWorks Computer & Website, 575-418-8190 Smiley House Creations, 575-418-8612 Grocers John Brooks Supermart, 575-835-1553 San Antonio General Store, 575-835-4594 Smith’s Food & Drug Store, 575-835-2101 Wal-Mart Super Center # 5492, 575-838-1415 Hardware Gambles True Value Store, 575-835-1230 RAKS Building Supply, 575-835-1270 Randy’s Ace Hardware, 575-835-1872 Health and Wellness Hypnotherapy & EFT Services, 505-259-8332 JCB Healthy Green Enterprises, 575-517-7613 Light Moves, 575-835-1109

Smart Health Now, 505-423-3267 Tame Your Life, 505-350-4116 Heavy Equipment Caldwell Equipment, 575-838-2020 Home Health Care/Respite/Senior Services Good Samaritan Society-Socorro, 575-835-2724 Hospitals Socorro General Hospital, 575-835-8700 HVAC Supplier Morrison Supply Company, 505-265-6102 Insurance Able Agency Insurance, 575-835-3321 Michael Olguin, Insurance Agent, 575-835-1331 Internet Service Providers SDC Internet, 575-838-1620 Jewelry Painted Sky Designs, 575-418-7774 Raychester of Socorro, Inc., 575-835-2454 Land Improvement Tierra Grande Improvement Association 505-864-2345 Landscaping PM Trees & Landscaping, 505-705-5032 Leather Socorro Leather, 575-838-3985 Libraries Socorro Public Library, 575-835-1114 Liquor Sunset Lounge & Package Store, 575-835-2289 Lodging Best Western Hotel, 575-838-0556 Casa Blanca Bed & Breakfast, 575-835-3027 Comfort Inn/Suites, 575-838-4400 Days Inn, 575-835-0230 Econo Lodge Motel, 575-835-1500 Economy Inn Motel, 575-835-2263 Fite Ranch Bed & Breakfast, 575-838-0958 Holiday Inn Express Hotel, 575-838-4600 Howard Johnson, 575-835-0276 Motel 6, 575-835-4300 Rodeway Inn, 575-835-0211 Sands Motel, 575-835-1130 Socorro Old Town Bed & Breakfast, 575-838-2619 Super 8 Motel, 575-835-4626 The Prickly Pear Bed & Breakfast, 575-838-2286 The Western Motel and RV Park, 575-854-2412

Visit www.newmexico.org and www.socorro-nm.com

Discover socorro • Directories 59

Business Directory:
Socorro County Chamber of Commerce Member Directory

Mediation Services Beverly Junger, 505-507-5553 Mobile Home Park Midway Mobile Home & RV Park, 575-835-1400 Musical Services E’Studio Piano, 575-418-5867 I DJ Too, 505-715-9613 Gretchen Van Houten, 505-710-2068 Newspapers El Defensor Chieftain, 575-835-0520 Mountain Mail, 575-838-5555 Observatories NRAO/VLA, 575-835-7000 Office Supplies Socorro Office Supply, 575-835-0984 Optometrists Dr. Steven Woodard, Optometrist, 575-835-2020 Party Services Classic Sweets, 575-918-1023 Physicians PMS Socorro Community Health Clinic, 575-835-4444 Plumbing/Heating/Air-Conditioning/Refrigeration Jaramillo’s Plumbing & Heating, 575-835-1679 Pottery and Gift Shop San Miguel Pottery Land, 575-835-1028 Prevention SCOPE (SMH), 575-835-2444 Produce Socorro Farmers’ Market Association, 575-517-0463 Promotional Items J H Enterprises LLC, 575-835-2353 Propane Action Gas, 575-835-0007 Publications The Ink, 575-541-9770 Publishing Village Profile, 847-456-4730 Your Host NM – Diamond Publishing, 505-268-1793 Radio Stations KMXQ Radio, 575-835-1286 KUFR Family Radio (KXFR 91.9), 866-359-3147
60 Directories • Discover socorro

Realtors United Country - New Mexico Property Connection, 505-990-6180 Coldwell Banker Legacy, Realtor, 575-835-1422 Highland Springs Ranch, 575-835-9581 Home & Country Realty, 575-838-4663 Middle Rio Grande Realty, 575-835-0888 Old Westland Realty, 575-854-2240 Richardson Development Co., 575-835-2835 Betsy Smith, 575-835-8158 Socorro Plaza Realty, 505-835-2498 Wesley Ranch Properties, 575-835-2648 Recycling Morning Woodcutters, 575-838-2202 Restaurants Acosta’s Mexican Restaurant and B & B, 575-835-1688 Asian Garden, 575-838-1668 Barbara’s Dream Kitchen, 575-835-1234 Bear Mountain Coffeehouse & Gallery, 575-854-3310 Blake’s Lotaburger, 575-835-2473 Buckhorn Tavern, 575-835-4423 Denny’s Restaurant, 575-835-2504 Diamondback Restaurant, 575-835-3340 Domino’s Pizza, 575-838-1111 Don Juan’s Cocina, 575-835-9967 El Camino Restaurant, 575-835-1180 El Sombrero Restaurant, 575-835-3945 Escondida Grill, 575-838-2423 K-Bob’s Socorro, 575-835-2900 Lander’s Enterprises, 575-835-2678 LJ’s Branding Iron BBQ, 575-835-3663 Manzanares Street Coffeehouse, 575-838-0809 McDonald’s Restaurant, 575-835-3684 Owl Bar Café & Steakhouse, 575-835-9946 Socorro Springs Restaurant & Brewery, 575-838-0650 Sofia’s Kitchen, 575-835-0022 Sonic Drive-In, 575-835-2413 Stage Door Grill, 575-835-2403 Road Maintenance Blue Collar Construction LLC, 505-553-0651 Saloons Capitol Bar, 575-835-1193 Secretarial/Answering Services Anything Secretarial Answering Service, 575-838-1350 Self-Storage EZ Self-Storage by Tripps, 575-835-2465

Septic Tanks & Service and Construction S.M.A. Enterprises, 575-835-2417 Sports Organizations AYSO, 575-838-5135 Surveying Jaramillo Land Surveying, 575-835-4375 Telecommunication Services Integrated Technologies 575-835-2743 Television/Cable Comcast Cable, 575-835-2424 Therapy/Rehabilitation Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 575-835-4243 Socorro Mental Health Foundation, 575-835-2444 Thrift Store Second Hand Rose (SMH), 575-835-2090 Tires T & T Tires, 575-835-1243 Trash Hauling Caldwell Disposal, 575-838-2020 Travel Agencies Paradise Travel, 575-835-2929 Utilities Socorro Electric Cooperative 575-835-0560 Vacation Rentals & Lodging Home Away NM Vacation Rentals 888-771-3010 Rancho Magdalena, 575-854-3091 Veterinarians Animal Haven Veterinary Clinic, 575-835-3545 Ark of Socorro Veterinary Clinic, 575-835-9002 Video Rental/Tanning/Cigarettes Video Shack, 575-835-3913 Water and Ice The Water & Ice Store, 575-838-9283 Website Resources Web Witchcraft Publishing, 575-838-0784 Wild Horse Protection New Mexican Horse Project, 505-417-7005 El Defensor Chieftain

Visit www.newmexico.org and www.socorro-nm.com


Vital Statistics
18,180 47.3% 37.4% 12.6% 2.7% 6,628 square-miles 2,318,458 acres 949,396 acres 609,517 acres 609,517 acres 56,680 acres 4,585 feet 280 8.6 median inches Oct. 24 April 13 Jan., 52.3; April, 75.7; July, 93.7; Oct., 75.5 Jan., 22.2; April, 39.6; July, 62.0; Oct., 40.8

Socorro County Map

Population (2008 estimate) Persons of Hispanic origin White persons, not Hispanic American Indian Other


Land Area Total Federal Land BLM Land Forest Service Land State Land Indian Land Elevation (Socorro)


Sunny days Average rainfall Average first freeze Average last freeze Average high temperature Average low temperature

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Geographical Survey, New Mexico Economic Development Department

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