Wheeler Peak in the Sangre de Cristo Range
New Mexico received its name long before the present-day nation of México won independence from Spain and adopted that name in 1821. Spanish explorers recorded this region as New Mexico (Nuevo México in Spanish) in 1563. In 1581, the Chamuscado and Rodríguez Expedition named the region north of the Río Grande “San Felipe del Nuevo México.” The Spaniards hoped to find wealthy Mexican Indian cultures there similar to those of the Aztec (Mexica) Empire of the Valley of México. The indigenous cultures of New Mexico, however, proved to be unrelated to the Aztecs and were not wealthy. Before statehood, the name “New Mexico” was applied to various configurations of the U.S. Territory, to a Mexican state, and to a province of New Spain, all in the same general area but of varying extensions.
From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Mexico#Etymology
Mapa de los Estados Unidos de México – 1824
New Mexico’s Territorial borders in 1852 extended well into modern-day Colorado, included most of Arizona, and all of far-southern Nevada…!
Taos County, for example, extended from Oklahoma all the way to California…!
Bernalillo, Valencia, and Socorro counties extended from Texas to California….!
(Note the size of the various Counties…!)
After the US Civil War “life for freed slave Cathay Williams was so hard that she disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the U.S. Army, hoping that she could find steady employment serving on the wild New Mexican frontier.” She changed her name to William Cathay and served in various posts as a “Buffalo Soldier.” Read about her in the book Forgotten Tales of New Mexico by Ellen Dornan published by The History Press. ArcadiaPublishing.com. ISBN: 978-1609494858. $13.00. 176 pages. 5″x7″.
“As a young boy growing up in what is now Dortmund, Germany, little Solomon Bibo could never have imagined that the strange path of his life would lead him to become the first and only Jewish governor of an American Indian nation.”
Read about him in the book Forgotten Tales of New Mexico by Ellen Dornan published by The History Press. ArcadiaPublishing.com. ISBN: 978-1609494858. $13.00. 176 pages. 5″x7″.
Channel your inner Indiana Jones and visit Mystery Stone, located on State Trust Lands at the base of Hidden Mountain, 16 miles west of Los Lunas. Also known as Los Lunas Decalogue Stone and Commandments Rock, this 80-ton boulder of volcanic basalt bears an inscription which is believed to be an abbreviated version of the Ten Commandments written in Hebrew.
Mystery Stone was first documented in 1933 by University of New Mexico archaeology professor Frank Hibben. Believers say the carvings could be 2,000 years old; skeptics call Mystery Stone a hoax. Which are you? Visit and decide for yourself.
To access State Trust Lands you must purchase a recreational access permit from the New Mexico State Land Office. Permits cost $35, are good for up to 10 people, and are valid for one year.
Visit www.nmstatelands.org for more information.
Publisher’s Note: You may also find the book Los Lunas Mystery Stone and Other Sacred Sites of New Mexico by Donald N. Yates to be of interest. ISBN-13: 978-0-89540-444-2