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Area History


The history of Taos Valley reads like the history of America itself. Inhabited for over 5,000 years, the area is rich in geological and cultural history. The vast mountains and panoramic mesa will bring viewers back to the time when nomadic tribes of hunters made their way to the area during the last Ice Age. These may even have been some of the people who came from the land bridge, that strip of land that connected Alaska and Russia together during the Ice Age. They farmed the vast, fertile landscape making way for the Pueblo people to take over.

Many of the original Pueblo dwellings still exist today (some as old as 1,000 years). As the years went by, the area was to become trading hub for many of the Indian tribes that lived on the land (such as the Apache, Navajo, and Comanche). The Spanish arrived in the 16th century determined to find gold. When they didn't, they colonized the area, even attempting to convert the natives to Christianity, resulting in revolt and violence. A peace would be found when the Spanish reclaimed the area 12 years after the revolt, but an uneasy peace it was.

With the coming of the European and American fur traders and explorers in the 18th century, Taos Valley was transformed from a small settlement in new Spain, to a bustling trading post for wagon trains and mountain men. It seemed obvious that these lands were destined to become apart of the vast American country. In 1848, it was finally obtained when America beat the Spanish in the Mexican American war. New Mexico (as it was now called) entered the union as an official territory.

New Mexico's life as a territory was a rough one. From bloody Indian attacks to rough and rowdy wild west settlements, New Mexico was the wild frontier for sure. When the railroad came in the 1880's, Taos Valley become one of the must stop locations in the West. It seemed to typify everything easterners were fascinated about with the west. With the dawn of the 20th century, Taos Valley was growing at an increasing rate.

Among the many people that migrated west, a great number of artists and writers were beginning to call the Valley home. As the years went by, Taos Valley became known the world over as a top notch art colony, a claim that is still holding strong today. The area today is now a tourist hub, as well as a place for artists and art lovers to gather and enjoy in its rich cultural background.