HIS­TORY

Santa Fe New Mexican - Chamber of Commerce Directory - - TABLE OF CONTENTS -

Santa Fe’s of­fi­cial name, given to it by the Span­ish set­tlers in 1608, is La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Fran­cisco de Asís. Mean­ing “Holy Faith”, Santa Fe boasts the ti­tle of the old­est cap­i­tal city in the United States. Prior to the ar­rival of the Spa­niards, the area was in­hab­ited, and then de­serted, by the Pue­blo Oga­poge peo­ple. In 1680, the Pue­blo re­turned and took back con­trol of the city, now known as the Pue­blo Re­volt, for the next twelve years. In 1692, Don Diego de Var­gas of Spain re­claimed the land. In 1712, the Santa Fe Fi­esta week­end was es­tab­lished to com­mem­o­rate this event. The tra­di­tion holds to this day, cel­e­brated in Septem­ber.

By 1822, trade car­a­vans from Mex­ico were trav­el­ling along the Old Santa Fe Trail. At the end of the trail sits the Palace of the Gov­er­nors, which has flown four dif­fer­ent flags through­out his­tory, rep­re­sent­ing Spain, Mex­ico, the Con­fed­er­acy and the United States. In 1860, ex­pand­ing into New Mex­ico from Kansas was the goal of the Atchi­son, Topeka and the Santa Fe Rail­road.

Route 66 fig­ures promi­nently in New Mex­ico. For many peo­ple trav­el­ing this road dur­ing its hey-day, New Mex­ico re­vealed the ex­otic cul­tures of the south­west. New Mex­ico pre­sented the ad­ven­ture of dis­cov­ery — from the old In­dian Pueb­los dat­ing back to days be­fore Euro­pean col­o­niza­tion to the town plaza of Santa Fe — bustling with the ac­tiv­ity of com­merce be­fore there was even a United States of Amer­ica.

In 1850, New Mex­ico be­came a U.S. ter­ri­tory and then was signed in as the 47th state in 1912. In the 1920’s, Santa Fe be­came known as a thriv­ing art colony and In­dian mar­ket. In the 1940’s, Los Alamos be­came home to many world-renowned sci­en­tists, and, since World War II, has be­come im­por­tant to the Santa Fe econ­omy as a sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal re­search cen­ter. In the 1970’s, Santa Fe be­came known as a cen­ter for al­ter­na­tive heal­ing. Due to the colorful his­tory and the ar­rival of set­tlers, with unique cus­toms, food and ar­chi­tec­ture, Santa Fe is af­fec­tion­ately called “The City Dif­fer­ent.”

Just a few land­marks which re­main and tell parts of the his­tory of Santa Fe are the gothic style St. Fran­cis Basil­ica, the Mirac­u­lous Stair­case in the Loretto Chapel, the San Miguel Mis­sion, the Old­est House in the USA, and the Palace of the Gov­er­nors. We in­vite you to visit them and the other his­tor­i­cal lo­ca­tions in the down­town area and the rest of the city.

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