Socorro History & Culture
Socorro County, with 6,626 square miles, ranks third in size among the state’s counties. A variety of vegetative types are found in the county, such as ponderosa pine and Douglas fir in the west, pinon-juniper in the northwest and east, and mesquite and creosote bush following the Rio Grande Valley. Irrigated lands are found in the Rio Grande Valley and some grassland appears among the other vegetation.
Socorro (So-ko-ro) was the name conferred by Don Juan de Onate upon a Pueblo north of the present town of Socorro, the county seat. Some friendly Indians had presented him and his troops with corn in the summer of 1598, which is why he chose the name meaning “succor” or “help”.