Taos County

Taos County The first European visitors to Taos were a small detachment of Vasquez de Coronado’s expedition in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Cibola, under the command of artillery captain Hernando de Alvardo in early September of 1540. 

Different accounts of this expedition give various names and descriptions to what is now known as the Taos Pueblo, which still exists, with its multi-storied adobe buildings still used by the Tiwa speaking people of the Taos Valley.

Taos County was formed in 1852 as one of the original nine counties in New Mexico Territory. The County included all the territory north of the line running west from Tetilla de la Petaca to the California line; and southeast from the Petaca through Embudo, Rincones, and Las Trampas to the junction of the Mora and Sapello Rivers and thence due east to the Texas line. The county’s highest point is the summit of Wheeler Peak at 13,161 feet and is the highest natural point in New Mexico.

Native Taoseños now also number other cultures and heritages, each with its own history and folklore, needing to be recorded and nurtured. Change is inevitable, but we should try to preserve the memories of past events and people. Traces on the land around Taos denote the passing of all these things. Churches and other historic buildings, old roads and trails, camps of explorers, battle sites, ruins of prehistoric pueblos, mining camps and old cemeteries are but a few of the sites worth studying and preserving for future generations. The Taos County is one of the original nine counties in New Mexico Territory. Taos County includes the incorporated communities of Taos, Red River, Questa and Taos Ski Valley along with the unincorporated communities of Penasco, Tres Piedras, Ojo Caliente, Costilla, Amalia and many more small villages. The County totals 2,203.1 square miles.

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