Thursday, July 25, 2013

Catron County (background)

e: ... shhh ...
Catron County
"The Best Kept Secret in New Mexico"

... almost 7,000 square miles ...
Approximately 3,500 people ...
... two square miles of space per person ...
Apache and Gila National Forests
Continental Divide

... four wheel drive vehicles ... horse and mule ...


Visitors may notice a curious thing about the fence posts near Cruzville ... Some posts have a piece of wood about an inch thick and six inches square nailed flat on top of the posts ... These were used to support luminaries ... used to light the pathway to the churches ...


Reserve is the County seat and largest town in the county and boasts a population of about 380 ... sets along the San Francisco River ...


Rising majestically from the bush and grass of the San Augustin Plains, the Datil Mountains rise to an elevation of 7500 feet nestling the town of Datil at its feet ... Eagle Guest Ranch, a café, motel, general store, gas station, and RV park ... Datil Well Campground was a cattle watering well on the historic stock drive from Springerville, Arizona to the railhead in Magdalena, New Mexico. [day's ride east of Datil]

Pie Town

In the 1900’s a day’s ride by horseback west of Datil along what is now know as US 60 sits a small community on the Continental Divide originally know as Norman’s Place ... They grew pinto beans until 1956 when the lack of rain and snow made farming difficult.


In the 1900’s and another days ride by horseback west of Pie Town will bring you to Quemado, which lies at an altitude of 6,970 feet. Quemado is the Spanish work for “burned”.


Luna is a tiny sleepy historical village that was settled in the 19th Century by a sheep rancher and powerful political force in New Mexico named Solomon Luna. The area was later settled by Mormon ranchers from Utah. However, the Hough Ruin (pronounced HUFF) is just a reminder these early settlers were but newcomers, as the Hough Ruin dates back 700 years earlier ... L-shaped, multi-storied ruin containing 20 to 35 rooms, and two kivas.

Gila Wilderness Area

The Gila Wilderness Area contains 558,014 acres and was established in 1924 ... This is the oldest wilderness area in the United States ... No roads or motorized travel of any kind are allowed in a wilderness area.

Glenwood & Surrounding Area

The famous Catwalk is five miles out of Glenwood ... The Catwalk is 25-30 feet above the stream in a canyon that is so narrow you can almost touch the sides while on the Catwalk ... The Catwalk trail rises up out of the canyon and continues many miles into the heart of the Wilderness.
Catron County, New Mexico

Ake Site - A prehistoric archaeological location near the town of Datil in the San Augustine Basin, it has been dated during the Clovis period between 10999 BC 8000 BC, and during the Folsom period between 7999BC and 5999 BC, making it among the oldest inhabited sites in the American Southwest.[7]

Bat Cave, near Horse Springs, was occupied around 3,500 BC.

In 1598, the region was declared part of Santa Fé de Nuevo México, a province in New Spain. The province remained in Spanish control until Mexico's declaration of independence in 1821.

Mexico ceded the region to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 after the Mexican-American War.

In 1880, Sergeant James C. Cooney was the first person to find silver and gold ore in the mountains of Catron County. He was reportedly killed by Chiricahua Apaches led by Victorio that year in what became known as the "Alma Massacre".

... the infamous Goyaałé (Geronimo) had several hideouts in the county.

In the mid-1880s Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch gang holed up at a ranch near Alma, New Mexico. Notorious outlaw Tom Ketchum also lived in Catron County around this time.

Catron County's lands were part of Socorro County from the creation of Santa Fé de Nuevo México until 1921.

The Lightning Field, an art installation, brought national attention to Quemado in the late 1970s.

In Catron County there is a volcanic area that until recently contained sufficient heat to cause steam to rise after a slight rain. It is called Burning Mountain and appears to have been used by the Apache for healing purposes.,_New_Mexico
[local story]
Catron County readies for battle
From the September 19, 1994 issue

Catron County, N.M., which pioneered local land-use planning against federal control of public land, has passed a resolution urging every household to own a gun. It's a protest against gun-control laws and a tool in Catron's war of nerves over cattle grazing. Originally, the county commission considered an ordinance requiring gun ownership. That got watered down after some locals complained such an ordinance would be as repressive as forbidding gun ownership. Still, the county got plenty of attention, as CNN, ABC and The Wall Street Journal showed up at the county courthouse in Reserve to cover the vote. Now, Catronites are forming a militia. "Citizens are getting tired of being tossed around and pushed to the limit by regulations," said Carl Livingston, a county commissioner. "We want the Forest Service to know we're prepared, even though violence would be a last resort." At a meeting of the county chamber of commerce recently, Forest Service District Ranger Mike Gardner urged caution. "What are you guys arming against?" he asked. "A .30-.30 won't do any good against (U.S. government) Bradley fighting vehicles and attack helicopters."
[bullfrog films]
Whose Home on the Range?
Copyright Date: 1999

Catron County, New Mexico -- the "toughest county in the West" -- has been at the center of a struggle between ranchers, loggers, environmentalists, and the U.S. Forest Service over the management of federal land.
see also:

ammo shortage (feds are coming soon)

crazy Magdalena story (Homeland Security)

pt11 Magdalena (audit issues delay repairs)

pt6 Augustin Plains Ranch (one of many)