Socorro, New Mexico
Socorro aerial view
Location of Socorro in Socorro County, New Mexico
|• Mayor||Ravi Bhasker|
|• Total||14.4 sq mi (37.4 km2)|
|• Land||14.4 sq mi (37.3 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||4,603 ft (1,403 m)|
|• Density||630/sq mi (240/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−07:00 (Mountain (MST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−06:00 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0938832|
Socorro is a city in Socorro County in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is in the Rio Grande Valley at an elevation of 4,579 feet (1,396 m). In 2010 the population was 9,051. It is the county seat of Socorro County. Socorro is located 74 miles (119 km) south of Albuquerque and 146 miles (235 km) north of Las Cruces.
In June 1598, Juan de Oñate led a group of Spanish settlers through the Jornada del Muerto, an inhospitable patch of desert that ends just south of the present-day city of Socorro. As the Spaniards emerged from the desert, Piro Indians of the pueblo of Teypana gave them food and water. Therefore, the Spaniards renamed this pueblo Socorro, which means "help" or "aid". Later, the name "Socorro" would be applied to the nearby Piro pueblo of Pilabó.
Nuestra Señora de Perpetuo Socorro, the first Catholic mission in the area, was probably established c. 1626. Fray Agustín de Vetancurt would later write that around 600 people lived in the area during this period.Mines in the Socorro mountains were opened by 1626.
During the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Spanish refugees stopped in the pueblo of Socorro. A number of Piro Indians followed the Spaniards as they left the province to go south to safety. With no protection of Spanish troops, Socorro was destroyed and the remaining Piro were killed by the Apache and other tribes.
The Spanish did not initially resettle Socorro when they re-conquered New Mexico. Other than El Paso, there were no Spanish settlements south of Sabinal (which is approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Socorro) until the 1800s. In 1800, governor Fernando Chacon gave the order to resettle Socorro and other villages in the area. However, Socorro was not resettled until about 1815. In 1817, 70 Belen residents petitioned the crown for land in Socorro. The 1833 Socorro census lists over 400 residents, with a total of 1,774 people living within the vicinity of the village.
The mission of San Miguel de Socorro was established soon after Socorro was resettled. The church was built on the ruins of the old Nuestra Señora de Socorro.
In August 1846, during the Mexican–American War, New Mexico was occupied by the American Army. In Las Vegas, New Mexico, Colonel Stephen W. Kearny proclaimed New Mexico's independence from Mexico. On their way to begin their assault on Mexico, American troops stopped in Socorro. A British officer, Lt. George Ruxton, commented that these soldiers were "unwashed and unshaven, were ragged and dirty, without uniforms..." and were lacking in discipline.
In September 1850, New Mexico became a territory of the United States. At the time, New Mexico encompassed what is now the states of New Mexico and Arizona. In 1850, the population of Socorro was only 543 people. This included 100 American soldiers who were soon moved to Valverde.
The first military post built near Socorro was Fort Conrad, 30 miles (48 km) south of the town. Built in August 1851, the fort was badly constructed and was abandoned for Fort Craig, located a few miles away. Fort Craig was first occupied on March 31, 1854.
The New Mexico School of Mines (now the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology) was founded in Socorro in 1889.
On April 24, 1964, Lonnie Zamora, a local policeman, claimed to have observed a flying saucer and two little beings. Zamora's claim is known as the Lonnie Zamora incident.
Socorro is located 75 miles (121 km) south of Albuquerque, at an average elevation of 4,605 feet (1,404 m). The town lies adjacent to the Rio Grande in a landscape dominated by the Rio Grande rift and numerous extinct volcanoes. The immediate region encompasses approximately 6,000 feet (1,800 m) of vertical relief between the Rio Grande and the Magdalena Mountains. Notable nearby locales include the Cibola National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management Quebradas Scenic Backcountry Byway, and the Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuges. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2), or 0.21%, is water.
Socorro has a typical New Mexico cool semi-arid climate with hot summers – which divide naturally into a dry early summer from April to June and a relatively humid monsoon season from July into September – and mild, dry winters with very cold nights. Winters are dry even compared to the rest of New Mexico due to shielding from adjacent mountains, and monthly precipitation totals from November to June have only once exceeded 4 inches or 101.6 millimetres (in May 1937). The wettest month on record has been July 1915 with 5.65 inches (143.5 mm), the wettest calendar year 1907 with 17.83 inches (452.9 mm), and the wettest day September 29 of 1904 with 3.61 inches or 91.7 millimetres The driest calendar year has been 1956 with 3.03 inches (77.0 mm).
Temperatures in Socorro are consistently hot from May to September, with 83 days topping or reaching 90 °F or 32.2 °C and nine reaching or topping 100 °F or 37.8 °C. The hottest temperature on record has been 109 °F (42.8 °C) on 26 June 1994 during a record heatwave throughout the region. Large diurnal temperature ranges make summer less unpleasant: only eight nights stay above 68 °F or 20 °C and fewer than ten nights on record have stayed above 77 °F or 25 °C. On average 121 nights fall below freezing, but nights falling to or below 0 °F or −17.8 °C are rare and not one has occurred since February 2011 when the temperature plummeted to −14 °F (−26 °C). Winter maxima are pleasant: on average only two afternoons per winter will fail to top freezing, and only 29 days do not reach at least 50 °F or 10 °C, with the most days staying below freezing being seven in the record cold January 1949. Snowfall is consequently rare: many seasons have no snow and the mean is only 5.7 inches or 0.14 metres, with the most in one month being 23.0 inches (0.58 m) in December 1960.
|Climate data for Socorro, New Mexico (1981–2010)|
|Record high °F (°C)||76|
|Average high °F (°C)||52.3|
|Average low °F (°C)||21.9|
|Record low °F (°C)||−12|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.49|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||0.3|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||2.9||2.4||2.8||2.3||3.2||3.2||8.3||9.3||7.1||4.2||2.9||3.3||51.9|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,877 people, 3,415 households, and 2,151 families residing in the city.The population density was 615.8 people per square mile (237.9/km²). There were 3,940 housing units at an average density of 273.3 per square mile (105.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.16% White, 0.74% African American, 2.77% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 23.24% from other races, and 4.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.50% of the population. There were 3,415 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.02. In the City of Socorro 25.4% of the total population was under the age of 18, 16.9% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $22,530, and the median income for a family was $33,013. Males had a median income of $31,517 versus $23,071 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,250. About 24.1% of families and 32.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.4% of those under age 18 and 23.6% of those age 65 or over.
The languages spoken at home were 62.41% English, 35.64% Spanish, 0.90% Chinese, 0.76% German, and 0.36% Navajo.
Major employers in Socorro include the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech), the Bureau of Land Management, Socorro General Hospital, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, municipal and county governments, Socorro Consolidated Schools. A large number of small businesses are represented by the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce.
The Elfego Baca Golf Shoot is named after a former mayor of Socorro who survived a gun battle near what is now Reserve, New Mexico, involving over 4,000 bullets that were fired over the course of 36 hours. The golf shoot begins by teeing off from Socorro Peak, also known as M Mountain, at an altitude of 7,243 feet (2,208 m), golfers proceed down the side of the mountain some 2,550 vertical feet to the one hole almost three miles (5 km) away. Surviving rattlesnakes, gnats, cacti, treacherous terrain and the New Mexican sun and heat, golfers have a chance at winning the title to what is considered one of the two most difficult golf courses in the world.[ citation needed ]
Socorro Consolidated School District has approx. 2,000 students and 285 staff.Socorro has one public high school, Socorro High School.
The town is the location of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, which is a state-funded research- and teaching-oriented university. New Mexico Tech has approximately 1,500 undergraduate students, 500 graduate students, and 150 academic staff.
Currently, the Summer Science Program in Astrophysics is hosted at New Mexico Tech.
The Socorro airport located on the southern edge of the city received scheduled airline service by Continental Airlines in the early 1950s. A Douglas DC-3 aircraft provided a daily northbound flight to Albuquerque that went on to Denver after several stops and a southbound flight to El Paso with stops at Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces. Zia Airlines, a small commuter airline, also made on-demand flag stops at the Socorro airport on their flights between Albuquerque and Las Cruces in the mid 1970s.The airport remains in use as a general aviation facility with several based aircraft.
This section does not cite any sources . (May 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Socorro was among the locations in the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), though in a somewhat derogatory sense, as Ellen Burstyn's character decides to leave the town for a new beginning elsewhere. The aftermath scene of Burstyn's character's husband's fatal traffic accident at the beginning of the film, although implied as being in Socorro, was actually filmed in Tucson.
The Roger Corman movie Gas-s-s-s (1971) was filmed in and around Socorro, including a scene using the New Mexico Tech golf carts.
Actress Jodie Foster stayed in Socorro while filming the movie Contact (1997) at the Very Large Array fifty miles west of the city. Based on the map that was faxed to Jodie Foster's character (Dr. Eleanor Arroway) in the film, the Socorro airport was also the location of meeting between Dr. Arroway and S.R. Hadden.
Albuquerque, abbreviated as ABQ, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico, and the 32nd-most populous city in the United States. The city’s nicknames are The Duke City and Burque, both of which reference its 1706 founding as La Villa de Alburquerque in Nuevo México, as an outpost on El Camino Real for the Tiquex and Hispano towns in the area. Since the city’s founding, it has continued to be included on travel and trade routes including Route 66, Interstate 25, Interstate 40, and the Albuquerque International Sunport. The population census-estimated population of the city as 560,218 in 2018, it is the principal city of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, which has 915,927 residents as of July 2018. Albuquerque's Metropolitan statistical area is the 60th-largest in the United States. The Albuquerque MSA population includes the cities of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, Los Lunas, Belen, South Valley, and Bosque Farms, and forms part of the larger Albuquerque–Santa Fe–Las Vegas combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,171,991 in 2016.
Catron County is a county in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,725, making it New Mexico's third-least populous county. Its county seat is Reserve. Catron County is New Mexico's largest county by area.
Socorro is a city in El Paso County, Texas, United States. It is located on the north bank of the Rio Grande southeast of El Paso, and on the border of Mexico. El Paso adjoins it on the west and the smaller city of San Elizario on the southeast; small unincorporated areas of El Paso County separate it from the nearby municipalities of Horizon City to the north and Clint to the east. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 27,152. By the 2010 census, the number had grown to 32,013. As of July 1, 2018, the population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 34,533. It is part of the El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is El Paso County's second-largest municipality, after El Paso. It has a council-manager type of government with five city council members. Socorro is the 93rd largest community in the state of Texas.
The name Jornada del Muerto is translated loosely from Spanish, historically referring to it as the "Journey of the Dead Man", though the modern literal translation is closer to "The Working Day of the Dead". As a geographic name, "Jornada del Muerto" is the desert region the Conquistadors had to cross to make it from Las Cruces to Socorro, New Mexico. As a name-place, "Jornada del Muerto" is a loose translations of "single day's journey of the dead man" hence "route of the dead man". In the U.S. state of New Mexico it was the name given by the Spanish conquistadors to the Jornada del Muerto Desert basin, and the particularly dry 100-mile (160 km) stretch of a route through it.
Tiwa is a group of two, possibly three, related Tanoan languages spoken by the Tiwa Pueblo, and possibly Piro Pueblo, in the U.S. state of New Mexico.
The Pueblo Revolt of 1680—also known as Popé's Rebellion—was an uprising of most of the indigenous Pueblo people against the Spanish colonizers in the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, present day New Mexico. The Pueblo Revolt killed 400 Spanish and drove the remaining 2,000 settlers out of the province.
Piro Pueblo : The Piros are a Native American Pueblo people whose ancestors lived in a number of pueblos in the Rio Grande Valley around modern Socorro, New Mexico, USA. The now extinct Piro language is in the family of Tiwa languages. Whether voluntarily or not, some Piros were hospitable to the first Spanish colonists who arrived in 1598. As a result, the Spanish gave first one, then another, Piro pueblo the name Socorro, which means aid or help.
Luis Lopez is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Socorro County, New Mexico, United States. It lies between Socorro and San Antonio along the Rio Grande.
Elfego Baca was a gunman, lawman, lawyer, and politician in the later years of the American wild west. Baca was born in Socorro, New Mexico, to Francisco and Juana Maria Baca. His family moved to Topeka, Kansas, when he was a young child. Upon his mother’s death in 1880, Baca returned with his father to Belen, New Mexico, where his father became a marshal.
San Miguel de Socorro is the Catholic church in Socorro, New Mexico, built on the ruins of the old Nuestra Señora de Socorro mission. The old mission was built around 1626, but was destroyed in 1680 during the Pueblo Revolt. A portion of the adobe wall of the old church remains today and still can be seen behind glass just left of the altar. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.
Teypana was the first pueblo to be called Socorro. This Piro pueblo was located close to present-day Socorro, New Mexico. A reference from 1598 suggests Teypana was on the west bank of the Rio Grande, downriver from the pueblo of Pilabó. Found in a partly flawed list of Piro pueblos, the reference is somewhat problematic. In 1598, Juan de Oñate and an advance party of his colonists were given food and water by the people of Teypana. In response, they named the settlement “Socorro”, which means “help” or “aid” in Spanish. By 1626, the name had become associated with the Piro pueblo of Pilabó, site of the first permanent mission in Piro territory, now buried under the town of Socorro, NM.
Pilabó was a former Piro pueblo located on the site of the present city of Socorro, New Mexico. In 1598 the vanguard of the Spanish colonizing caravan under Juan de Oñate acquired food at the Piro pueblo of Teypana. The Spaniards named that pueblo “Socorro” which means “help” or “aid” in Spanish. Eventually, a different but nearby pueblo, Pilabó, would be given the name "Socorro" following the May/June 1626 founding there of the mission of Nuestra Señora del Socorro. Some buried remains of Pilabó are still present south and southeast of the current church of San Miguel in Socorro.
The Piro pueblo of Senecú was the southernmost occupied pueblo in New Mexico prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. It was located on the west bank of the Rio Grande within sight of the Piro pueblo of San Pasqual. Colonial Spanish documents consistently place the pueblo opposite of Black Mesa, which is near San Marcial. Due to changes in the floodplain and the establishment of San Marcial, however, no surface remains of the pueblo survive in the area.
New Mexico has a long history of wine production, within American wine, especially along the Rio Grande, from its capital Santa Fe, the city of Albuquerque with its surrounding metropolitan area, and in valleys like the Mesilla and the Mimbres River valleys. In 1629, Franciscan friar García de Zúñiga and a Capuchín monk named Antonio de Arteaga planted the first wine grapes in Santa Fe de Nuevo México, in what would become the modern Middle Rio Grande Valley AVA. Today, wineries exist in the aforementioned Middle Rio Grande Valley, as well as the Mesilla Valley AVA and the Mimbres Valley AVA.
Senecu is a small Mexican village, now on the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. It is at an altitude of 1123 m. and lies within the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.
Polvadera is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Socorro County in central New Mexico, USA. It is located on the west bank of the Rio Grande, near the mouth of the Rio Salado, and on the western spur of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.
The Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge is a protected area of New Mexico managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is located in the Chihuahuan desert 20 miles north of Socorro, New Mexico. The Rio Salado flows through the refuge.
Founded as El Paso del Norte by Spanish Franciscan friars at an important mountain pass, the area became a small agricultural producer though most settlement was south of the river where modern Mexico lies. The city was considered part of New Mexico under Spanish Conquerors and was tied economically to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Chihuahuan mining districts of San Felipe El Real and San José del Parral.
The Manso Indians are an indigenous people who lived along the Rio Grande, from the 16th to the 17th century. Present-day Las Cruces, New Mexico developed in this area. The Manso were one of the indigenous groups to be resettled at the Guadalupe Mission in what is now Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Some of their descendants remain in the area to this day.
La Joya is a census-designated place in Socorro County, New Mexico, United States. The community is located on the east bank of the Rio Grande, 20 miles (32 km) north of Socorro. Its population was 82 as of the 2010 census. La Joya has a post office with ZIP code 87028, which opened on February 28, 1883.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Socorro, New Mexico .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Socorro .|