Thoreau, New Mexico

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Thoreau, New Mexico
CDP

New Mexico State Road 371, Thoreau NM.jpg

New Mexico State Road 371
McKinley County New Mexico Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Thoreau Highlighted.svg
Location of Thoreau in New Mexico
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Thoreau, New Mexico
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 35°24′52″N108°13′25″W / 35.41444°N 108.22361°W / 35.41444; -108.22361 Coordinates: 35°24′52″N108°13′25″W / 35.41444°N 108.22361°W / 35.41444; -108.22361
Country United States
State New Mexico
County McKinley
Area
  Total 15.9 sq mi (41.2 km2)
  Land 15.9 sq mi (41.2 km2)
  Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 7,200 ft (2,200 m)
Population (2000)
  Total 1,863
  Density 37.6/sq mi (14.5/km2)
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
  Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 87323
Area code(s) 505
FIPS code 35-77530
GNIS feature ID 0911673

Thoreau (Navajo : Dlǫ́ʼí Yázhí) is a census-designated place (CDP) in McKinley County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 1,863 at the 2000 census. It is majority Native American, primarily of the Navajo Nation, as this community is located within its boundaries.

Navajo language Athabaskan language of Na-Dené stock spoken in the southwestern United States

Navajo or Navaho is a Southern Athabaskan language of the Na-Dené family, by which it is related to languages spoken across the western areas of North America. Navajo is spoken primarily in the Southwestern United States, especially on the Navajo Nation. It is one of the most widely spoken Native American languages and is the most widely spoken north of the Mexico–United States border, with almost 170,000 Americans speaking Navajo at home as of 2011. The language has struggled to keep a healthy speaker base, although this problem has been alleviated to some extent by extensive education programs on the Navajo Nation.

A census-designated place (CDP) is a concentration of population defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes only. CDPs have been used in each decennial census since 1980 as the counterparts of incorporated places, such as self-governing cities, towns, and villages, for the purposes of gathering and correlating statistical data. CDPs are populated areas that generally include one officially designated but currently unincorporated small community, for which the CDP is named, plus surrounding inhabited countryside of varying dimensions and, occasionally, other, smaller unincorporated communities as well. CDPs include small rural communities, colonias located along the U.S. border with Mexico, and unincorporated resort and retirement communities and their environs.

McKinley County, New Mexico County in the United States

McKinley County is a county in the northwestern section of the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,492. Its county seat is Gallup. The county was created in 1901 and named for President William McKinley.

Contents

Practically all residents pronounce the town's name like "thuh-ROO" (similar to "through" or "threw") and not like "thorough" or "throw." A history of the town was compiled by local author Roxanne Trout Heath in her book Thoreau, Where the Trails Cross!, published in 1982, where she states that the town was named for Henry David Thoreau.

Henry David Thoreau American poet, essayist, naturalist, and abolitionist (1817–1862)

Henry David Thoreau was an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian. A leading transcendentalist, Thoreau is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience", an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

The ZIP code for Thoreau is 87323.

Geography

Thoreau is located at 35°24′52″N108°13′25″W / 35.414370°N 108.223594°W / 35.414370; -108.223594 (35.414370, -108.223594). [1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 15.9 square miles (41 km2), all of its land.

United States Census Bureau bureau of the United States responsible for the census and related statistics

The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States.

Thoreau is located at an altitude of approximately 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) above sea level, and 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) east of the continental divide. Thoreau is located in a broad valley beneath a large escarpment of Old Red Sandstone, which marks the southern boundary of the Colorado Plateau to the north. Mount Powell and Castle Rock are landmarks along this escarpment adjacent to Thoreau. The Zuñi Mountains are to the south.

A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea. Every continent on earth except Antarctica which has no free-flowing water has at least one continental drainage divide; islands, even small ones like Killiniq Island on the Labrador Sea in Canada, may also host part of a continental divide or have their own island-spanning divide.

Old Red Sandstone assemblage of rocks in the North Atlantic region

The Old Red Sandstone is an assemblage of rocks in the North Atlantic region largely of Devonian age. It extends in the east across Great Britain, Ireland and Norway, and in the west along the northeastern seaboard of North America. It also extends northwards into Greenland and Svalbard. In Britain it is a lithostratigraphic unit to which stratigraphers accord supergroup status and which is of considerable importance to early paleontology. For convenience the short version of the term, ORS is often used in literature on the subject. The term was coined to distinguish the sequence from the younger New Red Sandstone which also occurs widely throughout Britain.

Interstate 40 and the historic U.S. Route 66 pass near and through the community, respectively. New Mexico State highways 122, 371, and 612 also pass through or terminate here. Additionally, two natural gas pipelines and a major railway pass through the community.

Interstate 40 Interstate across south-central US

Interstate 40 (I-40) is a major east-west Interstate Highway running through the south-central portion of the United States generally north of I-10 and I-20 but south of I-70. The western end is at I-15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 (U 117) and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is the third-longest Interstate Highway in the United States, behind I-80 and I-90. Much of the western part of I-40, from Oklahoma City to Barstow parallels or overlays the historic US 66, east of Oklahoma City the route generally parallels US 64 and US 70. I-40 runs through many major cities including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

U.S. Route 66 former US highway between Chicago and Los Angeles

U.S. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, with road signs erected the following year. The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in the United States, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica in Los Angeles County, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s. In John Steinbeck's classic American novel, The Grapes of Wrath (1939), the road, "Highway 66", was turned into a powerful symbol of escape and loss.

The climate in Thoreau is desert, with the sparse vegetation typical of the region. Common plants include pinyon pine and juniper trees, sagebrush, tumbleweeds, and some short, sparse grasses. The four seasons are well pronounced. Summers are relatively mild, due to Thoreau's high elevation and persistently low humidities. Maximum temperatures do not usually exceed about 33 °C (91 °F). The Southwest monsoon brings thunderstorms with frequent lightning in July and August. Autumn is pleasant with warm days and cool nights. Winter is marked by frequent snowstorms, with minimum temperatures sometimes dropping to about −15 °C (5 °F) or colder. Cold, persistent, very high winds are common in Spring, usually through much of the month of March.

Demographics

As of the census [2] of 2000, there were 1,863 people, 532 households, and 405 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 117.1 people per square mile (45.2/km2). There were 599 housing units at an average density of 37.6 per square mile (14.5/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 23.19% White, 0.11% African American, 71.12% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.27% from other races, and 2.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.34% of the population.

There were 532 households out of which 49.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 21.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.7% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.50 and the average family size was 4.16.

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 40.7% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 4.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $29,280, and the median income for a family was $29,708. Males had a median income of $29,000 versus $23,092 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,516. About 23.3% of families and 30.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 40.5% of those under age 18 and 26.9% of those age 65 or over.

Community

Education

Thoreau supports three public schools in the Gallup-McKinley County Public School District. Thoreau Elementary School (grades Kindergarten through 5th), Thoreau Mid School (grades 6th through 8th), and Thoreau High School (grades 9th through 12th) serve the town as well as surrounding rural communities in eastern McKinley County. The public school mascot is the Hawks, and the school colors are green and gold. Additionally, the Saint Bonaventure mission operates a parochial school, the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Academy, named after the first Native American Catholic saint in North America.

Religion

The majority-Native American population is primarily Navajo. Many practice the Navajo traditional beliefs ["medicine men and Native American Church (peyote way)]; in addition, some are also members of several Christian congregations, such as the Saint Bonaventure Catholic mission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and several Protestant denominations including Baptists, Church of Christ, Church of God, and some independent evangelical congregations.

Thoreau is located within the Navajo Nation, which is the largest Native American tribe in the United States. Its culture and history are strong in Thoreau. The Navajo Nation operates a Chapter House here, and many Navajo (or Diné) residents speak their native language. Thoreau is a local trading center for artisans, who create through rug weaving, sandpainting, silversmithing, potterymaking, and making turquoise jewelry. Anasazi archaeological sites connecting with Chaco Canyon can be found in and around the town.

See also

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References

  1. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2008-01-31.