Friday, January 16, 2009

LAS BARRANCAS


Sitting across the fence along NM State Route 304 (about 10 miles south of Belen), and overlooking a portion of desert now only populated by the occasional coyote, an emaciated jackrabbit or two and some rattlesnakes, this sign tells of an important event in the history of what is now Valencia County. It reads:
-LAS BARRANCAS-
THE AREA BELOW THESE HIGH BLUFFS, OR BARRANCAS, WAS SETTLED BY ANDRES GOMES ROBLEDO IN THE MID 17TH CENTURY. ROBLEDO'S HACIENDA DEVELOPED INTO AN IMPORTANT STOP ALONG THIS SECTION OF THE CAMINO REAL UNTIL IT WAS DESTROYED DURING THE PUEBLO REVOLT OF 1680. AFTER THE RE-CONQUEST OF 1692, APACHE RAIDS PREVENTED SPANISH RESETTLEMENT OF THIS AREA UNTIL SABINAL WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1741.


NOTES: Camino Real means Royal Road
Sabinal - A now small village just a mile or so south of this site.
Pueblo Revolt of 1680 - A revolt by native Americans against the Spanish who were moving into the area from Mexico and attempting to colonize the pueblos. It was the Indians most successful effort ever against European invaders, but ultimately failed.
The white 'X' marks the top edge of the bluffs; the bluff line extends left and right from the 'X'. The drop to the valley below is about 60 feet. In the distance the tree line is whee the Rio Grande flows.

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