• Ashley Wagner

Colonias, NM

Colonias has a turn off near Santa Rosa, but the actual town is 11 miles north from there. Unless you know to look for it, you would probably turn back after a few miles if you were just casually exploring the area. I was driving in open spaces with no other humans in sight for what seemed to be quite a long time, when suddenly there appeared a town in the middle of nowhere that became visible only once I reached a higher vantage point and was very close to the entrance. I spotted a few RVs and new vehicles, but it was really quiet. As I drove around and stopped for pictures, I didn't see any other humans bustling about. I became startled when I was in the middle of taking a picture of a pink mailbox when roosters began to alert the neighborhood I was outside. I felt uneasy and quickly jumped back in my vehicle, even though I had the feeling that the residents knew I was touring their town as soon as I entered. Most of my adventures in rural New Mexico involve loose dogs, and this was no different. The only person I saw on the way out of town was a cowboy who let his 3 large dogs out of their yard as I was taking pictures of an adobe ruin. The dogs seemed friendly, but I didn’t take any chances and jumped back in the truck. End of my Colonias exploration!

“The name ‘Colonias’ is open to several interpretations: colonies, plantations, ranches, neighborhoods, as well as communities. The settlement, established in the 1780s, originally was called Las Colonias and is one of the oldest settlements on New Mexico’s high eastern plains. Early villagers were farmers as well as sheep herders and hunted buffalo during the fall months. Populations have fluctuated in the town, and were estimated to have had a population of around 850 during the 1930’s, and 40’s. The town’s cemetery is located on the grounds of the San Jose Catholic Church, so holds the history of many generations who have called Las Colonias home.”

Historical info pulled from http://www.coloniasnm.com. The town is trying to restore the old church and accepting donations through that site




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