The History Of Tularosa

St. Francis Sign 
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The modern history of Tularosa begins around 1860 when a group of Hispanic settlers moved from washed-out villages on the Rio Grande near Mesilla to the Tularosa area. Here they found a marshy land with abundant water, where Tularosa Creek fans out and loses itself among reeds and marsh grass about a mile from the mouth of Tularosa Canyon. And all around the marshy land were wild roses!

An ancient pre-Colombian word, "tule" which means reeds, and the Spanish word "rosa" which means rose, were combined to give the area its name, Tularosa, and that name has endured to the present time.

Round Mountain Memorial 
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Unfortunately, this wonderful land of abundant water was already inhabited, and the Apache Indians soon beat the settlers back and reclaimed the land. A second attempt at settlement occurred in 1862, and with Fort Stanton in the mountains to the east for protection, this time the effort was successful.

All was not peaceful, however, and in 1868 the settlers and Apaches battled at Round Mountain. This event was commemorated with the building of the first church, St. Francis de Paula. Orchards were planted and homes were built. Forty-nine blocks of the new village were plotted with allocated irrigation rights.

Last updated 04/15/2002