The Most Wonderful Fifty Mile Square in America
Fine map of Santa Fe, during the earliest period of its artistic and preservationist history.
Detailed map of the town of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a regional map of the area around Santa Fe on the verso, published by the Chamber of Commerce.
The map is centered on the old town, extending east along the river to the Reservoir, north to the Cross of the Martyrs and includes a detailed look at the points of interest around Santa Fe.
The verso map shows the rare in detail, extending north to Espanola, Santa Cruz and Chimaya, west to the White Rock Mountains, Santa Domingo Indian Pueblo and Cochiti Indian Pueblo, south to Kenedy and Madrid and east to Beatty's Cabin, Simmons Ranch and Pecos.
Santa Fe History
Don Juan de Oñate led the first European effort to colonize the region in 1598, establishing Santa Fe de Nuevo México as a province of New Spain. Discontent with the colonization practices led to the Pueblo Revolt, when groups of different Native Pueblo peoples were successful in driving the Spaniards out of the area now known as New Mexico, maintaining their independence from 1680 to 1692, when the territory was reconquered by Don Diego de Vargas. Santa Fe was Spain's provincial seat at outbreak of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. It was considered important to fur traders based in present-day Saint Louis, Missouri. When the area was still under Spanish rule, the Chouteau brothers of Saint Louis gained a monopoly on the fur trade, before the United States acquired Missouri under the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The fur trade contributed to the wealth of St. Louis. The city's status as the capital of the Mexican territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México was formalized in the 1824 Constitution after Mexico achieved independence from Spain.
When the Republic of Texas seceded from Mexico in 1836, it attempted to claim Santa Fe and other parts of Nuevo México as part of the western portion of Texas along the Rio Grande. In 1841, a small military and trading expedition set out from Austin, intending to take control of the Santa Fe Trail. Known as the Texan Santa Fe Expedition, the force was poorly prepared and was easily captured by the Mexican Army.
In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico. Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearny led the main body of his Army of the West into Santa Fe to claim New Mexico Territory for the United States. By 1848 the U.S. officially gained New Mexico through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
As part of the New Mexico Campaign of the Civil War, General Henry Sibley occupied the city, flying the Confederate flag over Santa Fe for a few days in March 1862. Sibley was forced to withdraw after Union troops destroyed his logistical trains following the Battle of Glorieta Pass.
Santa Fe in the 20th Century
As railroads were extended into the West, Santa Fe was originally envisioned as an important stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. But as the tracks were constructed into New Mexico, the civil engineers decided that it was more practical to go through Lamy, to the south of Santa Fe. A branch line was completed from Lamy to Santa Fe in 1880 and a second line in 1886. Neither were sufficient to offset the negative effects of Santa Fe having been bypassed by the main railroad route. It suffered gradual economic decline into the early 20th century. Activists created a number of resources for the arts and archaeology, notably the School of American Research, created in 1907 under the leadership of the prominent archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett.
In the early 20th century, Santa Fe became a base for numerous writers and artists. The first airplane to fly over Santa Fe was piloted by Rose Dugan, carrying Vera von Blumenthal as passenger. Together the two women started the development of the Pueblo Indian pottery industry, helping native women to market their wares. They contributed to the founding of the annual Santa Fe Indian Market.
In 1912, when the town's population was approximately 5,000 people, the city's civic leaders designed and enacted a sophisticated city plan that incorporated elements of contemporary movements for the City Beautiful movement, city planning, and historic preservation; the latter particularly influenced by similar movements in Germany. The plan anticipated limited future growth, considered the scarcity of water, and recognized the future prospects of suburban development on the outskirts. The planners foresaw conflicts between preservationists and scientific planners. They set forth the principle that historic streets and structures be preserved and that new development must be in harmony with the city's character.
After the mainline of the railroad bypassed Santa Fe, it lost population. However artists and writers, as well as retirees, were attracted to the cultural richness of the area, the beauty of the landscapes, and its dry climate. Local leaders began promoting the city as a tourist attraction. The city sponsored architectural restoration projects and erected new buildings according to traditional techniques and styles, thus creating the Santa Fe Style. Edgar L. Hewett, founder and first director of the School of American Research and the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe, was a leading promoter. He began the Santa Fe Fiesta in 1919 and the Southwest Indian Fair in 1922 (now known as the Indian Market).
When he tried to attract a summer program for Texas women, many artists rebelled saying the city should not promote artificial tourism at the expense of its artistic culture. As part of the response, in1926, the Old Santa Fe Association was established, in the words of its bylaws, "to preserve and maintain the ancient landmarks, historical structures and traditions of Old Santa Fe, to guide its growth and development in such a way as to sacrifice as little as possible of that unique charm born of age, tradition and environment, which are the priceless assets and heritage of Old Santa Fe."