The Human History of the Black Range

2020 The Black Range has a rich cultural history.  Although there were human inhabitants in the region prior to the Mimbres culture, it is that culture which is historically preeminent.  Following the Mimbres reorganization the most important cultural group was the Apache.  The Spanish explorers and settlers followed with a smattering of fur traders from the north.  Anglos from the United States and Mexicans from that newly independent nation were the next to enter the area.  Following the last wave of immigration, the area was influenced heavily by the Mexican-American altercations; Apache-Everyone Else wars; and the revolt of the slave-holding states of the United States.

Mining defined the region initially, for the Spanish, Mexicans, and Anglos.  First at the copper mine now known as Santa Rita and then by gold, silver, and other metal deposits found along the length of the range - on both the east and west side of the mountains.  Ranchers followed the miners.  

The historically significant individuals associated with the region include Aldo Leopold,  Albert Fall (of Teapot Scandal fame), Robert Ingersoll (the famed orator and politician), and Edward Drinker Cope (the famed paleontologist).

The major economic drivers for the region are currently ranching, mining, and retirees.  The retirement community in the range appears to be the ascendant economic force.

Silver Creek Canyon/Road, Black Range, NM

© Robert Barnes 2018-2021