July 16, 2024


Following the harrowing journey of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca through the present-day southwest in 1528-1536, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado y Lujan mounted the first recorded, organized Entrada into what is now the American Southwest. Since that time, civilized people began the process of resource extraction and eventually settlement of these still wild and challenging lands.

Conflicts between nations, both Native and European, and the 300-plus year history of the region give rise to a multitude of legends, some coined less than a century ago as the days of relatively modern stage robbers and outlaws finally began to wane. The mineral wealth that drove so much of the early efforts at annexation is not recorded to have been as abundant or obvious as those first, poignant tales of Cibola promised, but wealth there was, and even after hundreds of years, it’s early extraction by Spaniards and even Natives (e.g., Turquoise) is still observable to the careful eye.

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