New Mexico was the birthplace of several famous figures in American history, including the outlaw Billy the Kid, the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, and the astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who was one of the last men to walk on the moon.
Cibola County, New Mexico, has a rich history that spans thousands of years. The area was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna pueblo peoples. These tribes have longstanding histories and unique cultural traditions, contributing to the rich cultural heritage of the county.

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the region, looking for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold, which were said to be located in Cibola. While the explorers did not find the fabled cities, they did establish missions and settlements in the area. Spanish influence, including architecture and traditions, can still be seen in the county today.

In the 19th century, Cibola County became part of the United States following the Mexican-American War. The region saw an influx of settlers, particularly during the westward expansion and the mining boom. The discovery of coal and other minerals in the area led to the development of mining towns such as Grants and Milan.

Throughout the 20th century, Cibola County experienced economic fluctuations due to changing industries and market conditions. Coal mining remained an essential industry, with large-scale mining operations sustaining the local economy for many years. In recent times, the county has diversified its economy, with a focus on tourism, agriculture, and Native American craftsmanship.

Cibola County's history is marked by the coexistence of diverse cultures, from the Native American tribes to the Spanish settlers and the modern-day communities. The county's heritage is celebrated through festivals, cultural events, and the preservation of historic sites. Today, Cibola County continues to thrive as a place that honors and embraces its rich history while embracing the future.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Cibola County, New Mexico.

  • 1539: Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado first explored the area that is now Cibola County
  • 1821: Mexico gains independence from Spain and the area becomes a part of Mexico
  • 1848: After the Mexican-American War, the area is ceded to the United States as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  • 1899: Cibola County is officially established as a county in the New Mexico Territory
  • 1930s: Construction of El Malpais National Monument and El Morro National Monument brings increased tourism to the area
  • 1985: Grants, the county seat, becomes a federally designated MainStreet Community
  • 1990: Mount Taylor, a significant landmark in the county, is designated as a National Historic Landmark