In 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was tested at the Trinity Site in New Mexico. The test was part of the Manhattan Project, a secret government program to develop nuclear weapons during World War II.
Harding County, located in northeastern New Mexico, has a rich and unique history. It was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache. The area later became part of Spanish colonial territories in the 18th century, when it was known as Santa Rosa and served as a stopping point along the Santa Fe Trail. In the mid-19th century, the land was acquired by the United States as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and was opened up to settlement.

The town of Roy, now the county seat, was founded in 1916 as a result of coal mining activities in the area. The discovery of coal brought an influx of workers and businesses, leading to the development of additional towns, such as Mills, Harding, and Gallegos. The coal mining industry played a crucial role in the county's economy for several decades, but it began to decline in the mid-20th century, leading to a gradual decrease in population.

Harding County is also known for its ranching heritage. Cattle and sheep ranching have been significant industries in the area since the 19th century. Many families still maintain ranches in the county, which contributes to its rural character and picturesque landscapes. The county's agricultural sector has diversified over time to include crops like hay, oats, and wheat.

Today, Harding County remains a small, rural community with a population of approximately 700 people. The county's vast open spaces, rugged terrain, and abundance of wildlife make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. It is also home to natural landmarks, such as Kiowa National Grassland and Mills Canyon Park, offering opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. While its economy has shifted away from coal mining, the county retains its agricultural roots and continues to embrace its western heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Harding County, New Mexico.

  • 1919 - Harding County was established on March 4.
  • 1920 - The county seat, Mosquero, was established.
  • 1930 - The population of Harding County reached its peak with 2,408 residents.
  • 1932 - The Capulin Volcano National Monument was established.
  • 1938 - Harding County experienced severe drought and dust storms during the Dust Bowl.
  • 1960 - The population of Harding County declined to 1,641 residents.
  • 1978 - Harding County celebrated its 10th anniversary of the county fair.
  • 1993 - The Kiowa National Grassland was officially designated.
  • 2000 - The population of Harding County dropped to 810 residents.
  • 2010 - Harding County experienced another decline in population, reaching 695 residents.