The state has a rich tradition of cowboy culture and rodeo, with many annual events celebrating this heritage. One of the most famous is the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which features hundreds of hot air balloons and draws thousands of visitors each year.
Hidalgo County, located in the southwestern corner of New Mexico, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Apache, Navajo, and Mogollon cultures, who left behind evidence of their presence through rock art, pottery, and artifacts. However, the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century marked a significant shift in the region's history.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish settlers began to establish missions and settlements in the area that is now Hidalgo County. These settlers were primarily seeking mineral wealth, especially silver, and also aimed to bring Christianity to the Native American population. However, conflicts between the settlers and Native Americans were frequent, as the Spanish sought to assert control over the region.

Throughout the 19th century, Hidalgo County experienced various changes in ownership and territorial boundaries. At the beginning of the century, it was part of Spain's New Spain colony, then became part of Mexico after gaining independence in 1821. When the United States acquired the land through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, Hidalgo County became part of the New Mexico Territory.

The 20th century brought further development and growth to Hidalgo County. The arrival of the railroad in the early 1900s played a significant role in supporting the local economy, as it facilitated the transportation of livestock and goods. Agriculture, particularly livestock rearing and ranching, became the primary industry. Today, Hidalgo County continues to thrive as a rural area with a strong agricultural base, while also embracing the preservation of its unique cultural heritage.

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

  • Created in 1919 by an act of the New Mexico Legislature.
  • Named after Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Mexican priest who played a significant role in the Mexican War of Independence.
  • In the late 1800s, the area was primarily a ranching community.
  • In 1910, the Butterfield Overland Mail route was extended through Hidalgo County, bringing increased transportation and trade to the region.
  • In the early 1900s, mining became an important industry in Hidalgo County, with silver, lead, and zinc being the main minerals extracted.
  • The town of Lordsburg, located in Hidalgo County, became a major hub for transportation and trade due to its location along the Southern Pacific Railroad.
  • In the mid-1900s, the area saw a decline in mining and an increase in agriculture, with ranching and farming becoming the primary economic activities.
  • Hidalgo County experienced population growth in the late 20th century, mainly due to retirees and individuals seeking a rural lifestyle.
  • The county remains primarily rural today, with a focus on agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreational activities.