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.
Lincoln County, New Mexico has a rich and unique history that spans back centuries. The region was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Apache, Navajo, and Jicarilla Apache, who lived off the land and had a strong connection to the natural resources of the area.

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers arrived in the area and claimed it for Spain. They established missions and settlements throughout the region as they sought to colonize and convert the Native Americans. However, there were frequent conflicts between the Spanish and the indigenous peoples, as well as with other European powers, such as France.

One of the most significant periods in Lincoln County's history is the era of the Old West and the Lincoln County War. In the late 19th century, the region became a hotspot for outlaws and lawmen alike. The county's largest town, Lincoln, earned a reputation as a dangerous and lawless place, with infamous figures such as Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett playing important roles in the area's history. The Lincoln County War, a violent conflict between rival factions of cattle ranchers, further added to the legend of the Wild West.

After the turbulent times of the Old West, Lincoln County gradually shifted towards a more settled and prosperous lifestyle. Agriculture and ranching became prominent industries, with the fertile land supporting cattle ranches and farming communities. The completion of the railroad in the late 19th century also contributed to the growth and development of the county, allowing for easier trade and transportation.

Today, Lincoln County is known for its scenic beauty, including the Lincoln National Forest and the Capitan Mountains. It attracts tourists from all over the world, who come to explore its historical sites and immerse themselves in the rich culture and heritage of this fascinating region.

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

  • February 16, 1869: Lincoln County is officially established by the New Mexico Territorial Legislature.
  • 1877-1879: The notorious Lincoln County War takes place, involving conflicts between rival factions in the county.
  • 1880: The railroad arrives in Lincoln County, leading to increased trade and development in the region.
  • 1899: Construction of the Capitan Mountains Tunnel begins, connecting Lincoln County with the rest of New Mexico.
  • 1945: The town of Carrizozo in Lincoln County is established as the county seat.
  • 2002: The Ruidoso Downs Race Track in Lincoln County hosts the first All American Futurity, the world's richest quarter horse race.
  • 2012: The Little Bear Fire breaks out in Lincoln County, becoming one of the largest wildfires in New Mexico's history.