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The Chronicles of Grant County

This column will feature items that relate somehow to Grant County - the name of a street in the case of the first one, and maybe other streets, or the name of a building or whatever catches the fancy of the contributor, Richard Donough. Readers are encouraged to send him topics of interest to them, so he can do the research and write an article.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Santa Clara, New Mexico

village of santa clara city hall 50The municipal headquarters of the Village of Santa Clara is the Santa Clara City Hall. (The photograph was provided courtesy of the Village of Santa Clara.)

The Village of Santa Clara was initially named after Saint Clare (Santa Clara) in the early 1860s, according to the Village. A few years later, though, the town was re-named as "Central City." At some point, the name became simply "Central." A map produced in 1914, for example, uses "Central" as the name of the town. When the community was incorporated as a distinct municipality in 1947, the name was officially shortened to "Central."

The Chronicles Of Grant County

mount everest simon steinberger pixabay nov. 29 2010 35Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. (The photograph was provided courtesy of Simon Steinberger through Pixabay, 2010.)

Last week, we noted how several roadways north of Silver City are named after major mountains and volcanoes in the world; we detailed two such streets. Today, we look at two additional streets that get their names from geographic landmarks in Asia and Africa.

The Chronicles of Grant County

mount vesuvius carlo raso flickr september 4 2017 35Beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Naples are near Mount Vesuvius in September of 2017. (The photograph was provided courtesy of Carlo Raso through Flickr.)
Several roadways north of Silver City are named after major mountains and volcanoes in the world. Today, we look at two of these streets that get their names from geographic landmarks in Greece and Italy.

The name of Vesuvius Way is derived from Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano located near Naples, Italy. Many know the historical story of Pompeii and nearby communities being destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. This was at a time when the region was part of the Roman Empire.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

desert bighorn sheep near lake mead nevada jon avery usfws flickr january 1 2009 30The Desert Bighorn Sheep is the State Animal of Nevada. This specific Desert Bighorn Sheep was found east of Las Vegas near Lake Mead in Nevada. According to the Office of the Secretary of State of Nevada, "The Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) is smaller than its Rocky Mountain cousin, but has a wider spread of horns. The bighorn is well-suited for Nevada's mountainous desert country because it can survive for long periods without water. The large rams stand about 4.5 feet tall and can weigh as much as 175 pounds." (The photograph was produced by Mr. Jon Avery on January 1, 2009, and provided courtesy of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service through Flickr.)

Nevada Avenue is one of the streets that is part of Hurley in Grant County. The street is named after the State of Nevada. The state itself is named after the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. According to the Office of the Secretary of State of Nevada, "Nevada" means "snow-covered" in Spanish.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Boston Hill

boston hill steve douglas flickr october 3 2012 65A cactus is seen growing on an outcropping at Boston Hill Open Space in October of 2012. (The photograph was provided by Steve Douglas through Flickr.

Mining companies and railroads were critical elements in the early growth of Silver City and Grant County. One such entity was the Massachusetts and New Mexico Mining Company. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, this business entity encouraged folks in the Bay State and beyond to consider investing in mining operations just outside of what was then the beginnings of Silver City.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Continental Divide

view from the jacks peak continental divide trail tony perrie flickr december 25 2017 50This was the view from Jack's Peak on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in the Gila National Forest in 2017. (The photograph was provided by Tony Perrie through Flickr.)

The Continental Divide goes through Grant County.

"The headwaters of our nation spring from the Continental Divide," according to a statement from the U S Forest Service. "Imagine a line running the entire length of North and South America, from the icy northern reaches of Canada to the Strait of Magellan at the southernmost tip of Chile. This line runs north to south along the very highest elevations of these continents, connecting the peaks of the Rocky Mountains with the Andes in South America."

The U S Forest Service indicated that "rain or snow that falls on these peaks will flow either to the east or to the west down the slopes of these mountain ranges. This flow begins as small trickles that join up to form streams, then swell into roaring rivers that provide nourishment to the land, plants, and animals."

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail follows much of the Continental Divide, though the trail diverts from the actual Continental Divide in some areas. For much of its distance, "To walk along the trail is to have one foot in the watershed of the Atlantic Ocean and the other in the watershed of the Pacific," stated the U S Forest Service.

This specific trail, one of eleven national scenic trails in the United States, began taking shape "in 1978, [when the U S] Congress designated the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail...and made a monumental decision to secure the future of one of the most significant scenic, wild and remote landscapes in the United States," according to a statement from the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. "Stretching 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico, the Continental Divide Scenic Trail provides a scenic, high-quality, primitive hiking and horseback riding experience along the backbone of the Rocky Mountains."

The Continental Divide Trail Coalition is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 2012. Its mission is "to complete, promote, and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail." The organization indicated that it strives to build "a strong and diverse trail community, providing up-to-date information to the public, and encouraging conservation and stewardship of the trail, its corridor, and surrounding landscapes."

Silver City is one of sixteen communities in the Rocky Mountain states that have been designated a Gateway Community by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. The designation of the county seat of Grant County as a Gateway Community was announced officially on April 23, 2014; Silver City was the first such Gateway Community designated by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

 continental divide trail coalition map u s forest service complete 65The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is represented by the red line on both maps, while the Continental Divide is represented by the dotted black line on the map to the right. (The map to the left is a portion of a larger map provided courtesy of the U S Forest Service, while the map to the right is a portion of a larger map provided courtesy of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.)

Do you have questions about communities in Grant County?

A street name? A building?

Your questions may be used in a future news column.

Contact Richard McDonough at chroniclesofgrantcounty@mail.com. 

© 2020 Richard McDonough

The Chronicles Of Grant County

santa rita del colbe steve douglas flickr february 17 2013 50This is a photograph of Santa Rita del Cobre in Grant County on February 17, 2013. (The photograph was provided by Steve Douglas through Flickr.

This is a photograph of Santa Rita del Cobre in Grant County on February 17, 2013. (The photograph was provided by Steve Douglas through Flickr.)

While you likely have never heard the names of "Matilde Robledo," "Teodoro Rios," and "Simon Sias," you should know the story of these men who worked in Grant County 95 years ago.

The word "hero" is used frequently these days.

Part of the reason is that there are several definitions used for that same word. Definitions that have completely different meanings. As such, many individuals use the word "hero" to define various situations.

One of the main definitions is as follows:

The Chronicles Of Grant County 

saint vincent of saragossa ulrike görgl through pixabay 30 Saint Vincent of Saragossa is the patron saint of Lisbon, Portugal, as well as Valencia, Spain. (This image was provided courtesy of Ulrike Görgl through Pixabay, 2017.Silver City includes San Vicente Street and the San Vicente Creek Trail. The San Vicente Arroyo drains about 26.5 square miles of the area, according to the United States Geological Survey.

These names all evolved from the name given to the area by settlers with European ancestry. What we know as the Town of Silver City was initially a settlement called "La Ciénega de San Vicente" – Spanish for "The Marsh of Saint Vincent."

(Different reports spell the wording for "marsh" or "oasis" as "ciénaga" or "ciénega" in Spanish.)

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