Tuesday, May 13, 2014

San Antonio on the Camino Real Historical Marker: Socorro County

San Antonio, New Mexico is a small village that lies 10 miles south of Socorro, right off of Interstate 25. San Antonio is so sparsely populated that its population isn't easy to get a fix on because of its status as an unincorporated community, although some estimates put its population at around 175 people.

What made San Antonio important for a time was the fact that it was the final outpost on the El Camino Real before reaching the Mesilla Valley, well over 100 miles to the south. This made it an important stop point for almost every traveler on the road. (for more on the El Camino Real, see my post on the Jornada del Muerto Historical Marker, it has some great links, and you can also check out my tag: Camino Real, which links to all my posts involving the Royal Road).

According to the marker, San Antonio was re-occupied by Hispano settlers from the north after the Pueblo Revolt. In my research, I found that original vestiges of the San Antonio de Senecú, including a pueblo along the banks of the Rio Grande, were likely re-settled after the Spanish were driven into Mexico following the Pueblo Revolt, and San Antonio is the remembered name of their original mission, with the farming village of San Antonio, bits and pieces of which can still be seen today, forming up around this original pueblo.

Of course all of this history pales in comparison to San Antonio's connection to pop culture heiress Paris Hilton (forgive me for mentioning her name in the pages of this blog, I promise it will be the only time). Conrad Hilton, patriarch of the Hilton family and founder of Hilton Hotels, was born and raised in San Antonio. His family opened up a small hotel out of their home to serve travelers along the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. Conrad worked his first jobs at the family hotel, eventually buying his first hotel in Cisco, Texas. The rest, as we say, is history. Conrad Hilton eventually operated one of the largest and most well known hotel chains in the world.

I referred to the following sites for information on this post:

No comments:

Post a Comment