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The 1790 census of the Valencia community counted at least 15 Hispanic households in the area. The community prospered during the 1840's, serving as the county seat of Valencia County under the Republic of Mexico from 1844-1852. Prior to improvements along NM 47, archaeologists excavated a trash dump at the village. While the great majority of the ceramics collected were made locally, various items found give us a picture of a village with mercantile ties beyond the Rio Grande valley. A gold button and serving spoon dating to the eighteenth century suggest wealth that could be spent on goods coming to Nuevo Mexico over El Camino Real. A fragment of a vessel from Acoma indicates trade connections farther west. Early nineteenth century Chinese porcelain and hand-painted white ware probably came from the eastern United States via the Santa Fe Trail, opened in 1821.
Residents of the Valencia community were lost to Apache raids in 1833, 1835, and 1836. These Apache raiders may have used metal projectile points like those found by archaeologists in a cache west of I-25 outside of Las Cruces.
Seventeenth century Spanish villages and land grants in the Rio Grande valley.
Map of the Rio Grande Valley and surrounding areas by Miera y Pacheco, 1779. Click to learn more.