Magdalena, New Mexico

  • One of the churches in Magdalena
  • A classic in downown Magdalena
  • A bank evolved into an ice cream shop, in downtown Magdalena
  • In downtown Magdalena
  • Another classic in the heart of Magdalena
  • The Magdalena Gym, built by the WPA in 1935
  • The Magdalena Hall Hotel
Magdalena, New Mexico

The name came about because early Spanish soldiers saw the face of a woman on the west face of Magdalena Peak. It reminded a priest who was traveling with them of a similar peak in Spain, so he named this one "La Sierra de Magdalena." Magdalena Gap is the name that fell on the natural pass just to the south of the peak, and Magdalena is the name that fell on the town that eventually grew up here.

Magdalena was founded to service several silver and small gold strikes in the mountains around the town. It was that ore that got the railroad to build a line to Magdalena from Socorro. It was the cattle and sheep that were driven east from the Plains of San Augustin and other herds driven over the Magdalena Livestock Driveway from Springerville, Arizona, that kept the railroad spur alive, because the mines went boom and bust in just a few years. In 1919, some 21,677 cattle and 150,000 sheep were loaded onto the train at Magdalena.

The mining ghost town of Kelly is 2.5 miles south of Magdalena and that still draws a lot of visitors to the area. The annual Old Timers Reunion and Rodeo is also a big tourist draw. And these days, Magdalena seems to have a large and active artisan group: there were studios and galleries all over town. The Lady Magdalen Art Walk is an annual festival that has contributed significantly to Magdalena's arts and culture community. The Magdalena Hall Hotel and the Bank West Building have recently been remodeled and refurbed.

The population of Magdalena is up about 2.6% since 2000.

Magdalena, New Mexico
Magdalena, New Mexico
Old warehouse in Magdalena
Fast Facts about Magdalena, New Mexico
Magdalena, Socorro County, NM 87825
Latitude: 34.1126°N
Longitude: 107.2379°W
Elevation: 6,572'

Incorporated: 1913
High School or Higher: 79.9%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 19.1%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 7.2%
Cost of Living Index for Magdalena: 86.2

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $23,970
Median Home Value: $67,050
Median Resident Age: 41.4 Years
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Health Care, Construction, Professional Services, Government, Lodging & Food Services, Agriculture, Arts & Entertainment, Retail Services, Social Services
Unemployed (March 2014): 4.7%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 938
Males 452
Females 486
Population by Age
Under 18 224
18 & over 714
20-24 39
25-34 87
35-49 155
50-64 228
65 & over 185
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 422
Non Hispanic or Latino 516
Population by Race
White 685
African-American 5
Asian 1
Native American 124
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 1
Other 83
Two or more 39