Santa Clara, New Mexico

Santa Clara Municipal Building

Santa Clara was founded as "Santa Clara" in the early 1860's but the first post office was established with the name "Central" back on January 8, 1887. The name was changed back to Santa Clara in 1996.

In the early days of settlement, the driving force was hard metal mining and Santa Clara was the first settlement in the area. At one time there were up to 40 gold and silver mines being worked in the area. There was a problem with the local Apaches in those days so the Army established Fort Bayard a couple miles to the east and "Central" served as the "entertainment" center for the soldiers. The Spanish had been mining copper in the area since 1804 but active periods of mining were brief, due to the opposition from the Apaches. It didn't help that all shipping had to be done by mule train until the railroad arrived in the 1880's.

Over the years gold, silver, zinc, lead and some huge open pit copper mines were established in the Central Mining District and most had their own company towns on-site. Then the mines started running out of workable ore and started closing down. There were also times when whole company towns were swallowed by the mines they served and some of the populations of those towns moved to Central. These days Santa Clara is primarily a bedroom community for nearby Silver City.

The population of Santa Clara is down about 15% since 2000.

Fast Facts about Santa Clara, New Mexico
Santa Clara, Grant County, NM 88026
Latitude: 32.775681°N
Longitude: 108.153597°W
Founded: 1860's
Elevation: 5,978'

High School or Higher: 65.8%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 8.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 3.6%
Cost of Living Index for Santa Clara: 83.1

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $30,300
Median Home Value: $83,000
Median Resident Age: 45.0 Years
Major Industries:
Retail Trade, Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Health Care, Social Services, Natural Resources, Entertainment & Recreation, Waste Management Services
Unemployed (August 2014): 6.5%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 1,686
Males 795
Females 891
Population by Age
Under 18 408
18 & over 1,278
20-24 89
25-34 152
35-49 279
50-64 402
65 & over 315
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 1,349
Non Hispanic or Latino 337
Population by Race
White 1,326
African-American 14
Asian 1
Native American 37
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 5
Other 235
Two or more 68