Santa Rosa, New Mexico

  • Guadalupe County Courthouse in Santa Rosa
  • In downtown Santa Rosa
  • On Courthouse Square in downtown Santa Rosa
  • The Santa Rosa Masonic Temple and water towers
Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Santa Rosa is another of the early territorial cities in New Mexico. The Historic Route 66 runs right across town, along the edge of the main business area. The I-40 skirts town to the north with exits on the east and on the west. The newer hotels, most of the gas stations and most of the chain/fast food restaurants seem to be clustered around the Interstate 40 exit on the east side of town.

The downtown area looks like the state, county and city have made a good investment in refurbing and revitalizing the area. The county courthouse was a nice surprise (for me at least).

Agua Negra Chiquita was the first European settlement here, founded in 1865 by Don Celso Baca. In 1890 the name of the town was changed to Santa Rosa, referring to the chapel that Baca had built in town.

By the early 1900's, Santa Rosa was on the main railroad run between Chicago, the West Coast and El Paso. Later Route 66 was built through town and still survives today as a National Historic Byway. Director John Ford used the Pecos River railroad bridge over Route 66 in the train scene of his movie version of "The Grapes of Wrath." He has Henry Fonda (as Tom Joad) watching a freight train steam into the sunset over the bridge...

Around Santa Rosa are a number of natural lakes. These have formed in sinkholes in the area's limestone bedrock and are connected underground by a network of water-filled tunnels. The Blue Hole, a popular scuba diving spot, is the most famous of these as the 64°F water is more than 80 feet deep.

The population of Santa Rosa is up more than 4% since 2000.

There's an eclectic mix of architectures in downtown Santa Rosa
There's an eclectic mix of architectures in downtown Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa, New Mexico
A warehouse just north of downtown, one of the original Territorial structures
Fast Facts about Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Santa Rosa, Guadalupe County, NM 88435
Latitude: 34.9422°N
Longitude: 104.684°W
Founded: 1865
Elevation: 4,616'

High School or Higher: 71.3%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 6.7%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 2.6%
Cost of Living Index for Santa Rosa: 82.1

2014 Estimates:
Median Household Income: $28,650
Median Home Value: $86,600
Median Resident Age: 36.3 Years
Major Industries:
Lodging & Food Services, Educational Services, Construction, Government, Transportation Services, Retail Services, Waste Management Services
Unemployed (August 2014): 8.8%
Population Demographics: 2010
Total Population 2,848
Males 1,692
Females 1,156
Population by Age
Under 18 584
18 & over 2,264
20-24 202
25-34 515
35-49 610
50-64 504
65 & over 366
Population by Ethnicity
Hispanic or Latino 2,262
Non Hispanic or Latino 586
Population by Race
White 1,971
African-American 68
Asian 52
Native American 57
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0
Other 602
Two or more 98

Mesalands area map

Related Pages

Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!