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Nestled at the bottom of the Sacramento Mountains is the picturesque town of Tularosa, the City of Roses. This southeastern New Mexico town of 3,000 souls has not a single stoplight. Located at the junction of New Mexico highways 54 and 70, Tularosa is the gateway to Ruidoso and the Mescalero Indian reservation. The Rio Tularosa, which still exists along the north side of the village, attracted the original settlers as a water source in the desert. Overlooking the Tularosa Basin Cesario Duran, was alcalde of the original hundred Mesilla Valley farmers who, after their lands flooded, came to Tularosa in 1860. The first buildings were low dugouts, or chozas, protected by earthen walls from attacks by nomadic Apaches, who for centuries hunted and camped in this valley cradled among the Sacramento, San Andres, and Organ mountains. The original acequia (ditch irrigation system) remains virtually unchanged and provides the water for the trees lining the streets, private gardens, and landscaping that give Tularosa its unique character. To the east, Tularosa is flanked by the western edge of the Sacramento Mountains. The Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation begins only a few miles east of Tularosa.
Tularosa gets its name from the Spanish description for the red- or rose-colored reeds growing along the banks of the river. Tularosa is noted for its abundance of cottonwood shade trees and its efforts to preserve the adobe-style architecture of its past. Many homes still have the look and feel of their past (with the addition of modern conveniences), and to keep this historic charm, newer buildings are constructed to mimic those built in the past. (Gay Ingram).
In 1979, the Tularosa Original Townsite District, consisting of the original forty-nine blocks on 1400 acres including 182 buildings, was declared a historic district and recorded in the National Register of Historic Places.
April 27th, 2013
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