Adobe Churches of New Mexico: Part 2
Have you read the ﬁrst post on New Mexico churches? It gives a history and overview of the adobe churches found throughout the state. Weʼve covered urban churches in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, so itʼs time to head out into the smaller towns and villages.
St. Josephʼs in Cerrillos
The ﬁrst parish church was constructed in 1850. Cerrillos (or sometimes, Los Cerrillos) was a mining town, ﬁrst in turquoise and then lead ore. The latter is used in local glazed pottery.
In 1871, the town was established on a 606-acre site and the ﬁrst territorial delegate to Congress was installed to govern the new village. Then the railroad started running a spur through Cerrillos. Within a few years, Wells Fargo opened an ofﬁce there. The Palace Hotel was constructed, along with the ﬁrst school and twenty-six saloons. This last bit of town history led to the establishment of both a jail and the ﬁrst church (which was Methodist).
In 1891, the plot of land that would eventually hold St. Josephʼs was purchased, and a plot for a cemetery was secured across the street. The ﬁrst church was razed (its location is now the current St. Josephʼs parking lot) and a larger church was constructed in 1921. Today, there are just over 220 people living in Cerrillos.
Location: 7 First Street (on the Turquoise Trail). This church still holds services on Sundays.
Immaculate Conception Parish in Tome
Although the Spanish crown approved a land grant in 1739, this parish was only founded in 1895. The population of Tome slightly exceeds two thousand, over 60% of whom are Latin or Hispanic.
Nearby Tome Hill is a popular pilgrimage site. On Good Friday, thousands seek forgiveness for their sins by climbing up the 350 foot high hill.
Location: 7 Church Loop in Tome. This is still an active church.
Stone Church near Espanola
As you head north out of Santa Fe on the 84/285, youʼll pass this fascinating little red stone church. I say “church” because thereʼs a cross on top. However, itʼs always closed and there are no signs indicating what the structure is or was.
Location: off La Puebla Road, as you enter Espanola.
San Geronimo at Taos Pueblo
This adobe church was constructed in 1850 on the World Heritage Site of Taos Pueblo. The original Spanish-era mission lay in ruins nearby. The pueblo itself is over one thousand years old and the area has been inhabited since 900 ACE.
This church is still in use and San Geronimoʼs Feast Day is held in September each year. To see the church, you need to pay an entrance fee, a separate fee for your camera, and follow a list of rules located at the ticket window on the outside of the complex.
Location: Inside the Taos Pueblo.
Church at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
This church was moved from its original location and its construction remains unknown. Itʼs now part of the El Rancho de las Golondrinas complex, south of Santa Fe on the I-25.
Location: El Rancho de las Golondrinas 334 Los Pinos Road, Santa Fe.
Iglesia Nuestra Señora de los Remedios in Galisteo
This is a “mission” church,” with an active congregation and services in English. It was built in 1882 and is located in a small town – population 245 – along the banks of the Galisteo creek, in the central Galisteo Basin area. The original town site (just down the road) is nestled amongst several ruined Tanoan (Indian) villages.
Location: NM 41 in Galisteo.
Cristo Rey Church in Montezuma
This church has become famous for its murals. Services continue to be conducted. It sits in a still unincorporated community, along the Gallinas river.
Location: Off of Route 65 on El Llano in Montezuma.
Lane & Juliet
The writing and photography team behind Southwest Compass, the travel blog for the American Southwest.