Between March 1 and May 15, 2016, the Office of Contract Archeology, University of New Mexico (OCA) conducted a cultural resources inventory on 3577.9 acres of Trigg Ranch in anticipation of proposed habitat improvement projects for brush/tree thinning. This inventory was performed at the request of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) in partnership with the Natural Resources and Conservation Service. The work was funded through the NMDGF. The undertaking was performed to comply with the New Mexico Cultural Properties Act and the Cultural Properties Protection Act. All of the pedestrian coverage on the ranch was conducted by four 4-person crews with Erin Hegberg serving as field director/Crew Chief. The survey report was prepared by Robin M. Cordero, Erin Hegberg, and Christian Solfisburg. Some text from that report is copied here.
Jack Chatfield a former 30 year Bell Cowboy as Program Manager of the Canadian River Riparian River Restoration Project singlehandedly spearheaded an award by the State Game and Fish and funded by the feds to masticate cedar trees on the Trigg Ranch and three other parcels to restore mule deer habitat.
The Canadian River Riparian River Restoration Project (CRRRP) is a collaboration of eight Soil and Water Conservation Districts in northeastern New Mexico with the goal to restore the Canadian River watershed. Jack describes the CRRRP as being his vision of restoring the Canadian to “being a healthy, functioning ecosystem that has grass and willows and a variety of wildlife, that provides water for recreation, grazing, farming and communities downstream.”
The archeology survey on Trigg Ranch identified 89 sites and documented 277 historical identified objects, (IOs) and 394 prehistoric IOs. This is truly an amazing number of sites and artifacts found with their detailed analysis and tabulation. Thirteen homesteads were identified and their history documented through the US Land Claims Office.
Some of the earliest homestead patents on our country date between 1885 and 1899. Homesteaders on the ranch were primarily from Mosquero Canyon which saw its initial migrations from Gallegos and a likely a few from areas along the Pecos River. However, Mosquero did not have its heyday until it became a railroad siding for the El Paso and Southeastern Railroad completed in 1903. Mosquero experienced a homesteading rush of newcomers from the eastern United States between 1906 and 1910, adding to the existing Hispanic population that had settled in Mosquero Canyon, directly adding to the existing Hispanic population that had settled in Mosquero Canyon.
An early Mosquero Canyon homesteader was recently researched by Pat Montoya a Mosquero native who uncovered his great-grandfathers settlement in Mosquero Canyon around 1870. Juan Domingo Montoya was born near Albuquerque on May 13, 1837. He joined James Lawrence Hubbell’s New Mexico Mounted Volunteers, which was mobilized into the 5th Regiment of New Mexico Mounted Infantry consisting of 220 men of which 191 were of Hispanic descent. The regiment fought Civil War engagements at Valverde on February 1862 and Glorieta on March 1862 which resulted in Confederate withdrawal from New Mexico. He suffered a disability that was never awarded a government disability.
Juan Domingo Montoya was born near Albuquerque in May 1837 and in 1870 he married Esiquia Aguilar of Chaperito, in San Miquel County, and settled in Mosquero Canyon raising fourteen children. In 1874 Juan was wounded by an Indian arrow, a year when the last Comanche band lead by Quanah Parker submitted to reservation life. Juan died June 14, 1897. The homestead today is known as the Montoya-Pacheco Ranch and is still in the family.
Fourteen sites on the Trigg Ranch parcel were identified as residential settlements or associated with residential settlements (Table 6.6). Of these, eight could be confidently associated with homestead patents, based on details in the full homestead case files that matched structures and diagnostic artifacts within the sites. Four sites could possibly be associated with homestead patents, and two sites were located on land patented by the Santa Fe and Pacific Railroad Company, and so could not be clearly associated with a known individual.
Homestead case files indicate that the homesteaders in the Trigg parcel maintained community connections with Gallegos in the 1900–1920 period and with Mosquero Village in the 1920s and 1930s. The witness testimony in homestead proofs show that the homesteaders reciprocated for each other as witnesses, shared grazing land for livestock, and interacted with each other frequently, as much as 200 times per year, despite the dispersed nature of the settlement. In 1936 a school house was built by the WPA on Gavina Garcia’s allotment, probably with a work crew made up of local men. In small rural communities, a school house served much more than just educational functions, and the building probably served to host many community events and functions, further integrating the homesteaders in the area and establishing their local identity as independent from, but integrated with Mosquero Village and Mosquero Canyon. In a 1938 state highway map, the immediate community is labeled “Garcia.” This may have been a cartographer’s confusion of the community name and landowner’s name, but it also reflects that the area had the population density and social cohesion outsiders might associate with a community. After the 1916 Stock Raising Act, the majority of homestead applications in and around theproject area were for Stock-raising Homesteads, which had minimal cultivation requirements and no residential requirement. Homesteaders also took immediate advantage of the ability to receive extensions on their homestead applications, enacted in 1935 to help settlers without the economic means to prove up on their homesteads after 5 years.
Homestead Allotment Case File, Homestead file No. 987193, Margarito Sandoval, October 12, 1926, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Land Office; Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49; Serial Patent Files, 1908-51, Box No. 36468; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. [Sandoval Homestead Case File No. 987193]
This site has both a prehistoric and a historic component.
There is an unknown prehistoric element with a large lithic scatter in five artifact concentrations, having an assemblage of 78 pieces of debitage (estimated 500+), 9 cores, 2 bifaces, 6 flake tools (utilized flakes), and 2 core tools (utilized cores). Site likely represents prehistoric activities related to upland resource procurement and processing that included flaked stone tool manufacture and maintenance focused on biface production. The flake tools (utilized flakes) point to plant and/or animal processing activities. The artifact assemblage likely represents the repeated use of the locality creating a palimpsest of lithic artifacts across the landform and broadly indicates larger land use strategies related to upland game hunting and procurement of wild plant resources.
The historic component represents Margarito Sandoval’s Stock-Raising Homestead which is a 1920s residential complex with eight structural features including two habitations, three possible corrals, one stock pond, and two unknown outbuildings.
Margarito Sandoval was born in the Mosquero area in1892. His father was a sheepherder and the entire family only spoke Spanish. The 1910 Census lists him as 18 and living with his mother and five siblings. He added to his original homestead granted of 1919, located 2 miles north of this site area, with a stock-raising allotment patented in 1926. The 1920 census lists him as head of household 2parents, 2 sisters, 2 brothers. The !930 Census lists Margarito as a rancher, head of household with a mother, sister, niece and 2 nephews. He never married.
Margarito stated in the final proof of his stock-raising homestead that he still lived in the home on his original homestead patent. Applicants were required to make watering improvements to stock-raising patents, but they did not have to live on the allotment, suggesting that improvements and moving his family to this site were made after 1926.
The residential complex has a two-room structure oriented northeast-southwest consisting of two rooms each measuring about 15ft by 15ft. The tallest intact wall is 10.5 ft. and built with double laid coursed stone masonry with some header stones forming transverse bonds and some rubble core. The north room has some unique features, including an arched window (this arched window I find quite extraordinary), carefully dressed walls, and a stone bench feature on the interior northeast wall. This room may have served as a church, a private capilla (a small place of worship), or some other public space.
A small, single-room outbuilding 11 X 7 lies 30 feet southwest may have been a privy, chicken coop, or storage. I think it likely an outhouse. It is built with mostly unshaped, local tabular quarzitic sandstone, likely from a single source. Corner stones are shaped using chipping to increase stability.
Thirty feet further along this same line, is the remnant of a rock corral measuring 24 X 16.
There is another habitation southeast of the capilla, a single room with an adjacent rock-laid terrace area. This building measures 16 x 24ft. and is constructed from stacked stone bonded masonry with a rubble core and mud mortar. Large quarried and shaped quartzitic sandstone blocks were used at the base and corners of the structure, while unshaped tabular quartzitic sandstone was used for the middle walls. Overall, this structure seems less carefully constructed than the capilla. The highest intact wall is 4.3 ft.
There is a large stock pond to the east capilla with a large earthen berm. The catchment area is approximately 343 x 160 ft. and seems to be listed as an improvement in the final proof for Margarito’s 1926 stock-raising homestead patent, indicating he made the improvements between 1923 and 1925 at an estimated value of $250.
(Occupation c. 1900–1905)
Mariano Lucero received a homestead patent on July 13, 1905, suggesting his initial occupation in the area was in 1900. The patent is in an ideal location with reliable water and includes the junction of two unnamed creeks. In this area the creeks are not deeply incised and are easily accessible for people and livestock. A large stock pond was developed at the creek junction sometime after 1882, and is still in use16. Lucero’s patent is the earliest homestead patent in the Trigg parcel, and he may have selected the area for its good water access. Mariano Lucero could not be located in the 1900 or 1910 U.S. Census of Mosquero, Gould, Gallegos, or Miera. However, there is a Marion/Macario Lucero listed in Cordillera, Mora County who was 21 in 1900, and may have traveled to the Mosquero area to make a homestead application in 1900.17 Alternatively, there is another homestead patent in Mora County granted to a Mariano Lucero in 1891. This patent is located on the southern border of the county, along the Rito San Jose, near the Rito Gascon.
Delfino S. Quintana
(Occupation 1903–c. 1922)
Delfino S. Quintana was born in approximately 1876 in New Mexico. On September 5, 1903 he applied for a homestead patent and testified that he was over 21 years old and lived in Gallegos. However, the 1910 U.S. Census lists him in the Mosquero enumeration district, as being only 24 years old, married, with one daughter. He is listed as a ranchman who speaks English. 19 In 1920 Delfino is still listed in the Mosquero enumeration district, but now he is 44. He is listed as still married, but now with seven children, and working as a farmer. 20 The jump in age suggests that the 1910 census was inaccurate. Delfino received his patent in 1909 after giving his testimony for final proof late in October 1908. He states that he missed his original appointment because he did not receive notice in time. His witnesses were Felix Martinez and Porfirio Tenorio, both “close neighbors” who also listed their residences in Gallegos. Two alternate witnesses were Matias L. Casaus and Jose D. Blea. 21 Both Felix Martinez and a man named Jose Dario Blea held homestead allotments east of Ute Creek but none of the witnesses are listed in the 1900 census for Mosquero or Gallegos. The improvements listed in Delfino’s final testimony, together with the census data and diagnostic artifacts strongly indicate that LA 185268 is the homestead settlement Delfino S. Quintana and his family (Table 6.7). Improvements at the homestead were described as a one-room rock house, a chicken coop, fencing enclosing 120 acres, and a corral. Quintana stated that he grazed 500 head of sheep and 3 horses on the land and also planted three acres of crops each year.
In 1922 Delfino received a second homestead allotment, located a few miles northeast of the project area, and it is likely that he moved away from his residence in the Trigg parcel. However, he stayed in the general area until at least 1934, when he was described as an “old time resident of the Gallegos community” in the local newspaper, the Mosquero Developer.
Eutemia Blea (Sisneros)
(Occupation 1906–c. 1920s)
LA 185271 and LA 185276 are structural sites within the homestead allotments of Eutemia Blea née Sisneros (Table 6.8). Eutemia maintained two homestead allotments within the Trigg parcel, both patented in 1914. Patent No. 397992 is her original homestead allotment, patented in April, 1914, which contains LA 185271. Patent No. 411951 is an additional homestead allotment filed under the Enlarged Homestead Act, patented in June 1914. The addition lies directly south of Eutemia’s original patent and abuts Delfino S. Quintana’s allotment to the north.
Eutemia first applied for her original entry in 1906 and applied for the additional entry in September, 1912 after she was married. The second application caused a suspension of her original application because she had not yet proved up on her original entry and it had been over five years. This must have triggered very rapid movement on the part of Eutemia and the Tucumcari Land Office, because by June, 1913 she filed a Notice of Intention to Make Proof.24 However, Eutemia missed her first appointment for final proof in September 10, 1913 because one witness did not appear and her homestead entry receipt was lost, but she was able to return and provide full testimony a few days later.
Enlarged Homestead Entries did not require that the applicant reside on both allotments, but they did have a cultivation requirement (Pratt 1986a). Eutemia stated that she grew 20 acres of corn maize and 20 acres beans on her additional allotment and harvested a good crop in 1911 and 1912, although the Final Testimony states that she had not settled on the additional homestead until September 30, 1912 (after her September 25th application). This may indicate that Eutemia was already using the land prior to her formal application. Other improvements to the additional homestead include one house in addition to a house on the original allotment, worth a total of $300. Eutemia states in her final proof that she lives with her husband and children, and all are native born New Mexicans. Eutemia was only 28 when she provided her final testimony in 1913, suggesting that she was barely the minimum age required when she applied for her original homestead in 1906.
(Occupation 1907–c. 1920s)
The historic component of LA 185270 represents the occupation of homesteader Rafael Cisneros and his family, beginning in approximately 1907 (listed as the year of occupation of the patent) and lasting until at least 1913. In his final proof, Cisneros lists structural improvements made to the patent: a 3 room rock house (Feature 1), a chicken house (possibly Feature 2), a shed (possibly Feature 3) and corral, 50 acres under fence, and a well (Table 6.9). Cisneros listed these improvements as being in the SE1/4SW1/4 of Section 35, which was along the southern boundary of his allotment.27 The description and location closely fits the features observed at LA 185270. Eutemia Blea née Sisneros held the patents for the land immediately south, as well as east of LA 185270, and received her patents in 1914, but she does not appear to have been related to Rafael or the site. Rafael Cisneros, his wife, and four children moved to the Gallegos area from Colorado City, CO sometime prior to 1901, based on the 1910 U.S. Census. In his final testimony, Cisneros indicates that he spent most of the years of 1907–1910 working in Gallegos while his family occupied the homestead allotment. 28 In 1910 his profession is listed on the U.S. Census as being a salesman in a store. From November 1911 to April 1912 he taught at a school located approximately 9 miles from his homestead. This suggests that the majority of the artifacts and features at the site are related to his wife Marina Cisneros, and her two sons and two daughters. The Cisneros family conducted some farming on their homestead.
In the area surrounding the Trigg parcel, the number of homestead filings peaked in the 1920s and there was a sharp drop-off in the 1930s, suggesting that the Mosquero Canyon community grew somewhat later than other canyon communities in the region. Within the Trigg parcel, there was also a shift from land near the north end, which tends to be gradual rolling hills and easily accessed stream beds, towards the southern end of the parcel, which is defined by steep mesa cliffs and more deeply incised canyons. These areas may have been homesteaded later because water was more difficult there and they are not well suited to farming, and therefore less attractive until the Stock-raising Homestead Act was passed in 1916. Furthermore, residents in the Trigg parcel who patented homesteads in the 1920s and 1930s already had proven up on homesteads north of the project area, along Mosquero Canyon and Ute Creek, suggesting that rather than a later wave of homesteaders immigrating to the area, the 1920s were defined by existing residents increasing their land-base
This is a US belt buckle found on open ground just to the west of the road that drops off into Rincon Canyon. It is a 19th century U.S. Army belt plate. This type of plate was first introduced in 1839 among the U.S. Dragoons. It was very common during the Civil War and continued to be a part of uniforms until the mid-1870s. Oval plates with the U.S. designation were used on saber belts, infantry uniforms, and riflemen’s cartridge boxes and was in use between 1839 and approximately 1874.
The authors of the survey speculate there are several possibilities that may explain the presence of this belt plate within the Trigg Ranch parcel:
1) The belt plate was lost within a pre-existing archaeological site by a U.S. soldier from Fort Bascom (1863–c. 1874) while performing duties.
2) The belt plate was acquired or stolen by a Native American group, who also created the surrounding site.
3) The belt plate was acquired or stolen by a non-military individual, who later lost it within a pre-existing archaeological site.
I speculate there is another possibility;
4) There was one documented homesteader, Juan Domingo Montoya in Mosquero Canyon, who joined James Lawrence Hubbell’s New Mexico Mounted Volunteers, which was mobilized into the 5th Regiment of New Mexico Mounted Infantry. He fought during the Civil War in the battles at Valverde and Glorieta in 1862. There were likely more vets in the area and they would likely have had US buckles in their possession. ST
The presence of the belt is an interesting indication of U.S. military activity in the region. Fort Bascom was fully active from 1863 until 1870, when it was reduced to a summer seasonal encampment for soldiers from Fort Union until 1874. The 1872 survey of the boundaries of the Pablo Montoya Grant indicates a “Road to Fort Bascom” in several places along the edge of the grant, primarily near Atarque Creek on the east side of the grant (and immediately west of the Trigg Parcel) (Figure 6.3). Soldiers from Fort Bascom received supplies from Fort Union and Las Vegas and conducted regular scouting missions northwest to Cañon Largo and the Sabinoso area, which may have necessitated crossing the site area. The broken landscape around Trigg Ranch and the Canadian River supplied considerable hiding areas for nomadic groups evading the military (Blackshear 2016
These Maps were researched and put together by Caitlin, Josh, and Edward.