The town of Espanola is a small city in the state of New Mexico. Located primarily in Rio Arriba County, it is also a part of Santa Fe County. It was a railroad village, which earned the town its name from the old Indian town of San Juan de los Caballeros. Official incorporation took place in 1925, and the population of the town is now around 2,500.
While Spanish and Chinese immigrants settled the area, they grew in size. In 1861, they founded the town’s first railroad station. This station included an engine facility, a roundhouse, and a turntable. However, the railroad failed to reach the town for six years, and the city was subsequently abandoned. In later years, the city expanded across the Rio Grande and became a major center for modern businesses.
The town of Espanola is a gateway to red-rock country in northern New Mexico. A few miles to the north, Abiquiu is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. There is a manmade lake on the Rio Chama, which is a popular fishing spot and a place to boat. In the fall and winter, you can enjoy the dwindling water from the lake. You can also spend a day hiking in the beautiful red-rock scenery at the Ghost Ranch, a Presbyterian retreat center.
The city is home to the Spanish Embassy and several churches. The town has been home to many immigrants over the years. Today, it’s one of the most important historic sites in New Mexico. During your stay in Espanola, you may want to take advantage of the free airport in the city. The airport is located nearby, as are many other attractions. Aside from being a convenient location, a hotel in the city offers free shuttle service to nearby airports.
Before incorporating as a city, the town had a large railroad. Its railroad connection had a great impact on the development of the town. Its railroads were instrumental in establishing the community. In the early 1940s, the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad abandoned the narrow gauge, which led to many locals relocating to the city’s downtown. A railroad depot and train tracks were removed in the 1960s.
In the early 1940s, the Espanola Railroad closed, and the railroads were removed. Local residents fled the town in search of jobs in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. As a result, many homes in the town’s downtown area were left vacant. During this time, Espanola became known as a failed railroad town. During the 1960s, the city of the area decided to remove the railroad tracks and train depot.