New Mexico November 16, 2020
Most People Don’t Know How These 7 Towns In New Mexico Got Their Start
The Land of Enchantment is not only home to some unusual towns, but also some with equally strange origins. Here’s a look at a few towns and cities around New Mexico with some odd names and stories.
1. Candy Kitchen
Located about 60 miles south of Gallup via State Roads 602 and 53, Candy Kitchen is a small community with a super sweet name. The name evidently originates from a Prohibition-era rancher who not only made piñon candy but used those sales as a front to sell moonshine.
If the name of this mountain destination inspires visions of rugged peaks and brisk outdoor activities, then the founders did their job. The Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway was built nearby and was referred to as a “cloud-climbing” railroad. That designation combined with the low clouds secured this name for the town.
Located in eastern New Mexico, modern-day Clovis was established in 1906 as a railway settlement. Initially known as Riley's Switch, the name was later changed to Clovis at the suggestion of an employee's daughter (or, in some stories, his wife) who had been studying the first Christian king of the Franks.
With the name of this town, you would think its origins relate to a devout community or a faith-inspiring event. In actuality, the town was originally settled as Badgerville in 1884. According to the book “The Place Names of New Mexico,” the community received its name because its residents apparently
“lived in dugouts, like badgers.”
The town name was eventually changed to Hope when it needed a post office. Two settlers argued over the name change which led to a shooting match. The winner, Joe Richards, chose the name Hope following his admonition that he
the other shooter would lose.
This historic town sits just outside Las Cruces and was founded sometime after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. The peace treaty re-established the boundaries of Mexico and gave the growing United States a swath of land. A group of Mexican citizens who did not want to join the U.S. instead moved a little way south of the new border and settled Mesilla. Their wish only lasted a few years, however, since the Gadsden Purchase ultimately made this area U.S. territory.
6. Pie Town
As the name would suggest, this town has been known for its pies since its establishment a century ago. According to a sign posted in town, the area's first vendor was known for his apple pies and the nickname for the location stuck. Since then, it's been home to a handful of pie-centered restaurants and a pie baking contest.
7. Truth or Consequences
This southern New Mexican city most certainly tops lists of places with unusual names. Originally called Hot Springs when it was founded in 1916, residents changed the name in an attempt to host a radio game show by the same name. On March 31, 1950, the city became officially known as Truth or Consequences and went on to host the show's 10th-anniversary show.
How many of these town origin stories did you know? What other locations would you add to this list?
On the lookout for other unusual places around the state? Read about some oddball spots in
These 9 Weird Places In New Mexico Are As Strange As It Gets. Address: Candy Kitchen, NM 87321, USA Address: Cloudcroft, NM 88317, USA Address: Clovis, NM 88101, USA Address: Hope, NM 88250, USA Address: Mesilla, NM, USA Address: Pie Town, NM 87827, USA Address: Truth or Consequences, NM, USA
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