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Velarde

Trip Planner USA  /  New Mexico  /  Velarde
Velarde is a census-designated place (CDP) in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 502 at the time of the 2010 census. Velarde is located on New Mexico State Road 68, in the Rio Grande Rift, right at the point where the road enters the Rio Grande Gorge.HistoryThe name Velarde first appeared when a U.S. post office was opened at the location in 1855. The first postmaster, David Velarde, named the postal location in honor of his Spanish-born ancestor, Juan Antonio Pérez Velarde, who settled near Guadalupe del Paso (present Ciudad Juárez, Mexico) in 1725. His move to this Rio Grande settlement encouraged other members of his family to move north into colonial New Mexico in the mid-18th century.However, the town was organized only in 1875 by Matias Velarde, who established the town as "La Jolla", the name most likely originating from a 1712 Spanish land grant given to Sebastian Martin in the post-Pueblo Revolt resettlement of the region. This was likely a misspelling of "La Joya," which translates from Spanish as "The Basin". This geographical description was said to refer to the Tewa name for the location (Phahu'bu'u, or Tsigubu'u), which meant "basin of the chico bush or rabbit thorn".The community, located at the mouth of the Rio Grande canyon along the Low Road to Taos (not really part of the Camino Real, despite the ancient pathway over Embudo Pass being designated so by a historical marker ), had through its Spanish-settled history served mostly as a peaceful resting spot for passing travelers, especially for those heading north out of the low river country.
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