In the early 1880s, the Santa Fe Railroad arrived in Los Lunas, and in anticipation of the tracks, a depot was constructed in 1879. Antonino José Luna provided the land on which the depot sat in exchange for $13,000 to build the Luna Mansion. After construction of the residence, it was occupied by various members of the Luna-Otero family until the 1920s. Over the next five decades, the Luna residence changed ownership several times until it was modified into a restaurant.
With the arrival of automobiles in the 20th century, New Mexico would become better connected with the rest of the United States through Route 66. From 1926 to 1937, Los Lunas was an important stopping point for travelers making the trek from the east to the west coast. Route 66 was rerouted through Albuquerque in 1937, but those 11 years shaped what the Village is now. Today, visitors can retrace the pre-1937 alignment of historic route 66 and rediscover the relics that travelers saw in Los Lunas all those years ago.
Los Lunas’ hidden gem, or should we say sacred slab? The Decalogue Stone (also known as the Los Lunas Mystery Stone or Commandment Rock), is a large boulder on the side of Hidden Mountain. In 1933, the University of New Mexico Professor Frank Hibben discovered the stone, and it has since been a mystery of how the script got here! If you plan on visiting, please contact the New Mexico Lands Office for more information 505-827-5760.
The Pueblo of Isleta, nestled in the scenic Rio Grande Valley, is one of the larger of 19 Pueblos in New Mexico. Established in the 1300s, Isleta Pueblo, or “little island” in the Spanish language, covers more than 329 square miles and is surrounded by magnificent views, the Manzano Mountains to the east, and Rio Puerco to the West.
The Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument has stood as a testament to the Mountainair area for hundreds of years. Abo, Gran Quivira, and Quarai, the three distinct sites, offer a glimpse into the area’s history at the time and provide a place to enjoy a short trail, a unique look at a remote excavated site, and to go birding at beautifully intact church ruins.
Originally built in 1914, and family-owned ever since, the Valencia Flour Mill is a local icon. And true to tradition, they still use antique wood and steel machines to make their flour out of local, New Mexican grains. These days, along with manufacturing, they also have their easy mixes, like sopapilla and fry bread, in stores and online so anyone can enjoy the authentic taste of New Mexico.