Text Box: Alameda North Valley Association 

Historical and cultural items about Alameda and the north valley

Click here for more on the Alameda Grant

For more information see: "Shining River Precious Land - An Oral History of Albuquerque's North Valley" by Mary Davis and Kathryn "Kit" Sargeant, published by the Albuquerque Museum.

History of Alameda

Native American history

Historical accounts of pre-European settlement in the Alameda area are broadly based on descriptions that a Tiwa pueblo existed here prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Further, the accounts report the pueblo was destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt period. Then the displaced Native American inhabitants re-settled in the area now encompassing the Pueblo of Isleta, about 25 miles south of Alameda. A rich, detailed account of nearby Sandia Pueblo history can be accessed at their web site.

Rio Grande April 2005Alameda Chapel of the Immaculate Conception ca. 1900Sandia ViewText Box: Art copyright by Jeff Potter


Sandia Mountain reflection in the AMAFCA channel

Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in New Mexico.

A quick summary of Land Grant history in the Southwest: Nearby Sandia Pueblo's web site states that the first explorers, lead by Coronado, were reported in 1538. The Pueblo Revolt occurred about one hundred and forty years later resulting in the retreat of surviving Spaniards to Mexico. The Spaniards tried several times to retake the territory but were defeated by the Native Americans. The Spaniards who returned to the Southwest after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 followed a belief that the Indians were acknowledged to be the owners of the lands they possessed and cultivated. Mexico recognized the same right, and when it achieved independence from Spain in 1821, Indians became Mexican citizens. The Mexican Republic from 1823 until 1846 carried forward the land grants followed by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. This treaty marked the beginning of American authority over lands ceded by Mexico to the United States. Following the treaty, the U.S. government learned there had been three types of land grants, those made to settlements, those of small size claimed by individuals and those of large size granted to individuals for the purpose of encouraging habitation of a fixed area of territory.

Alameda was the name given by early Spanish settlers to a Tiwa pueblo on the west side of the Rio Grande. Translation means something like "park" or "shaded walk" in Spanish. The pueblo was located about where Alameda Elementary School is now (4th Street and Alameda Blvd.). Note that today the riverbed runs west of where the pueblo was located (see below.) Records from Spanish explorers in 1583 describe the pueblo as 7 1/2 to 8 leagues above (upstream of) Isleta Pueblo.

The area now delineated as Bernalillo County in central New Mexico was once divided into at least twelve Land Grants. Along the Rio Grande valley portion of Bernalillo County the land grants were from north to south, Town of Alameda, Elena Gallegos, Town of Candelarios, Town of Atrisco, Albuquerque, Pajarito and the Pueblo of Isleta. Immediately to the north was the Pueblo of Sandia.      The Town of Alameda Grant was awarded by the Governor Jose Chacon Medina Salazar y Villasenor on January 27, 1710. The grant was petitioned by Fransisco Montes Vigil, who had settled the area after emigrating from Zacatacas, Mexico in 1695 and, "since that time, he had participated in all efforts to pacify the Indians" (Bowden, J.J. 1969. Private land claims in the Southwest.), as well as continuously cultivate the land. The original grant was approximately 100,000 acres in size. Exact boundaries are difficult to define because the main landmark, the Rio Grande, was a turbulent and wandering river. According to records the river changed course numerous times over the three hundred-plus years European settlers have settled here. It went from flowing directly south along the eastern bluff near the railroad tracks to its present course. In fact, the original Catholic church in Alameda began as the Mission known as Nativity of Our Lady (or Alameda Chapel of the Immaculate Conception), was originally located east of what is now the Alameda bridge and just north of the present day intersection of Rio Grande Blvd. and Alameda Blvd. A flood in 1903 destroyed the church, and the present day Nativity of the Blessed Mary at 4th Street and Alameda Blvd. was completed in 1912.  Click here for a recent story (-7-07) in the Albuquerque Journal on the 100th birthday of the current Nativity of the Blessed Mary at 4th Street and Alameda Blvd. (NOTE - you will be asked to  click for a “Trial Access Pass” to read the article.  Just follow the instructions.)