Areas of Interest
Colfax County, New Mexico
Raton was founded at the site of the Willow Springs, a stop on the Santa fe Trail. The original 320 acres for the Raton town site were purchased from the Maxwell Land Grant in 1880. In 1879, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway bought Uncle Dick Wooten’s toll road and established a busy rail line. Raton quickly developed as a railroad, mining, and ranching center for the northeast part of the New Mexico territory as well as the county seat and principal trading center of the area. Located at the southern end of raton pass, the city of Raton illuminates a central point along the Santa Fe Trail.
Located amidst the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the rugged mountain pass was traversed by Native Americans, Spanish and French explorers, and traders traveling between Denver, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. First blazed by Captain William Becknell in 1821, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway followed the Santa Fe Route in 1903. Here in raton, the historic Santa Fe Depot stands as a monument to the city’s Spanish heritage. Currently an Amtrak stop, the depot still sees rail traffic twice a day. Now designated a Registered Historic District, Raton’s downtown covers about 200 acres and contains95 significant buildings.F