Watrous

Mora County New Mexico

SFT photo

Photo by Michael E. Pitel

Pioneer buildings are very old, some dating to the latter days of the trail, including what is probably the oldest Protestant church in New Mexico. The village is still occupied by a few families. Photograph shows the Masonic Hall in Watrous.

The principal of the Santa Fe Trail's Mountain Route and Cimarron Route. Was originally called La Junta (The Junction). In 1879, with the coming of the railroad, it was named for Samuel B. Watrous, a prominent local rancher, who established a mercantile and home here, ca. 1849. The village served as a place for wagon trains to organize before entering hostile Indian territory. Remnants of the trail can be found on the outskirts of town.