Scenic USA - New Mexico

Historic Raton

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Historic District - Raton, New Mexico

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Located at the southern end of Raton Pass, the city of Raton has always been an important point along the Santa Fe Trail. Located amidst the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the rugged mountain pass was well traveled by Native Americans, Spanish explorers and traders traveling between Colorado and Santa Fe.
   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. Raton Santa Fe Depot 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 contains 95 significant buildings. Local revitalization programs not only promote the historic preservation of these turn of the century buildings, but also strive to encourage economic support for local businesses. Sharing common values and a deep sense of community pride, the Raton community offers a 27 building walking tour. Along with the Santa Fe Depot, some of the notable sites include the Wells Fargo Express Building (1910), the Cary Hardware Store (1882), the El Raton Theater and Raton Fire Station.
   This First Street view is highlighted with a golden sunrise, long before Raton's shopkeepers begin to stir. Interstate 25 travelers, nearby the Colorado-New Mexico border, may find Raton a refreshing stop.

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