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Las Vegas, New Mexico was officially settled along the Gallinas River in 1835 even though a community had been established more than 10 years earlier. This settlement became known as West Las Vegas, Town of Las Vegas, or Old Town. When Mexico declared its independence from Spain in 1821 the Santa Fe Trail opened and Las Vegas quickly grew as an important commercial stop. After traveling weeks across the prairies, this was the first settlement for the pioneers in the wagon trains to enjoy fresh food, a bath, and maybe even a bed As the years progressed many stores, restaurants, and bars sprang up. The town has preserved both early Hispanic architecture and the Anglo Qnfluence brought in from the Santa Fe Trail and the railroad. There are many buildings well over 100 years old that currently house working businesses. With this book you can explore the growth of the original town and learn about the people who helped it grow, creating a blend of cultures.
The Montezuma hot springs, only a few miles away, were a special treat. Various hotels and bath houses hosted guests here. The last hotel, now known fondly known as the Castle, is currently the site of the international school, the United World College of the American West. This book also explains how this unique school was founded and how it strives to positively affect world affairs.
In 1879 the railroad laid tracks a mile away and a new community, East Las Vegas, City of Las Vegas, or New Town popped up. The two communities joined in 1970. Over 900 buildings in Las Vegas are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.