published: 20 March 2012 (revisions November 2013)
[excerpt, pg 7] The Baca Land Grant is the result of a land dispute. The Baca grants, of which there are five, were granted to the heirs of Luis Maria Baca in replacement for his 1825 grant near Las Vegas, New Mexico, which was also claimed by Juan de Dios Maiese in 1835. These conflicting claims came to light when the U.S. took control of the lands in the mid 1840s. The Baca claim was settled in 1860, and patented in 1903, when the Baca heirs were given five parcels of land: two in New Mexico, two in Arizona, and one in the San Luis Valley – Baca #4. In various configurations and sizes the Baca #4 lands changed hands many times over the next hundred years with a large portion established as the Baca National Wildlife Refuge in 2000.
Click here to read the complete paper of - The Early Cultural History of the San Luis Valley
by Meg Van Ness
Meg is the Regional Archaeologist/Regional Historic Preservation Officer for Region 6 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cultural Resources