The colony of Truchas was established by a royal land grant in 1754 with settlers from Chimayó and Santa Cruz (near Española). It purpose was to create a buffer between other Spanish settlements and the nomadic Apache and Comanche bands who often raided both Spanish villages and Indian pueblos. Hence, it was built as a walled compound around a plaza.
The courageous and hardy settlers of Truchas hand-dug miles of acequias (irrigation ditches) to bring water from the trout-filled river that gave the town its name (Río de las Truchas means "river of trout"). Although today's residents still work their farms, many also commute to jobs in Santa Fe or Los Alamos. A few still make their living as traditional craftspeople alongside the many outstanding Anglo artists and galleries that have been drawn to Truchas and its magnificent mountain views.
State Road 76 turns left as you enter Truchas, but first, go straight into the village on County Road 75. Here are numerous galleries, open studios, and a community site showing the work of several artists. After you've "done" this part of Truchas, go back, take the turn made by SR 76 toward Taos, and meander among more galleries on your way to Ojo Sarco.
Resources for Truchas:
- Truchas—from Sangres.com
- Truchas—from Wikipedia
- Truchas—from Moon Travel Guides
- Truchas—history of Truchas from a local B&B, with old black-and-white photographs
- The Truchas Grant: Nuestra Señora del Rosario, San Fernando y Santiago Grant—a very thorough history by Mark Shiller, from The Center for Land Grant Studies.
- Truchas land grant documents—photos of the actual documents from the office of the New Mexico State Historian.
- “The Milagro Beanfield War"—Wikipedia article about the movie, filmed in Truchas and based on the novel by John Nichols about water, politics, and culture in a small community in Northern New Mexico