Between Two Rivers
The Atrisco Land Grant in Albuquerque
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
256 Pages | 6 x 9 | 3 maps
How an Hispano community maintained its identity over four centuries
Located in Albuquerque’s south valley, Atrisco is a vibrant community that predates the city, harking back to a land grant awarded in 1692. Joseph P. Sánchez explores the evolution of this parcel over the four centuries since the first Spanish settlers arrived. He tracks its transformation from an individual to a community grant, peeling away the layers of historical events that have made Atrisco the last piece of undeveloped real estate in a growing metropolitan area.
Sánchez examines the creation of Atrisco as a frontier community during the Spanish and Mexican periods and shows how it maintained its identity and land ownership into the American era. He describes the historical processes of colonization, land tenures and transfers, and social and economic activity. He also assesses the transfer of the land grant to a private corporation and its subsequent fate, and considers Atrisco’s role in the future of Albuquerque.
Today more than 30,000 New Mexicans are descended from the early settlers of Atrisco; and because few places in the United States have retained their Spanish and Mexican influences as have the New Mexican land grants, the history of Atrisco offers a unique perspective. Sánchez’s study preserves Atrisco’s origins as part of that area’s Hispano heritage, depicting people who learned to defend their culture against outside challenges and embedding local history in a larger regional saga.