One of the oldest towns in Quadalupe County, Puerto de Luna, on the Pecos River has had a
post office since 1873. Puerto de Luna was the county seat of Guadalupe County in 1891 until it lost out to
In the winter of 1862 a committee of thirteen men was appointed to examine the site to determine
the advantage of settlement. On their favorable report six families moved in. Water for irrigation was
provided the following spring by a dike across the Pecos River, and land cultivation began. Then the
Navaho came, raiding the herds of the village and killing the herder. They returned another time and
killed a boy, and drove off more of the stock.
The town was settled in 1863 by the following people and their families: Don Melquitades
Ramires, Sixto Ramirez, Mercedes Carvajal, Fabian Brito, Pablo Pacheco, and Miguel
Legend says that Coronado named the place when he camped on the spot
where the town is now located. Coronado named it Puerto because of a narrow gap
in the mountains near the village where at certain times during the month the moon
shines through bathing the river valley in moonlight.
In the spring of 1864 the Indians attacked in greater force, but the settlers were better armed,
and succeeded in driving them off, killing three. As late as 1866 a band of twenty-five Indians drove
off a large flock of sheep belonging to a man from Anto Chico known as Cuate Real. The Indians were
overtaken about 25 miles from the village, but the dust raised by the sheep afforded them a screen,
and under cover of this they surprised their pursuers, who barely managed to drive them off. The
sheep were recovered, however as well as a herder whom the marauders had captured and had made
him carry water with repeated jabbing from Indian lances.
Then there is the story that members of the Luna family settled near the gap and the name
may refer to "Lunas Gap". Members of the Luna family still live in the area.
Documentary confirmation has not been located. If you have any records that would
add to this please feel free to forward to the Guadalupe Coordinator, Harold
The claim to fame that Puerto de Luna has is that Billy The Kid ate his 1880 Chrstmas dinner
in the home of Don Alejandro and Dona Secundina Grzelachowski. Almost a day after he was captured
at Taiban, New Mexico he was brought to Puerto de Luna in handcuffs and leg irons. Billy The Kid was
on his way to Romero's hoosegow in Las Vegas Grandes where he would await trial for the murders of
NEW MEXICO PLACE NAMES, edited by T. M. Pearce, 1965.
NEW MEXICO, American Guide Series, 1940, by The Coronado Cuarto Centennial Commission.
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Puerto de Luna, New Mexico