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Date(s) - 08/01/2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

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This Tuesday, August 1, JRI Vice President and Research Associate Jeffery Hanson will give a talk at the Torrence County Archaeological Society, In Estancia, New Mexico. The title of Dr. Hanson’s presentation will be:¬†

Demographic Change at Los Ojitos, a Late 19th and early 20th Century Homestead Community on the Pecos River, Guadalupe County. 

The meeting will be held at the East Torrence Soil Conservation District’s education building, 700 South 10th Street, in Estancia.


Los Ojitos (LA98907) was founded in the late 1860s as American homestead laws opened new lands along the Pecos River. Situated along spring-producing finger terraces of the Pecos River, south of Puerto de Luna and north of Fort Sumner, it was a prime location for village habitation. Predominantly a farming and ranching community, Los Ojitos exhibited steady growth in population from 1870 to 1900. There was a significant uptick of the population from 1900-1910, and then a precipitous crash by 1920. This paper addresses the possible factors that contributed to the growth and decline of the population, including rail line construction, arrival of the Spanish Influenza pandemic in 1918, and the drought of 1916-1918. Los Ojitos was gradually abandoned following construction of Alamogordo (Sumner Lake) Dam in 1937. The remaining residents of the village moved to neighboring communities, although the 1940 census still showed several families still living in the area.

Dr. Hanson is collaborating with Dr. Kelly Lee Jenks, New Mexico State University, on ongoing archaeological and ethnohistorical investigations at Los Ojitos.