The town of Socorro got its name from the “succor” travelers found at the northern end of a 90-mile-long desert trail known as the Jornada del Muerto, the “Journey of the Dead Man,” in central New Mexico. The village of Socorro, located at the site of the ancient 1600s Piro Pueblo, was first settled sometime around 1816 as an agricultural community. The discovery of silver at Socorro Peak and the Magdalena Mountains and the arrival of the railroad in 1880 brought boom times to the town. The demonetization of silver in 1893 was the end of Socorro’s boom, and the community gradually reverted to its agricultural heritage. Reminders of days gone by can still be seen in Socorro. The Garcia Opera House, the Crown Mill, the Illinois Brewery, and several historic houses have been successfully preserved.
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