The area turquoise and lead deposits were critical to the jewelry and pottery making of the prehistoric Indians and these mines influenced Spanish settlement. The Cerrillos mining district is one of the oldest and most marked of the Old Spanish Mineral Developments in the Southwest. In fact, turquoise mined here found its way to the crown jewels of Spain. Cerrillos was full of hearty miners who extracted gold, silver, lead, zinc and turquoise from area mines at its peak in the 1880’s. The miners supported the town’s 21 saloons and four hotels.
While it was once seriously considered as the capitol of New Mexico, today Cerrillos, with its dirt streets, is a picturesque reminder of the Old West. There are a several shops and galleries, a riding stable, electronic bike rentals, a State Park with hiking and biking trails and the Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum and Petting Zoo. The town has been the setting for several motion pictures.
Saint Joseph’s church has Sunday Mass at 9am.
The lovely historic church was built in 1922.
Visit the Cerrillos Hills State Park : For thousands of years people have been drawn to the hills we call Cerrillos. They have come for spirituality and splendor, the plants and animals, and the remarkable minerals. There is a tale told from each and every chapter of the story that is New Mexico. Come visit the hills and share the land, nature and the history of us all. Walk softly and you may see the shadows of those ancient footprints or relive a bygone moment. Experience for yourself a very special place. The striking land forms and the quiet beauty of the natural landscape are what most of first notice in the Cerrillos Hills State Park. However if you take the time to study the area closely, you'll discover fascinating evidence of past human activity as well. - The 1,100 acre Cerrillos Hills State Park was created in January 2000 and opened officially on May 24th, 2003 as part of the Santa Fe County Open Space Program. (thank you to Bill Baxtor for the intro)
"While in Cerrillos, an absolute “must stop” is the Cerrillos Hills State Park, just north of town. Here, along the hiking and biking trails, can be found evidence of the old mines that dot the area." - Kathy Weiser
The Cerrillos Historical Society
In Cerrillos we realized that we were in danger of losing our history. Inspired with a few facts and many stories we went to the New Mexico State Archives
and various libraries to find more information on the history of each building in our town. With this research we had the wording for metal plaques approved by the current property owners. Seventeen Cerrillos Historical Society plaques were installed throughout our village for residents & visitors to read and learn about each of the buildings.
The traditional village of Cerrillos, New Mexico started in 1882 as a mining town when the railroad came through the pristine river valley from Las Vegas to Albuquerque. Our town originally supported the mining district to the North where there are over 2,000 Territorial mines in the hills. The area mines produced large amounts of Copper, Silver, Galena, Turquoise and Manganese Iron. The prehistory mining of Cerrillos Turquoise began around 900 A.D. Ask at any Cerrillos shop for a self guided walking map.
Come enjoy a self guided walking tour of the village of Cerrillos NM!