Camino Real Map

Camino Real Map

Bosque de Pinos

Bosque de Pinos

Bosque de los Pinos was created in 1769 when floods caused the Río Grande to change course approximately two miles to the west, cutting off pieces of the Sedillo and Gutiérrez grants. The tract eventually came into the hands of Francisco Xavier Chávez, who built a hacienda on the property that was occupied by his son, José Mariano, in the late 1830s. After the death of José Mariano Chávez, his widow married trader Henry Connelly, a territorial governor during the Civil War (Taylor 1989:19-21). Taylor located the hacienda on the east side of New Mexico Highway 47 between Abo and Pine Streets in modern Bosque Farms (Taylor 1989:19-21).

The caravan bringing Wislizenus stopped at “Bosque, or Alamos, de Pinos,” five miles south of Isleta pueblo, New Mexico, and a mile east of the Río Grande after crossing some difficult sand hills on 21 July 1846. Wislizenus also described the hacienda of Mariano Chávez’s widow, two miles south of Bosque de los Pinos and one mile north of Peralta. He called it the largest which he had seen in that region. Its large fields and pastures were walled and irrigated and its quarters reminded him of plantations in the southern United States (Wislizenus 1848:35). For the distance estimates of Wislizenus to make sense, even as somewhat long, his Bosque de Pinos had to have been northwest of North Bosque Loop. His route from Isleta stayed away from the river in the sand hills, perhaps going near Chical, and then turning to the camp one mile from the river and still two miles, more or less, from the Chávez home.

In October 1846, Susan Shelby Magoffin camped in a grove of cottonwoods belonging to the Chávez family after leaving a pueblo that could only have been Isleta. The next morning she went on to visit the “widow of Don Mariano Chaviz.” Magoffin described the luxurious Chávez home in some detail (Drumm 1926:202). In 1855, W.W.H. Davis wrote that “about a mile below Doctor Connelly’s we passed what is known as the bosque, a large tract of fine timber, mostly cottonwood, something very rare in New Mexico” (Davis 1938:197). Given that Davis placed the bosque south of Los Pinos while Wislizenus and Magoffin had it to the north of the hacienda it may be assumed that the entire area was known for its forest.

The minor, but locally famous, Civil War Battle of Peralta took place there on 15 April 1862 when Union forces besieged a Confederate unit in the Chávez/Connelly hacienda. A small skirmish also occurred away from the hacienda, between West Bosque Loop and the river, when a Confederate relief column was turned back as they attempted to cross the river (Alberts 1983:369-374).

After the Battle of Peralta the United States used Los Pinos as a supply depot and a military post. Maps and photographs of Los Pinos show the road between Albuquerque and Peralta running through the middle of the post of Los Pinos (Miller 1987:2,18). Evidently, then, the modern highway generally follows the colonial road and the bulk of the estancia was located to its east.