Grants, New Mexico
|Grants, New Mexico|
|Nickname(s): Uranium Capital of the World|
Location of Grants, New Mexico
|• Mayor||Martin "Modey" Hicks|
|• Total||13.7 sq mi (35.4 km2)|
|• Land||13.7 sq mi (35.4 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||6,460 ft (1,969 m)|
|• Density||670/sq mi (259.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC-6)|
|GNIS feature ID||0933386|
Grants began as a railroad camp in the 1880s, when three Canadian brothers – Angus A. Grant, John R. Grant, and Lewis A. Grant – were awarded a contract to build a section of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad through the region. The Grant brothers' camp was first called Grants Camp, then Grants Station, and finally Grants. The new city enveloped the existing colonial New Mexican settlement of Los Alamitos and grew along the tracks of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.
The town prospered as a result of railroad logging in the nearby Zuni Mountains, and it served as a section point for the Atlantic and Pacific, which became part of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. The Zuni Mountain Railroad short line had a roundhouse in town (near present day Exit 81 off Interstate 40) and housed workers in a small community named Breecetown. Timber from the Zuni Mountains was shipped to Albuquerque where a large sawmill converted the timber to wood products that were sold around the west.
After the decline of logging in the 1930s, Grants gained fame as the "carrot capital" of the United States. Agriculture was aided by the creation of Bluewater Reservoir, and the region's volcanic soils provided ideal conditions for farming. Grants also benefited from its location both being an Airway beacon and later by U.S. Route 66, which brought travelers and tourists and the businesses that catered to them. Today the beacon and FSS building on the airport (KGNT) is being restored as museum.
Perhaps the most memorable boom in the town's history occurred when Paddy Martinez, a Navajo shepherd, discovered uranium ore near Haystack Mesa, sparking a mining boom that lasted until the 1980s (see Uranium mining in New Mexico). The collapse of mining pulled the town into a depression, but the town has enjoyed a resurgence based on interest in tourism and the scenic beauty of the region. Recent interest in nuclear power has revived the possibility of more uranium mining in the area, and energy companies still own viable mining properties and claims in the area.
Grants is located at (35.155269, -107.842099).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.7 square miles (35 km2), all of it land. Grants is on the north end of the large and recent (youngest flows around 3,000 years old) lava field known as "El Malpais" (the badlands), part of which is preserved as El Malpais National Monument. To the northeast of town are the San Mateo Mountains and Mount Taylor, at 11,301 feet the highest peak in the region. West of the city is the Continental Divide and the Zuni Mountains, an eroded anticline with 2 billion year old Precambrian granites and metamorphic rocks at its core. The region is primarily high desert country, dominated by sandstones and lava flows.
|Climate data for Grants, New Mexico (1981–2010 normals)|
|Average high °F (°C)||49
|Average low °F (°C)||15
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.60
|Source: NOAA |
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,806 people, 3,202 households, and 2,321 families residing in the city. The population density was 644.4 people per square mile (248.7/km²). There were 3,626 housing units at an average density of 265.3 per square mile (102.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city among Non-Hispanic groups was 56.18% White, 1.62% African American, 11.97% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 24.80% from other races, and 4.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 52.36% of the population.
There were 3,202 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 17.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.8% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 85.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,652, and the median income for a family was $33,464. Males had a median income of $31,870 versus $20,808 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,053. About 19.4% of families and 21.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.8% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.
All public schools in the county are operated by Grants/Cibola County Schools.
Seven elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools serve Grants/Cibola County.
Los Alamitos Middle School and Grants High School serve Grants.
St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School is the only private accredited school in Grants and serves grades Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grades.
There is a branch of New Mexico State University. The branch offers a two-year postsecondary program as well as advanced degrees through distance education.
There is a mining museum in town, as well as the Western New Mexico Aviation Heritage Museum at the Grants-Milan airport.
Grants in popular culture
- Author Robison Wells has stated that, in his novel On Second Thought, the town of Alamitos is based on Grants, NM, which is the historical name before it was renamed after the mining camp. Wells lived in Grants during the late 1990s.
- Scenes from the movie 21 Grams starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts were also filmed in Grants.
- In the Louis L'Amour book Flint, Los Alamitos (Grants) and the nearby El Malpais provided some of the settings for the main character in the book.
- "Swearing In Grants Officials". Cibola Beacon. Retrieved 2014-04-25.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Questions about On Second Thought
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grants, New Mexico.|
- New Mexico State University - Grants
- Grants, NM - Uranium City USA
- Grants travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Cibola Beacon - Grants, NM