San Ildefonso Pueblo

Santa Clara’s neighbor on the south is San Ildefonso. The village lies on the opposite side of the river, 5 miles below, and at the intersection of Pojoaque River, which meets the Rio Grande at right angles from the east. The dwellings are built upon a large, well kept plaza of rectangular shape, and the only plaza in the pueblos having shade trees. From this center the buildings are found variously placed. Close to it on the acequia are several Mexican houses and in the fields at a distance several others. Inquiries developed the fact that years ago these families were allowed to enter the pueblo, and land was sold to them. By degrees they have enlarged their boundaries. No land, however, has been sold them for a number of years. All acts of violence are tried by the justice of the peace, the Mexican alcalde court.

The available land for cultivation remaining to this pueblo is a strip on the east bank, and between one-third and one-sixth of a mile wide. The largest plot, 7 acres, under cultivation is owned by a widow, growing corn and wheat and a few fruit trees, the only fruit trees in the village. This land is tilled for her by the community, and her gratuities in return have won for her the name of the “Mother of the Pueblo”. The size of other farms is from 2 to 3 acres. This pueblo had originally 17,293 acres. The contracted range of the bottomlands to which water is accessible would not measure a section and a half, or 960 acres. Above the line of irrigating ditches the land is useless even for pasture. The high mesas closing upon the river a mile south of the town leave no land below this point for cultivation.

Department of the Interior. Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not Taxed in the United States, Except Alaska at the Eleventh Census: 1890. Washington DC: Government Printing Office. 1894.

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