Center History

Early hunting and gathering societies, part of the Jornada Mogollon culture, first roamed this area. Later, various Apache tribes made these lands their home. An eight-mile stretch of the Camino Real, the route established by the Spanish between Chihuahua, Mexico and Santa Fe, crossed the northern part of the Center. In 1887, the first Homestead was filed with the U.S. government for property now included in the Center. Several ranchers owned various portions of the land now constituting the Center, but in 1925 Max Vanderstucken, who then owned the land, was facing foreclosure and spoke to J.L. Lantow, head of the animal husbandry department at New Mexico A&M. He recommended the College buy his ranch, and in February 1926 the College acquired his land, with grazing rights on adjoining public lands. In 1927, Congress granted public lands to the College for research purposes. The last parcel was acquired in 1984 through a "land swap" between the federal government and the State of New Mexico.

Photo of Petroglyphs.       1939 Photo of Ranch Day.
Petroglyphs Ranch Day October 1939

History of the CDRRC

A History of NMSU's College Ranch
Original Research and Writing by Judy Fabry