On the northern edge of Jemez Springs, the Jemez Historic Site reveals a history that is beautiful, ancient, and troubled. The site includes the stone ruins of a 500-year-old Indian village and the San José de los Jemez church dating to 1621. The village of Giusewa was built in the narrow San Diego Canyon by the ancestors of the present-day people of Jemez (Walatowa) Pueblo.
In the 17th century, the Spanish established a Catholic mission at the village. The mission was short-lived, and, in time, the people abandoned the site and moved to the current location of Jemez Pueblo. The massive stonewalls were constructed about the same time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. The heritage center contains exhibitions that tell the story of the site through the words of the Jemez people. A 1,400- foot interpretive trail winds through the impressive site ruins.
In recent years, the site staff have built and strengthened bonds with Jemez Pueblo people and tribal leaders to deliver a deeper interpretation of what happened here. In addition, archaeological digs have connected the Jemez people with visitors during hands-on investigations that are changing what we know about this place. With the Campaign for New Mexico History, Jemez Historic Site will:
Following excavation, these rooms will be stabilized, reconstructed, and staged to interpret pueblo life both before and after the coming of the Spanish Missions.
This trail will meet the ADA’s wheelchair-accessibility standards and include the installation of new signage and solar-powered audio stations.
By obtaining private land surrounding Jemez Historic Site, we can protect their cultural resources from encroaching commercial and residential development.
With these improvements, the red-rock ruins of San José Mission Church can be better utilized as a concert and wedding venue, including additional seating and the installation of conduit for power.