LOS ALAMOS COUNTY, New Mexico
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Los Alamos County ... History
Los Alamos is spanish for "populars, cottonwoods" and the area was settled as early as 1880. It was named by Ashley Pond when he established the Los Alamos Ranch Boys School in 1925 Northwest of Santa Fe approximately 24 miles. In 1943 the school and the surrounding land was taken over by the military Manhattan District of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission. Los Alamos was the birthplace of the atomic bomb July 16, 1945 when the first atomic bomb was activated at the Trinity Site on White Sands. The weapon that ended World War II. Everything in Los Alamos county was classified; military and civilian. Most all of these records would be declassified now if the government would just get on the job and declassify these billion (more or less) records.
Los Alamos County was the thirty second county in the state. It was created by the federal government as a site for the study of atomic energy. The federal government had exclusive jurisdiction of portions of Santa Fe and Sandoval counties for use of the Los Alamos atomic energy project. In May of 1949 it was returned to the jurisdiction of New Mexico and by the action of the state legislature Los Alamos County was created June 10, 1949 and it became a county. The city of Los Alamos became the county seat.
The history of Los Alamos can be traced back before 1598 when Juan de Oñate and his expedition arrived and settled. The Spanish brought with them "land grants" which is a system of distribution of the land. The land that the city of Los Alamos is now on was the Ramon Vigil grant of 1746 for 31,209 acres. Slowly the history of the classified county and city of Los Alamos is being researched and printed.
History written August 1998.
Los Alamos County Coordinator: Lois Heine Greene