Local writers pen pictorial history of New Mexico county

Stephen Zimmer and Gene Lamm co-wrote Colfax County.
Stephen Zimmer and Gene Lamm co-wrote Colfax County.

Chronicle staff

Colfax County, a book co-authored by Stephen Zimmer and Gene Lamm, is set to be published Monday (Sept. 14) by Arcadia Publishing.

Zimmer and Lamm have studied the history of Colfax County and the Maxwell Land Grant for more than 30 years. For this book, they researched photographic collections from every museum and library in the county. The photographs and text of their book Colfax County draw together for the first time in illustrated form the frontier experience as seen in one of the most historically famous sections of New Mexico. In addition, the book alerts readers and researchers to the vast photograph collections of the various museums and libraries in the county. Readers and researchers alike will find the book both interesting and rewarding.

Highlights of Colfax County include:

  • Many of the county’s most well known residents, past and present;
  • Photographs of all historic mining camps and railroads;
  • The oldest-known photograph of Maxwell’s Ranch at Cimarron.

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or directly from us at (888)-313-2665 or online.

A short history of Colfax County

In 1841, Carlos Beaubien and Guadalupe Miranda received a grant of land from the governor of New Mexico in the northeastern part of the Mexican province. Frontier conditions prevented colonization of the grant until 1848, when Beaubien’s son-in-law Lucien Maxwell led settlers from Taos to the Rayado River where it crossed the Santa Fe Trail.

Maxwell’s friend Kit Carson joined him the following year, and their ranch prospered in spite of frequent attacks by Jicarilla Apaches. Later, Maxwell moved north to the Cimarron River. Gold was discovered on the western part of the grant in 1866, and miners rushed to the diggings, establishing the town of Elizabethtown. It became the first seat of Colfax County in 1869.

Maxwell sold the grant to foreign investors who organized the Maxwell Land Grant and Railway Company in 1870 and founded the town of Cimarron. The Santa Fe Railroad entered the county in 1879, which precipitated the creation of the towns of Raton and Springer and also fostered large-scale ranching, mining, and lumbering.

About Arcadia Publishing

The combination of Arcadia Publishing & The History Press creates the largest and most comprehensive publisher of local and regional content in the United States. By empowering local history and culture enthusiasts to write local stories for local audiences, we create exceptional books that are relevant on a local and personal level, enrich lives, and bring readers closer – to their community, their neighbors, and their past.

Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com and www.historypress.net.