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Pueblo Peak
View of Taos from mountain trail
Spanish Revival-style First Baptist Church

Taos ( ) is a town in Taos Countymarker in the north-central region of New Mexicomarker. In New Mexico, a municipality may call itself a village, town, or city (see New Mexico local government). Taos calls itself the "Town of Taos" and was incorporated as such in 1934. As of the 2000 census, its population was 4,700.

Being located close to Taos Pueblomarker, the Native American village and tribe from which it takes its name, it is also the county seat of Taos Countymarker. The name also refers to the nearby ski resort of Taos Ski Valleymarker. The English name Taos derives from the native Taos language meaning "place of red willows".


Taos was established c. 1615 as Fernandez de Taos, following the Spanish conquest of the Indian Pueblo villages. Initially, relations of the Spanish settlers with Taos Pueblomarker were amicable, but resentment of meddling by missionaries, and demands by encomenderos for tribute, led to a revolt in 1640; Taos Indians killed their priest and a number of Spanish settlers, and fled the pueblo, not returning until 1661.

In 1680, Taos Pueblo joined the widespread Pueblo Revolt. After the Spanish Reconquest of 1692, Taos Pueblo continued armed resistance to the Spanish until 1696, when Governor Diego de Vargas defeated the Indians at Taos Canyon.

During the 1770s, Taos was repeatedly raided by Comanches who lived on the plainsmarker of what is now eastern Coloradomarker. Juan Bautista de Anza, governor of the Province of New Mexico, led a successful punitive expedition in 1779 against the Comanches.

After the U.S. takeover of New Mexico in 1847, Hispanics and Amerindians in Taos staged a rebellion, known as the Taos Revolt, in which the newly appointed U.S. Governor, Charles Bent, was killed.

Beginning in 1899, artists began to settle in Taos, creating the "Taos Society of Artists". In time, the Taos art colony developed. Many paintings were made of local scenes, especially of Taos Pueblo and activities there, as the artists often modelled Native Americans from the pueblo in their paintings. Some of the artists' studios have been preserved and may be viewed by visitors to Taos. These include the Blumenschein House. Influential Taos artists include Nicolai Fechin, R. C. Gorman, Agnes Martin and Bill Rane.

Other tourist attractions are the homes of Kit Carson, governor Charles Bent, and Mabel Dodge Luhan, along with the Rio Grande Gorge and Taos Ski Valley. Twenty miles northwest is the D.marker H.marker Lawrence Ranchmarker, (originally known as the Kiowa Ranch and now owned by the University of New Mexicomarker), the home of the English novelist, D. H. Lawrence in the 1920s. It is believed that his ashes are buried there at the D. H. Lawrence Memorial. Another novelist who lived for a while in Taos was Alexander Trocchi. Just outside of Taos in Ranchitos is the Martinez Haciendamarker, the home turned museum of the late Padre Antonio José Martínez.

Taos Plaza is, for historical reasons, one of the few places in the country where the American flag may properly be displayed continuously (both day and night). This derives from the time of the American Civil War when Confederate sympathizers in the area attempted to remove the flag. Kit Carson sought to discourage this activity by having guards surround the area.

Taos is now one of the major tourist attractions in the Southwest. With its skiing and dining, and the San Francisco de Asis Church, located just to the south of the town in Ranchos de Taos, it is a major destination.

The town is attracting the attention of Hollywood with residents such as Julia Roberts, Val Kilmer, and Donald Rumsfeld, et al.

On September 18, 1991, the PBS TV series Reading Rainbow shot its seventy-third episode "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush" here. The title was based on a book by Tomie dePaola and was narrated by Harold Littlebird (born 1951). Santa Femarker's Dominic C. Arquero introduced himself at this program's beginning.


Taos is located at (36.393979, -105.576705) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , all of it land.

Just to the west of Taos is the Rio Grande Gorgemarker, cutting through the basalt flows of the Taos Plateau volcanic fieldmarker and crossed by the Rio Grande Gorge Bridgemarker, now a part of US Route 64.

The elevation of the town is 6,950 feet (2,118 m).


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,700 people, 2,067 households, and 1,157 families residing in the town. The population density was . There were 2,466 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the town was 68.04% White, 0.53% African American, 4.11% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 21.66% from other races, and 4.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.34% of the population.

There were 2,067 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together, 16.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.0% were non-families. 37.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 27.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $25,016, and the median income for a family was $33,564. Males had a median income of $27,683 versus $23,326 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,983. About 17.9% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.8% of those under age 18 and 24.4% of those age 65 or over.


The town's public schools are operated by Taos Municipal Schools which includes Taos Elementary School, Ranchos Elementary School, Arroyos del Norte Elementary School, Taos Middle School, and Taos High School. Taos High School (also known as THS) is the largest High School in Taos County.

Dallasmarker-based Southern Methodist Universitymarker operates a 295 acre (1.19 km2) campus at Fort Burgwinmarker in Taos.

Albuquerquemarker-based University of New Mexicomarker operates a community campus in downtown Taos, as well as south of town.


Taos emblem

Taos is managed by a mayor and council with four year terms. The current mayor is Darren Cordova.

The Taos Hum

An ongoing low frequency noise, audible only to some, is thought to emanate from this town and is consequently sometimes known as the Taos Hum.

Sister cities

Taos has one sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Notable residents

DragonFly Cafe in Taos, NM.
Downtown Paseo Del Pueblo Norte in Taos


External links

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