The Road to Wealth: How the EP & NE Railroad Changed New Mexico

Author(s): Rachel Feit

Year: 2017


The EP & NE rail system in New Mexico was built between1898 and 1903. This railroad system immediately became a critical economic force, opening an uninhabited frontier of deserts and mountain forests to exploitation. The EP & NE system also comprised an immense sociopolitical machine that controlled vast lands, timber and mineral resources, water rights, and towns. This talk discusses the historical context for the railroad, and its impact on the settlement of eastern New Mexico. Archeological investigations conducted in 2015 at six stops along the route between El Paso and Alamogordo uncovered a fascinating assortment of features and artifacts that attest not just to programmatic planning and maintenance, but also the day to day lives of the workers housed at these remote locations in harsh environments. These investigations combine with new historical research to bring fresh understanding of how one corporate entity shaped 20th century eastern New Mexico.

Cite this Record

The Road to Wealth: How the EP & NE Railroad Changed New Mexico. Rachel Feit. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435246)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 260