There is a deep sense of tradition, generational wisdom and culture that permeates La Mesita Ranch Estate and its surroundings. The private, tucked-away property is located right in the heart of Pojoaque Pueblo, off the beaten path on a high-desert mesa north of Santa Fe. There is something special about the land, and visitors to the Estate are enchanted with the atmosphere: It is one of just six Tewa-speaking Rio Grande Pueblos, and a member of the Eight Northern Pueblos.
The Pueblo was settled around 500 AD, with the population peaking in the 15th and 16th centuries. Although it was abandoned several times over the course of its history, its people came back, each time, to reconnect with their ancestral land and heritage.
The Pueblo boasts a unique and beautiful melding of traditional Native American and classic Spanish Mission art, architecture and culture – Spanish explorers trekking through the Southwest in search of the legendary Seven Cities of Gold happened upon the Pueblo, set up residency, and built Catholic Churches in the style of those from their homeland in an attempt to convert the residents, who by the 17th century had lived on the land for over one thousand years. The term Pueblo means “village” in Spanish, and the Native Americans took the word on as their own, referring to themselves as Pueblo Indians or Puebloans to this day.
However, the era and area weren’t without conflict, and during the famous Pueblo Revolt in the 1680s, various tribes in New Mexico banded together to drive out the Spanish. It wasn’t long before the Spanish returned, however, and the conquest resumed anew.
The 19 Pueblos of New Mexico each have their own culture, traditions, and economy, but the Pueblo of Pojoaque is one of the most economically successful – it’s currently the state’s largest employer north of Santa Fe.
What drove settlers and developers to this land early in the 20th century continues to drive visitors here today: the unique experience of being on sovereign land in the middle of the US; glorious, gradient sunrises and sunsets; open roads; access to historic and archaeological sites; blue, cloudless skies as far as the eye can see; and four distinct, beautiful seasons. Visitors to La Mesita Ranch Estate get a taste of the history and culture of Northern New Mexico, unlike anything else in the country, and return home with a widened frame of reference and a new perspective.