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Guadalupe Mountains

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The first Europeans to arrive in the area were the [[Spain|Spanish]] in the 16th century, but they did not make serious attempts to settle in the Guadalupe Mountains. The Spanish introduced horses into the area; and nomadic indigenous tribes of the area like the Apaches soon found horses to be an asset for hunting and migrating. [[Mescalero Apaches]] were nomadic and followed game and harvested the agave (or mescal) for food and fiber. Mescalero is Spanish for mescal-maker. Agave roasting pits and other artifacts of Mescalero culture can be found in the park.
 
The first Europeans to arrive in the area were the [[Spain|Spanish]] in the 16th century, but they did not make serious attempts to settle in the Guadalupe Mountains. The Spanish introduced horses into the area; and nomadic indigenous tribes of the area like the Apaches soon found horses to be an asset for hunting and migrating. [[Mescalero Apaches]] were nomadic and followed game and harvested the agave (or mescal) for food and fiber. Mescalero is Spanish for mescal-maker. Agave roasting pits and other artifacts of Mescalero culture can be found in the park.
   
[[File:Guadalupe Mountains El Capitan 2006.jpg|thumb|left|Guadalupe Mountains in 2006]]The Mescalero Apaches remained in the mountains through the mid-19th century, but they were challenged by an American transportation route at the end of the [[American Civil War]]. During the 1840s and 1850s many people immigrating west crossed the area. In 1858, Pinery station was constructed near Pine Springs for the [[Butterfield Overland Mail]]. The Butterfield Overland Mail traveled over Guadalupe Pass located at 5534 feet above sea level. A Cavalry known as the [[Buffalo Soldiers]] were ordered to the area to stop indian raids on settlements and mail stage route. During the winter of 1869, [[Lt. H.B. Cushing]] led his troops into the Guadalupe Mountains and destroyed two Mescalero Apache camps and were eventually driven out of the area and into US [[indian reservations]].
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[[File:Guadalupe Mountains El Capitan 2006.jpg|thumb|left|Guadalupe Mountains in 2006]]The Mescalero Apaches remained in the mountains through the mid-19th century, but they were challenged by an American transportation route at the end of the [[American Civil War]]. During the 1840s and 1850s many people immigrating west crossed the area. In 1858, Pinery station was constructed near Pine Springs for the [[Butterfield Overland Mail]]. The Butterfield Overland Mail traveled over Guadalupe Pass located at {{convert|5534|ft|m|abbr=on}} above sea level. A Cavalry known as the [[Buffalo Soldiers]] were ordered to the area to stop indian raids on settlements and mail stage route. During the winter of 1869, [[Lt. H.B. Cushing]] led his troops into the Guadalupe Mountains and destroyed two Mescalero Apache camps and were eventually driven out of the area and into US [[indian reservations]].
   
 
[[Felix McKittrick]] was one of the first European settlers in the Guadalupe Mountains; he worked cattle during the 1870s. [[McKittrick Canyon]] is thought to be named after him. Frijole Ranch was the first permanent ranch house; it was constructed in 1876 by the Rader brothers. Frijole Ranch House was the only major building in the region; it served as a community center and regional post office from 1916-1942. Today, the Frijole Ranch House has been restored and operates as a cultural museum. In 1908 Williams Ranch House was built, and it was named after one of its inhabitants, [[James Adolphus Williams]]. [[Judge J.C. Hunter]] from [[Van Horn, Texas|Van Horn]], [[Texas]] consolidated most of the smaller ranches in the area into the [[Guadalupe Mountain Ranch]]. In 1921, [[Wallace Pratt]], a geologist for [[Humble Oil and Refining Company]], was impressed by the beauty of [[McKittrick Canyon]] and bought the land to build two homes in the canyon. Both constructions were used as summer homes by Pratt and his family up until 1960. Wallace Pratt donated about {{convert|6000|acre|km2}} of McKittrick Canyon which became part of [[Guadalupe Mountains National Park]]
 
[[Felix McKittrick]] was one of the first European settlers in the Guadalupe Mountains; he worked cattle during the 1870s. [[McKittrick Canyon]] is thought to be named after him. Frijole Ranch was the first permanent ranch house; it was constructed in 1876 by the Rader brothers. Frijole Ranch House was the only major building in the region; it served as a community center and regional post office from 1916-1942. Today, the Frijole Ranch House has been restored and operates as a cultural museum. In 1908 Williams Ranch House was built, and it was named after one of its inhabitants, [[James Adolphus Williams]]. [[Judge J.C. Hunter]] from [[Van Horn, Texas|Van Horn]], [[Texas]] consolidated most of the smaller ranches in the area into the [[Guadalupe Mountain Ranch]]. In 1921, [[Wallace Pratt]], a geologist for [[Humble Oil and Refining Company]], was impressed by the beauty of [[McKittrick Canyon]] and bought the land to build two homes in the canyon. Both constructions were used as summer homes by Pratt and his family up until 1960. Wallace Pratt donated about {{convert|6000|acre|km2}} of McKittrick Canyon which became part of [[Guadalupe Mountains National Park]]
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