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An Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps, 15501941

Unit Four: The Land of Enchantment 1925

Both of the maps explored in these lessons show the development of transportation in New Mexico and a change in the kind of literature produced about the state. The Southern Pacific Railroad created Sunset magazine was created to encourage travelers as well as convincing people to purchase railroad lands and settle around railway lines. The Auto Trail Map was created for a new, and growing audience: automobile tourists. Federal funding for highway improvements allowed the state to develop highways to many communities. Businesses grew up around the industry of showing off New Mexico's historic, cultural, and scenic attractions. The Fred Harvey Company operated its signature Harvey House hotels and restaurants (shown in red on the 1925 map) throughout the state, and offered cultural tours. The tour company was later taken over by historian Erna Fergusson. New Mexico, known to 19th-century dime novel readers as a terrifying and lawless frontier, was repackaged as an enchanted wonderland of ancient mystery, and also of promise for endless agricultural and industrial expansion.


In completion of this lesson, students will:

Analyze historic maps to track the emergence and growth of the tourist industry in New Mexico, and to identify contributing factors, important people, and events of the era.

Critically review literature produced for the tourist trade during this time.

Research an area attraction, produce media and descriptive writing to bring visitors to that attraction.

Reflect on, discuss, and present findings in groups and with the class.

Students may

Use geographic technology to organize and present findings.

Activity I: Looking at the Maps

Students should use the map analysis worksheet to analyze the two maps.

Ask them to consider who created these maps, to what purpose, and for what audience.

Students should select some places, open the markers, and read the information in the tabs. Then the student should use the search function to search for older descriptions of that place.

Ask them to compare writing styles of the two accounts. They should consider:

Who, and under what circumstances, represented New Mexico as a land of promise?

Who, and under what circumstances, represented New Mexico as a backwards or miserable land?

What were the Southern Pacific writers trying to accomplish?

What were the writers in New Mexico Highways magazine trying to accomplish?

Using current media, find examples of how tourism continues to impact the state. Ask students to name common themes they find in travel articles about New Mexico.

As a class, discuss: Are the themes the same? Different? What about the language? The tone? The wording?

Poole Brothers: The Correct Map of Railway and Steamship Lines Operated by the Southern Pacific Company : 1892

Rand McNally & Co.: Auto Trails Map Arizona New Mexico : 1925

Activity II: Sell Your Town

Ask students to learn about a local attraction. This could be a museum, a landmark, a scenic area, a cultural or community gathering place, a park, an interesting piece of art, etc.

Ask students to consider:

Why is this place important?

Why should people visit it?

Using public archives, students find a photo of it, photograph it, or create a digital graphic to use. Each student should write 1-2 paragraphs describing the attraction, using expressive language, then compile the materials into a brochure, a poster, or a flyer. Students can then share their materials with the class.

Activity III: Google Earth extension

Instead of creating a piece of physical material to share with the class, students can create their brochures as markers in Google Earth.

Students should upload their graphics to a photo storage account established for this purpose, and markers made in Google Earth that link to the image. [see Adding Your Own Maps].

The written element can be entered as text in the marker. Students should save their KML files, and the teacher can compile them and upload the entire class' work as a KML. At that point, the maps of the whole community can be presented, if desired.


Our New Mexico: A Twentieth-Century History

Calvin A. Roberts

© 2005, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Refer to Chapters 1-3 (pp 11-53)


Did the student:

Use geographic tools and symbols, and historic document to interpret, analyze, and identify important events, places, and people?

Produce a review of early literature for the tourist trade, using writing and speaking strategies appropriate to grade level standards?

Conduct research using available tools and resources, produce material that includes appropriate references, and is written according to grade level standards?

Present ideas, opinions, and facts coherently, and supported by historical evidence?

Use geographic and internet technology to share research with the public?


Key Ideas and Details:


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

Craft and Structure:/b>


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.


Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:/b>


Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.


Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claims.


Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:/b>


By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

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