Roswell, New Mexico

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City of Roswell
—  City  —
Main Street in Downtown Roswell

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): Motto = "All America City - Alien City"
Location in the state of New Mexico.
Coordinates: 33°23′14″N 104°31′41″W / 33.38722°N 104.52806°W / 33.38722; -104.52806Coordinates: 33°23′14″N 104°31′41″W / 33.38722°N 104.52806°W / 33.38722; -104.52806
CountryUnited States
StateNew Mexico
CountyChaves
Government
 • MayorDel Jurney
Area
 • Total29.0 sq mi (75.0 km2)
 • Land28.9 sq mi (75.0 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation3,573 ft (1,089 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total48,366
Time zoneMountain (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST)DST (UTC−6)
ZIP codes88201-88203
Area code(s)575
FIPS code35-64930
GNIS feature ID0894171
Websitewww.roswell-nm.gov
 
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City of Roswell
—  City  —
Main Street in Downtown Roswell

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): Motto = "All America City - Alien City"
Location in the state of New Mexico.
Coordinates: 33°23′14″N 104°31′41″W / 33.38722°N 104.52806°W / 33.38722; -104.52806Coordinates: 33°23′14″N 104°31′41″W / 33.38722°N 104.52806°W / 33.38722; -104.52806
CountryUnited States
StateNew Mexico
CountyChaves
Government
 • MayorDel Jurney
Area
 • Total29.0 sq mi (75.0 km2)
 • Land28.9 sq mi (75.0 km2)
 • Water0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation3,573 ft (1,089 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total48,366
Time zoneMountain (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST)DST (UTC−6)
ZIP codes88201-88203
Area code(s)575
FIPS code35-64930
GNIS feature ID0894171
Websitewww.roswell-nm.gov

Roswell is a city in, and the county seat of, Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, United States.[1] The population was 48,366 at the 2010 census. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also the home of New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI), founded in 1891. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located a few miles northeast of the city on the Pecos River. Bottomless Lakes State Park is located twelve miles east of Roswell on US 380.

Roswell is most popularly known for having its name attached to what is now called the 1947 Roswell UFO incident, even though the crash site of the alleged UFO was some 75 miles from Roswell and closer to Corona. The investigation and debris recovery was handled by the local Roswell Army Air Field.

History[edit source | edit]

The White Family home, built in 1912, is now a Museum
The Chaves county courthouse

The first non-indigenous settlers of the area around Roswell were a group of pioneers from Missouri, who attempted to start a settlement 15 miles southwest of what is now Roswell in 1865 but were forced to abandon the site because of a lack of water. It was called Missouri Plaza. It also had many Hispanic people from Lincoln, NM. John Chisum had his famous Jingle Bob Ranch about 5 miles from the center of Roswell, at South Spring Acres. At the time it was the largest ranch in the USA.

Van C. Smith, a businessman from Omaha, Nebraska, and his partner, Aaron Wilburn, constructed two adobe buildings in 1869 that began what is now Roswell. The two buildings became the settlement's general store, post office, and sleeping quarters for paying guests. In 1871, Smith filed a claim with the federal government for the land around the buildings, and on August 20, 1873, he became the town's first postmaster. Van C. Smith was the son of Roswell Smith, a prominent lawyer in Lafayette, Indiana, and Annie Ellsworth, daughter of U.S. Patent Commissioner Henry Leavitt Ellsworth. He called the town Roswell, after his father's first name.

In 1877, Captain Joseph Calloway Lea and his family bought out Smith and Wilburn's claim and became the owners of most of the land of Roswell and the area surrounding it. The town was relatively quiet during the Lincoln County War (1877–1879). A major aquifer was discovered when merchant Nathan Jaffa had a well drilled in his back yard on Richardson Avenue in 1890, resulting in the area's first major growth and development spurt. The growth continued when a railroad was built through town in 1893.

During World War II, a prisoner of war camp was located in nearby Orchard Park. The German prisoners of war were used to do major infrastructure work in Roswell, such as paving the banks of the North Spring River. Some POWs used rocks of different sizes to create the outline of an iron cross among the stones covering the north bank. Later, the iron cross was covered with a thin layer of concrete. In the 1980s, a crew cleaning the river bed cleared off the concrete and revealed the outline once more. The small park just south of the cross was then known as Iron Cross Park. On November 11, 1996 the park was renamed POW/MIA park. The park displays a piece of the Berlin Wall, presented to the City of Roswell by the German Air Force.

In the 1930s, Roswell was a site for much of Robert Goddard's early rocketry work. Roswell was a location of military importance from 1941 to 1967, at which time Walker Air Force Base was decommissioned. After the closure of the base, Roswell capitalized on its pleasant climate and reinvented itself as a retirement community.

In 2002, Roswell was named one of the All-American cities.

Roswell was the city that hosted the record-breaking skydive by Felix Baumgartner on October 14, 2012.[2]

UFO identity[edit source | edit]

Roswell Daily Record, July 8, 1947, announcing the "capture" of a "flying saucer."
International UFO Museum

Roswell has benefited from interest in the alleged UFO incident of 1947. It was the report of an object that crashed in the general vicinity in June or July 1947, allegedly an extraterrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and of conspiracy theories as to the true nature of the object that crashed. The United States Armed Forces maintains that what was recovered was debris from an experimental high-altitude helium weather and surveillance balloon belonging to a classified program named "Mogul" however, many UFO proponents maintain that an alien craft was found and its occupants were captured, and that the military then engaged in a cover-up. In recent times, the business community has deliberately sought out tourists interested in UFOs, science fiction, and aliens.

Geography[edit source | edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.0 square miles (75 km2), of which, 28.9 square miles (75 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.07%) is water.

Main Street

Climate[edit source | edit]

Roswell is located in the high plains and has four very distinct seasons, giving it a BSk or BSh semi-arid climate according to the Köppen climate classification. Winters are cold, but usually sunny and snowfall is a common occurrence. Spring is mild and usually warm, however they can still be cold on occasion. Summers are hot (as is common with the high plains of New Mexico and Colorado) and, quite frequently, the mercury rises to triple digit temperatures, which can be unpleasant. The North American Monsoon occurs during the summer, and can bring torrential downpours, severe thunderstorms (with high winds and hail) and sometimes even tornadoes. The rain can provide a cooling relief from the scorching desert heat. Fall is mild and pleasant, but can be cold. Snow is possible in the fall months of October and November.

The record low in Roswell is −29 °F (−34 °C) on February 13, 1905.[3] The record high is 114 °F (46 °C) on June 27, 1994.[4]

Climate data for Roswell, New Mexico
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)88
(31)
88
(31)
98
(37)
101
(38)
107
(42)
114
(46)
111
(44)
107
(42)
103
(39)
99
(37)
94
(34)
84
(29)
114
(46)
Average high °F (°C)56
(13)
62
(17)
70
(21)
78
(26)
86
(30)
94
(34)
95
(35)
92
(33)
86
(30)
76
(24)
65
(18)
56
(13)
76.3
(24.5)
Average low °F (°C)24
(−4)
29
(−2)
36
(2)
43
(6)
53
(12)
62
(17)
67
(19)
65
(18)
58
(14)
46
(8)
33
(1)
25
(−4)
45.1
(7.3)
Record low °F (°C)−24
(−31)
−29
(−34)
−5
(−21)
17
(−8)
16
(−9)
27
(−3)
52
(11)
31
(−1)
28
(−2)
14
(−10)
−6
(−21)
−10
(−23)
−29
(−34)
Precipitation inches (mm)0.39
(9.9)
0.41
(10.4)
0.35
(8.9)
0.58
(14.7)
1.30
(33)
1.62
(41.1)
1.99
(50.5)
2.31
(58.7)
1.98
(50.3)
1.29
(32.8)
0.53
(13.5)
0.59
(15)
13.34
(338.8)
Mean monthly sunshine hours217.0226.0282.1309.0344.1345.0328.6300.7264.0269.7216.0210.83,313
Source #1: Weather.com[5]
Source #2: HKO[5]

Demographics[edit source | edit]

Historical populations
CensusPop.
19002,049
19106,172201.2%
19207,03314.0%
193011,17358.9%
194013,48220.7%
195025,73890.9%
196039,59353.8%
197033,908−14.4%
198039,67617.0%
199044,65412.5%
200045,2931.4%
201048,3666.8%

As of the 2000 census,[6] there were 45,293 people, 17,068 households, and 11,742 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,565.2 people per square mile (604.3/km²). There were 19,327 housing units at an average density of 667.9 per square mile (257.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.96% White, 2.47% African American, 1.28% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 21.29% from other races and 3.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 44.34% of the population.

There were 17,069 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.13.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,252, and the median income for a family was $31,724. Males had a median income of $26,554 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,589. About 18.7% of families and 22.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.1% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit source | edit]

Public schools[edit source | edit]

Private schools[edit source | edit]

Colleges and universities[edit source | edit]

Professional education[edit source | edit]

Sports[edit source | edit]

Transportation[edit source | edit]

Airport[edit source | edit]

Bus routes[edit source | edit]

Nearby cities[edit source | edit]

Major highways[edit source | edit]

Notable residents[edit source | edit]

In popular culture[edit source | edit]

RISD Office
New Mexico Military Institute

Local industry[edit source | edit]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Llorca, Juan. "Felix Baumgartner Completes Record-Setting Jump". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  3. ^ February Daily Averages for Roswell, NM Weather.com Retrieved June 12, 2012
  4. ^ June Daily Averages for Roswell, NM Weather.com Retrieved June 12, 2012
  5. ^ a b Weather.com[1]. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell". Eastern New Mexico University. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Lots a Mozzarella in Roswell – Leprino Foods". BNET.com. 2001. 

External links[edit source | edit]

Bitter Lake
Roswell Museum & Art Center
Roswell Chamber of Commerce
Roswell UFO Museum