Just about everyone has heard about Hatch, New Mexico and it’s annual chile crops. Here’s some background information on the origins of the Hatch family that was provided by Michael Young in La Herencia in 2009:
Alexander Hatch was an Anglo settler from New York who followed the mood of the country and traveled west. He moved to Santa Fe in 1845, then went on to California and did very well as a merchant serving the gold fields. In 1851 he returned to New Mexico and eventually settled on land near the Gallinas River in San Miguel County. He developed a ranch where he grew corn and raised cattle.
Manifest Destiny in the Southwest
The Hatch family had great influence on the American Revolution, the gold fields of California, the development of the fruit industry in Northern California and the settlement of New Mexico. They played a role in the Indian wars in the Southwest and took part in the mercantile business that helped to feed the progress of Manifest Destiny.
Alexander Hatch rented a portion of the land and some buildings to the Army. Fort Hatch became a small satellite post. The fort supported Fort Union as a resupply depot. It was located on the west bank of the Gallinas River about 13 miles northeast of Anton Chico and 35 miles south of Las Vegas. The Gallinas Valley became a safer place for settlers to live and raise crops and livestock. Within a short time the region was flooded with new settlers. Small towns and villages sprang up in the area.
In the end, the much-needed fort served the people of the Gallinas Valley and helped settle the area. It also served as a valuable resupply depot for the U.S. Army. The Hatch family of New Mexico left their mark on the history of America and their name lives on in New Mexico’s chile crop.