History of Hatch

Hatch is a Village in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, USA. The population within the Village limits is 1,648. “Colonias” associated with the Hatch Valley include Garfield, Milagro, Placitas, Rincon, Rodey, and Salem. The Village of Hatch is located at exit 41 off Interstate 25, just 37 miles north of Las Cruces and 189 miles south of Albuquerque.

Hatch was originally settled as Santa Barbara in 1851, but Apache raids drove the settlers off until the establishment of Ft. Thorn in 1853. Ft. Thorn was about 5 miles from the present Village limits. Ft. Thorn was abandoned in 1860 and the settlers once again had to leave the area. The Village was not re-occupied until 1875 and it was then named Hatch after General Hatch who had been a commander at Ft. Thorn. The Village of Hatch became incorporated with the state of New Mexico in 1928.

Hatch’s main economy is supported through farming. The Hatch Chile Festival is an annual event held on Labor Day Weekend at the Hatch Airport off of Highway 26. The festival was created to celebrate Hatch being the Chile Capital of the World. Hatch Chile is known around the world for its taste and luster. Other crops include onions, cotton, corn, pecans, alfalfa, lettuce, cabbage and oats. Irrigation for these crops comes from underground wells, the Rio Grande River, and the Elephant Butte Reservoir 40 miles north of Hatch. Onion, chile, and pecan processing plants dot the countryside. Other economical influences include metal fabrication and machining, specializing in the manufacturing of crop processing plant equipment.

On August 15, 2006 at 2:00 P.M. the Placitas Arroyo, located on the southwest side of Hatch, burst after days of rain. A wall of water about 6 feet high came crashing down into the Village and completely flooded out the middle section of Hatch which is where most homes are located. The Los Caballos Apartments were the first and worst hit. There was 3 ½ feet of standing water in the Village homes, businesses, and streets. With exceptional teamwork from Hatch residents and surrounding areas, FEMA, and Village employees, not one life was lost. Today, Hatch is thriving and its sense of community and pride is stronger than ever.

Located north of Hatch, the Caballo and Elephant Butte dams contain reservoirs of over 20,000 surface acres of Rio Grande River waters. Camping, fishing, boating and other water sports are available at these popular locations. Located to the east, within two hours of driving time are the Cloudcroft and Ruidoso Ski areas, White Sands National Monument and the International Space Hall of Fame. Two hours to the northwest is the Gila National Forest and Wilderness, several ghost towns, the Gila Cliff Dwellings, Lake Roberts, Snow Lake and acres of forest for camping. Elk, Mule Deer, antelope, turkey, oryx, dove, quail, mountain lion, Barbary and Bighorn Sheep, and Javelina hunting are within a short drive of Hatch.

The Village of Hatch is 34 miles south of Spaceport America, a Spaceport designed for individuals to “take a ride to space”. The Spaceport was built by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. In 2013 the family of Judd Nordyke, a former Mayor of the Village of Hatch and longtime Village resident and whom the community swimming pool is named after, were invited to have Judd’s ashes flown to space because he was such a strong supporter of the Spaceport.

Average high temperatures in the summer are middle to upper 90’s and in the winter is the low 60’s. July and August are monsoon season months and the average rainfall is 2” per month. On average, the warmest month is June and the coldest month is December. The record high is 113 degrees in 1994 and the record low is -17 degrees in 1962.