City government and services for Tucumcari NM.
The town of Tucumcari itself got its start in 1901 as a tent city known first as “Ragtown” and later as “Six Shooter Siding” along the Chicago, Rock Island and Union Pacific Railroad. When the railroad turned the camp into a division point in 1908, the settlement was renamed Tucumcari after the nearby mountain. By 1910, Tucumcari was a major railroad center – complete with roundhouse, depot, and water tower. Not to mention more than 60 thriving businesses.
Some of the first businesses to open in 1902 were the Barnes and Rankin furniture store, the A. B. Simpson hardware, A. A. Blankenship’s livery barn, a hotel, and of course the Monarch Saloon. A boarding house operated by Mr. and Mrs. Turner was located at First and Turner. Other businesses were the Pioneer Bakery, Arcade Restaurant, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel with rooms for $2 a day, the Owl Saloon, Weldon and Young Real Estate and Investments, Jackson and Foxworth Lumber Company, and the Exchange Bank. Then there was the Gross Kelly Company of Las Vegas, offering general merchandise, and M. B. Goldenberg’s Mercantile Company. Max Goldenberg’s home was the first permanent home built in Tucumcari, and contained the post office.
The birth of Route 66 in 1926 brought new travelers to Tucumcari by the carload. Wagon yards, livery stables, and blacksmith shops were soon replaced with gas stations, motor courts, gift shops and cafes. Today, Tucumcari’s proximity to I-40 continues to attract travelers from all over the country.
As the town of Tucumcari continues to evolve, its people remain committed to preserving its rich history while expanding viable economic growth that will sustain future generations.