Of the many versions of how Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua (modern-day Aquiles Serdan) mining got its start, my favorite (because it involves a
Lujan) is as follows:
Cristoval Lujan was working at a mine in Cusiguiriachic, Chihuhuahua, when a New Mexico Indian told him there was silver in Santa Eulalia.
“What?” I wondered, was a New Mexico native doing in Cusiguiriachic?
Back to the books ….. where I learned that the Indians were taken as slave labor for the mines.
Cristoval Lujan and the Indian staked their claim in 1702. The word spread quickly, bringing miners from surrounding camps. There was only one problem. Santa Eulalia did not, and still does not have water. Water had to be transported from present-day Chihuahua City, which was a mere “watering hole” back then. Within a short time, the influx of farming and other
related services virtually put Chihuahua “on the map”.
I had the good fortune of visiting Santa Eulalia. Believe me, standing on ground where ancestors (nine generations removed) once tread, defies description. Fortunately “powers that be” did preserve some of the equipment used in transporting mined ore. The machinery displays set along ancient adobes here and there, and an occasional burro ridden along side the road gives one a sense of what life must have been like three hundred years ago.