St. Francis Church has resided in the heart of Tularosa for over 100 years.
Tularosa gets its name from the Spanish description for the red or rose colored reeds growing along the banks of the Rio Tularosa. The Rio Tularosa, which still exists along the north side of the village, attracted the original settlers as a water source in the desert. Settlers attempted to establish a settlement in 1860 but were unsuccessful. Two years later, Hispanic farmers from the Rio Grande valley succeeded in settling the area. In 1863, the Village of Tularosa was formally established and was mapped with forty-nine blocks and water rights distributed and recorded.
The original acequia (ditch irrigation system) remains virtually unchanged and provides the water for the trees lining the streets, private gardens, and landscaping that give Tularosa its unique character.
In 1979, the Tularosa Original Townsite District, consisting of the original forty-nine blocks on 1400 acres including 182 buildings, was declared a historic district and recorded in the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, Tularosa thrives with its small businesses and hometown people. Most residents know each other, and this familiarity creates a wonderful environment for rearing children. Many homes still have the look and feel of their past (with the addition of modern conveniences), and to keep this historic charm, newer buildings are constructed to mimic those built in the past.
Located at the junction of New Mexico highways 54 and 70, Tularosa is nestled at the bottom of the Sacramento Mountains and is the gateway to Ruidoso and the Mescalero Indian reservation, home of the Inn of the Mountain Gods. The Village lies northeast of White Sands Monument, north of Alamogordo, east of White Sands Missile Range, and west of the Lincoln National Forest.