About the Valencia County Historical Society


The mission of the Valencia County Historical Society is to encourage and support the appreciation, education, and preservation of the diverse heritage of Valencia County.


The Valencia County Historical Society was founded in 1969 by local residents who were eager to document and preserve the rich historical legacy and varied cultures of Valencia County. Its founding members, including Tibo J. Chavez and Marion Herlihy, organized historical field trips, presented speeches, and began the first Valencia County museum in the Belen Harvey House, which the VCHS had worked hard to preserve when the building was threatened with destruction. Their crowning achievement was the publication of Rio Abajo Heritage, a history of families in our community’s history.

Present Activities

  • A monthly speakers series on topics relevant to Valencia County History

  • An annual meeting featuring an important keynote addresses

  • Awards honoring educators, preservationists, and deserving members of the VCHS

  • Helping to create monuments honoring significant individuals in Valencia County history, including Rough Rider Captain Maximiliano Luna in Los Lunas and the veterans’ panels at Eagle Park in Belen

  • The publication of award-winning anthologies about people, places, and events in Valencia County

  • The publication of award-winning biographies of significant individuals and groups, including Notable and Notorious Neighbors of Valencia County (2018) and Heroes of the Rio Abajo (2019), an award-winning book for children

  • The publication of “La Historia del Rio Abajo,” a regular column in the Valencia County News-Bulletin since 1998

  • The weekly publication of a “Remember When” historic photo and “Days Gone By,” featuring several brief stories from the past in the Valencia County News-Bulletin

  • Support of Valencia County’s libraries, archives, and three museums: the Tomé Museum, the Belen Harvey House Museum, and the Los Lunas Museum of Heritage & Arts

Why should I join?

The VCHS welcomes new members who are eager to learn about our past, share your knowledge and skills, and make real contributions to the success of the society and its goals. Your contributions and participation will be rewarded as we work to preserve our local history through meaningful research, education, and outreach.