Elephant Butte Inn and Spa


Engle was founded in 1879 as a station on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. Most likely, it was named after R .L. Engle, a railroad construction engineer.
Engle thrived as a cattle town and shipping point for ore and supplies. C
onstruction of Elephant Butte Dam (1911-1916) brought new jobs to town, increasing its population to 500. After the dam was completed, though, the town rapidly shrank to 200 in 1919 and 75 in 1926. In 1945, the area east of town was restricted by the U.S. government when the White Sands Missile Range was created. A further blow to the town's economy happened as ranchers began shipping their cattle by truck instead of railroad. Engle was nearly deserted by the late 1960s. Today, a few original buildings remain such as this photo of the Community Church that once was a schoolhouse.


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