Elephant Butte Inn and Spa

Sierra County 1935 to Current Day

The year 1935 also marks another highlight for Sierra County.  That year, Governor Clyde Tingley pledged nearly $200,000 for a children's hospital, at a time when the state didn't have a dime to spare.  His creative finances made it possible to construct a medical facility in Hot Springs that served the needs of hundreds of children afflicted with polio.  The hospital was relocated to Albuquerque in 1981 to serve a larger patient community.

When TV star Ralph Edwards, host of the popular radio show Truth or Consequence announced in 1950 he would broadcast his show from any town that would change its name for a day, Hot Springs jumped at the chance and changed its name to Truth or Consequences.  Then residents decided they liked the name and kept it.  Over the years there have been several attempts to change back to Hot Springs.  Each attempt has been voted down.  T or C had a long-standing relationship with Edwards for years after, holding an annual fiesta visited by many of Edward's celebrity friends and included the crowning a fiesta queen.

Like much of a sparsely populated New Mexico, modern Sierra County has been known for its ranching and there is some current interest in resuming mining.  Beyond that, the county is known for its outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.  And soon the county will be able to make another claim:  with the advent of spaceflight operations at Spaceport America, Sierra County will become the launching point of the nation's commercial spaceflight industry.  But then that will be the "history" of Sierra County's future.


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