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Grants is a small town located along historic Route 66 in Northwest New Mexico. The county seat of Cibola County, Grants has an interesting and convoluted past. The region was heavily settled and farmed by the Ancestral Pueblo People in previous centuries, and the area's archaeological sites are many. Nearby Pueblo Nations include the legendary Pueblo of Acoma, also known as Sky City, often considered the oldest city in the United States.
Grants began as a railroad camp named after three Canadian brothers who held a contract to construct a segment of the Atlantic and Pacific (later the Santa Fe) railroad. The settlement was first called Grants Camp, then Grants Station, and finally Grants. The coming of the railroad brought an era of railroad logging in the nearby Zuni Mountains, where dense stands of Ponderosa were found. Several short line railroads were based in the city. The railroad logging era ended in the 1930s.
Subsequent boom episodes included the carrot boom, when Grants was called the "carrot capital" of the USA, and the uranium boom of the 1950s through the 1980s, when dozens of uranium mines operated in the area.
The surrounding area is known for its natural and cultural attractions. Mount Taylor, the highest mountain in Northwest New Mexico, is one of the "four sacred mountains" of Navajo legend, and part of the Cibola National Forest. The nearby Zuni Mountains also offer scenic forests, parklands, and great mountain biking on forest roads. Two national monuments capture the history and geology of the region: El Morro National Monument preserves ancient and historic inscriptions, while El Malpais National Monument reveals the secrets of volcanism in the area. The nearby pueblos of Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni all provide access for visitors. Acoma recently opened a fabulous new cultural center to present its heritage to the rest of the world.