The town of Tome, best known for its popular El Cerro de Tomé Good Friday pilgrimage, is now celebrating a different historic resurrection. The town map and patent were recently restored and digitized by archivists at the UNM Center for Southwest Research (CSWR), making the 162-year-old-documents available to the world.

The map and patent have resided their original metal tube, housed in Tome, since 1860. But the papers were so brittle, and rolled so tightly, they were difficult to read and view without causing further damage.

Tome Patent

In December 2021, Andrea Padilla, President of the Town of Tome Land Grant, brought the tube to the CSWR’s Conservation Technician, Jennifer Dawn Eggleston. Eggleston took on the challenge and within a week had carefully flattened and encapsulated both the aging map and the documentation.

It was truly a collaborative CSWR effort; and necessitated the skills of UNM student Jeanette Alvarez (scanning tech) and Head Archivist Samuel Sisneros, who enhanced the document coloration. Archivist Chris Geherin then uploaded the images to the New Mexico Digital Collection so they can be accessed by students and scholars around the world.

The map is an October 31, 1860 Plat of the Tome Claim confirmed by the U.S. Surveyor General’s Office in Santa Fe for 121, 594 acres. It features the west and east Town of Tome Land Grant boundaries at the Rio Grande and the Manzano Mountains, and the sections within it.

Also on the map are the corner stones and many mounds of earth marking the Northern Thome Dominguez line and to the South the three cottonwood trees at the Belen Grant line. 

The documentation, or patent to the grant, was signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, in July 1871, and registered in Valencia County that same year and in 1913.

The original map and its documentation can be viewed at the Town of Tome Land Grant Museum and Library. Copies of the Tome items can also be viewed in person at the CSWR (New Mexico History Collection MSS 349 BC) or online on the New Mexico Digital Collection.