About Suwanee - Correo, New Mexico
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 5,510 ft (1.680 m). Population: n⁄a.
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).
Suwanee is a scattering of houses along the old Route 66 alignment in Valencia county, NM. Map of Suwanee - Correo
Vintage Bar next to Route 66 in Suwanee - Correo, NM
People have lived in central New Mexico for over 10,000 years as shown by the nearby site at Sandia Cave. The rivers flowing down from the Rocky Mountains provided water for the later Pueblo peole who farmed and irrigated their crops in the valleys of the rivers along the Rio Grande basin.
In 1540 the Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado explored the area searching for gold and called the native people "Pueblo", after the Spanish word for "village".
The Spanish settled in New Mexico in 1598, were expelled during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, and returned in 1693 to resettle the area.
After its independence from Spain in 1821 Nueva Mexico passed on to Mexico but it after being defeated during the Mexican - American War (1846-48) it was ceded to the U.S.A.
In 1880 the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad reached the area and extended its tracks from Albuquerque towards the southwest, crossing the Rio Grande and passing through the stations of Luna and Rio Puerco before heading towards the northwest towards Laguna.
The Railroad town was called San Jose, after the Rio San Jose River located to the south, but in 1902 it was rnamed Suwanee because there was a San Jose station in Oklahoma. A post office was built there in 1917 and called it "Correo", at the point where the New Mexico State highway 6 met the AT & SF tracks. A store was built next to it. The local school was a railroad box-car.
The railway's operator was based at a stop named "Suwanee".
Origin of the name Suwanee
The popular song "Old Folks at Home", better known as "Swanee River" was written in 1851 by Stephen Foster. Its popularity led to many towns being named after the Suwanee River of Florida.
Correo is a Spanish word which means "Mail", and is appropriate for a post office.
One town two names: Correo and Suwanee
The local people used both names: Correo and Suwanee as the place name.
In 1926, Route 66 was aligned along the "Old National Trails", heading south from Albuquerque through Isleta, Peralta and Los Lunas and then west, towards Rio Puerco and Laguna, following the railroad in this section. It passed through Correo - Suwanee. Later NM-6 was paved and shortened the trip to Albuquerque. In 1937 Route 66 was realigned along NM-6, (the "Laguna cut-off") that shortened the road by linking Laguna via Correo - Suwanee to Albuquerque with a straight alignment, bypassing the towns along the Rio Grande.
The post office moved to the new crossroads in 1938 and a Standard service station was buit there.
Later, the post office closed (1945) and the town was bypassed by I-40 in the late 1960s.
Where to Stay
There is lodging along Route 66 in Suwanee:
>> Book your Hotels in Albuquerque very close to Suwanee.
Lodging Near Suwanee along Route 66
- 30 miles. Motels and Hotels in Acoma Pueblo.
- 48 miles. Motels and Hotels in Grants.
- 110 miles. Motels and Hotels in Gallup.
- 40 miles. Motels and Hotels in Albuquerque
- 76 miles. Motels and Hotels in Moriarty
- 152 miles. Motels and Hotels in Santa Rosa.
- 211 miles. Motels and Hotels in Tucumcari.
The Santa Fe Route 66 segment
>> There are RV campgrounds near Suwanee.
Weather in Suwanee
Weather widget for the closest town to Suwanee
Suwanee is located just west of the Rio Grande Valley. Its climate is dry and sunny (278 sunny days per year) with a low relative humidity. There are large swings between day and night temperatures, even in summer.
Average High ⁄ Low Temperatures during summer (Jul.) are: 92 ⁄ and 65 °F (33 ⁄ 18 °C) respectively. The average high and low in winter (Jan) are about: 47 ⁄ and 24 °F (8 ⁄ -4 °C)
Summers are hot and winters are cold. Rainfall falls mostly during the summer monsoon season (July through September), and adds up to about 11 in. per year (279 mm). Snowfall is quite low: around 10 inches (25 cm) per year.
The tornado risk in Suwanee is nil: Bernalillo County has no Tornado watches. The area west of this point has no tornado events.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Suwanee
Map of Suwanee and Route66
Map of Suwanee and Route 66 in New Mexico.
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment; Red line: I-40 & I-25 where they overlap the old alignment.
See Route 66's alignment in Texas
Remove or restore State shading
Route 66 itinerary through Suwanee
Route 66 in New Mexico
Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across New Mexico.
The Santa Fe Loop (1926 - 1937)
Our Santa Fe Loop pages describes the complete 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque through Dilia, Rowe, Santa Fe and Bernalillo.
Below is full information on Route 66's 1926 alignment in Suwanee - Correo.
Suwanee, New Mexico: Attractions & Sights
Things to Do and See
Suwanee a Ghost Town
Suwanee is just a few scattered homes in a flat area between the Rio Puerco River and Mesita, it lies on the original 1926 and the later 1937 alignments of Route 66. Visit the Historic Rio Puerco Bridge.
Tours & Itineraries plus outdoor Fun
Nearby Route 66 Towns
Drive east along Route 66 to visit Albuquerque along the Old 1926 Route 66 alignment or head west into the Pueblo area at Mesita, Laguna and Acoma Pueblo.
Rio Puerco Bridge
US 66, Suwanee, NM.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
A historic steel bridge built across the Rio Puerco River in 1933.
Though the Rio Puerco is usually dry, it can flood and carry large volumes of water. For this reason the State Highway engineers chose a Parker through truss bridge to cross it.
The Rio Puerco is a tributary of the Rio Grande. Its sources are on the west slope of the Nacimiento Mountains and it flows 230 mi. (370 km) with a north to south course before meeting the Rio Grande about 50 mi. (80 km) south of Albuquerque.
It is a temporary river, and is dry during part of the year. Its average discharge is about 39.5 cu.ft.⁄s. (1.12 m3⁄s).
The name refers to its muddy and dirty waters (puerco is also "pig" in Spanish).
This kind of bridge does not need a center pier to support it, and therefore eliminates the risk of it being washed away.
The placement of the bridge was strategice: on a narrow location with steep banks it was suitable for the 250 foot long single span bridge.
The bridge was built in 1933 on NM State highway 6, employing federal funds for highway construction. It was part of the plan to shorten the transcontinental route and became part of Route 66 in 1937 when the "Laguna Cut Off" was implemented.
The bridge's deck is 25 feet wide and was remodeled in 1957. When I-40 absorbed the traffic of Route 66, it became its Frontage Road until 1999 when the NM Transportation Department replaced it. It is open to pedestrian traffic.
Rio Puerco Bridge, historic landmark/p>
The Old alignment of Route 66 near Suwanee
To Suwanee along Old Route 66
Full details on the 1926 - 1937 Alignment of Route 66 through Santa Fe (The Santa Fe Loop).
Albuquerque to Suwanee - Correo through Isleta and Los Lunas
The 1926 - 1937 alignment
South of Albuquerque, the old 1926 alignment of US 66 followed US 85 and was part of the National Old Trails Road. The road passed through the towns of Isleta, Peralta, where it turned west and crossed the Rio Grande to enter Los Lunas.
From this point it went west to Rio Puerco, and then northwest towards Correo - Suwanee.
This is the Map of the 1926 alignment from Albuquerque to Suwanee - Correo.
West of Suwanee on the 1926 alignment
The road took a sharp left turn at Suwanee, crossed the railroad and headed towards El Rito and Mesita along the roads shown in the following maps, which are now cut and intersected by I-40: Map from Suwanee to El Rito and Map from El Rito to Mesita.
Looking East along the 1926 Route 66 near Mesita (at El Rito)
Albuquerque to Suwanee along the 1937 alignment
Map of this Segment. From downtown of Albuquerque on 4th St. and Central Ave., head west along Central Avenue and cross the Rio Grande River. Central Ave. approaches I-40, but don't enter it, cross to its north side along Atrisco Vista Blvd. and follow the N. Frontage Road west at Exit 149.
This sandy area with dunes west of the river is known as the "Nine Mile Hill" (due to the long climb westwards). It offers Great Views of Albuquerque and the Sandia Range behind it.
As Central Ave. changes course further west, you will have to enter I-40 at Exit 140. Just before Exit 140, is the historic Rio Puerco Bridge. Stay on I-40 until reaching Exit 126, where you should head along NM-6 towards the south and reach Suwanee and the 1926 and 1937 alignment of Route 66.
The original access to Suwanee is now cut off from I-40, but you can still drive it here: Into Suwanee, the 1932 road. This is the original alignment of NM-6, later paved in 1932 and Route 66 after 1937.
West of Suwanee to Laguna
Head west all the way to Mesita along the newer alignment and, after Mesita, all the way to Laguna along the original (since 1926) alignment of Route 66 as shown in the following Suwanee to Laguna Map.
National and State Parks
See the Parks in Albuquerque which are close by.
National Park Service, Rio Puerco Bridge. Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program
Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.
Original artwork by A. Whittall based on Google Street View Imagery.
Robert Julyan. 1996, The Place Names of New Mexico, UNM Press.