A Multi-Generational Taos Family Heritage

The Tarleton family has a unique demonstrated multi-generational history as responsible long term community minded residents of Northern New Mexico’s “Enchanted Circle” area. Michael Tarleton’s great grandmother owned Six Mile Ranch in the Moreno Valley. His grandmother was born on that ranch. Michael’s grandfather was a pioneering entrepreneur who explored various occupations in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado before returning to Taos in 1930.

Thomas “Tom” Tarleton Sr. (Michael Tarleton’s father) was born in Elizabethtown, Territory of New Mexico, on Oct. 14, 1902. He was a lifetime resident and rancher in northern New Mexico. After serving in the Army Mounted Engineers, he went to mechanics school in Kansas City. He then worked for the Fred Harvey Co. and the Park Service at the Grand Canyon where he met his beloved wife, Toni. When Tom returned to Taos in 1930, he opened Tarleton Motor Co., which he ran with Michael’s grandfather until they decided to pursue ranching full time in the late 1940s. His wife was the librarian at the Harwood Foundation which served as the public library for the town. Tom also served his community as a charter member and fire chief of the Taos Volunteer Fire Department.

Tarleton Ranch

Original Tarleton Ranch Property Acquisition

Based on the Tarleton’s reputation, Taos County approached Tom Tarleton and Michael’s grandfather in the early 30s with an opportunity to purchase a 538 acre ranch property consisting of several contiguous parcels of land that had fallen into the hands of the County due to non-payment of taxes. Since ranching was still something that both men wanted to pursue, Tom and his father seized the opportunity to acquire the property now known as Tarleton Ranch. Understanding that that farming and ranching would not be enough to sustain them, they took on the Tarleton Ranch property with a belief that the land would someday provide an opportunity to pursue development of some homes and businesses in addition to their ranch and farm interests.

During the early years of ownership, Tom moved a cabin from a property he owned in the Moreno Valley to the Tarleton Ranch and purchased their first tractor along with 3 accessories, a mower, rake and bailer. To save an additional $50 assembly charge, Tom purchased the accessories in crates and assembled them himself with young Michael’s help. Their original tractor still runs to this day, thanks to Tom and Michael’s high quality master mechanic skills. Eventually the Tarleton family built their homes, ranch service center vegetable garden and orchard on the property, including an adobe home that Mike and his family live in today.

As community minded land stewards, the Tarleton family has worked and cared for the Tarleton Ranch property for over 85 years. They have developed and maintained agriculture land as an important and productive Taos County agricultural asset, using environmentally responsible irrigation, farm and ranch practices. The Tarletons have also explored and tried various other business opportunities at Tarleton Ranch, including an airport, gravel quarry activities and the first phases of the family’s original real estate development intentions.

For many years the Tarletons worked their property primarily as a successful ranch with cattle, farming and some additional business they created by developing an airport and quarry operation onsite.

Today’s Generation and Their Intentions

Today, the Tarleton family generation responsible for Tarleton Ranch property oversight and management includes highly educated, skilled and capable professionals who also believe in their ancestor’s pioneering commitment to support the Taos community. For example, Michael Tarleton is an accomplished professional engineer and general contractor with a longstanding demonstrated track record of involvement with a wide variety of high quality engineering and construction projects, while also finding time to volunteer for important community service efforts. The Tarleton family also continues to maintain their longstanding commitment to support the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of precious irreplaceable Taos area agriculture land and resources.

The Tarleton family has always believed that non-agricultural portions of the Tarleton Ranch property would someday be developed as a localized mixed-use village on the north side of town where north side residents can conveniently buy daily necessities and Tarleton Ranch residents can enjoy rejuvenating lifestyles of live, work and play. Located right in the middle of a triangle formed by Taos Airport, the Town of Taos and Taos Ski Valley, the Tarleton Ranch property offers the only mixed-use village development opportunity in Taos Valley with the appropriate location, necessary resources and existing county required mixed-use development zoning.

As longtime residents at this location, the current Tarleton Family generation believes that the responsible development of their property would provide a sorely needed contribution to the north side of Taos in a manner that can enhance the lives of all that live in and around the area. The Tarletons remain committed to their family’s original development goals in a responsible way that adds value to the entire area. And they believe their parents and grandparents would be proud of their family’s current efforts to carry on the family’s multigenerational legacy by responsibly providing for the needs of present and future generations.

Existing Tarleton Ranch Development

Some of the Tarleton family’s long term development goals and objectives for the Tarleton Ranch property have already been successfully manifested with high quality projects that demonstrate and prove the Tarleton family’s ability to develop their property responsibly. These successful projects include the family’s longstanding respectable farm & ranch operation, the 74 lot Del Norte Subdivision, the 18 lot Chamisa Vista Subdivision, commencing their intended commercial village center development goals in 2004, and more recently the sale of commercial property soon be developed as a distillery by its new owners.

The initial phase of the Tarleton’s vision to develop the Tarleton Ranch property as a village commenced in 1960 when Tom Tarleton successfully created the Del Norte Subdivision with 74 residential lots located between Gavilan Drive and Del Norte Road.

This successful subdivision provided Tom and Toni with money from land sales, enough to travel and enjoy themselves in the later years of their life. The sale of all lots was successfully completed in 2005.

At the same time, the northeast corner of the ranch was sold to and developed by the owner of the Taos Country Club as a residential subdivision with 1and 2 acre lots accessed by Camino Del Cielo and Azul.

In 2004, the Tarleton family established Del Norte Properties, LLC, (now Tarleton Ranch Development LLC) for the purpose of developing an 85 acre commercial Village Center, located on the commercially zoned portion of the Tarleton Ranch property. A distillery will soon be developed as the first village center commercial project by its new owner, on a lot located at the north side of the Gavilan Drive next to NM SR-150.