Originally founded at the village of Yunque on the west bank of the Rio Grande, the earlier Spanish settlers named the settlement San Gabriel. San Gabriel served as the official capital of New Mexico until 1609-1610, when the Villa of Santa Fe was established as the official seat of Spanish government. Over the next four hundred years of cultural conflict, compromise, intermarriage, and peaceful co-existence, this community forged a unique Indo-Hispano character and culture that defines Española today.
The Bond House and Museum was originally constructed by FRrank Bond, a prominent businessman in Española. The City acquired the Bond House in 1957 and in 1982, the San Gabriel Historical Society opened the house as a museum with its first exhibits.
Founded in 1995, the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) is New Mexico's resource for fiber artists, enthusiasts and visitors. The Center soon became a source of supplies and tools for local weavers. EVFAC incorporated and became a nonprofit Membership organization in 1997.
The time spent building La Iglesia de Santa Cruz de la Cañada (1733-1748) was "one of the longest on record in New Mexico," according to architectural historian George Kubler. Twelve years after the completion of the church, Bishop Pedro Lama ron y Romera I of the Archdiocese of Durango, made an official visit to inspect the mission. His less than enthusiastic comment recorded in the official diary was, "the church in Santa Cruz is large, but has little adornment."
New Mexico Wildlife Center, a non-profit organization, is located south of Espanola, NM. Their mission is to conserve and restore native wildlife and their habitats through action-oriented education, promotion of public awareness, strategic partnerships and responsible wildlife rehabilitation.