Hatch was originally settled as Santa Barbara in 1851, however Apache raids drove the farmers away until 1853 when the nearby Fort Thorn was established. When Fort Thorn closed in 1860, the town had to be abandoned again. It was not until 1875 that it was re-occupied and at that time it was re-named for Indian fighter Edward Hatch, who was then commander of the New Mexico Military District.
Just when the rest of New Mexico begins to cool at the dawn of autumn, Southern New Mexico begins to sizzle. Hatch enjoys the distinction of being the home of “The World’s Best Chile Pepper”, according to a report by the BBC World News. Hatch Chile is best prepared by roasting over an open flame. Each year during chile season, dozens of chile vendors can be found lining the streets of Hatch roasting the local chile.