Lamy is 18 miles south of the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The community was named for Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, and lies within the Bishop John Lamy Spanish Land Grant, which dates back to the eighteenth century.
The Santa Fe Railway originally planned to run from Atchison, Kansas, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then west to California. As the track building advanced into New Mexico, the civil engineers realized that the terrain around Santa Fe made this an impossible undertaking. The line was built through Lamy instead, and a spur line was built northward to Santa Fe. Amtrak passengers headed to the state capital still alight at Lamy where a shuttle transports them the remaining 18 miles.
Lamy’s original name was Galisteo Junction. It was later changed in honor of Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who served as the first archbishop of Santa Fe in the second half of the 19th century. Lamy played a major role in the development of the region and was the inspiration for writer Willa Cather’s novel Death Comes for the Archbishop.