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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

NEW MEXICO

“The Land of Enchantment

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for New Mexico

 

New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment has been fascinating ghost town chasers for many years, and is one of my favorite states to explore. I spent a few days of quality time exploring the state in July 2010, and some of the results of that exploration will be posted here over the next few months.  (SEE Carrizozo and White Oaks

 

New Mexico’s European history dates back nearly 500 years, as the Spanish settled many communities (especially in the Rio Grande Valley) here as early as the 1600s.  Spanish exploration began in 1540 as Vasquez de Coronado led an exploration through the region seeking the famed seven cities of Cibola and their legendary treasures.  Coronado didn’t find his gold, but did introduce the region to the Spanish, who began settlement and the establishment of missions throughout the region.

 

Throughout the 1600s the Spanish conquered the area, especially in the Rio Grande Valley.  Missions were established, the Native Americans tamed and catholicized, and a new way of life was introduced.

 

In 1821, Mexico shook off the Spanish colonial yoke and declared its independence.  As most of New Mexico fell under Mexican rule at that time, it was a part of that transition.  The Santa Fe Trail entered the future state from the northeast, securing the importance of Santa Fe as not only the colonial capital (since 1609), but as an important trading center for the entire Southwest.  During the Mexican-American War of 1846, Santa Fe was captured, and the region declared a territory of the United States.  Then in 1853, the Gadsden Purchase added more territory to what is now the State of New Mexico.  On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th star on the American flag.

 

Gold, silver and copper mining began in earnest in the mid 1800s, with some claims as early as the 1820s.  New Mexico’s ghost towns basically evolved from the old Spanish settlements, mining and the railroads.  Like the other western states, ghost towns truly abound here.  Even though there are well over 1000 ghost towns locations in New Mexico in our files, only a couple dozen are represented on these pages.

 

If you have visited any of the ghost towns in the Land of Enchantment that are not listed here, or know of different information or current statuses of any of the listed towns, please contact us at Ghost Town USA. 

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

ANTON CHICO

Guadalupe Co.

Four miles to the west of Dilia, which is on US 84, 26 miles south of Las Vegas, is another near ghost town fading on these high plains.  Anton Chico had a 1940 population of 500, and by 1990 had only 50 or so people.  Founded in 1872, it is a former stock raising center, and supply center for upland game hunters.

BARD

Quay Co.

At one time the class D community of Bard had 195 people, but by 1980, that had been reduced to ten.  In the 1940s it was a trading center for local ranchers and consisted of a “few shacks and houses about a store and filling station.”  In 1997, a number of abandoned buildings were visible off I-40 at EXIT 361, east of San Jon.

BUDVILLE

Cibola Co.

Located on the Laguna Indian Reservation, north of I-40 at EXIT 104, then west on Old Route 66 (now SH 124).  This old town was named after H. N. “Bud” Rice when he started it in 1928.  Remaining buildings include an old motel, the Budville Trading Co, Dixie Restaurant and. Several of the older commercial buildings have been converted to residential use.  At the west end of town is the Midway Bar and Grill and a junkyard, as well as a couple of crumbling adobe structures.

CARRIZOZO

Lincoln Co.

Carrizozo is generally not classified as a ghost town yet this colorful, charismatic class E community is well worth visiting.  The population has been pretty stable at about half of what it was during its boom years between 1910 and 1923.  History seeps from the buildings and an unmistakable aura of the past exudes from the cracked stucco and adobe brick buildings lining ….  For more details and information, see our CARRIZOZO page.

CHLORIDE

 

Sierra Co.

This old class D silver mining town is located 2.3 miles southwest of Winston, which is on SH 52, northwest of Truth or Consequences.  The main street of this town still has a number of picturesque adobe, wood and stone buildings.  The silver mines were originally worked in 1879, and by the mid 1880s, some 400+ people lived here.  In 2003 only 14 remained. 

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.  

For more details and information, see our CHLORIDE page.

CORRERO

Valencia Co.

Located on SH 6, about 15 miles west of Rio Puerco and two miles south of I-40 at EXIT 126 is the site of Correro.  During Route 66’s heyday, the town consisted of a gas station, general store, post office and tourist cabins.  Today all that remains is rubble, and the old highway fading off into the desert.

CUERVO

Guadalupe Co.

This old class D road-town straddles I-40 at EXIT 291, 18 miles east of Santa Rosa and 41 miles west of Tucumcari.  With a 1990 population of 75, and about 25-30 abandoned buildings mixed in with a dozen occupied structures, Cuervo is a near-ghost town worth visiting.  It was established around 1902, and today the decrepit business district of mostly unused structures is bisected by I-40.  Some of its more interesting buildings include the rock Catholic church, and 1930-1958 era school.

For more details and information, see our CUERVO, MONTOYA & NEWKIRK page.

DILIA

Guadalupe Co.

Located on US 84, 15 miles north of I-40 at EXIT 256.  Here Route 66 originally angled to the north towards Santa Fe, then back down the Rio Grande Valley to Albuquerque.  In 1990, this tiny roadside town had a population of 75. 

ELIZABETHTOWN

Colfax Co.

Also known as E-Town, gold mining began around 1866. E-Town quickly grew, incorporating in 1868.  Some of the businesses included three dance halls, two hotels, post office, seven saloons, five stores and the Colfax County seat (1870-1872). It had several thousand people and over 100 buildings.  It began to fade by 1871, and from 1875-late 1890s E-Town was nearly deserted.  From 1900-1905 gold dredging brought new life, but in 1903, a devastating fire destroyed most of E-Town.  The post office closed in 1931, and by 1942 the town was a ghost. It is located about a quarter mile west of SH 38, at a point five miles north of Eagles Nest.

ENDEE

Quay Co.

In 1950, 187 folks lived in ENDEE, which according to the 1953 edition of the WPA Guide to New Mexico was “...a blow-off town for cowpunchers in the early days of its existence, (and) is now a sun-baked ruin of dilapidated shacks and frame buildings.…”  It was located 4.7 miles west of the state line on Route 66.  That would place it at or near I-40 at EXIT 369.  Nothing is visible from I-40.

Fort Stanton

Lincoln Co.

Located west of Lincoln and south of US 380, this historic old fort is still standing.  Some of the buildings have been restored and reused, while others are still vacant. This is a worthwhile detour if you are in the area.

For more details and information, see our Fort Stanton page.

FORT UNION

Mora Co.

The wonderful class B adobe ruins of this old military post entice visitors to drive the eight miles northwest of Watrous on SH 161.  Now a National Monument, Fort Union dates to 1851, as protection for travelers along the Santa Fe Trail.  It relocated after the Civil War, and was occupied until 1890.  It was the largest American military post in the West at that time.  

For more details and information, see our FORT UNION page.

GLENRIO

Quay Co.

This is the western half of a cross-border road town. 

…ALSO see Glenrio Texas.

GOLDEN

Santa Fe Co.

This class D-gold mining town is located on SH 14, 38 miles northeast of Albuquerque.  It was formed from the consolidation of two neighboring mining camps called Placer del Tuerto and San Francisco de Real.  The camps date possibly as early as 1828.  American companies put money into the mines, and when the two camps merged the combined town was called Golden.  From 1887-1892, Golden peaked with the normal assortment of mining town related businesses.  After 1910, Golden faded.  Many ruins and abandoned buildings remain tossed haphazardly among the few occupied structures that comprise this sleepy community of 100 or so people.

HILLSBORO

Sierra Co.

This class D semi-ghost is located at the junction of SH 27/152, 18 miles west of I-25 at EXIT 63, this silver-gold mining town dates to 1877.  By 1879, the community had 300 people and the usual assortment of mining camp businesses.  In 1892 the population had climbed to 700, and it was the Sierra County seat, and had a brick church and a nice courthouse.  Hillsboro’s fortunes fluctuated with the mines, and finally in 1938 the county seat was transferred to Hot Springs (now called Truth or Consequences). 

 

·        NW¼ Sec 16, T16S, R7W, NMPM

·        Latitude: 32.9209072 / 32° 55’ 15” N

·        Longitude: -107.5669740 / 107° 34’ 01” W

KELLY

Socorro Co.

This class C-silver/lead/zinc mining town is located a little more than three miles south of Magdalena on the flank of the Magdalena Mountains.  Kelly is an old mining town that dates from the 1870s through the early 1900s.  At one time it had 3000 people, and the normal assortment of mining town businesses, including seven saloons.  Today many buildings remain in various conditions.

 

·        NE¼ Sec 1, T3S, R4W, NMPM

·        Latitude: 34.0831199 / 34° 04’ 59” N

·        Longitude: -107.2053134 / 107° 12’ 19” W

Lake Valley

Sierra Co.

Despite the serene name, Lake Valley was one tough little silver mining town.  From c1880-1893 this boomtown had several thousand people and a goodly assortment of mining town businesses designed to entice the money from the miners.  It is claimed there were three churches, hotels, two newspapers, 12 saloons and a number of stores. In 1895, a fire destroyed many of the businesses.  The Bureau of Land Management manages the town now and a walking tour is available.  Quite a few buildings still remain in this class C ghost. 

For more details and information, see our Lake Valley page.

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

MADRID

Santa Fe Co.

Located east of I-25, is State Highway 14, the Turquoise Trail, a scenic byway with a handful of interesting old mining towns. One of them is the old coal-mining town of Madrid (pronounced MAD-rid, NOT Ma-DRID). Many ghost town books show photos of the rows of abandoned homes and the steam engine and rave about all the abandoned buildings and ghostly air. They comment on how this classic ghost town is one of the best in the West. Well folks, that just ain’t so ....
For more details and information, see our MADRID page.
MOGOLLON

Catron Co.

Tucked into a deep cleft in the northwestern end of the Mogollon Mountains, this class D mining town is well worth the tough nine mile drive to get to it.  It is readily accessible by passenger cart, but the road barely qualifies as such.  The old town has a handful of residents and a colorful clutch of ancient buildings. 

This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

For more details and information, see our MOGOLLON page.

MONTOYA

 

 

Quay Co.

Just north of I-40 at EXIT 311, 21 miles west of Tucumcari, this class C, shipping center was founded in 1902.  In the mid 1990s, Montoya consisted of two crumbling brick and rock stores, a two-story cut rock building that looks like it may have been a hotel, and a cluster of other structures straddling the Southern Pacific Railroad.  They include an old combination store/gas station and another roofless building advertising “Cold Beer”.  For more details and information, see our CUERVO, MONTOYA & NEWKIRK page.

NEWKIRK

Guadalupe Co.

Located just off I-40 at EXIT 300, Newkirk is a faded has-been.  Some of the buildings include an active, Phillips 66 Gas Station/food market/post office; a badly cracked plastered adobe church; mobile homes, cabins and shacks in all states of repair; a few occupied homes and a single-story, white-washed plastered one-time motel.  Some of the commercial building remains include what appears to have been a combination gas station/store, another store and a gas station. 

For more details and information, see our CUERVO, MONTOYA & NEWKIRK page.

PUERTO DE LUNA

Guadalupe Co.

Seventeen miles west of Cuervo is the junction with US 84.  Ten miles south and then two miles west, takes you to Puerto de Luna.  Founded in 1862, this railroad town and former Guadalupe County seat had a population of over 500 at its peak in the 1890s.  A century later only 130 folks still called it home.

RIO PUERCO

Bernalillo Co.

Off I-40, west of Albuquerque, at EXIT 140, Rio Puerco consists of a Chevron gas station, a combination Stuckeys/Citco/Dairy Queen, two closed gas stations, a closed restaurant and a mobile home.

SHAKESPEARE

Hidalgo Co.

This silver mining town is located several miles south of Lordsburg.  Dating to the 1880s, it grew rapidly after the silver ore was discovered.  It soon had a population of several thousand.  In 1882, its list of business ventures included an assay office, hotel, three saloons, and school.  The 1893 silver panic killed the town, and in 1914 renewed activity created a rebirth that lasted until the mid 1930s.  In 1935 the site was purchased as part of a ranch and the town has many buildings and ruins remaining.  PRIVATELY OWNED.

STEINS

Hidalgo Co.

St-EYE-nz, or St-EE-nz? There seems to be controversy over the pronunciation of the name of Steins, NM.  This tiny, privately-owned, railroad ghost town in the southwestern corner of the state was named after Enoch Steins, a US Cavalry officer killed in a clash with Apaches in 1873. So, what’s the story behind the ghost town snuggled up to the north side of I-10 at EXIT #3?  PRIVATELY OWNED.

For more details and information, see our STEINS page.

Tierra Amarilla

Rio Arriba Co.

This is a town caught between the past and the present.  Today’s Tierra Amarilla is the county seat for Rio Arriba County, but that’s about all it has going for it now.  Other than the county buildings, only an active restaurant and a scad of other, abandoned structures round out the remains in this historic town.    

See our Tierra Amarilla page for additional details.

VILLA DE CUBERO

Cibola Co.

Located on old Route 66, west of Cubero and Budville (EXIT 104), the famed, adobe Villa de Cubero Café, which has been shown in so many Route 66 books and calendars, has been renamed “Country Villa Café” and is now an unoccupied residence.  Other remains include an active Conoco Gas Station/Food Store across the street, and the “66” Saloon and Eatery.  Just west of the saloon and café is an abandoned motel. 

WHITE OAKS

Lincoln Co.

Sitting in the heart of “Billy the Kid” country, White Oaks is an old class E gold mining town that through greed cut its own throat.  As a result of that greed, nearby CARRIZOZO prospered.  But, from 1879 through the 1880s, White Oaks was a stereotyped Western mining boom town.  Today a small population keeps the ghosts at bay, and the remaining structures intact.

For more details and information, see our White Oaks page.

 

 

ADDITIONAL LINKS

 

Ghosts of the Southline

This site covers a number of ghosts in the far southwestern corner of the state.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

Gary B. Speck Publications is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of ***

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

 

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of NEW MEXICO, contact us at Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. 

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in NEW MEXICO above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

 

 

When you are exploring the ghost towns of NEW MEXICO, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

 

 

Also visit: Ghost Town USA’s

 

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A few LINKS to outside webpages:

Ghost Towns | Treasure Hunting | License Plate Collecting | Genealogy

 

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THIS PAGE 

First Posted:  July 06, 2002

LAST UPDATED: February 01, 2014

 

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