Friday, April 15, 2016

The ghosts of New Mexico's abandoned mining towns

During the mining boom of the 19th century in New Mexico, thousands migrated to remote parts of the state, establishing towns to exploit the region's rich mineral wealth. By the late 1800s and early 1900s communities such as Kelly, Dawson, Madrid, Pinos Altos, Golden and Hanover/Fierro proliferated throughout the state, providing the silver, gold, lead, coal and zinc that helped to fuel the industrial western expansion taking place in America. These boom towns, composed of a diverse mix of foreigners, would fundamentally change the demographic character of the state, arising from the dust and often abandoned in equal haste.  In the former mining towns of Hagan, Kelly and Dawson next to nothing remains. In Kelly, a mining head frame stands surrounded by flattened earth; there are remains of the once numerous houses located at the base of the Magdalena mountain. Some former ghost towns have been repopulated. Mining villages such as Madrid and Pinos Altos have found a second life, repopulated by artists and professionals attracted to these unusual spaces...more

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