Tuesday, July 26, 2016

'Blanco Roble' becomes a ghost town (White Oaks)

The Old Abe company continued operations until 1907, when they shut down. The new shaft was at a depth of 1500 feet at that time and had the distinction of being the deepest dry mine in the world, an honor it held into the 1920s. When it was shut down in 1907, the Old Abe mine had a recorded production of $1,000,000 in gold. The shutdown of the Old Abe had a bad effect on White Oaks but was partly offset by the new operations being started by the Wildcat Leasing Company. The town dwindled to about 500 people, although it remained at that figure for many years. The last newspaper was printed in White Oaks in 1906, the last of six different papers once published there. The others were White Oaks Daily Golden Era, New Mexico Interpreter, Lincoln County Leader, Old Abe Eagle, White Oaks Eagle, and The Outlook. In 1907 the Exchange Bank moved to Carrizozo. In 1912 the Wildcat Leasing Company had made enough money from the mines that they were able to build a light plant up at the coal mines and springs, it cost $40,000 and within two years was furnishing electric power to Carrizozo, White Oaks and other towns over near Ruidoso. This was the first electric power in Lincoln County. The Wildcat Leasing Company continued operations for many years after this, with Ed Queen running the mines, Dave Jackson managing the mill and Allen Lane taking care of the machinery. As the United States entered the First World War in 1917, tungsten became scarce, and the price increased. An Eastern mining concern got a lease on the Old Abe Mine and began to develop the tungsten deposits in the mine; about $40,000 was produced in the several years of operations. This was the last mining done in the Old Abe....more

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