Day #11- Folsom, New Mexico

This sleepy little semi-ghost town in northeastern New Mexico dates to the 1880s when the Colorado and Southern Railroad laid tracks through the site, bypassing, and thus killing the Folsom’s predecessor town of Madison 8 miles to the southwest. Many of madison’s citizens relocated to the tracks and established a station, the camp that sprang up was initially called “Ragtown” because most of the early dwellings were tents and canvas roofed shanties. The town settled on a new and better name “Folsom” after Francis Folsom fiancee of President Grover Cleveland visited while traveling by train met many of the locals.

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Business district of Folsom

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Folsom storefronts

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This remote corner of northeastern New Mexico along the Cimarron River was a favorite hunting ground of numerous Native American tribes for centuries. The buttes, hills, canyons, and bluffs became a favorite hiding place for Old West outlaws and their gangs such as Black Jack Ketchum, and Captain Coe and the Robber’s Roost gang of nearby Kenton, Oklahoma. A small stone structure just outside Folsom at the Emery Gap was a toll gate for travelers to and from Colorado. The Granada Road, an early military road connecting Fort Union, New Mexico and Fort Lyon, Colorado passed through the area. In the late-1800s the largest stockyards west of Fort Worth, Texas were located in Folsom.

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Toll gate at the Emery Gap north of Folsom

Today Folsom has a few residents left, but the business district is abandoned with the exception of one storefront which has been turned into a seasonal museum, and the Post Office. Several shops along the main street are photogenic, and the highlight of town is the sandstone block Folsom Hotel which rests under of dense canopy of trees. When I visited the only locals I encountered were a herd of about 15 great big fat cats and a dozen or so wild turkeys wandering around town.  Folsom is situated in a beautiful little pocket of hills and must have been fine little town in its heyday.

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Folsom Hotel

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Photo Book- Abandoned Western Colorado

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Colorado Ghost Town Guide- The Foothills Region

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Colorado Ghost Town Guide- The High Rockies

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COMING SOON- ABANDONED NORTHERN COLORADO!

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Comments
  1. Jo Ann Nichols says:

    Thanks for this article about Folsom…I have been through there many times while going to Capulin Volcano…I stopped once in the museum, which has a wonderful assortment to interesting things.

  2. JDE – thanks for these daily journeys through the past.

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