Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico Ghost Towns’

Day #24 features Grenville, New Mexico

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Grenville, New Mexico dates to the 1880s and was founded as a camp for workers laying the new tracks of the Denver & Fort Worth Railroad, which would eventually be absorbed by the Burlington Railroad.

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A town plat was filed in July 1888, several years after the camp had already been established. and a full four months after the last spike in the Denver & Fort Worth line had been driven at the site on March 14, 1888.

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Grenville, located on the barren high plains of eastern New Mexico 27 miles northwest of Clayton on present-day US-87, was a typical western railtroad town featuring the usual businesses and amenities for railraod travelers.  The town was also a supply and shipping center for nearby ranches and farms, beans being the top producing crop until the Dust Bowl years.  A combination of the Dust Bowl and the end of the railroad era led to the decline of Grenville.

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Grenville today is home to a number of abandoned residential dwellings, stores, and a school house which is one of the most photogenic I have come across in my ghost towning adventures. An old restored Texaco station on the edge of town recently housed an antique store, but it too has now closed its doors.

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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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Day #7 of A Ghost Town a Day For 30 Days features La Liendre, New Mexico.

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La Liendre Saloon early-1900s

The Spanish “La Liendre” translates roughly to “The Mosquito” in English and legend says this tiny village along the Gallinas River was named for the mosquitos that plagued the residents.

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Ruins of the saloon in the previous photo

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La Liendre is located roughly 20 miles southeast of Las Vegas, New Mexico in the stunning canyon country of the eastern New Mexico plains region. The small community began life under the name “Los Valles de San Antonio” around 1840. There was a Post Office intermittently at La Liendre between 1878 and 1942, as well as a church, saloon, and a number of stone and adobe dwellings.  Today La Liendre is a collection of crumbling walls, boards, debris, and around 20 foundations surrounded by beautiful views.

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Day #3 of “A Ghost Town a Day For 30 Days” features the little village of La Manga, New Mexico.

I discovered La Manga by accident while on a New Mexico road trip when I noticed a tiny (literally) church and a cluster of abandoned buildings on a hillside just outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico on the way to Glorieta Pass.

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La Manga, New Mexico

 

I pulled off the interstate and wound down a few side roads until I reached the spot. The miniature church I had seen from the distance was in fact, small in physical dimensions, it is actually about a 2/3 scale chapel, large enough for people to enter, but you’d have to stoop as the walls are short and the roof is low.  This is the Capilla de Santo Nino, or Chapel of Santo Nino- Santo Nino being the image of the child Jesus in the Roman Faith. This dimunitive chapel was puposely built on a small scale in honor of Santo Nino. I can not find any information on how old the chapel is, but it is still in use today, and there is a small graveyard on the church property.

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The miniature 2/3 scale Capilla de Santo Nino at La Manga

A hundred yards or so up a steep, muddy slope with no defined road are the ruins of the village of La Manga. I parked my Jeep just north of the chapel, and hiked up to the ruins of the town, I did not see any private property sings, but I admired the buildings from afar just in case.

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The main cluster of buildings at La Manga

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Overall view of La Manga from the chapel below

 

Arranged in the typical square style of the old Mexican plazas are a handful of stone and adobe buildings with the tattered remnants of their tin roofs flapping in the wind.  I have not been able to find any information on when La Manga was founded, or when it died- There is one crude pole in the center of the plaza that appears to have brought electricity, or possibly telegraph or phone service to the hamlet long ago. La Manga is just one of the hundreds of  abandoned plazas and villages across New Mexico that share a similar mysterious history.

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Picturesque red stone building at La Manga

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Another view of the same building

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I came across Farley, NM by accident. I was enjoying my last night at the historic Eklund Hotel in Clayton, NM and looking for abandoned places on my map to stop the next day as I took wound my way to Las Vegas, NM on back roads. I saw a speck that said “Farley” which was on the route I’d be taking the next morning, so I grabbed my yellow highlighter and circled the dot on the map. I’m glad I did it is worth the visit. Although I didn’t see anyone in the 20 minutes or so I explored the town, it appeared that a few folks still live there. A host of abandoned trucks of 40s, 50s and 60s vintage were scattered among the forlorn and vacant storefronts of  what used to be Main Street. Numerous abandoned buildings, barns, and homes lined the side streets. A sprawling abandoned schoolhouse of 1930s style laid down a dirt road on the edge of town- I wanted to investigate closer, but couldn’t tell if the road to the school was public or private, so I opted to stay away. Farley was an unexpected gem of a ghost town on the high plains of northeastern New Mexico. Farley sits just north of Highway 412 about 50 miles west of Clayton smack dab in the middle of nowhere. If, for some reason you find yourself in this vast expanse of northeastern New Mexico, take a minute and enjoy Farley!

 

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No rhyme or reason to these, just 15 old abandoned buildings in northern New Mexico I came across on my recent road trip. Lots and lots of old abandoned buildings in northern New Mexico, these are just a few. Enjoy!

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1. Holman

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2. Roy

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3. Trujillo

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4. Mt. Dora

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5. Folsom

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6. Grenville

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7. San Ignacio

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8. Farley

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9. La Manga

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10. Rabbit Ears

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11. Clayton

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12. Holman

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13. Mills

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14. Folsom

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15. La Liendre

The prairie land of northeastern New Mexico is home to a large number of ghost towns and among them is the old ranching center of Mills. Located on Highway 39 eleven miles north of Roy, New Mexico, Mills is a wide spot in the road with a handful of picturesque homes in varying states of decay. A tiny Post Office which dates back to 1889 is still open, serving nearby ranchers, and sits along the one dirt street that runs north-south through town. Other than the Post Office, Mills rests quietly, a silent reminder of better days in Harding County.

 

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