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Thread: Lost mine near Massacre Canyon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default Lost mine near Massacre Canyon

    Has anyone made the hike to the stone graves at the site of the ambush of soldiers by Victorio's men in the 1870's? This occured in New Mexico, and I think it was somewhere in the Black Range.
    I can find out all those general details, what I want to know is how to get to it. I understand that there is a more direct way if you can get permission from a land owner. I also understand that part of the battle site is on private property.
    What I'm looking for is any input from anyone who has actually been there and what they found out about the site, getting there, private property, etc.
    Thanks,
    Max

  2. #2
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    Aug 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Barnett View Post
    Has anyone made the hike to the stone graves at the site of the ambush of soldiers by Victorio's men in the 1870's? This occured in New Mexico, and I think it was somewhere in the Black Range.
    I can find out all those general details, what I want to know is how to get to it. I understand that there is a more direct way if you can get permission from a land owner. I also understand that part of the battle site is on private property.
    What I'm looking for is any input from anyone who has actually been there and what they found out about the site, getting there, private property, etc.
    Thanks,
    Max
    My memory is not so good any more, but that rings a familiar bell somewhere. Could you remember any more details?

  3. #3
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    Default Massacre Canyon

    Thanks for reply, Total Wreck, Tucson Tumbleweed, and Old Judge.
    It was the story about the mine where I first heard about the massacre. The story about the mine appeared in the Lost Treasure Magazine sometime in 1976 I think. I first saw it a few days ago on losttreasure.com. It said that the mine was worked by a Mexican family in the mid 1800's. I remember that they lived on Animas Creek and had built a rock cabin there. The Apache Indians reported that a sudden flood washed the cabin away and drowned the family!
    The mine was said to be a vain of gold and silver that was visible on the surface. The Mexicans were just mining it right off the surface and creating a scooped out place. They had an arrastre on the side of the mountain and this has been found several times, once being in 1973 and was said to be in pretty good shape. The mine would have to be somewhere nearby but it has not been found.
    It said that one of the troopers who survived the ambush followed a trail and found the gold mine. He brought some samples back that proved to be very high grade ore but was never able to go back to the spot where he found it.
    You may be able to go to losttreasure.com and get a reprint of the article if you are interested. I remember that it is in the Gila National Forrest in Southwest New Mexico, Victorio Peak Quadrangle.
    Max

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Default Massacre Canyon

    Thanks, Total Wreck, Tuscon Tumbleweed, and Old Judge, for reply.

    I thought I sent this reply earlier but I don't see it so here goes again:

    I did not know of Massacre Canyon uintil I read an account of the lost mine at losttreasure.com a few days ago. The ambush of soldiers by Victorio in Massacre Canyon in 1879 happened near the lost mine. The mine had been worked by a Mexican family and is supposed to be well documented in records in Chihuahua. The mine was being worked for about 10 years around the mid 1800's. Apache indians reportedthat the family was lost in a flood that washed away their rock cabin.
    They had build an arrastre to process the ore, to a degree, then hauled it in to some town to sell the gold and silver rich ore.
    A soldier who escaped the massacre found the diggings and brought some samples back but could not find the location again.
    The article was by a Gene C. Ballinger and stated that it was a calvary unit and was "all but wiped out". I found a web page that was written by the same man and it stated that there were about 32 or more graves at the site while the army report said only 8 or 9 were killed.
    The arrestre has been found several times but no one has reported finding the mine that was just a scooped out place where the rich vein came to the surface.
    Max

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    SW NM
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    Post would like more inforamtion on this query - thanx. /mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Max Barnett View Post
    Has anyone made the hike to the stone graves at the site of the ambush of soldiers by Victorio's men in the 1870's? This occured in New Mexico, and I think it was somewhere in the Black Range.
    I can find out all those general details, what I want to know is how to get to it. I understand that there is a more direct way if you can get permission from a land owner. I also understand that part of the battle site is on private property.
    What I'm looking for is any input from anyone who has actually been there and what they found out about the site, getting there, private property, etc.
    Thanks,
    Max

    would like more information on this query of yours, if isn't too late - will explain if you're still on about it.
    /mike

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Max.

    I have hiked this area several times in the past year. It was closed for awhile but a deal was worked out with the land owner. Massacre canyon is very interesting. It was on the old Butterfield Stage route and soldiers would guard the stafge to a place called Soldiers Farewell. There are many battle implacements alon the canyon and petroglyphs near a recent containment dam. I have neve seen andy arrastres in the area but a few mule to the east is the old town of cooks peak is loacated and several mines too. Got some good stuff from the dumps there. I also belive there is a sulpher mine in the area as I smelled sulfur up towards Cooks Peak The old for t Cummings is still there and the pumphouse still works the grave yard has several in it with signs that read Kilt by Injuns.

    a very intersting place

    Tim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Barnett View Post
    Has anyone made the hike to the stone graves at the site of the ambush of soldiers by Victorio's men in the 1870's? This occured in New Mexico, and I think it was somewhere in the Black Range.
    I can find out all those general details, what I want to know is how to get to it. I understand that there is a more direct way if you can get permission from a land owner. I also understand that part of the battle site is on private property.
    What I'm looking for is any input from anyone who has actually been there and what they found out about the site, getting there, private property, etc.
    Thanks,
    Max
    The graves at Vic Park aka Massacre Canyon is on private property owned by the Bason Ranch. I've been up there twice and both time I went through the Ladder Ranch owned by Ted Turner. We had permission at that time because we were rebuilding the graves at the massacre site. They say there's another way in over the back side of the mountain by horseback but I haven't tried it. You might try the Ranch Foreman to see if you can go through the ranch if he thinks you have a good enough reason to be up there. Warning: even by the ranch road it gets extremely rough as you get higher into the hills especially crossing Animas Creek some twenty times as it winds down the mountain. We had to pull 1 4x4 out of the water. The site now has a flag pole and plaque recognizing the soldiers who were awarded the medal of honor at the battle. If I remember correctly there were 3 soldiers killed, 4 Navajo scouts and one civilian surgeon killed. But we discovered a lot more graves than that up there. Maybe the Army was trying to hide their true losses.

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