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Thread: NE NM ghost towns

  1. #11
    Vulture's Avatar
    Vulture is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Hey Mel,
    I just checked out your photo's, really enjoyed that, thanks for posting the link. Love the treatmeants, from sepia to hand colored postcard. Yer a heck of a shutterbug! Hope you get some more pic's up here soon. You guy's have got some great old ruins over there in NM. Very cool that you've done research on the locations & even the buildings, it's a touch that add's a lot of history.

    Welcome to the forum.

    <
    Last edited by Vulture; 05-07-2011 at 01:33 PM.
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Clovis, NM
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    Default Three Days of Adventure in a 2-Day Roadtrip

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    This is my summary of our 3 days of adventure on a 2-day road trip. There is more than just ghost towns, but I think is important parts of any road trips (hotels, restaurants, cool stopping places, etc)
    As I get the photos edited, I'll upload them to my Flickr account.


    Day 1:
    We left Clovis and headed towards Fort Union National Monument. Along the way, we stopped in towns of Mosquero, Solano and Roy for photos. Yes! There is a town called ROY and their mascot is the Longhorn. My hubby enjoyed knowing that J
    o Our first stop was the semi-ghost town of Watrous. All the books and websites I saw showed photos of an old grand schoolhouse, an old store, and Masonic temple. We were very disappointed to find none of it. We met a local, who kindly explained that the school was torn down after the town’s “renovation money” was taken away from the State as money got tight. It was falling down, and became a hazard, nothing remains now, not even a marker. The same fate belonged to the store, only a couple of outer walls remain and it’s unrecognizable. The front of the Masonic Temple is still there, hidden behind a tree (we drove by it twice and missed it). Over all – I’m disappointed in Watrous. It’s not a ghost town at all, rather a very small, old town. You’d never believe that this was one of the Santa Fe towns that supplied Fort Union back in its heyday.
    o Hoping for better luck, we headed to Fort Union National Monument. We walked the 2-mile path along the ruins and enjoyed our walk back in time. Fort Union was interesting! I had packed sandwiches earlier at home, and we had lunch in the picnic area outside the visitor center.
    o From Fort Union, we headed west for the little villiage of La Cuava to the Salman Raspberry Farm. They have an awesome historic mill and waterwheel, as well as beautiful gardens and (in the fall) “pick it yourself” raspberries.
    o After a long day of driving and exploring, we headed down south to Las Vegas for the night. I was surprised to find that the town was a modern, civililized town complete with a Walmart and road construction. We stayed in the historic Plaza Hotel, built in 1812. Spending the evening in the historic area of Las Vegas made it easy to forget the modern world out there. We enjoyed strolling down the streets reading the historic on the old buildings, and found a great restaurant in one of the buildings, The Rialto. Our hotel was cool! I recommend the Plaza if you’re ever in Las Vegas.

    Day 2:
    We left Las Vegas after an awesome breakfast in the hotels restaurant, and headed north toward Elizabethtown. The drive took us through the Village of Mora, where we “stumbled” upon an old mill. As a matter of fact, Hwy 434 was built around this historic St Vrain Mill, and rolls right next to the building. We came around the curve and WOW! We had to stop for photos, of course. Further north, 434 took us up in the mountains, along winding scenic roads with a mountain stream alongside. Again, we had to stop for photos and we found an abandoned log cabin while exploring the stream! Along the way, we stopped for lunch in Eagle’s Landing at the wonderful D&D Café. They bread the chicken fried steak themselves, and even make their own hamburger patties (no frozen pre-made crap here!) Mashed taters and gravy was great! It doesn’t look great, but don’t let that stop you! EAT HERE.
    o Elizabethtown: The town is on private property, but it’s open from Memorial Day – Labor Day. Sadly, the museum was closed when we were there, and I was bummed! We did explore part of the town that wasn’t behind the fence, including the famous 2 story ruins that was prominent in all my books and websites. Notice I said “was.” The building has collapsed, and only a few walls remain. There is no proof that it was once a 2-story grand building with arched windows. We did go up to the cemetery and explore some – I was surprised at the number of new graves there. The cemetery is on a hill that overlooks where Elizabethtown once was. Elizabethtown was another disappointment for me; I’ve had this place on my “list” for a long time now. It’s not worth the trip anymore IMO, but was the “driver” to my NE road trip.
    o Cimarron: Another historic town I was looking forward to, and another disappointment. The historic 1800s Grist Mill/museum was our destination, and we were upset to find it closed (it should have been open). Cimerron isn’t a ghost town, but there is a “walking tour” and the historic St James (haunted) hotel. I was so bummed, took only a few photos of the outside of the mill and the hotel, then we left town.
    We were headed towards Raton for the night, with a very disappointed girl in the passenger seat. I’d said “screw it” and marked the Dawson cemetery off the list. Driving along Hwy 64, we saw the cutoff sign for the cemetery only 5 miles off the highway, and decided to check it out anyhow.
    o Dawson – the town is almost gone, not much left. It’s on private property not open to the public, so we didn’t get to see it. The cemetery is a different story! I was amazed and saddened by the hundreds of identical white crosses. Two mining accidents in 1913 and 1923 left over 300 dead; and not all were Americans. There were people from several countries here working the mines, and it seems that Italians numbered as many as the Americans. So sad to think of someone coming to America from Italy to work and send money home, only to end up in the cemetery at Dawson. SO MANY MARKERS WITH THE SAME DEATH DATE. There are other sections of the cemetery with other residents of Dawson, some much older than the first 1913 accident. Many relatives/descendants still meet on Memorial day at the cemetery and leave flowers and care for the graves. Worth the 5-mile smooth dirt road drive off the highway to see. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes; it’s pretty weedy in places.
    I realized early in day 2 that I’d packed too much in this day, and in Cimerron we decided to spend another night. In Raton, we stayed at the Raton Inn motel. What a wonderful place, truly a hidden gem! It’s ran by a lady who is a retired Sergeant Major (Army). She’s only open in summer and cares for the place herself. It’s clean to Army standards, she’s very friendly, and has free wi-fi and great little breakfast. She’s very “chatty” and immediately makes you feel at ease. Rooms are very comfy. OH! And the room was only $50.00! Highly recommend this place.

    Day 3 continued in next thread (stupid post limits)

  3. #13
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    Day 3 of our 2-day roadtrip:
    We left the Raton Inn after promises to return some day, and took the “scenic route” on Hwy 72 to Capulin Volcano National Monument, instead of the straight shot highway with lots of road construction. Along the way, we went through Johnson’s Mesa and found an awesome 1800s church worth stopping for photos. We also went through the historic town of Folsom. We stopped for photos of the boarded up Folsom Hotel, built in the 1800s. This is a neat little town worth exploring, but by day 3, we were ready to head home, so we didn’t take the time. NEXT TIME!
    o Capulin Volcano National Monument: We drove up a winding road to near the top of the cone, then walked the 1-mile trail around the rim. We looked down in the cone, and from the top we saw Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma! What a great view. We also learned that gnats are the national bug of the volcano, as we reached the top most point and found ourselves covered with them. At least they didn’t bite, but they did drive us crazy!
    Finally, we headed for home! Around lunchtime, we were looking forward to Clayton, where our GPS was taking us to a place called Eklund’s for lunch. We arrived to a historic 3-story hotel/restaurant in another historic downtown in a small town. Sadly, the place was closed for renovations, but a lady walking down the sidewalk told us “they’re opening again in 2 weeks. Would you like to see inside?” HECK YEAH! We responded. She contacted the owners who were working inside (this lady owned the store next door). They let us in and the neighboring lady gave us a tour. AMAZING! Original inlaid wooden fireplaces, chandeliers, the bar, even the safe! We saw the hotel lobby and on the 2nd floor, a couple of rooms. This is a beautiful building with very ornate ceilings. Back in the day, it was the only 4-star hotel between Dallas and Santa Fe! I hope they get enough business to stay open this time – the recession has really hit this small town hard.
    I didn’t realize before that this is the town that Black Jack Ketchum was hanged/beheaded at the (still in use) courthouse.
    Across the street from the Eklund is the LUNA theater! Yes, I took photos – I plan to use it as my new Facebook profile picture.
    Immediately after Clayton, NM took on the “uneventful” landscape that we know as home. A big nothing until we reached our driveway.
    There’s no place like home.

  4. #14
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    May 2011
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    My first photo was from Dawson's Cemetery.

    I'll post the others in a set in my Flickr as days proress. I can't figure out how to post photos here from my Flickr account - it's driving me crazy!

  5. #15
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    May 2006
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    Tulare, CA
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    I enjoyed reading your info about your trip in Northeast New Mexico. Yes, downtown Las Vegas, New Mexico is a neat place to stay and explore. I've criss-crossed that area East of I-25 a few times and it really is a beautiful area to see. Lot's of small farms in the valleys and ranches. New Mexico has lots of charm in all of it's areas. Not to mention the wonderful food.
    Thank you for posting here.

  6. #16
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    Memphis, TN
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    I guess that I'm late, but I've been all over extreme NE New Mexico for years. North of Clayton, is Guy, and Seneca and Moses are along a state highway that goes to Kenton, OK. Mexhoma is not far off the highway, but it's a ghost town in Oklahoma. I've never been to Guy, but Seneca and Moses still have some structures standing. I took some photos back in 2008 but never posted them to my website. This area of New Mexico offers some great landform photography; back in the 1960s, the Oklahoma Geological Society published a field guide outlining several geologic features in the area. Next to the Oklahoma Panhandle, this is my favorite area. j c

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