Monday, April 27, 2009

New Mexico Ghost Towns

This last weekend, I went to New Mexico to visit a couple of new places, a couple of places I've been before, and to take a few photographs.

Friday, April 24th, I drove to the ghost town of Lake Valley, which is north of Deming, NM on route 27. This town started when there was a large silver discovery and people came to mine the silver. The silver soon ran out and then they mined manganese. The town has a few old houses, an old gas station, and a schoolhouse that doubled as the town hall. The place is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and there is a caretaker on site. The school house has been restored and is open 10AM to 4 PM Thursday-Monday. I got there about 3 PM and went in to see and photograph the schoolhouse which is the only building you can go inside of, and then spent a couple of hours wandering around photographing buildings, mine workings, water tanks and old cars. Near sunset, I went over to the Lake Valley cemetery and took a few photographs. Here is a photo of the townsite as seen from the cemetery which is on a nearby hill:

I spent that night in the town of Elephant Butte which is a suburb of Truth or Consequences, NM. The next day I took the back roads from TorC down to Las Cruces. This route took me through agricultural areas and to a couple of state parks. It was a pleasant drive. From Las Cruces, I drove to Deming and then up past City of Rocks to the Mimbres valley. I drove up the valley to the Lake Roberts area and then to Silver City.

The next morning I drove down to Lordsburg, NM to take some photos, met and talked to three different folks about the history of Lordsburg and what it is like to live there. Then I drove south of town to the ghost town of Shakespeare where they were having their "living history" day which include re-enactments of shoot-outs and firing a cannon and a number of folks dressed up in period clothes. I photographed various things including a shoot-out that was billed in the newspapers of the time as "Four Dead in Five Minutes". Here is a photo of a guy firing a revolver during the gun fight:

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