Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ghost town of Chloride NM

This is one of the hardest blogs I have tried to put together thus far! When we first went to visit Chloride, we had Maho (our Japanese work exchange student and friend) along. Somehow, I got away without bringing my camera! Imagine that! Mid-October Chuck's friend and former neighbor, Jim, came to visit us from California. We took him to Chloride! (And my camera too!) We absolutely have fallen in love with this quaint little town, formerly known as a rowdy silver mining town from the late 1900's to the mid 1920's. Currently Chloride has 10 residents. So it's not quite a ghost town. I ended up taking 180 photographs! The hard part was choosing the few I could post here without boring you to death! a husband and wife team came here from cold country to retire out of the snow belt, Don and Donna. Their daughter, Linda joined them later. Together they have bought up several of the old buildings around town and started restoring them! The Monte Christo has become the gift shop and art gallery They tried for several years to contact the owner of the general store. Finally locating a relative they bought the general store. It had been opened up in the 1870's as a supply store for the silver miners. Later it was sold to the mining company and finally closed and boarded up in 1922. When Don and Donna finally pulled away the boards over the windows and doors, they found a fully intact 1922 general store! Fully stocked shelves complete with resident bats and an accumulation of years of bat guano! It took several years to clear all the bat poop out but they tried to put everything back the way they found it! They now present it as a museum and we would like to share it with all of you!

The town of Chloride under the museum sign. To the right is the old bank and further down the street is the saloon on the left. Chloride became so wild and wooley that people moved away and formed the town of Winston, about 6 miles away.

Above is the full view of the general store museum.

You can click onto these photos (above and below) to get the history of the town and of the general store in a readable size.

Below is a pair of ladies shoes/boots, complete with button hook!

Below is the guest book with my signature, along with Maho's and Chuck's on Sept 20th 2009.

One month later, we were there with Jim!

Below, you can see how well the old hand hewn logs fit in together to create the general store.
Even the old wrought-iron fence was totally forged by hand!

Thomas Edison was good friends of the original owner of the general store. Edison visited Chloride several times, once bringing his friend one of his new magic lamps! One of Edison's original light bulbs resides in Chloride instead of the Smithsonian!

Below is an original dynamite blaster! Useful tool if you are a silver miner!

Unfortunately, death came too often. Here is a child's coffin made in nearby Winston in 1919.

A wall full of tools to select from. Everything from well pulleys to oxen yokes to drill bits!

Axes of all kinds, shapes and sizes! Adjustable wrenches, pliers and tools I don't recognise!

Unfortunately, this tool I do recognise.... a washing machine! I prefer my modern version!

More well pulleys!

A view from the front of the store looking back.

A travelling forge. A man supported his family of 8 by travelling between Texas and New Mexico repairing old tools and making new ones.

The essayer was also a chemist... he had to determine the purity of the silver and gold and below you see some of his tools.

Cassie Hobbs is one of the icons of Chloride. She never had a single day of schoolin' yet she was one of the most creative people I have heard about in a very long time! She made everything by hand. If she didn't know how to make it, she'd work at it until she figured it out! Below you see a
dress she made and embroidered, a doll, a lace purse with gloves and shoes to match! Lace shoes in Chloride no less! Cassie Hobbs made the beautiful stool the doll sits on, the embroidered wall hanging in the background. Everything you see in this photograph, Cassie made!

More of Cassie's handiwork! She was primarily known as a furniture maker. Below you can see an outdoor table and chair she made for a child. On the table is a rasp and behind the table and chair is an axe and a saw.... the 3 tools she used in her furniture making. Also on the table is a sun hat that looked like a combination of weaving and macrame, it was beautiful! Also, another of Cassie's dolls.


A collection of children's toys found not only as new in the store, but used ones that got played with found in and around Chloride. The model ship is still new in the box!

Some fancy ladies hats, shoes and blouses on display.

Fully stocked store shelves awaited discovery when the boards were finally pulled off the windows and doors! Cans of coffee, tins of corned beef, kayo syrup and tins of spices.

The front of the pioneer store just recently added a new porch to make it look like the original store in the old photographs.

Sitting in front of the Monte Christo (now a gift shop and art gallery) is Jim Sanchez, visiting from California and my sweetie Chuck. A couple of Chloride hombres for sure!

That is a visit to just the general store!

If you want to see more of Chloride, you will just have to go yourself what wonders await! It is a beautiful drive less than 40 miles from Truth or Consequences NM and well worth your time. I will try to add more later. We are currently in Texas waiting to Tropical Storm Ida to get out of the way so we can get home to Florida and to get our wedding on the road! Ya'll keep smilin' and keep in touch!

Happy Trails!
Geri and Chuck


  1. what can I say about this blog I was searching for Ladies Shoes and IO came into this blog but I like it

  2. My great grandmother and her family lived in Chloride in the 1800's. I have found her writings of the time and just Googled Chloride on the Map to survey the topography. Found your photographs and cried. Thank You.

    1. Jim, you really should plan a visit to this fascinating corner of NM! Well worth your time! Glad you found this blog entry interesting!

  3. I am glad you found this blog and liked Chloride as much as we did!

  4. Followed a link to this blog from Life's Little Adventures, and I'm glad I did. Very interesting post. I enjoyed your photos and narrative about Chloride.


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