Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Visiting the town of Chloride NM

Visiting a Wild West Ghost Town

In the previous blog, we showed you the road to Chloride NM. It is our favorite ghost town so far! It is worth the 35 or so mile drive from I-25 in NM. You will be on Highway 52 once you leave the interstate. 52 is well maintained and an amazingly beautiful stretch of road. Chloride is at the end of the paved road.

Before I start with the photographs, I want to give you some of the history of Chloride as told by Raymond Schmidt (1897-1996). He moved to Chloride in 1905 and lived there until 1991. He knew the history and the flavor of his town, he is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Chloride.
"Chloride got its start in the late 1870's by accident. Harry Pye found some "float" that looked promising. He had the rocks assayed and found out they were rich in chloride of silver.  With 2 companions, he returned to Chloride Canyon and staked a claim. Within months the Pye party was attacked by Indians and Pye was killed.
Word got out that there was a rich silver strike, and by 1880 miners had flocked in and a tent city sprang up.
By 1881, Chloride had 8 saloons, 3 mercantile stores, a hotel, boarding houses, an assay office, livery stables, a candy store, a drug store, a law office, a Chinese laundry and a millinery store.
In 1881, the Pioneer Stage Line ran into Chloride and the U.S. government established a post office. In 1882, a newspaper called "The Black Range" (named for the mountain range) was established by Mr. Beckett. It is reported that the new city had at least one, and probably more, brothels. The population grew to about 3,000 during it's heyday. Because of the scarcity of women in the toen, the "city fathers" offered a free building site to single women who chose Chloride as a place to live.
Chloride started it's decline in the mid-1890's when the U.S. government chose gold as the monetary standard.  Silver mining towns all over the west began an immediate decline because the price of silver dropped so low it wasn't worth hauling out."

This is the Hanging Tree, the first thing you see when you come to town. It is across from the old saloon. For most of these images, I used infra-red filters to give a "ghostly" feel to the town!

Hanging Tree

One of the stone fences of the area

The nicest front yard!

Skull (deer?) hanging from a tree

One of Chloride's earliest saloons.
It was a Post Office until 1957 when it closed.

This building was the only bank. Built of native stone, it has been restored with adobe bricks made on site. It has hopes of becoming a restaurant.

This large log building is the wonderful Pioneer Store!
1880-1923. This building has been placed on the state of NM Register of Historic Buildings.  I did a blog about it last year, if you would like to see more of the Pioneer Store, click here:  http://phunnyfarm.blogspot.com/2009/11/ghost-towm-of-chloride-nm.html

This large adobe building was built as the Monte Cristo Saloon. It was also used as a school house and various mining companies used the building as headquarters. Also on Historic Register. It is now an art gallery and gift shop.

There is a great little campground in Chloride.
the MotherShip felt right at home here! Campground is behind the Museum and Monte Christo. Only 5 camp sites, all with full hook-ups for $20 per night.

Chuck and his friend Jim sitting outside the Monte Christo Gallery. I look like a ghost between their 2 faces!

Looking under the sign, you see the town and the Hanging Tree. The tree is almost the same size as photographs of ot taken at the turn of the century!

The logs used to build the museum were huge, at least 10-12 inches wide!

This flower is the NM version of Bird of Paradise!

This old cabin has been recently purchased and renovations started.

This is the Joe Pye Cabin. It has been totally restored.

The old saloon in color, as it looks today.

This is Dona Edmund. She and her husband Don are responsible for most of the restoration taking place in Chloride.

This is the interior of the Joe Pye cabin. It is fully restored, although not back to the original, it is much more beautiful and comfey than the original interior.
They used sliding barn door style for the bedroom because the cabin is so small, no room for standard swinging doors.

One of the two bedrooms.

I love the bathroom sink !!!

Mrs. Edmund, Jim and Chuck, in the livingroom of the Joe Pye cabin.

The bedroom door to the front bedroom are like saloon doors.

The front door

I have never seen a satellite dish on an outhouse!

One of the older buildings showung rock work

You can click on this photo (or any of the photos here) and make it larger and read the roadside sign about Chloride.

Detail of one of the old wrought iron fences made with a portable forge in the early 1900's.

The fence connecting the museum and
The Monte Cristo.

Chuck walking past the old bank.

This is the Cassie Hobbs stone house and workshop. She called it her ""DoodleDum" house.

This is another view of the old bank.

This is the fence and back porch to the Joe Pye cabin.
I hope ya'll enjoyed this trip to Chloride NM as much as Chuck and I did. We love it there! Make sure you put Chloride NM on your "bucket list" for sure!

We love you all! Keep in touch with us!
Reporting from the MotherShip:
Geri Chuck and the Hound Herd
Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, enjoyed looking at them so much, we are going to Chloride in October, already booked the cabin!


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