Chloride, New Mexico with Colorado Traveling Ducks

We are in Chloride, New Mexico.

Welcome to Chloride, New Mexico

With our arrival the population increased almost 25%.   Just adding me, Zeb the Duck, Soapy Smith Duck, and mom.   In 1881 Chloride had 3,000 people, 8 saloons, three mercantile stores, two butcher shops, 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.   The Pioneer Stage Line came into town, a post office was established and a newspaper was started.   And some brothels.   This was an active and rowdy silver mining town.   But when the mining ended, most people left.   Now it is a living ghost town with a permanent population of 13 humans.   About 27 original buildings are still here.

Native rock building

This native rock house, built with a steep pitched roof, has been able to survive severe hail storms.   This building was used for 30 years as Cassie Hobbs “doodle dum” or workshop.   It is now on New Mexico’s Register of Historic Places.  I, Zeb the Duck, would be happy to live in that native rock house.   It’s really pretty from the outside.   Check out this large adobe building.

Adobe building

Originally  Judge Edwin Holmes’ law office, later the post office, a barber shop, a church and dance hall and feed storage.   But in 1914 it was a Harley-Davidson dealership.   Now it is a wood working shop.   Quite a history for one adobe building.   And another native stone building.

Native rock building

This was originally a chicken coop.  Then used as a residence and a temporary schoolhouse.  Some old-timers reported a working “still” in the basement during the 1930’s.  Before we left Truth or Consequences, we were given a great map of Chloride.   That is where we learned about the buildings and much of the history of Chloride.   Here is a tree in the road.

Hanging tree

The sign, with us sitting on top, says Chloride National Forest.   But our map calls it the “hanging tree.”  Really?   Well, maybe not.  There is no record of anyone actually being hanged there, but miners and cowboys who had over indulged in the local saloons were tied to the tree to sober up.   Actually we ducks think that is a rather clever idea.   This building, close to the hanging tree, was one of Chloride’s early saloons.

Saloon

Then became the post office until 1957 when the post office closed.   It is now private property and the building is being remodeled by its owners.  The name of the town, Chloride, was named for the type of silver ore that was found there.  Now the name makes sense to us.  The Monte Cristo Saloon and dance hall was also a popular place during the silver mining days.

Monte Cristo Saloon

Later the building was used as a schoolhouse and as local headquarters for various mining companies.   This building is also on New Mexico’s Register of Historic Buildings.   It is now a gift shop and gallery.  Chloride had a general store from 1880-1923.

Pioneer Store Museum

In 1923, the owners covered the windows and locked the door, closing the Pioneer Store.   In 1998, under new owners, the store was cleaned and reopened.   All the original merchandise from 1923 was still on the shelves.   We visited with the daughter of the people who purchased and reopened the store.   It is now an interesting museum.

Inside Pioneer Store Museum

She allowed us to take a photo inside.   This is a fascinating museum to wander through.   So many things that are nearly 100 years old.   Left just like they were in 1923.   If you are in Chloride, don’t miss this museum.   Chloride is 40 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, on the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway, so it is an easy day trip.  The residents of Chloride often visit Truth or Consequences to purchase groceries and other items.   Chloride feels like we were in a real silver mining town.   We think you would enjoy a few hours there.

Northern Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway, New Mexico with Colorado Traveling Ducks

Leaving Truth or Consequences for the day, we drove through desert and mountains.

Desert at Truth or Consequences

The city is surrounded by desert.   This is a picnic pull off about a mile out of town.   Continuing, we knew when we arrived at Truth or Consequences Airport.

Sign for airport

There was also a small sign, but we loved the retired Air Force jet as a marker.  We are driving the northern part of the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway.   We will see living ghost towns.   These are towns that came into existence when silver mining in the area was profitable.   When the mines shut down, most people moved.  However, each of these towns still exist and each town has a small number of permanent residents.   Shortly we arrived at Cuchillo, previously called Cuchillo Negro.  The town was named for an Apache chief.

San Ignacio Catholic Church in Cuchillo, New Mexico

We really liked this church.  San Ignacio Catholic Church was first built in 1867.  Catholic Mass is still held here every Sunday.  The name, Cuchillo Negro, means Black Knife.   The same name as a nearby creek.   According to US Census, sometime between 1900 and 1910 the name was shortened to Cuchillo.   We enjoyed seeing these deer.

Deer

They watched us as we lowered the car window and took photos, but they did not run.   We quickly left to allow them to enjoy their time grazing.  The next town is Winston.

Winston General Store

In the late 1800’s silver was mined here.   Winston grew as a town for families, a change from a more rowdy town a few miles away.   We will tell you about that town next time.   We went into the General Store.   They really have everything.   Groceries, tools, souvenirs, beautiful turquoise and silver jewelry.   And delicious chili dogs.

Delicious chili dog

Everything is in crock pots and you make what you want.   Enjoying a warm, sunny day, we decided to eat outside.   Food was delicious and the nice weather was just what we wanted.   Let’s drive around town a little.

Winston post office

A cute small post office.  The population is estimated at only 61 full time residents.   Frank A. Winston, was a prominent resident in the early days.   The town was originally named Fairview in 1881.   But when Frank Winston died in 1929, the town was renamed for him.   A lady at a Tourist Information office told me Frank went to Europe and saw some metal work he liked.   He bought the metal work, had it shipped to New Mexico, and built a Carriage House to fit the metal.

Carriage house

The Carriage House is still standing and it is very nice.  It is nice to see good workmanship still being used now.

New Mexico desert landscape

The New Mexico desert in this area is nice to see for a change, but we think it would be very difficult to live here all the time.  But we love to visit.   Next time we will show another living ghost town.

Copala, Mexico with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider are in Copala, Mexico.   This small mountain village has 650 full time residents.   Copala also has one of the prettiest churches of any Mexican village.   This church was begun in 1748 and completed in 1775.

Church in Copala, Mexico

Church in Copala, Mexico

Let’s go inside.

This church is about 350 years old.

This church is about 350 years old.

We really like this church.   Jesus on the cross is a vivid reminder of the Christian religion.

Jesus died for us

Jesus died for us

This depiction of Jesus with a crown of thorns is also an emotional reminder.

Wearing a crown of thorns

Wearing a crown of thorns

Outside the church, we liked this waterless fountain with the white goose.

Pretty

Pretty

Copala was founded in 1565 when the Spanish discovered silver.   That was 450 years ago!   The economy of Copala is based on tourism, mining and agriculture.   Copala is also a National Historic Landmark in Mexico.   Across from the church in the main plaza, we saw this pretty gazebo.

We ducks like gazebos

We ducks like gazebos

Of course, we ducks liked these chickens.

Ducks and chickens

Ducks and chickens

Today we saw these kids playing.

Riding a horse

Riding a horse

Sadly, silver shop was closed today.

Mom always buys something in silver shops

Mom always buys something in silver shops

We thought the mural on this building was very pretty.

We like this mural

We like this mural

Copala is about 50 kilometers from the beaches of Mazatlan.   We liked this little town and we think you would like it also.   When you are in Mazatlan, why not visit Copala?

Heritage Museum and Gallery in Leadville, Colorado

While in Leadville, Colorado, Soapy Smith Duck and Zeb the Duck visited the Heritage Museum and Gallery.

A great museum

A great museum

We thought this would be a quick trip, but there is so much in this museum.  Remember Leadville was a successful mining town.  Before entering the museum, we saw all this mining equipment.  This is a side dumping ore car.

Side dumping ore cart

Side dumping ore car

This gravity stamp mill helped crush ore.

Difficult to bring this to Leadville

Difficult to bring this to Leadville

Here is a shaker-concentrating table.

Shaking makes sense

Shaking makes sense

Shaft Cages served as elevators to raise and lower men and materials in and out of mine shafts.

So necessary for mining

So necessary for mining

There is so much mining equipment, education and history in the yard of the museum.  You should see this stuff!

When we went inside we learned much about the silver mining in Leadville.  Remember last time you learned that gold was discovered in 1860 and silver was discovered in 1874.  By 1880 Leadville was one of the greatest silver camps in the world, producing $15,000,000 in minerals per year. Two successful mines, the Robert E. Lee and Little Pittsburg had a contest.  Which mine would produce the most silver in a 24-hour period.  Look at the results!

This is fantastic!

This is fantastic!

Another area of the museum was like a house.  This Cycloid Grand Piano (named for rounded sides) was previously owned by Baby Doe Tabor.

The Tabors were very important in Leadville

The Tabors were very important in Leadville

The Rocky Mountains are beautiful, but were also very important defending our way of life.  During World War II Germany had a highly trained elite mountain division.  The United States created the 10th Mountain Division.

Soldiers trained here

Soldiers trained here

These soldiers trained at Camp Hale northwest of Leadville.

Mountain training

Mountain training

This division is credited with help the war end earlier than previously expected.

We are so proud of these soldiers

We are so proud of these soldiers

Leadville is a fascinating city and this museum is wonderful.   For more information about this museum, visit www.leadvilleheritagemuseum.com   We hope you visit soon.