Monday, June 24, 2013

New Mexico (Ghost Towns)

Like Nevada, New Mexico may have more ghost towns than real ones.  Why is that?  In a word, mining.  You can get the full scoop on that – and more – at the Nevada ghost town blog

There is, though, one thing that I really didn’t cover there.  And that’s – not the creation of ghost towns – but their preservation.  And that is due, in a word (or two), to the desert.  It’s probably no coincidence that a humid, sticky state like my own North Carolina doesn’t have a whole lot of these places. 

Now, there is one other thing that undoubtedly plays a role in preservation, and that‘s the remoteness of many of these mining towns.  Think about it.  There’s no real rhyme or reason where a deposit of gold, or silver, or copper, or whatever is going to be.  There’s no rule that says it has to be next to existing centers of population, rivers, railroads, highways, fertile farmland, or anything else that might encourage human habitation.  And – when the game is up and the townsfolk leave – that remoteness, in turn, keeps the town safe from things like vandals and scavengers and recyclers.

Okay, enough with all that theorizing.  Let’s look at some crazily named New Mexico ghost towns …


  • Plateau – became Kermit (see below)
  • Hill
  • Highway
  • Center
  • Center Point

Yup, it’s a highway.
Yup, it’s in New Mexico.
(Thanks, Google Images!)

Short & sweet

  • Abo – Actually an ancient Indian pueblo.  But, heck, that’s a ghost town too, ain’t it?
  • Arch
  • Cone
  • Lon
  • Nobe

Cool old postcard
(And can you imagine letting someone climb 
around on the ruins like that in this day and age?)

Just a little out of place

  • Salt Lake
  • Sacramento City
  • Alcatraz - Spanish for "pelican"
  • Oklahoma
  • Kentucky Valley
  • Pittsburg
  • Mt. Vernon
  • Richmond
  • Virginia City
  • England

Hmm, something tells me
this may not be the right Alcatraz

Just slightly off color

  • Heck
  • Assiter – sounds like somebody lost an “l”
  • Anal – I’ll spare you any Google Images results for this one

Orthographically challenged

  • Teel
  • Sublette – actually a surname
  • Ahmigo – yup, it’s Gringo for “amigo”

Sublette is now a siding on the
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Unconventional verbs

  • Need
  • Ogle
  • Spindle – nothing on Fold or Mutilate, I’m afraid
  • Tingle
  • Fondle – sorry, I totally made that one up

Thanks, Google Images!
(search = "ogle nm")

Atypical adjectives

  • Brilliant – now part of Ted Turner’s ranch
  • Bland
  • Meek

Bland, in its prime

Abnormal nouns

  • Telegraph
  • Sulphur
  • Pyramid
  • Painter
  • Beauty
  • Cameo
  • Sunnyside
  • Star
  • Midnight
  • Blackdom – settled by African-Americans
  • Baldy – now part of Philmont Boy Scout Camp
  • Riddle
  • Swamp
  • Swastika – now part of Ted Turner’s ranch

Real estate bubbles
have a long history in the US

Fun to say

  • Airolo
  • Slagle
  • Hurlburt

Just plain weird

  • Towner
  • Tartop
  • Adams Diggings
  • Chance City
  • High Lonesome
  • Royal John

Why do “slim chance” and “fat
chance” mean the same thing?
(Chance City, NM)

Pure irony

  • Fertile Valley – it was not
  • Lucky – it was not
  • Paradise Plains - I guess they weren't

I’d like to introduce you to

  • Henry
  • Sherman
  • Felix
  • Leon
  • Leopold
  • Kermit – became Plateau (see above)
  • Waldo – we found him!
  • Juan Tafoya – nothing on Michele, unfortunately
  • Shakespeare 

The Bard would be proud

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