lake valley nm ghost town+

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Jan 22, 2008
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elmer, nj
On one of the days my stepfather was going to be harvesting pecans all day,
my mother decided to take me on a trip up through central-ish New Mexico.
We went through some very wide-open land with very few people, but one
very rich in mining history. Up beyond the tiny town of Nutt (not far from
Hatch, NM ;) ) was an old silver mining town now empty called Lake Valley.
Lake Valley once had several silver mines, and was the site of some of
the richest single strikes of silver in the United States, if not the world. in the
1870's and following years, Lake Valley produced around 2.5 million dollars of
pure horn silver, so pure it didn't need to be smelted (imagine that...). One
nugget brought $7,000, and the claim owners soon sold their claim for
$100,000. Lake Valley is now a ghost town that has been refinished and is a
park open to the public. There is a visitor's center and a full-time live-in
volunteer watching and taking care of the grounds. We were told that there
still are over 200 ore claims in the hills behind the park, and that during ww2
there was a manganese mine used for creating munitions just behind the
park; the tailings pile can still be seen behind the park/near the road

(history of the area can be viewed here )

there are some very long pictures below!


a very nice yucca posing in front of one of the very large buttes on the way to nutt, nm


cooke's peak


this is what is left of the refurbished lake valley silver mining community, now
taken care of by the bureau of land management. to the upper left you can see a
pile of rubble that are tailings from an old ww2 manganese munitions mine


very interesting land formations beyond lake valley



as we were heading 'down' out of the hills, this wide panorama opened up. I
wanted to stop earlier in an even more scenic spot, but the very winding road had
no shoulder to pull off onto, and sure enough there was a truck behind us... this view
looks down into the rio grande valley and the lakes region of that area. the air is
hazier down in the valley because there is actual moisture and humidity there!


elephant butte state park is the most visited state park in new mexico, because it
is a large reservoir where you can swim, boat and park your rv's (if you're lucky)
right next to the water. at the time of this visit, the water was quite low. I have to
say that it was very odd seeing this much water after having gotten used to seeing none
in the middle of the desert. back a few miles between the two lakes along the rio
grande river, I actually saw an adult and immature bald eagle, something rare to see
in a desert unless you have a large body of water nearby


marina at elephant butte state park
Great photos! I love the one with the yucca. My husband and I plant to visit New Mexico one of these days, hopefully soon. Very cool landscapes. :clap:
Can't imagine living in that small mining town when it was new. Its so barren and desolate there, I'd be scared.
These are really very nice pics Charles, esp. the 1. one (even if I am not a fervent of 'portrait' landscapes :)) !!!! Jean
thanks! I wish I had a 'real' wide-angle lens, would make a big difference.

one thing you have to remember about the ghost town is that what is preserved is just what was left to preserve. during it's heyday, there would have been quite a few buildings and of course many many camps around where people had their private claims. the other thing to realize is that yes this is in a remote part of new mexico even now, and back then any source of civilization would have been smaller and more distant than they are now.

for instance, if the volunteers who live at the lake valley park (in an rv, under a sun cover complete with all hookups for the rv), if they want to go to the grocery store, the closest one is back at deming which I think my mother was telling me at the time is at least 30 miles away. only other way to make that trip shorter was if you had made arrangements with someone who owned a ranch partway there to pick up supplies when they went to town, so your trip would be shorter. no quickie marts anywhere in between
So what camera were you using? Are these still from the "cheap" digital camera but with a higher resolution?
So what camera were you using? Are these still from the "cheap" digital camera but with a higher resolution?

the rock hunting, ghost town and bosque thread pictures are from my canon eos 30d. I have pictures up in wyoming still that I used the little camera but at higher resolution plus a few up there using the 30d. (still have more pictures in new mexico using the canon) will be interesting to compare the little(high res) and big camera pictures online from up north when I get to editing them

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