So, another thing I got to do with my granddaughters was visit the old mining (and ghost) town of Madrid, NM. With a population of about 400, Madrid has become an amazing artists’ community. It is located on New Mexico State Hwy 14 (The Turquoise Trail) on the northeast side of the Sandia Mountains. It’s a pretty drive from Albuquerque. The shops showcase everything from recycled art, folk art, and steampunk to pottery, jewelry, and Victorian clothing. The Cerrillos Hills State Park is close by for hiking and horseback riding, if you’re so inclined.
So, here we go – Did You Know
· Although the town was founded in 1869, it didn’t thrive until the 1880’s when coal mining began on a large scale.
· You pronounce the town’s name as MADrid (not MaDRID like in Spain)
· In the early 1900’s the Albuquerque and Cerrillos Coal Company created a “company town” that supported about 3000 people. It provided the residents with everything they needed including bringing in 160,000 gallons water every day.
· By 1954, the coal market collapsed and the residents moved away. The Wall Street Journal listed the entire town for sale for $250,000. (about $3.5 million today’s dollars)
· In the early 1970’s, the then owner, Joe Huber, began to sell or rent some of the old houses and buildings to artists, craftsmen and mountain living people.
· It’s said Madrid and the surrounding area is haunted with numerous ghost sighting reported in homes, the church, the cemetery, and the Mine Shaft Tavern. Very cool – I might need to rent a room there some time.
It’s a nice little village to visit. But be aware – there is not a single gas station – none, nada, zip. The closest one is 10 miles further on. And, no grocery or convenience store. There are a couple of nice places to eat, a tavern, interesting shops, and unusual arty things. Just have to know what’s important!
Yes, I was taken by the odd things.