Monday, November 19, 2012

Ghost Town

Last summer we took a ride up to Lake Valley, located in Sierra County. There were no lakes to be seen, of course - this is New Mexico and water is pretty much a rarity. The valley was apparently named for ancient lake beds long gone.

Such big empty spaces

It was a beautiful wide open space, appearing pretty empty to the casual eye. There were few signs of people, other than the couple of cars we passed along the road and the ever-present stock fences. We saw a roadrunner (our state bird) and a few distant cattle. When we stopped the car, the only sound was the breeze through the grass; all else was hot and still.

It hasn't always been that way. Back in the late 1800s a huge silver deposit was found at one end of the valley. There are stories told that the silver was so pure that it could be loaded from the mine into railroad cars and taken straight to the mint with no need of smelting.

Enlarge this photo to read a bit of town history


Old safe

Sign creaking in the wind
 All that's left now is a ghost town, with just a few buildings still standing, but there were once 4,000 people living in Lake Valley. Saloons, churches (way more saloons than churches), a school, stores, a hotel, and houses once stood here. With not a single tourist in sight, you are free to sit in the shade and imagine what it might have been like in its heyday.

If you would like to read more about the ghost town, you can check out these links, or just google "Lake Valley, NM ghost town:"

- A page from the New Mexico Ghost Towns website: 

- Bureau of Land Management site, gives directions and information for visitors: 

- Official Bureau of Land Management Brochure, with some historical photos: 


Sylvia K said...

Oh, I love to find places like this and discover the history etc. I find it really fascinating! What a great post for the day, Clairz! Now, I'll go check out the site! Always good to see your post online!! Hope you have a great week!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Kind of makes me want to cry -- all those hopes and dreams just gone. I guess that's what happens to everybody, but these remains just point it out so graphically.

A neat place to explore...and definitely a part of NM we didn't see.

charlotte g said...

That was salutory. thank you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. When I had mountains to look at, somehow it was sp easy.

Kate said...

You covered this historical town very well with your photos, and it must have been great fun visiting it, May you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving Day!

Joyful said...

It looks like a great place to spend some time and take photos.