Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ghost town approach

Lisa, at LaughingOrcaRanch has done a fine job of posting our recent road trip around west central New Mexico. You should visit her for a commentary. I am short on time, school!, so I will just post some additional photos.

These first pictures are of the box canyon. Notice how small Lisa and Lynne (my Sis-in-law) look. These are BIG rocks! In this photo there are some people below the cave. They are hard to see.

Here's another cave on the other side. I so want to explore them all!!

I think these guys had the same idea. After all, they were camped out.

See the road in the background? Click on picture for close up.

I love the town of Magdalena. Check out their website for some very interesting information. It makes me want to go back now.

We thought this place looked creepy.
Started in 1909, this large home was designed to accommodate the MacTavish family and their many guests. The five bedrooms and large closets welcomed travelers arriving by train and wagon.
The Queen Anne styled home was finished in 1910 and contained many beautiful furnishings from "back east." One of its features is a coal bin large enough to hold a railcar load of anthracite coal ordered in from Pennsylvania every year.

I really like how they converted the depot into the library.
Magdalena's Village Hall and Library are located in the old Santa Fe Railroad Station building just off Main Street. Restored to its former glory, the building houses Magdalena's Public Library, the Village Government office and a meeting room.
I would have loved to explore this place to see what they actually carried.
Built in 1913 in the Mission Revival Style, this red brick, gable roofed building is in excellent condition. One of its most remarkable features is the hip roof pavilion at the center. In 1916 the building became a part of the large mercantile firm of Charles Ilfeld, one of the largest mercantile companies in New Mexico.
Ilfeld began his career in Las Vegas during the 1870's. He supplied general merchandise at the wholesale level to smaller outlets and at retail level in his store. The business expanded to many towns across the State. Magdalena was a central warehouse serving ranchers and small businesses in southwestern New Mexico and eastern Arizona. Mercantile outlets such Ilfeld's were essential to ranchers because they were allowed to buy supplies against receipts from the sale of cattle and sheep each year.
In 1959 the grocery warehouse division of the Ilfeld Company, including the Magdalena Warehouse, was sold to Kimball Foods. Some years later it was sold to its current owners. The building is on both the State and National Register of Historic Buildings.
I'm a sucker for outdoor art and we seem to find it everywhere! This was near Magdalena's rodeo grounds.
It has been argued by former Mayor Clayton Hust that the first rodeo in the United States was held in Magdalena. Certainly Magdalena was the scene of much rodeo history. People would often travel for days to attend. Many of the old time rodeo performers appeared here: Hugh Strickland, Mable Strickland, Milt Hinkle, Leonard Stroud, Wayne Stroud, Cheyenne Kaiser, Montana Bill, Tex Parker, and Mildred Douglas. There were several quite capable lady bronc and bull riders as well as daredevil men. But in 1912 the real star of the Rodeo was the famous bucking horse "Dun Gon." Dun Gon was next to impossible to ride. He had a strange way of bucking a few jumps, then he would rear up and go into spins. Magdalena match races were gambling events and races were held at the rodeo grounds. Although racing was not big business in Magdalena, plenty of money changed hands.
Lisa thought Rusty and I looked good together. Here is my Sister-in-Law, Lynne.I thought this was very cool with the grass and the barbed wire. We were very hungry by now, so we asked the local Marshall where to eat. This place appeared closed, both the bank and the cafe.Evett's Cafe on the corner of Main Street and First Street (US 60) was once the Bank of Magdalena, operating as the "Territorial and County Depository" from December 7, 1906 to April 21, 1924. Many, many years ago, my husband and I had a fabulous lunch at the Magdalena Cafe. However, it was closed, hopefully, just on Sundays? It seems the only place in town, open on Sundays, is the Ponderosa Cafe, lol. We thought it was interesting how they seemed to stay decorated for all seasons. We also got a kick out of using Saran Wrap for glass to cover some of their artwork. I thought this was a very quaint little place.
I love this little Presbyterian church! Definitely not the same style that we are used to seeing here in New Mexico.
We met the Marshall driving around, but we also found his office, another converted building, it seems.
Then we visited the holding pens. Magdalena was a mining town in the old days. It was also a rootin' tootin' cattle town too. Many cattle and sheep were driven to these pens to be loaded up on trucks and trains for market.
Here's Lisa at the top of one of the cattle chutes. There were even a few horses in the back. Notice the charred post and rails? I don't know how old this bottle is but one can just imagine a thirsty cowboy dropping it before hitting the dance halls.
All italicised words came from the Magdalena website. It is all very interesting and well worth a visit.
I wish we could have known about Mrs. Butterfield's Lying-In Hospital before our trip. We would have taken a photo. I know we saw the old motel.
The hospital is today The Western Motel on Hwy 60. "Grandma Butter" was a legend in her own time. She ran the lying-in hospital with very little help, sometimes working all shifts in one day. Often mothers who had their babies would stay over for a period of weeks to help with patient care and work off their expenses. A hospital room, food, and care cost $5.00 a day. Delivery fees were $25.00.

Jeez, this took so much longer than I expected. I hope ya'll enjoyed the Box Canyon and Magdalena.

Ghost town approach - song: Diamond Dogs, artist: David Bowie, album: Diamond Dogs

9 comments:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks for more photos of NM. Always very interesting.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Way cool!

Did you notice how, with the angle you took at the Ponderosa, the top of the sign blends into the sky and looks like another cloud?!
Neat!

I love your camera...it makes me look thin! hehe
I like that photo you took of me up there. It also shows just how steep those ramps are.

I love that you discovered Magdalena's website and included some of the information about the sights we saw. It really helps bring it all 'home'.

What a great trip!

Oh yes! I can't wait to go back. I bet you've got some ideas for some letterboxes to hide, too!
And don't forget....we have to go back for some pie! lol!

~Lisa

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Funny, I was JUST looking at the Ponderosa sign and the "cowboy cloud" and how it blended into the sky! I wish we had seen that website before our trip.

Lol, you are losing weight, girlfriend!

Notice how we both wore pink?? What does that mean?

Melanie said...

Okay...I want to go on whatever diet Lisa is on...lol!!!!

Your pictures are just as amazing as Lisa's, and I am amazed that you have the time to get so much info in your posts. :)

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Well done, Val. Good pictures and great commentary.

Dan

Tammy said...

Loved the McTavish family house. Would love to tour it! Always have been fond of big old houses!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

NM- I love to share my adventures.

LOR- we had a great time, didn't we? We definitely must go back and check out that Badlands!

Melanie-Thanks, I don't have the time, really, but I do love blogging. I'm actually extremely slow at this, it takes me hours.

Dan & Betty- thanks for visiting. I appreciate your kind words.

Tammy- I'm serious about checking out your Mother's Day ride. Sounds like a LOT of fun.

Jo Castillo said...

Hi, I was looking for Magdalena articles and found your post. Sooooo interesting. I am a native and know all the places. Evett's just recently closed, it was a great place to eat. The Magdalena Cafe has super food but is open only for Breakfast and Lunch and one evening a week for steaks, or at least a few months ago.

We used to go trick or treating and the Spencers had the house then with the turret. They always had a caldron full of candy corn and had the stairs decorated in spooky stuff.

Have visited all the places you mentioned. Most we never thought were novelties until we moved away.

Great post. Thanks.

Jo

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Hi Jo, thanks for visiting! It's really great to hear your stories! We had lots of fun visiting Magdalena!

I'm a semi native of New Mexico and I love our state, especially the old towns.