Saturday, February 20, 2016

Trip to Chloride

Bob and I drove to the ghost town of Chloride, NM today. It was a pretty drive, with some road signs like this:
When you see that kind of a sign you know you are in for a twisty road. And we were. But along with twisty roads we were treated to beautiful scenery.
It was 45 miles to Chloride, and I loved seeing the changing topography. After about an hour's drive we arrived and drove down the town's main street.  

Right in the middle of town is the "hanging tree." With a sign in front declaring the tree as "Chloride National Forest."
We started out by visiting the Pioneer Store Museum, and were given a tour by Linda, the daughter of the owners, and one of 11 town residents (not counting the ghosts.)

Chloride was founded in by Harry Pye, who discovered silver ore and was sure he was on the road to riches. Unfortunately, Pye was killed by Mimbres Apaches in 1879, within just a few months of moving to the area. In its heyday, Chloride boasted 9 saloons, a general store, a dry goods store, millinery shop, a restaurant, a butcher shop, a candy store, a town physician, a barber, a pharmacy, a Chinese laundry, a photography studio, a school, a brothel, a newspaper, and two hotels. Unfortunately, the Silver Panic of 1893 and a rapid decline in silver prices resulted in the town's demise.

While browsing through the museum I came upon this interesting object.  Any ideas what it was used for? See the end of this post for the answer**.
Next we saw the Grafton Cabin, which was was built in the mining town of Grafton, NM in the late 1870s, moved to Las Cruces in 1976 as a part of the Las Cruces Museum system until 2006, when it was moved to Chloride. The inside features a really neat fireplace.
The Chloride Bank is now the Chloride Bank Cafe, and before we headed for home we popped in for a piece of pie and a cold drink.
We really enjoyed our trip into the past, and were glad we made the journey to this fascinating old town. I think Harry Pye would be glad that his town continues in this form.

**Give up? The mystery object is a device used to encourage cows to wean their calves. It fits into the nostrils of the calf and when the young 'un tries to nurse, the spikes jab poor mama in a very painful manner, typically resulting in a kick. This apparently is very effective in teaching the calf not to try and nurse.


  1. Replies
    1. I did ask at the museum, but the curator had no knowledge of the town's weaving history. I agree--very sad.