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Chloride, New Mexico - Page 2

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Like other mining booms throughout the West, Chloride’s life would be a short one. By 1893, the ore deposits were starting to play out and when, in 1896, the monetary standard was changed to gold, it spelled a death knell for the town. Silver prices plummeted, mines shut down and people left town. By the turn of the century, the city boasted only about 125 residents.

Over the years, the mining district produced about $500,000 in silver and other ores. Mining continues in the area for Zeolite, a mineral utilized in agricultural products, water and air filtration, and numerous other consumer products.

Today, Chloride is a ghost towner’s dream with about 27 of its original buildings still standing, including the Pioneer Store, which now serves as an excellent museum.


Its historic main street is lined with false front structures, as well as adobe buildings, some restored and some suffering the effects of time. There are two cemeteries in Chloride which can be viewed.  The 200 year-old oak "Hangin' Tree" tree still stands in the middle of Wall Street.


Pioneer Store Museum, Chloride, New Mexico

The Pioneer Store now serves as a museum,  Kathy Weiser, February, 2008. This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!


Though officially a "ghost town,” the town is occupied by about 20 residents, many of whom are decedents of the original founders.

Though all of the buildings in this historic town our quite interesting the Pioneer Store Museum is the highlight of the visit. The museum, situated in the original 1880 log building, features original store fixtures, pre-1900 merchandise, photographs, town documents and numerous artifacts from early mining activities. The Pioneer Store was built by a Canadian by the name of James Dalglish, who operated the store until 1897. Afterward he leased it to individuals who continued store operations until 1908. At that time, it was sold to the U.S. Treasury Mining Company, who utilized it as a commissary for their employees.


In 1923, the owners closed the store, boarding up the windows and doors, and left all the furnishings and merchandise inside. For almost seven decades the store remained untouched, as bats and rats made their home of it. Finally, the building was sold in 1989, but it would take many years before it was fully refurbished to the state it is today. The Pioneer Store as well as the adjacent Monte Cristo Saloon are listed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties.


Chloride also provides Walking Tour brochures, a rest area, and RV Park for visitors.


To get to Chloride from Truth or Consequences, travel north on I-25 to Exit 83, then left on NM-181, left again on NM-52 and follow signs to Winston. Turn left in Winston at Chloride Road and travel southwest to Chloride.



© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated July, 2012



Contact Information:


Chloride and the Pioneer Store Museum

HC 30, Box 134
Winston, New Mexico 87943




Doodle Dum Building, Chloride, New Mexico

This structure was built by Austin Crawford in 1921. An original inhabitant of Chloride since 1880, this was actually the second stone house that Crawford built, this one to protect its inhabitants from large hailstones which Crawford believed would one day rain down in a display of God's wrath. David Alexander, February, 2008. This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!


Grafton Cabin, Chloride, New Mexico

The Grafton Cabin, a two-story log building, and was originally built in a mining camp called Grafton, situated about ten miles northwest of Winston. Kathy Weiser, February, 2008. This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!


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