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Cimarron, NM Vintage Photographs

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Astec Mill, Cimarron, New Mexico.


Astec Mill, Cimarron, New Mexico, 1936

The Astec Mill in Cimarron, New Mexico was built by Lucien Maxwell and still stands today as a museum.  Photo in 1936, Frederick D. Nichols,.

This image available for photographic prints HERE.


The Aztec Mill in Cimarron, New Mexico, 2006

The Aztec Mill today, Kathy Weiser, June, 2006.

This image available for photographic prints HERE.


Built by Lucien B. Maxwell in 1864, the Aztec Mill's initial purpose was to provide wheat and corn flour for local residents, soldiers at Fort Union, and to the Indian Agency in Cimarron. Capable of grinding 15,000 pounds of wheat per day, the building also served as a supply point for dispensing meat, clothing, blankets, and rations to the Ute and Jicarilla Apaches who were living on a 1200 acre parcel of land nearby. Maxwell was compensated by the federal government for supply both the Indians and the soldiers. Maxwell hired an engineer firm from Boston to design the three-story grist mill, that cost some $48,000 to build.









When gold was discovered on nearby Mt. Baldy in 1867, numerous prospectors flooded the area, and both Maxwell and the Indians suffered as a result. Three years later, Maxwell sold the land grant and moved away. The Indians continued to suffer under the new ownership and in 1875 a small skirmish occurred between the Indians and their agent at the Aztec Mill, in which several people were wounded.The following year the Indian Agency was closed and the Utes and Jicarillos moved to reservations in northwestern New Mexico and Colorado.

Today, the Aztec Mill continues to stand, utilized as the Old Mill MuseumOperated by the Cimarron Historical Society, the museum houses working mill parts, Native American tools, weapons and pottery; Maxwell Land Grant paperwork and documents; antique surgical equipment; place settings and silver from the original St. James Hotel, and more. The museum is located one  block west of the St. James Hotel at 220 W. 17th St., (505) 376-2417, and is open May-September. 


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