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Dawson, New Mexico Photo GalleryIMAGES OF THE AMERICAN WEST

Dawson, New Mexico Photographs

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Dawson, New Mexico Cemetery



Dawson New Mexico Cemetery

Dawson Cemetery, September, 2008, Kathy Weiser

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!



Dawson New Mexico Memorial

Dawson Cemetery, September, 2008, Kathy Weiser

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!



Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the old Dawson, New Mexico Cemetery holds not only the remains of the many men and women who lived in this now empty coal camp, but also hundreds of white crosses commemorating the town’s many mining disasters. Coal mines were first developed here in 1901 and really began to be developed after Phelps Dodge bought the property in 1906, developing a company town and many businesses for the some 9,000 people that called Dawson home. Quickly, it became a mecca for miners from all over the world with immigrants arriving from Italy, China, Poland, Germany, Greece, Britain, Finland, Sweden, and Mexico.


But, from the beginning, Dawson was stepped in tragedies. The first mining disaster occurred on September 14, 1903 when fire broke out in the No. 1 Mine, followed by several explosions. With the grace of God, 500 miners escaped. The men worked for a week to control the fire and when it was over three were dead. Unfortunately, this was just a "prediction” of what was yet to come.




Tragedy came to Dawson again on October 22, 1913 when Stag Canyon Mine No. 2 was rocked with an explosion that shook homes as far as two miles away. In the end, only 23 of the 286 men working in the mine were found alive. Almost ten years later, the doomed town would suffer another disaster on February 8, 1923 when yet another mine exploded, killing 121 men.

Today, the cemetery is dotted with some 383 white crosses that were killed in the explosions of 1913 and 1923. Numerous other graves in the cemetery display old tombstones showing a variety of nationalities. Unfortunately, there are yet more graves that are unmarked.

For years, the cemetery was forgotten until it was finally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Today, it is kept up by members of the Dawson Reunion which takes place every two years. A memorial at the site lists all those that were laid to rest here.



Continued Next Page


© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated May, 2016.


Read About Dawson, New Mexico



Dawson, New Mexico Cemetery

Many of the graves at the Dawson Cemetery are unkempt and unfortunately probably don't have anyone to remember them.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!


Tombstone in Dawson, New Mexico

Many immigrants worked at the Dawson Mines. Kathy Weiser, September, 2008.

This image available for photographic prints  and downloads HERE!



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