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Elizabethtown, New Mexico - Page 3

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Elizabethtown, New Mexico 1943

Elizabethtown, John Collier, 1943.

This image available for photographic prints &  editorial  downloads HERE!


At one time Elizabethtown boasted 7,000 people.  Now, its few remaining buildings look silently over the beautiful Moreno Valley, hanging on to its memories.




At about the same time, the owner of the dredge mortgaged Eleanor to get money to finance a similar venture in Colorado. Unfortunately, the next year was unprofitable for Eleanor, and the owner ended up having to take bankruptcy. The dredging operation finally died in 1905 and Eleanor was left to rust and sink into the sands of Moreno Creek. The buried remains of Eleanor remain there but no trace of her can be seen now.


By 1917, E-town's lifeblood was nearly drained. The mines no longer produced profits and the town folk had moved away, abandoning their homes, as no one wanted to buy them. Investors fell into bankruptcy and even the staunchest old timers left. Now and then, a few people would drift back in hopes of recovering something, but the new veins struck didn't assay enough to mine and ship the ore.


Alice Bullock took a teaching post in Elizabethtown in the 1920's, teaching in a one room classroom of the old school, where she was also responsible for cleaning, chopping wood and all other duties at the school. There were no books for the eight pupils, all members of two families, but her position only lasted a little over a month when the Red Bandana Mine was re-opened and hired the fathers of her pupils. The families moved, and her job ended. She was the last teacher in E-Town.   The Moreno Valley produced five million dollars in gold in 75 years - most of it in the first 40 years. In 1956, the old schoolhouse was sold for salvage. Curious people continued to frequent the site and unfortunately, a camper set a fire in the old Mutz Hotel, which further destroyed its remains, though its stone skeleton still stands. Vandals destroyed the Catholic Church and many of the other remaining remnants.


Today, there is very little left of this once prosperous town. The stone ruins of the Old Mutz Hotel, which long dominated the slope above NM Highway 38 north of Eagle Nest, have now been reduced to just a few low walls and a scattering of stones. However, Froelick's Store still stands, the church  has been rebuilt, and there is small museum and a few other scattered buildings on the property.


Elizabethtown is slowly being restored by one of the E-Town descendents, where a museum has been established just up the road from the hotel ruins. The museum currently features numerous artifacts found on the property, pictures and documents portraying E-Town history, and features an informative videotape in a small "theatre" that has been established. The Elizabethtown Cemetery is just about a mile up the road from the ruins and looks out upon the beautiful valley.


The museum also includes a gift shop and old Elizabethtown features events during the year. The museum is solely supported by donations, which can be made when visiting the site.


Elizabeth town is 4.8 miles north of Eagle Nest on NM 38, turn left (west) on B-20, a dirt road, then 0.3 miles to buildings from turnoff.



  Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated March, 2017.




Also See:


Black Jack Ketchum

Clay Allison


Maxwell Land Grant


The Mutz Hotel in Elizabethtown, New Mexico in 1943.

Mutz Hotel by John Collier, 1943.

This image available for photographic prints &  editorial  downloads HERE!



Elizabethtown Slideshow:



All images available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.



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