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Dawson, New Mexico Photo GalleryIMAGES OF THE AMERICAN WEST

Dawson, New Mexico Photographs

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Dawson, New Mexico Company Houses, 1920's



Miner's cottages in Dawson, New Mexico

Dawson Bank, 1922, Myers Collection, NMSU


General Manager's home in Dawson, New Mexico

Dawson Hotel, 1920s, Myers Collection, NMSU



Dawson did not become a ghost town until 1950, when the Phelps Dodge Corporation shut down the mines. At closure, Mine 6 was the largest producer, and several other mines had been previously closed out because of declining demand and mine safety. The closures were also due in large part to the completion of the twenty five year coal contract with the Southern Pacific Railroad. The entire town was sold or razed, with some of the miners' houses moved to other locations. The tall smoke stacks of the coking ovens were eventually demolished in the early 2000s because they represented a liability to the current owner of the property.

Dawson was sold to the National Iron and Metal Company of Phoenix, Arizona, who agreed to dismantle the town. The residents were given 30 days notice, and the entire City of Dawson was razed to the ground. Everything from pencil sharpeners to mine equipment was sold to buyers all over the country. Two men from Albuquerque (Van Roush and Dugan Guest) purchased 400 houses which they sold to be moved or torn down. The coal washer, bought by Harlan County, Kentucky, was dismantled and shipped by rail. The only exception to the sale was the Catholic Church, which was given to the diocese before the town was sold. The church was dismantled and materials sent to different locations. The large department store that cost $250,000 to build was razed at no profit, along with the opera house, hospital and other buildings. All that is left today is the cemetery, the rest of Dawson is scattered in parts throughout the United States.


Continued Next Page



Source:  Family Search Wiki


Compiled and editied by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated May, 2016.




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