“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Lake Valley in Sierra County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Lake Valley

National Back Country Byway


—From Riches to Ruins —

Lake Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
By Wyndfire, July 3, 2016
1. Lake Valley Marker
Inscription. Why is it called Lake Valley? The town was originally located north of here, and during the 1870's derived its name from nearby relic lake beds. At that time it was just a small stage stop. That location was flooded, and the small settlement was moved about a mile to the southwest. It was moved again in 1882 to the present location after the discovery of an amazingly large and pure silver ore body. The deposit was christened the "Bridal Chamber" because of the sparkle from its crystal encrusted walls.

Lake Valley during the 1880's and early 1890's had a population up to 4,000 people, over a dozen saloons and newspapers, general stores, businesses, and hotels. After the bust of 1893, it became a virtual ghost town. Then, in 1895, the Main Street business district burned.

An influenza epidemic in 1918 dealt a further blow, only to be followed by the Great Depression of the 1930's. As part of the nation's Work Projects, a road, now abandoned, was built from Lake Valley due east to the Rio Grande River. Beginning in the 1920's, and as recently as the 1950's, manganese, an ingredient necessary to make high quality steel, was mined at Lake Valley.
Location. 32° 42.899′ N, 107° 34.049′ W. Marker is near Lake Valley, New Mexico, in Sierra
Lake Valley ghost town image. Click for full size.
By Wyndfire, July 3, 2016
2. Lake Valley ghost town
County. Marker is on Highway 27, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hillsboro NM 88042, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 18 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mormon Battalion Historical Marker (approx. 4.4 miles away); Ebin (Eben) Stanley (approx. 14 miles away); Percha Creek (approx. 14.1 miles away); James McNally (approx. 15.9 miles away); Emory Pass (approx. 17.8 miles away).
Regarding Lake Valley. Remains of Lake Valley are owned by the BLM, and are open to public tours. Days and hours vary by season. There is a cemetery for the town across the highway.
Categories. Notable Places
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Wyndfire of Phoenix, Arizona. This page has been viewed 137 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Wyndfire of Phoenix, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 5, 2016.
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