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Madrid in Santa Fe County, New Mexico — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Welcome to Madrid on the Turquoise Trail

 
 
Welcome to Madrid on the Turquoise Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, August 24, 2021
1. Welcome to Madrid on the Turquoise Trail Marker
Inscription.  

Welcome to Madrid on the Turquoise Trail

The Town of Madrid was founded in 1869

In the 1800’s, when the Santa Fe Railroad arrived in the area, coal mining began on a large scale.

As many as 1,500 years ago, the first Native American inhabitants mined turquoise and lead deposits in the nearby hills. When the Spaniards first arrived in 1540 they largely ignored the Indians and their turquoise. They were much more interested in excavating the area's large deposits of the valuable minerals of silver and gold.

In the mid-1600's, Spanish conquerors, looking for more silver and gold, forced the local natives to work in the mines until the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Thirteen years later, in 1693, the Spanish Crown reconquered the area establishing farms and ranches in and around the Madrid area.

By 1892 the yield from a narrow valley known as “Coal Gulch” was so large, a 6.5 mile spur from the Santa Fe Railroad was routed into the Madrid canyon to transport the coal.

Madrid mines provided coal to the country through the great depression and through both world wars.

Madrid
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is famous for its Christmas lights

Walt Disney was so impressed by the spectacular Christmas displays in Madrid, it is said he modeled the idea for Disneyland’s Main Street after this small town. Pan American Airlines would reroute air traffic over Madrid at Christmas.

Madrid (MAD-rid) “comes of age”…
At its coal mining peak over 3,000 people lived and worked in Madrid, exceeding the opulation of Albuquerque during that same period. This “company town” provided its residents with most all of their basic needs, including housing, schools, a fully equipped hospital and a company store. As much as 16,000 gallons of water was brought in daily in railroad tank cars. Many local residents still carry in clean drinking water.

Madrid 1900
Coal mining puts Madrid on the map

The rich coal mines upon which Madrid sat, cover some 30 square miles and are connected by a network of tunnels that made up the Lucas & White Ash, the Peacock, and the Cooke mines.

Coal production peaked in 1928, when over 180,000 tons were shipped out of Madrid on coal cars. The town of Madrid collapsed along with the coal market in 1954.

Under the management of the mine boss Oscar Huber, Madrid residents enjoyed paved streets, a hospital, a company store, a cafeteria, schools and unlimited electricity in their homes, from a company owned power plant.
Enjoy the Wonders of the Turquoise Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, August 24, 2021
2. Enjoy the Wonders of the Turquoise Trail Marker
This is the second side of the featured marker.
During prohibition, the company even furnished a place where people could distill illegal liquor. Oscar Huber formed the Employee's Club and arranged regular athletic activities and town parades and events. Miners were required to donate $.50 a month for community causes.

Old Engine #769 on display in the Old Coal Museum, still sits where it ended its last historic journey.
** Visit our historic Coal Mine Museum

After the coal market decline, almost all of its residents moved away and Madrid became a ghost town. We even have our very own ghosts, that are still said to haunt the Mine Shaft Tavern today.

Believe it or not!
… by the early 1970's a number of artists, craftsmen, and other individuals wanting to make their homes in the mountains started moving in and renovating the town. Madrid was reborn as the Artist Community it is today.

“Light it and they will play”
First lit baseball field west of the Mississippi
Coal miners in Madrid form the first baseball team in 1920

Baseball became a vital force in Madrid and the focus of everyday life through the depression and through both World Wars. Madrid’s historic ballpark was the first ballpark this side of the Mississippi to light its field at night.
A contract was signed with New Mexico State for the renovation of our historic ballpark grandstand

America’s
Welcome to Madrid on the Turquoise Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, August 24, 2021
3. Welcome to Madrid on the Turquoise Trail Marker
Byways
Toilets and this visitor Kiosk were constructed by the Madrid Cultural Project Committee under a grant from America’s Scenic Byways. *design concept and engineering by Michael Wright & Cathasha Cabrielle


Enjoy the Wonders of the Turquoise Trail
There’s turquoise, silver, lead, zinc and gold in “them there hills”

Beyond Los Cerrillos is an area known for its razor-back formations called “The Garden of the Gods.” It is also home to the J.W. Eaves Movie Ranch, where more than 100 well known western movies have been filmed since the early 70’s.
Stars include: Harry Fonda, Jimmy Stuart, Director Gene Kelly, John Wayne and more.

Madrid’s rich history, dating from the early 1800’s has taken it from the discovery of coal, to a mining town, to being famous for its beautiful Christmas displays and its lit ball park, up to today’s distinctive artists’ community. Madrid is still categorized as a ghost town even though this small village of about 400 residents thrives during the summer months with shops, restaurants and galleris catering to the many visitors that travel this ancient path.

Los Cerrillos is best known for its beautiful blue-green turquoise mined in the Cerrillos hills dating as early as 900 AD. It is one of the oldest historically documented mining settlements in the United States. Miners in the area supported the
Enjoy the Wonders of the Turquoise Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, August 24, 2021
4. Enjoy the Wonders of the Turquoise Trail Marker
town’s 21 saloons and four hotels. It was once seriously considered for the capitol of New Mexico.
** visit the Cerrillos Turquoise mine tour and museum

The small town of Golden is now almost a ghost town. It began to boom when gold was discovered in 1825 in the surrounding area. Years before the California and Colorado gold rushes, the site of Golden became the first gold rush town west of the Mississippi. San Francisco Catholic Church, built in 1830, is one of the most photographed buildings along the Turquoise Trail.

Sandia Park and Cibola National Forest is where one will find all manner of outdoor activities, from skiing at Sandia Park Ski Area, to hiking, horsebackriding, climbing and more. Visitors can ride the Sandia Park Tramway and visit the Tinkertown Museum, which displays an animated miniature Old West town, along with circus replicas made of hand carved figurines.

Start with .... Tijeras - the gateway to the Turquoise Trail
This bustling mountain community offers a judged arts and crafts market along East Hwy 66 that displays not only the works of some of New Mexico's finest artisans, but also offers live music, in a beautiful outdoor setting.
** visit the Tijeras Pueblo Archaeological Site.

Cedar Crest is the home of the Museum of Archeology and Material Culture, which explores the 12,000 year story of New Mexico's Native
An example of Madrid's Houses image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, August 24, 2021
5. An example of Madrid's Houses
America History. These mountains also boast an archeological continuum of human activities from the end of the last Ice Age through present time.

Places along the historic…Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway
Travel the artful way between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and encounter some of New Mexico’s most unique shops, galleries, museums, historic mining towns and restaurants.

Visit: www.turquoisetrail.org for more information

* Please pick up a color brochure with information about sites of interest to visit, plus the locations of galleries, shops and restaurants, from any of our participating members.
America’s Byways

You are traveling the scenic journey along Hwy 14 from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, once part of the old historic scenic byway Route 66
62 miles of historic adventure
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1869.
 
Location. 35° 24.642′ N, 106° 8.953′ W. Marker is in Madrid, New Mexico, in Santa Fe County. Marker is at the intersection of New Mexico Route 14 and Ice House Road, on the left when traveling east on State Route 14. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cerrillos NM 87010, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Joseph's Church
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(approx. 2.2 miles away); C. Rael's Market (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Joe M. Granito Block (approx. 2.2 miles away); R. Granito's General Store (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Simoni Store (approx. 2.3 miles away); DeLallo-Simoni-Torres Building (approx. 2.3 miles away); Cerrillos through the Years (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Cerrillos Bar (approx. 2.3 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 10, 2021, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. This page has been viewed 265 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 10, 2021, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.

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Apr. 15, 2024