Monday, November 10, 2014

Deming New Mexico

November 7-8, 2014:

Twinkles and I took separate routes to get to Deming, New Mexico today.  This is strange, but works for us as long as our phone service works so we can communicate from time to time.  She elected to take route 187 to I-25 to Hatch where she stopped to buy a couple of chili ristras, then route 26 to Deming, New Mexico. 

Hatch claims to be the Chili capital of the US

I took I-25 to route 251 to the living ghost town of Hillsboro, took a quick tour of it, then took route 27 across vast open ranch lands to the real ghost town of Lake Valley, toured it and then took route 26 to Deming. 
Lake Valley is managed by the BLM who have a visitors center and a museum.  Silver was found at Lake Valley in 1878, but the big strike was in 1882 when the "Bridal Chamber" was discovered.  The Silver in the Bridal Chamber was the purest ever found, no smelting was required, it was shipped directly to the US Mint.  As a result, the town grew to 4,000 residents at its peak, but it was short lived.  There are several buildings still standing, more or less, and the BLM is stabilizing them at present.

Welcome to Hillsboro

Hillsboro was a gold mining town that fared better
than most others in the area.  Looks almost like a
normal town at present

One of the better Lake Valley houses 

Bridal Chamber sign at Lake Valley

Lake View mine shaft view
Only a wall is left standing
Lake Valley school building was maintained
and is in nice condition, visitors center
is also in school building

1936 Plymouth resting at Lake Valley

We joined up again at the "Little Vineyard RV Park" in Deming, New Mexico.  We have a full hookup site here, cable TV, WiFi and a very nice indoor pool, hot tub and it is convenient to everything.  Deming has lots of RV parks, which are lined up along Pine Street where we are and appears to be a winter haven for snowbirds due to it's mild climate.

We took a ride downtown to look around, there is a small historic area, but half the shops were closed or vacant.  Deming seems to be a fairly distressed area, but photogenic with several interesting old buildings.  In it's heyday Deming was a very happening town. It is only 35 miles to Mexico now, but before the Gadsden purchase of 1853 it was actually on the Mexican border.

Deming was and still is a big railroad town.
The second transcontinental railroad joining
the Southern Pacific and the Atchinson, Topeka
& Santa Fe was joined here with a Silver Spike.

One of the best old buildings in town

Deming had some of the best historical signs
on buildings, very well done

There are several old buildings left, this one was
painted beautifully

Mural in Deming on another classic building

Everyone has told us to be sure to visit the "Luna Mimbres Museum" when in Deming. So, we checked it out and it lived up to the all the hype.  It is located in the old Armory building which was latter turned into a USO center and then into the Museum.  It is another amazingly dedicated all volunteer organization.  They have so much stuff to see it's mind boggling !

Remember Howdy Doody ?

The story of the rug was great

Largest collection of Mimbres Indian pottery
in New Mexico

Great designs !

Mimbres People

This is a mirror with an incredible history

Many historical saddles as well

Liked the verse

This is about a third of the collection of
cut and polished rocks and minerals mostly
from one mans collection

Deming emblem

Classic American LaFrance fire truck

An early REO car

Local product label

Good information in their collection of hand fans

Pearl's will be remembered for her amazing collection of Buttonhooks,
What is a buttonhook ?

There are three state parks nearby, we chose to go to Rockhound State Park for a short rock hunting hike.  It is a beautiful park on the western slope of the Little Florida Mountains with great views, lots of cactus and of course lots of rocks.  The park brochure lists slica, quartz crystals, chalcedony, agate, opal, jasper, thunder eggs and geodes which can be found there and you are allowed to take a few away with you. They also have an RV park for future reference which looks decent.

The Thunder Egg Trail

Trail view looking back into valley

Trail view in opposite direction

In the valley near Deming we passed a very
scenic Cotton field view
That's all for Deming, our next stop is Silver City, New Mexico.

Twinkles and Slick    

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