Gardiner Mining Camp, Colfax County, New Mexico Genealogy
Location: 3 miles west of Raton
GPS: Latitude: 36.8853 N; Longitude: -104.4825 W.
Elevation: 6,673 feet (2,034 meters)
Map: Interactive Map.
Photos: Gardiner, c.1902; Miners outside the engine room, c.1915; store, c.1915; miners, c.1915; coal washing plant, c.1925; northeast view, c.1939; workers at engine house, c.1915; engine house, c.1974; coke ovens, c.1915; coke ovens c.1974; ruins at coal washing plant, c.1974. Sherman pp.87-90. Coal ovens at a distance: Birds eye view of Gardiner, page 40; Swastika Fuel Company advertisement, p.155;
Post Office: Established 1897, discontinued on 1940.
Coal was discovered in Dillon Canyon about 1881 by James T. Gardiner, geologist for the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1882 the Old Gardiner Mine or Blossburg #4, as it was called, began production. In 1896 the Raton Coal and Coke Company took over operation of the mine, and during the next few years was accompanied by the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Railroad in building a battery of coke ovens and the town of Gardiner started to grow.
In 1905 the Blossburg Mercantile Company, Gardiner Saloon, a Catholic Church a Methodist-Episcopal Church, the Raton Coal and Coke Company, a hospital and a population of about 400 people were residents of Gardiner. The hospital was staffed by: Dr. J.T. Bils, Dr. Hubbard, and several nurses. It was well equipped with an operating room, modern laboratory and the latest xray transformer.
As the community expanded more homes were constructed with concrete blocks and a few were built with adobe. The saloon operated by Joe DiLisio, had a partition built through the center room so that the black and white persons would drink separately, until fights broke out and the partition was smashed.
Auxiliary activities developed: Gardiner Ladies Club, a local Band, Gardiner Reading Circle, soccer, baseball, basketball, teams and a sportman's club. Mr. Van Houten, President of the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Company, always attended the Gardiner graduation ceremonies held at the Raton Country Club, and gave the graduates presents.
During the Great Depression the mines were closed, and the town began to decline. A few families remained during WW II to ship residual coke breeze to smelters throughout the southwest. The machine shop was finally disconnected in 1954. The 300 coke ovens went into ruin.
Today only scattered foundations and deteriorating coke ovens exist.
Family History Links:
1. Anna Marie Browning Gardner, Our Maryland Heritage, Book 12: Browning Families by William Hurley.
3. Lili Fabilli Osborne, biography, The world of who's who of Women. Volume 11 page 309.
5. R. L. Pooler, Anderson V.2 page 699-700.
1. The Leading Facts of New Mexican History, by Emerson Twitchell. Volume 3. pages 84-85. Google Books.
2. Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of New Mexico, by James E. and Barbara Sherman. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 1974.
3. History of New Mexico: Its resources and People by George B. Anderson. Pacific States Publishing Company. Volume 2. Google Books
4. At War with the Wind; The Epic Struggle with Japan by David Sears. Citadel Press, Google Books.
5. The Grant that Maxwell Bought by F. Stanley, page 225-226. Google Books.
6. New Mexico, the land of opportunity: Official data on the Resources by New Mexico Board of Exposition Managers.Swastika Fuel Company by L.C. White, page 40-42. Google Books.
7. Report of the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year 1912, by US Dept. of the Interior. Volume 2 pages 751-754. Google Books
8. Congressional Serial Set, Issue 6223, by the US Government Printing Office. pages 751-763. Record of inspections,page 760. Google Books.