Baldy, Colfax County, New Mexico, 1900 Settlers
Baldy is about 12 miles northeast of Eagle Nest. A postoffice was established in 1888 and discontinued in 1926. In 1866 a member of the Ute Tribe showed W.H. Kroenig and William H. Moore (stationed at Fort Union) rich copper deposits on Mt. Baldy. Kroenig and Moore staked the Mystic Lode mine. The same year they sent 3 men to do a work assessment on the mine. While camped on Willow Creek, one of them panned for and discovered gold. Although sworn to secrecy, the following Spring followed a stampede that fanned out into every gulch around Baldy Mountain. Nearly every ravine and creek bed west of Baldy Mountain yielded color. Some of the richest included: Grouse Gulch, Humbug, Gulch, Pine Gulch, Anniseta gulch, and Spanish Bar. In 1867, Matew Lynch and Tim Foley discovered gold bearing quartz veins on the east slope of Baldy Mountain, The Aztec Lode. It is said to be the richest discovery of gold in the West.
The strike set off a boom and gave birth to: the short lived Virginia City, and the longer lived Elizabethtown (In 1870, the largest town in New Mexico) and mountain village of Baldy (elev. 10,000 feet).
Baldy was at its peak in the early 1880's. In 1897, Baldy claimed: 200 inhabitants, 12 mines, a public school, a Methodist church, general stores, saloons, a livery stable, 4 stamp mills, a blacksmith, tailor, barber, launderer, justice of the peace, a tlephone line to Springer.
By 1899, three million dollars of gold had been mined in the area. W. P. McIntyre, arived this year, and was convinced that a mother lode, lay deep inside the Mt. Baldy Mountain. He and his brother Alex McIntyre devoted the rest of their lives to digging a tunnel through the mountain, 2,000 feet below the peak. For 36 years two tunnels on opposite sides, ate into the mountain. W.P. McIntyre dies in 1930. Six years later, the tunnels almost met. They were within an inch of each other. They never found the mother lode they were looking for. In 1941, the buildings of the town were razed. Today, the only visible signs are: stone ruins, a chimney, mill foundations, mine tailing dumps, and a smelter slag pile. The site is part of the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch.
Source: 1900 US Census; Enumeration District 32. Precinct 2, Baldy, Colfax County, New Mexico. 15 June 1900
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