Colfax County, New Mexico, Place Names

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ABBOTT. Also Called New Abbott. Town on NM 56/412 and intersection with state road 39, 19 miles east of Springer, near Abbott Lake. named for Horace C Abbott, who became the first postmaster. Post Office 1881-1963. In 1936 a number of the settlers moved to a location called "The Forks", at the junction of NM 58 and 39. Abbott formerly called Sauz. Map

ABEYTA and VASQUEZ LUMBER MILLs - One, 4 miles from Catskill. Process 15,000 feet of lumber daily. The second shortly up the creek, about 12 miles from Catskill, p.211.

ABREU. Former settlement on the Rayado River, 20 miles west of Springer. Named for Jesus Gil Abreu who married Petrita Beaubien on October 26, 1859 and  acquired 20,000 acres from her father for his ranch. The family sold the ranch in 1911 after his death. Waite Phillips bought it in the 1920's and donated 35,857 acres to the now Philmont Scout Ranch. Ghosttowns map, Abreu Canyon map, Abreu cemetery map, Old Abreu Camp map, New Abreu Camp map.

ADAMS LAKE. A small lake covering about 2 acres of land near Cassel Rock and Ash Mountain. Named for a prominent family of the vicinity. Map

AGUA FRIA. "agua fria" Spanish for "cold water". A small community between Taos and Eagle Nest, at the junction of US64 and state road 434. Post Office 1924-1934. Map 1, Map 2

AGUA FRIA PEAK - Altitude 11,000 feet. near the village of Agua Fria. The Agua Fria Rito rises near Agua Fria Mountain and forms Cieneguilla Creek to empty into Eagle Nest Lake. Map

AHOGADERA - According To William Kelleher's book on the Maxwell Land Grant (p.90), there was a sheep herder who ran 800 or 900 into a stream and the sheep drowned. The place was called ahogadera spanish for drowning place. The people who later settled there did not like the name, met with Judge Bransford who called it "San Francisco".  See San Francisco Mesa. The Colorado Circuit Court documents dated January 25,1886, p126, of US vs Maxwell Land Grant, mention Ahogadera in discerning the boundaries of Chicorica Mesa "the northern part is known as 'the Raton' ' the Ahogadera' or 'San Francisco mesa'; yet it is clear that the last two names are later than the date of the land grant."

ALMA - Spanish for soul.The post office was established in 1888 to 1926. Near the barren top of Baldy Mountain. Area was known for easy picking placer gold deposits. Many mines spring up about 1866. See BALDY. Ghostowns.
AMERICAN CREEK - Flows into Cieneguilla Creek in the Moreno Valley south of Eagle Nest. Map ; Cow Camp map.

ANGEL FIRE -  7 miles north of Black Lake; 15 miles south of Eagle Nest off US 64; 27 miles east of Taos. A recreation area, resort.  Village web  siteBackground,  Map

ANTELOPE MESA - West of Cimarron, south of 64. Map
APACHE - Post Office1877-1882; mail to Chico Springs. Apache Creek (stream) map; Apache Peak (summit) map; Apache Springs Camp (locale) map.

ARCH REDD CANYON - A valley with an elevation of 7,848 feet. The 1900 US Census shows Arch Redd living in Catskill with his wife and one of his two sons. Map , satellite view,

ARMS - Post Office 1879-1880. First postmaster, Henry M. Arms.
ASH MOUNTAIN -  3 miles east of Taos County line on the Rito Leandro, in the Maxwell Land Grant. Map

AURORA - 6 miles north of Ocate, also known as Martinez. Post Office 1902 to 1921.

AZTEC MINE - Owned by Lucien Maxwell. Gold discovered in 1866. During the first four years, this mine produced $1 million in gold. Map, Aztec Extension Mine Map.

BALDY, BALDY MOUNTAIN - Peak is so named because of the absence of timber on the rocky summits. Settlement 5 miles northeast of Elizabethtown. Post Office also known as Alma, 1888-1926. In 1897 Baldy had 200 inhabitants, a school, church, 12 mines, 4 stamp mills, a telephone line, blacksmith, barber, justice of the peace, store, stable, and many saloons. A little rubble remains. The 10,098 acres including the summit donated to Philmont Scout Ranch by Norton Clapp.  Wikipedia, Photos, Ghostowns, Map, p10, photos p11; p.216-7;  

BARELA MESA - On north boundary of Colfax county. Named for Don Casimiro Barela, born in 1847 (Mora, NM) a prominent lawyer and Senator, of Trinidad, Colorado., in the 1890's. He served in the Colorado Senate for 32 years. He was unanimously elected interim President of the Senate. He actively pursued helping  The New Mexico Territory and energetically participated toward its statehood.  Map

BARTLETT MESA - North of Raton at the Colorado state line. Named for Charles Bartlett, an Illinois surgeon, and the  founder of the Bartlett Estate in Vermejo Park in 1906. Map
BEAR LAKE - There are two in Colfax County: 1. West of Eagle Nest Lake. 2. East of Black Lake, southeast of Angel Fire, northwest of Ocate and Halls Peak, in the Cimarron Range. Map

BEAVER CREEK - Flows into the upper Rayado River in the southwest corner of Colfax County. Map

BELL - On state road 72, 16 miles east of Raton, and 11 miles sooutheast of Yankee., on Johnson Mesa.  Settled by a group of dissatisfied miners from Blossburg, who went to Johnson Mesa to farm. Named for Marion Bell, leader of the miner and railroad settlers. Once boasted five schools. Remains are some deserted farm buildings, a cemetery, and a church. There was a general exodus in 1918 due to a flu epidemic, severe winters, and difficult conditions. First postmaster, Alonso S Bell. Post Office, 1891-1933. Map, Best Ghost Towns p.57,  

BEN THOMPSON CANYON - Perhaps named for the famous gunslinger and gambler, Ben Thompson, known to have spent time in this area. Map

BIG DITCH - A system of flumes that brought water to Elizabethtown from the Red River, 41 miles away. Although the Big ditch cost $200,000 to build, it resulted in $2 million in gold. Also known as he Elizabethtown ditch. page 67.  


BLACK HILL - There are 2: 1.North of Chico and Farley, off state road 193 and county road A8. Map 2. South of Chico and est of Farley off state road 193 and point of Rocks Road and county road c-51.Map


BLACK LAKE - In the southwestern corner of Colfax County. Named because, when viewed from a distance, dense timber surrounding the water makes it look black instead of blue. First inhabitants here were Don Jose Maria mares and his wife, Dona Jenara Trujillo, in 1886. Years earlier, in 1857, Jose Maria Mares had been captured by indians while he and his brother were with a hunting party. They were taken to Taos, where they were sold to Don Juan Mares, who adopted them and brought them up as his own children. Post Office 1903-1927. Map
BLACK MESA - 8 miles southeast of Raton. Distinguished by interesting carvings on the west side. Map ; ARROYO map

BLACK MOUNTAIN -  There are 2 in Colfax County Map 1, Map 2,

BLIND CANYON - At the head of the Vermejo River; extends east from Caliente Canyon. Cowboys called it "blind" because it has but one entrance. There are 2 in Colfax County. Map 1, Map 2, The second one appears at the Vermejo.

BLOSSBURG - 5 miles up Dillon Creek, northwest of Raton. Settled about 1881 as the first coal mining town in the area, by a Colonel Savage from Blossburg, Pennsylvania, and named it for his home town. It is 2.2 miles north of the Gardiner Coal Camp and .8 miles south of Swastika, and Brilliant is 1.3 miles away. The population peaked to about 1000.There was no town doctor, so the first town phone was a connection between the Smith store and Dr. James Shuler. In 1894 there was an explosion (5 killed, 3 injured), a few months later there was a strike, and the mine closed. As Blossburg faded, the camp at Brilliant emerged. There is now little left at the site, it is part Ted Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch. Post Office, 1881 to 1905. Ghosttowns, Map, Best Ghost Towns p.52-4, p16,

BLOSSER CREEK, GAP, MESA - Flows into Eagle Tail Creek, which empties  into Hebron Reservoir. Creek flows through the gap about 15 miles southeast of Raton, in Tinaja Mountain. This opening through the mountain range was named for a man by the name of George Blosser, who had been evicted from his ranch by the Maxwell Land Grant Co., and who used the gap to run cattle through to the pinon country south of the mountains where the grazing was good. Map, Mesa Map,

BOGGSTOWN - A squatter village, and some boxcar homes in the northern part in what is now Raton. The Maxwell Land Grant Company had to issue evictions.

BONITA CREEK - Spanish for 'beautiful" . Runs through Bonita Canyon in western Colfax county. Map. Cow Camp map.

BOX CANYON - 30 miles southwest of Raton; 3 miles north of Dawson. The name, in general, applies to a canyon closed at the far end, or so narrow as to make traffic through it difficult or impossible, that is, a man is boxed in. Map

BRACKETT - Settlement in the far northeastern part of the county, near the union county line and the Colorado state line. North of Osha. The 1912 Business Directory shows Bracket post office to be located 12 miles southeast of Dorsey on the AT&SF Railway as the shipping point and 20 miles northwest of Maxwell as the banking point. The Governor's letter ot the Department of Interior, shows that JP Brackett was the Probate Clerk for Colfax County in 1893-1900, and a County Commissioner in 1904. Post Office 1910-1917. Ghosttowns map.

BRILLIANT - Former coal mining community that came to life in 1905 as Blossburg faded. Like Gardiner, Brilliant was a St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and pacific Company town, on AT&SF RR, 6 miles northwest of Raton. In 1907 it had a population of 350, supported a telephone company, school, several hotels, mercantile stores, a sheriff and a doctor. In 1919, Swastika, owned by the same company, became a sister community. In 1935 the Swastika post office was renamed Brilliant. Post Office, 1906-1935 and 1940-1964. Very little remains today, it is part of Ted Turner's property see Vermejo Park Ranch. Ghostowns, Map. Best Ghost Towns p.52-55, p.212;


BRILLIANT CANYON -  is the more popular name for Dillon Canyon. In the past there have been reunions of former residents of the Brilliant Canyon communities organized by Loretta Moore and Zita Yaksich. See DILLON CANYON.

BRILLIANT CREEK - The country club area on the west side of Raton, drains into Brilliant Creek.

BUCKHORN MESA - North of 64, southeast of Throttle Resevoir, east of county road A40. Map

BUENA VISTA - A squatter village and some boxcar homes on the eastside in what is now Raton.  As the tents and boxcars faded, it settled down to become Ratons Great White and Red Way. A dance hall was put up and the proprietors honored themselves as private deputy sheriffs. In 1881, The Santa Fe Railroad acquired more land, the people were advised that the land they squatted would now be part of the Raton townsite. The Maxwell Land Grant Company plotted the east side of town and issued evictions.

BUFFALO HEAD - High point of rock north of Folsom; named for its resemblance to the head of a buffalo. Map


CABRESTO CREEK CANYON - Local spanish for "rope, halter, lead ox". Runs into Red River northeast of Questa.  Cabresto Peak is in Taos County is east of Questa.

CABRESTO LAKE -  4 miles southwest of Baldy Mountain. Map

CALIENTE CANYON, CREEK - Spanish for "hot". At the head of Vermejo River, 12 miles north of Dawson. Map

CANADIAN RIVER also called RED RIVER - Name originating from the Caddo Indian word "kanohatino" meaning red; or the Spanish word "Canada" meaning ravine or gulch. River starts in northern New Mexico, Colfax County, to form the Mora-Harding County line of separation, then turns east through San Miguel and Quay counties, until it goes across Texas into Oklahoma, where it is known as Beaver River. Finally it joins the Arkansas, and becomes the Red River of Louisiana. An 1828 map shows it as the "Canadiano Rio". Spanish land titles call it "Rio Rojo" "Rio Colorado" or Red River, see map. While trying to find the origin of the river in 1806, Zebulon Pike was arrested and deported by Spanish authorities. photos and map

CANN CREEK - Small stream entering the Ponil Creek.


CARESSO CREEK - Flows southeast into the Cimarron River east of Springer.

CARISBROOK or  CARRIS BROOK - AT&SF RR stop in Sugarite Canyon. Post Office 1907-1908; mail to Raton. Map.


CASSEL ROCK - Near the Colfax - Taos County line

CATALPA - A large flowering shade tree with large heart shaped leaves and large white flowers, sometimes known as Indian Bean Tree. Settlement on the dry Cimarron River, about 8 miles downstream from Madison. Abandoned trading point. Post Office, 1882-1884; later mail to Madison.

CATSKILL - Former lumber and charcoal producing community on Little Red River, 30 miles northwest of Raton. Originally settled in August 1890 by a group of lumbermen under company management of H.G. Frankenburger. The Union Pacific Railroad built a spur from Trinidad, Colorado, and C.F.Meek, the railroad's general manager , is said to have named the town because the scenery resembled the Catskill Mountains near his home town in New York. As the timber resources failed, the railroad pulled up its tracks in 1902. Peak population was 2,500. The town had: 4 hotels, a church, recreation hall, dance hall, ball  park, horse race course, 22 piece band, and an orchestra.By 1916, Catskill was a ghost town. Now a tourist attraction, only reached with 4-wheel drive. There are 24 perfectly preserved redbrick charcoal ovens. The road is padlocked. Post Office 1890-1905. Map ;p.211-212;  Ghostowns, Best Ghost Towns p.51-52, photos,

CEDAR CANYON MESA - Wes of Capulin, south of 64, north of 193. Map

CEDAR HILLS - At the mouth of Cerrososo Canyon. Map

CERRITO GATO - Spanish for little cat hill. Map

CERROSOSO CREEK - "Cerro" is spanish for "hill or peak". Crosses US 64, 3 miles east of Cimarron. Map

CHASE CANYON - 6 miles north of Cimarron, named for M.M.Chase, a pioneer settler in the canyon. Map            

CHASE RANCH - Map; p.65-66;

CHICO - Means "small" in Spanish, but it is also the nickname for the Spanish name "Francisco". In New Mexico "chico" is also identified with dried green corn. The town is 12 miles north of Abbott and 22 miles east of Maxwell. Sen. Stephen Dorsey lived here for a time. (See Dorsey) Post Office 1895-1956. Formerly known as CHICO SPRINGS - 1877-1895. Map

CHICO CREEK - Rises near Chico, and flows into the Canadian River.  Map

CHICO HILLS - Roughly, in the area between Chico and Abbott. Map

CHICORICO also called SUGARITE - The word is a version of "achicorio" which refers to a wild native endive or chicory. However, Calvin Jones testified in litigation over the Maxwell Land Grant that the creek, mesa, and canyon known by the word "chicarica" were named by the Comanches for the great quantity of birds which lived in the pine timber there. The Comanche word for bird, he testified, was "rico" and the word for "spotted" was "choco". The Spanish words "chico rico" mean "rich little fellow" The Anglo transposition of the words was "Sugarite". Map

CHICORICO/A CREEK - Named first. Rises near Colorado state line and flows down the canyon into Raton Creek, then into a stream called Una de Gato (Cat's Claw in Spanish), and finally joins the Canadian Red River. The Creek is now called the Sugarite River. In Sugarite Canyon the river flows through Lake Maloya and Lake Alice. Lake Maloya is the reservoir from which the city of Raton gets its water supply. As the Sugarite River flows into Raton, it runs by Sugarite Street. Map 1, Map 2,  East Fork Chicorica Creek Map

CHICARICA MESA - is now called BARELA MESA see Barela Mesa. Chicarica Mesa is seperated from the Raton Mesa by Manco Burro Pass. Map

CHICORICO CANYON  or SUGARITE CANYON - is 2 miles south of Lake Maloya. Map

CHICO SPRINGS - Chico is spanish for small. Settlement. Post Office 1877-1895;  later changed to CHICO. Map ; photo;

CHICOSO - Settlement. Post Office 1876-1877. Map


CHIMNEY CANYON - Runs east from Caliente Canyon which branches from Vermejo River Canyon 10 miles north of Dawson.Map;  West ForkMap, East Fork Map

CIENEGUILLA - Spanish for bog or "little marsh or marshy place". Cieneguilla Creek Map ; Cieneguilla Mountain Map

CIMARRON - Spanish word describing a wild or unruly person or untamed animal, or runaway slave. Applied in New Mexico to the wild bighorn sheep of the Rocky Mountains. Fray Angelico Chavez pointed out that the wild red plum which grew abundantly along the northeastern rivers of New Mexico was called "ciruela cimarrona". Thence, the word specifies a place once inhabited by wild sheep and wild plums. Both wild horses and cattle were later known as cimarrones. It is a town on US  64, 38 miles southwest of Raton. Settled in 1841 by the  Beaubien Miranda Land Grant. In the  1860's and 1870's Cimarron was the principal stopping place for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail going to Taos. Cowboys, both lawless and law abiding, made it their hangout. Buffalo Bill organized his Wild West show here. The first postmaster was Lucien B Maxwell. Post Office 1861 to present day. CC Website, Background, p.66-70; Historic District,MapPhotos.

CIMARRON CANYON - West of the town of Cimarron. May have been named earleir than the town. Cimarron Canyon State Park is 3 miles miles east of Eagle Nest and west of the town of Cimarron, and in the Colin Neblett Wildlife area. Map

CIMARRON CREEK, RIVER - Flows from Eagle Nest Lake, through the Cimarron Canyon east then south tothe south of Springer (60 miles or  97 km) to form a tributary of the Canadian Red River. In the Cimarron canyon it forms the famous Palisades of the Cimarron. It is the southwesternmost major tributary flowing into the Mississippi River. It is shown as "Semerone" on an 1828 map and also known as Le Flecha. Map 1, Map 2,


CIMARRONCITA CREEK - Flows into the Cimarron River. Map


CLEAR CREEK - Rises near Clear Mountain and flows north to the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon. The waters of Clear Creek prompted its naming, as they are fed by snows and run deep through a heavily wooded section. Map

CLEAR CREEK MOUNTAIN - In the northeast part of Colfax County.

CLIFTON, CLIFTON HOUSE - 6 miles south of Raton on the Canadian Red River. Built in 1867 by Tom Stockton, a rancher, as headquarters for cattle roundups. During the 1870's and  1880's, it was leased for a station of the Barlow-Sanderson Stage Line, which added a blacksmith shop and stables. With the arrival of the AT&SF RR in 1879, the stage was discontinued, and so was the Clifton House. Nothing remains of the site, but the graveyard, with its boardmarkers. Post Office 1869 to 1879. Map , p.101p.203, p.205-6; photo p.246, photo,;  Ghostowns; Historical Marker map; Clifton Hills - map.

COAL CANYON -  The Maxwell Land Grant of 1889 shows two canyons with this name, one extending west from Dillon Canyon near the Swastika Coal Camp, the other extending southwest from the mouth of the Canadian Red River Canyon. Map 1, Map 2, Map 3, Map 4,

COLEMAN - A community started in 1885 in the Maxwell Land Grant, when many war weary Southerners were seeking new homes in northeastern New Mexico. Coleman was the name of people living near Elkins in the 1870's. Map

COLEMAN CANYON CREEK - At the head of the Vermejo River Canyon, near the ghost town of Elkins. Coleman Canyon Map, Coleman Creek Map

COLFAX - On US 64, 13 miles northeast of Cimarron, 28 miles southwest of Raton, 5 miles south of Dawson, and on a branch of the AT&SF RR. Named for at the time Vice President of the US, Schuyler Colfax. Created in 1869, and enjoyed its peak of prosperity in the 1890's, during a mining boom at Dawson. In its day it was situated in the heart of rich farming land and on two railroad lines. It had: a school, church, hotel, store, and gas station. Post Office 1908 to 1933. The Great Depression, sealed the fate of the town, when gasoline prices forced people to give up driving. Map , Ghostowns, Photos, Best Ghost Towns p.45-6; p.217-8;

COLFAX COUNTY- Created on January 25, 1869, and named for Schuyler Colfax, Vice President of the US, 1869-1873. At this time the county extended from Taos County to the Texas - Oklahoma line, and included the larger part of the Maxwell Land Grant.Map


COLMOR - On US 85 and AT&SF RR, 11 miles south of Springer. The railroad came through on July 4 1879, and Colmor came into existance ten years later. First settlement was in February, 1887. Name came from joining the first three letters each of Colfax and Mora Counties, whose edges the town touches. The remains include 12 intact houses, school, gas station, and train depot. Post Office 1887 to present.  Map . Ghostowns, Photos,

COMANCHE CREEK - Waters of this creek originate in the north end of the Moreno Valley, flow into Moreno Creek, and then go into Eagle Nest Lake. It was a marauding spot for Comanche Indians and therefore named for them. Map 1, Map 2

COSTILLA PARK - Costilla in spanish means "rib". It is 6 miles west of Van Bremer Park. 


COTTONWOOD - This tree grows commonly along waterways, in spanish it is "alamo". Former small town 10 miles north of Dawson, on Cottonwood Creek in Cottonwood Canyon.  Map

COTTONWOOD CANYON - 4 miles south of Raton and south of the mouth of Canadian Red River Canyon.  There is also a second COTTONWOOD CANYON -15  miles north of Dawson and east of the Vermejo River Canyon.  There are 4: Map 1, Map 2, Map 3, Map 4,

COTTONWOOD CREEK - former settlement in the Maxwell Land Grant , now deserted.  Map

COW CAMPS - See: American Creek Cow Camp, Bonito Cow Camp, Cottonwood Cow Camp, Garcia Cow Camp, La Grulla Cow Camp, Martinez Cow Camp, Sweetwater Cow Camp.

COYOTE CREEK -  Upper Coyote Creek Dam, Map ;  Also Little Coyote Creek

COYOTE MESA - Between Cimarron and Rayado, east of 21 south of Deer Run Road. Map

CROW CANYON - Southeast of Koehler, off county road a45, northwest of Koehler Lake. Map

CROW CREEK - Flows from mountains past Koehler into Canadian Red River, west of Eagle Tail Mountain. Named for the vast quantity of crows that flew over the country. They built nests in the cottonwoods on the streams, and the early American settlers used poison to cut down their numbers. Map Creek flows across Crow Creek Flats. See Raton Creek.

CS RANCH - 130,000 acres, part of the Maxwell Land Grant. Established by Frank Springer (and his brother) and currently managed by Les Davis, his grandson, and his family.  Operated since 1873. Map  Cattle co website

CUESTA DEL OSHA PEAK -  Spanish "hill or peak of the Osha plant". On the Colfax and Taos County border, 5 miles southeast of Tienditas. Named for the osha plant which grows abundantly here. Osha has a stem which tastes like celery, and the root is used for medicine. Peak in Taos County, Map; Historic post office in Colfax county, Map.

CUNICO - On NM 193, 30 miles southeast of Raton. Post Office 1927 to 1942. See KIOWA Map 1, Map 2,

CUNNINGHAM - Settlement 15 miles southeast of Raton on the old Maxwell Land Grant, northeast of Clifton House. Named for Dr. J. M. Cunningham of Las Vegas, who was one of the New Mexicans who left the state just to ride in on the first train of the AT&SF RR in 1879. In 1901, he was involved in litigation centering around land grant suits with Charles Springer as defendant. p.212-213;

CUNNINGHAM BUTTE - 9 miles southeast of Raton. 

CURTIS CREEK - Flows across Crow Creek Flats from mountains to Canadian Red River, almost paralleling Crow Creek, 2 or 3  miles to the south. Named for old "Dad" Curtis, pioneer, who started the Curtis Ranch.Map  Curtis Canyon, Map

DAWSON - Off US 64, 14 miles northeast of Cimarron,27 miles southwest of Raton. The locked gate is 4.5 miles from the highway. The cemetery is open to the public is .2 miles from the locked gate around to the right. Named for two brothers, John Barliley and L.S.Dawson, who settled on the Vermejo River in 1867. JB Dawson, purchased the land from the Maxwell Land Grant, started to develop  the coal mine which after 1901 was made  productive by the Phelps Dodge Corporation, and the SP RR. The community owned by Phelps Dodge, boasted: schools, a hospital, a newspaper, theatre, opera house, hotel, baseball park, golf course, and bowling alley. The coal taken out fueled 1/6 of the US. Peak population wes 9,000. There were 2 well known mine explosions: October 22, 1913 (263 killed), and February 8, 1923 (120 killed). Miners were immigrants mainly from Greece, Italy, China, Ireland and Mexico. The owners could not reach a working agreement with the miners, the mine closed, the town buildings were torn down. Only the cemetery remains. This is now part of a working ranch. John M Clark  (p107) postmaster in 1914. Post Office from 1900 to 1954. There are periodic reunions for the descendants of former residents of Dawson. Wikipedia. Map , Ghosttowns, Photos, Best Ghost Towns p. 46-9; p.226;  

DAWSON CANYON - Map; Mine #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10 Maps.

DEAD HORSE CANYON  - 11 miles north of Dawson, up Vermejo Canyon. Map

DEAN - On NM 234, 20 miles northwest of Maxwell. Probably named for the canyon.

DEAN CANYON - With its little stream, the canyon begins at a point on the Ponil, 4 miles north of Cimarron and extends westward. Named for an early settler who had a cabin here. Map

DEER LAKE MESA - Southeast of Cimarron, south of 64, northwest of Webster Reservoir. Map

DILLON - On AT&SF RR, 3 miles south of Raton. Named for Richard C.  Dillon, Governor of New Mexico from 1928 to 1932. Town established by the railroad company shortly after the railroad was built in 1880. At this point, the railroad branches, and these lines extend up Dillon Canyon to former coal camps of Gardiner, Swastika, Brilliant, and Blossburg. Map

DILLON CANYON - A geologist for the Santa Fe Railroad, James T Gardiner, discovered coal in this canyon in 1881. By 1882 operations for its removal began. The closest town and mine being named for him, see Gardiner. Starts about 3 miles southwest of Raton and winds in a northern direction to the Colorado state line. Map; p.210;  Dillon Mountain Map.

DORSEY - 1 mile west of the Canadian Red River near Eagle Rock Mountain. Named for Dorsey Lake. Post Office 1879, intermittently to 1912. Ghosttowns map; p.226;

DORSEY LAKE - Small lake, 2 miles south of Koehler Junction, on Crow Creek Flats. Named for Stephen W Dorsey, US Senator from Arkansas, co-owner of the  Ingersol Dorsey Alley Ranch. When Ingersol successfully defended Dorsey in a law suit over government mail contracts, Dorsey paid Ingersol with 5,000 acres of land and some cattle. Dorsey at one time lived at Chico. Map


DOVER - On Atcheson Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, 3 miles south of French. See GATO

DRY CIMARRON RIVER - The river is beleived to have been a disappearing river because of the notable feature of sinking and rising. Flows from the foot of Johnson Mesa in Colfax County, cuts a deep canyon across the northern part of Union County, across a corner of Oklahoma, and finally empties into the Arkansas River near Dodge City, Kansas.

DRY LAGUNA - Southeast of Springer, Map

DRY MESA - North of 64, west of Capulin, southeast of Throttle Reservoir. Map

DUTCHMAN'S CANYON - Extends west from Dillon Canyon where Blossburg was a one time busy coal camp. Named because of an old Dutchman who lived in the canyon when mining operations first started at Blossburg.  Map


DWYER MESA - West of 193, south of 64, east of Eagle Tail Rd. and A11. Map

EAGLE NEST - Settlement on US 64, 20 miles northeast of Taos. Established in 1920, and called THERMA, Greek for "hot". Name Eagle Nest advocated in 1935 because golden eagles live in the mountanous region. Their feathers are used by the Taos Native Americans for ceremonial worship. Village Website, Background, Photo, Map

EAGLE NEST LAKE - Created by a dam finished in 1919 by Charles Springer at the head of Cimarron Canyon. It is 5 miles long and 2 miles wide. It is located midway between Taos and Cimarron. Map

EAGLE PARK - Referred by Lewis H Garrard in 1846. Probably an early name for Ute Park.

EAGLE ROCK MOUNTAIN - 5 miles west of Eagle Tail Mountain on the west bank of the Canadian Red River, in the Maxwelll Land Grant.


EAGLE TAIL CREEK - North of Eagle Tail Mountain, about 15 miles south of Raton, flowing into the Una de Gato Creek. Name comes from the mountain, whose shape resembles the long, sweeping rail, of a resting eagle. See Blosser Creek, Gap. Map

EAGLE TAIL MESA - In eastern edge of the Maxwell Land Grant, near Eagle Tail Mountain, named for the mountain. Map

EAGLE TAIL MOUNTAIN - About 25 miles northest of Springer. See Tinaja Mountain. Map


ELIZABETH PEAK - Also called Baldy Mountain. A short distance northeast of Elizabethtown, east of the Moreno River; elevation 12,491 feet. Named for the daughter of a first settler in Elizabethtown, Elizabeth Moore. See Elizabethtown. Map

ELIZABETHTOWN - Also called E-Town. Former copper and gold mining camp on NM 38, 5 miles northeast of Eagle Nest, in the north end of the Moreno Valley. First house in the area was built in 1865 a few miles away at a place that was called VIRGINIA CITY. In 1866 a group of prospectors found gold near Willow Creek. The infamous Charles Kennedy ran a boarding house, whose boarders were known to disappear. The city was named in honor of Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Capt. John W Moore. Within a year it had 400 residents and 20 stores and saloons. A ditch was excavated from Red River for a place dredge called "The Eleanor". By 1870 the population was 800 and the rich lodes gave out. Prospecting continued in Old Baldy Mountain as late as 1930. The town was the first county seat of Colfax County. Rubble and a few buildings remain. Post Office from 1868 to 1931. Wikipedia., p.218-21; photos, Legends of America, Map , Ghosttowns, More Photos, Elizabethtown ditch, p.67;

ELKINS - Named for a lawyer. Two stores, blacksmith, saloon and a Post Office. p212;


ENGLAND - In northeast Colfax county, between Yankee and Osha or Backett. East of Yankee, west of Brackett. Post Office from April to December in 1881. Ghosttowns map,

E TOWN - See Elizabethtown.


          1. New Mexico Place Names, A Geographical Dictionary. T.M. Pearce, Ina Sizer Cassidy, Helen S pearce; The University of New Mexico Press, 1965. LCCC No. 64-17808.


          3. Ghosttowns of New Mexico


          5. List of Colfax County Post Offices.


          6. New Mexico Best Ghost Towns, A Practical Guide. Phillip Varney. university of New Mexico Press.

          7. Ghost Towns Alive: Trips to New Mexico's Past. Linda G Harris, Pamela Porter. Photos and historic details.

          8. Leading Fact of New Mexico History. Emerson Twitchell. Volume 3.