Colfax County, New Mexico, Place Names, F - M
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FARLEY - Ranching and farming community on NM 193, 13 miles northeast of Abbott. A bypass branch of AT&SF RR ran to Mt. Dora. Established in 1929, taking the name of its first postmaster.: p.29. photo; Post Office, 1929 to 1932. Map
FERGUSON LAKE - Reservoir. 8.6 miles from Springer, and 7 miles from Taylor Springs. map, map2,
FIVE DOLLAR CANYON - 7 miles north of Dawson, extending east from near the mouth of Caliente Canyon, and just northeast of Upper Vermejo River Canyon. Said to be named for a pioneer settler who always wanted to bet 5 dollars, but never had it. Map
FIVE DOLLAR CREEK - 22.3 miles from Raton. Flows through the canyon of the same name. Map, fishing,
FRAMPTON - Post Office 1892; (Union County) mail to Clapham.
FRANKLIN - 9 miles southeast of Springer. Post Office 1876 to 1879.
FRENCH - Trading point on US 85, 9 miles north of Springer. Named for Capt. William French, who came to America in 1883 from French Park, Ireland. He owned the WS (William Slaughter) Ranch, first in Grant County. When he moved to Cimarron, he organized the French Tract, a group of farms with French as a center. Because of litigation over water rights, the plan failed and little remains today of the farms and town. French was the author of "Recollections of a Western Ranchman", 1883-1889. Post Office, 1908 to 1945. Map, p.98; p.213;
FRENCH CORNERS - Map
FRENCH HENRY RIDGE - Map
FRENCH LAKE - 7 miles east of Cimarron. See French. Map
GARDENIA LAKE - Map
GARDINER - Coal mining camp 3 miles west of Raton in Dillon Canyon. The town was named for the Santa Fe Railroad Geologist, James T. Gardiner, who discovered coal in Dillon Canyon in 1881. Operations began in 1882. It was the second coal camp to be established in Dillon Canyon, Blossburg was first. In 1896 a battery of 300 ovens were constructed to convert coal to coke. The ovens ran in 4 parallel rows of one quarter mile each, and were manned primarily by Italians. Owned in 1897 by the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coal Co. The Gardiner Swastika branch of the AT&SF RR extended from Dillon to the camp to take out coal. It had a peak population of 1,000. Post Office 1897 to 1940. The coke ovens went into ruin and very little remains today. It is part of Ted Turner's Vermejo Park Ranch. They say that one may be able to see some of the old coke ovens from the Raton Golf Course. Map Gardiner Number One Mine map. Ghostowns.
GARDINER CANYON - Runs west from mouth of Dillon Canyon, starting about 3 miles southwest of Raton. Map
GATO - Spanish for "cat or wild cat". On AT&SF RR, 3 miles south of French. Formerly called DOVER.
GONZALES CANYON - In the extreme northwest corner of Colfax County. extends north and south from Vermejo Canyon to the Colorado state line. Map
GONZALES MESA - 12 miles west of Springer in the Maxwell Land Grant
GONZALITOS MESA - Map
GRAVEL PITS LAKE - Map
GREEN MEADOWS - Map
GREEN MOUNTAIN ARROYO - Map
GREENWOOD CANYON - Map
GREENWOOD CREEK - Stream northwest of Cimarron, tributary to the Ponil. Map
GRIEGO MESA - Griego is a Spanish Surname. Map;
GRINGO LAKE - Spanish for a person born in the USA. Map
GROUSE GULCH - Near Elizabethtown. Most of the early fortune hunters located here and Humbug Gulch, because they both had a stream of water. Located across the river from Humbug Gulch. These locations had the richest placers of gold: p.67; p.219
HAGERDON LAKE - Map
HARLAN - Named for T.B. Harlan, of St. Louis, chief counsel of the Maxwelll Land Grant Co.
HARLAN TRAIL CAMP - Map
HEBRON DAM - An artificial reservoir for irrigation purposes. See Blosser Creek, Gap. Map
HECK CANYON - On NM 199, 18 miles west of Springer, on Sweet Water Creek, in the center of the lumber district. Named for the Mathew Heck family, who owned property in the canyon. Post Office 1927 to 1943. Map
HECK RANCH - p.233;
HECK SPRINGS - On NM 21, 25 miles west of Springer.
HEMATITE - A placer mining camp, founded in 1895. It had: the population of 200, a stamp mill, a boarding house, and a store. Post Office 1897 to 1899; Nothing remains today. Ghostowns, map , Hematite Park, map; Hematite Creek, map.
HEWITT CREEK - In the south Moreno Valley; flows into the Cieneguilla, thence into Eagle Nest Lake.
HOGEYE MESA - Northeast of Chico, west of 193. Map.
HOLKEO CREEK - Rises near Peck's Mesa in the southwest corner of Colfax County and flows into Ute Creek after crossing Union County line. (Union County) map
HOPE - Post Office 1888 to 1889; mail to Grenville (Union County)
HORSESHOE LAKE - a 10 acre lake just below timber line at the head of the main East Fork of the Red River.
HOXIE - 20 miles south of Raton where US 85 and 64 seperate, the former leading to Santa Fe by way of Las Vegas, and the latter by way of Cimarron and Taos. SANTA FE FORKS is the original name, dating from the 1820's when the Santa Fe Trail forked at about this spot. However, the little crossroads filling station has been known as Hoxie because William Hoxie owned and operated the place in 1925.
HUMBUG CREEK - In northeast end of the Moreno Valley. Flows into the Moreno River and thence into Eagle Nest Lake. The location of Humbug Gulch where many early gold seekers settled. Many prospectors early on, thought that there was not enough gold to pay working it so they called it 'humbug'. Yet, it was to prove the richest of all diggings. Grouse Gulch was located across the river, with popular and enriched placers of gold: p.67, p.219
HUNTER MESA - Northwest of Throttle Reservoir and west of A29. Map;
IDLEWILD - Settlement 3 miles west of Eagle Nest, just east of the Val Verde Ski Area. Map
INDIAN CAMPS - At the entrance of Cimarron Canyon. Once a camp of travelling Native American bands, where many arrowheads can be found.
INDIAN CANYON - Map
INDIAN HEAD - A summit, 5 miles north of Cimarron, west of the highway. Name comes from the likeness of a head and face showing in sandstone rimrock. Map
INGRAM LAKE - Map;
JARITA CREEK - "Jara" is spanish for rock rose, jarita is little rock rose. Correct name for JACETAS CREEK. Flows into the Canadian Red River at the southern Colfax - Union County line boundary. Named for many willows on its banks. JARITAS ARROYO - Map;
JOHNSON MESA, PARK - 16 miles east of Raton and north of US64 and 87. It is 2,000 feet above the valley floor of Raton and is about 7 by 14 miles in size. Named for Lige Johnson who lived below the Mesa, but grazed his cattle on the Mesa.Since noone lived on the Mesa, it bore his name.In the 1880's Marion Bell, led a group of fellow railroad workers to settle on the Mesa to become potato and grain farmers. At one time there was a family living on every 160 acres of land. Today few families live on the mesa, and none in the winter. See BELL - a former settlement on the mesa. Ghostowns, Best Ghost Towns p.57, Mesa map; Park map; Cemetery map.
JONES - Map
JONES CANYON - Extends from the Colorado state line to the Canadian Red River, 10 miles west of Raton. Map
JONES WELL -Map
JUAN BACA CANYON - Map
JUAN BRAILLA CANYON - Map
JUAN LA CRUZ CANYON - At the head of the Vermejo River, near the former site of the Elkins post office. Named for Juan La Cruz who first had a home in the canyon in 1875.
JUAN TORRES MESA - Map
KAPPAS ARROYO - Side stream from the Canadian Red River.
KEOTA - Station tunnel on AT&SF RR, 3 miles north of Raton. Map
KELLEHER MESA - Map;
KIMBALL - Post Office 1890; changed to SPRINGHILL (Union County)
KING LAKE - Map;
KIOWA - 15 miles southwest of Capulin. Known as the Kiowa District, which was first known as the KIOWA CAMP. Although the Kiowa Native Americans never lived here, at certain seasons they liked to stop at this place en route to the east, to fish and hunt and give their ponies rest and food. Post Office 1877, intermittently to 1904; map. This post office was also sometimes called CUNICO, a family name often heard in this area. Ghostowns map, KIOWA FLATS - map; KIOWA MESA -map; KIOWA SPRINGS - map.
KIT CARSON MESA - Map
KIT CARSON MUSEUM - Map
KIT CARSON PEAK - Small peak at the mouth of the Little Red River about 3 miles south of Raton. Some people call it SQUAW PEAK. They say that a small group stood off an attack here, while one of their party rode off for help.
KIT CARSON SKI TRAIL - Map
KOEHLER - A former coal mining town in Prairie Crow Canyon, 16 miles southwest of Raton on NM 375 off US 64. Named for Henry Koehler, one time chairman of the Maxwell Land Grant Board of Directors. The land was owned for sixty years by the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coal Co. At its peak the population reached 1800. It became a ghost town in 1924, when the mines closed. Kaiser Steel Corp purchased the coal mining properties, the mining operations were reactivated on a limited basis and the mines were closed again.It is now part of Ted Turners property, see Vermejo Ranch. The town site is 4.7 miles past the locked gate. Post office 1907 to 1957. Map, Best Ghost Towns p49,
LADD - Southwest of Abreu and Rayado. Now ranching country. No remains left. First postmaster, Charles B Ladd. Post Office 1886 to 1889. Later mail sent to Springer. Ghostowns map.
LADD ARROYO - Map
LA GRULLA LAKE - Spanish for mechanical crane. Map
LAGUNA MADRE - Map
LAGUNA SALADA MESA - Spanish for salty lake mesa. map
LAKE ALICE - In Sugarite Canyon about 2 miles south of Lake Maloya. The Lake is Raton's supplementary water supply. Named for Alice Jelfs, the daughter of John Jelfs, a prominent banker in Raton at the time the lake was constructed by the AT&SF RR. Map
LAKE ARROYO - Side stream from Canadian Red River. Named for the character of its location. Map
LAKE EIGHT - Part of a group of numbered lakes in an area 5 by 7 miles northwest of Maxwell. Map
LAKE FOURTEEN - See LAKE EIGHT
LAKE MALOYA - 6 miles northeast of Raton; near head of Sugarite Canyon. It impounds water from springs, rain, and melting snow for Raton's municipal water supply; also used for fishing and recreation. Map
LAKE TWO, SEVEN, TWELVE, THIRTEEN, TWENTY - See LAKE EIGHT Map
LAUGHLIN , LAUGHLIN PEAK - In the east end of Colfax county near the Colfax - Union County line. Map
LEWIS LAKE - Map;
LITTLE RED RIVER CANYON - Named for Little Red River which flows through it. See Canadian River.
LLOYD - On NM 85, 6 miles southwestof Maxwell
LOCO ARROYO - Spanish for "crazy". Flows into the Canadian Red River. The so called "crazy" creek was named because of its intermitent risings. Map
LOCO MESA - Spanish for cray mesa. Map;
LORETTA - Community in coal mining area 2 miles north of Dawson. Named for the Loretta coal mine.
LOST LAKE - Map;
LOWERY CANYON - 15 miles north of Baldy Mountain on the north fork of Ponil Creek.
LYNN - On AT&SF RR, 6 miles north of Raton. Railroad settlement at the south entrance to famous Raton Pass Tunnel, highest point on the line. Post Office, 1891 to 1910; later mail to Wooten, Colorado. Map; p.224;
MANCO BURRO - MANCO DE BURRO PASS - Spanish for "crippled". See Chicarica Mesa. Between Chicarica Mesa and Raton Mesa, southeast of Raton. Manco de Burro pass got its name first from a crippled burro, that was part of a pack train, hurt his knee, and limped in. Anything that limps is called "manco" in spanish according to litigation presented over the Maxwell Land Grant in 1883. Map
MAQUINA CREEK - Spanish for "machine". 14 miles south of Cimarron. Named for a sawmill in the early 1870's. Map
MARE LAKE - Map
MARTINEZ - The Martinez family name is traceable to Hernan Martin Serrano, a settler who arrived with Onate in 1598. The Martin Serrano family returned to NM after the reconquest in 1692. By the 19th century descendants dropped the Serrano name and added ez to the surname Martin. First postmaster Marcelina V Martinez, Post Office 1889 to 1902.; mail to Aurora. There are two in Colfax County: 1. North of Chico off state road 193 map; 2. Across state road 505 from Stubblefield Reservoir, east of Colfax. map.
MAXWELL - Farming and ranching town on US 85, 13 miles north of Springer. Established in the late 1880's by the Maxwell Land and Irrigation Co on the Canadian River. Named for owner Lucien Maxwell. Post Office 1879, with suspensions and name changes to present day. Lucien Maxwell owned a total of 1,174,764.93 acres of land, the largest single land holding in the Western Hemisphere. He was a hunter and a trapper from Kaskaskia, Ill., who arrived in NM in 1849. He married Luz Beaubien, daughter of Carlos Beaubien, a wealthy landwowner. After the father's death he bought out the heirs. The land grant was not recognized by the US government on June 21, 1860. Wikipedia, map
MAXWELL DAMS - 11, 12, 13 and 14 map
MAXWELL LAND GRANT - Was 1,714,765 acre land grant held by Lucien Maxwell.It was the largest contiguous private land holding in the history of the United States. The following towns as well as numerous ghost towns were located within the area: Cimarron, Colfax, Dawson, Elizabethtown, French, Lynn, Maxwell, Miami, Raton, Rayado, Springer, Ute Park, and Vermejo Park. Wikipedia
MAXWELL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE - map
MAXWELL RANCH - p.232;
MAYAAR - The 1980 US Census handwriting spelling for Rayado was misread as Mayaar. See Rayado.
MC CHRISTOBAL CREEK - Small tributary to Ponil Creek on CS Cattle Co. Ranch, northwest of Cimarron.
MC WILLIAMS CANYON - Extends from the Colorado state line to the Canadian Red River, 15 miles west of Raton. Named for a Baptist minister who made his home here during the 1870's. Map
MELOCHE - 10 miles south of Raton and 4 miles west of Thompson. Named for the first owner of the TO Ranch, Tony Meloche, who is listed as postmaster at Vermejo from 1874 to 1883. Ghostowns map.
MERINO MINE - Near Cimarron, p.70;
MERRICK LAKE - Map
MESA LARGO - "Mesa" is spanish for "tableland", the name for a high plateau. "largo" means long or large. It is 7 miles west of Capulin. Mesa LargaMap
MESA WINDMILL - Map
METCALF CANYON - North of North Ponil Creek, about 6 miles north of former Stern post office.Map
MEXICAN CREEK - In the northern part of the Moreno Valley, flows into Moreno Creek, which in turn flows into Eagle Nest Lake. Named by the Mexican gold miners of Elizabethtown., who congregated along this creek to make their adobes.
MEXICAN LAKE - Map
MIAMI, Farming and ranching community on State Road 21, 12 miles west of Springer, 8 miles southeast of Philmont Scout Base Camp, and 4 miles from Rayado. It was settled in 1908. The first colonists were from Miami County, Ohio., which got its name originally from a tribe of Native Americans who made their home in southwestern Ohio and southwest Indiana. Post Office 1908 to present day. Now an unincorporated community of 6 homes and 8 ranches. p.213; Wikipedia, Map.
MICE LAKE - 5 miles northeast of Raton.
MICHIGAN GULCH - Original dicoverers of gold called the locality where they found it by this name.p.219
MIDNIGHT - A gold mining and boom town that was on Bitter Creek in the northwest corner of the Moreno Valley. Finally abandoned when the factions fought over the belle of the dance hall. Midnight was the liveliest time of the day; the name was chosen by the miners. Post Office 1895 to 1898; later, mail to Cerro.
MILLS CREEK - Small creek in the north end of the Moreno Valley, flows into the Moreno River which goes on to Eagle Nest Lake. Named for Judge M. W. Mills.
MILLS DIVIDE - Gap northeast of Elizabethtown, map.
MILLS PASS - 3 miles north west of Baldy Mountain, in the Maxwell Land Grant. See Mills Creek.
MOLLOY LAKE - See Lake Maloya
MORENO RIVER - Flows south to Eagle Nest, these waters were used at one time for placer mining operations, when gold was washed off the ground in the Elizabethtown district.
MORENO VALLEY - In mountains on watershed between Colfax and Taos counties. Map
MOUNTVIEW - Post Office 1895 to 1900. Changed to DAWSON.
MUDDY CREEK - Small stream in the north end of the Moreno Valley, which at one time supplied water to placer miners of Elizabethtown. Flows into the Moreno River; waters are always riled and muddy, giving the stream its name.
MUNN LAKE - Map
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. Online Ghosttowns of New Mexico
4. New Mexico Best Ghost Towns, A Practical Guide. Philip Varnery. University of New Mexico Press. p.49-55
5. Ghost towns alive: trips to New Mexico's past. Linda G Harris, Pamela Porter. Colfax County chapter is a good read.
6. Santa Fe Railway. Steve Glischinski. p.29