Winston New Mexico
As I was exiting the Gila National Forest, I was super low on gas. I found a park ranger who told me the nearest gas station was 20 miles away at the only gas station around. That town was Winston. Winston is abandoned save for the general store thats next to a ranger station. I was worried about running out of gas, but the ranger assured me that I could coast into Winston since it was all downhill.I made it to the general store, but they had closed for the night. I ended up spending the night and waiting until the next day to fuel up and get going. The next day the store opened and I was able to get gas. They also offer showers to use for 8 dollars. Great place for a quick sleep or even overnight(but there are no facilities other than the general store).
Chloride New Mexico
What started out as a mining camp blossomed into a full blown mining town. I found this town on my way out of the Gila national Forest. Its a cute little town, but needs much work to restore many of the buildings. The residents here are very particular about their little town and the history, so I won’t attempt to give you a history lesson. For more information you can always go to the page associated with the town by clicking here. There is not much to see in either of these towns and its not worth the trip unless you happen to be in or near the area.
In a remote part of New Mexico in the Gila (pronounced Hee-la) National Forest lies a small ghost town called Mogollon (pronounced Muggy-Yawn). The road to Mogollon was cut out of the mountainside by convict labor in 1897. The town was started in the gold and silver mining heyday of the late 1800’s. James C.Cooney, a sergeant in the US Army, found a ridge laden with large quantities of gold and silver ore while on a scouting expedition for the 8th U.S. Calvary just north of Mogollon. He began working the claim when he left the Army in 1876.
The 9 mile road to Mogollon is steep and treacherous as it winds it way past the remains of the Little Fannie Mine. At 7,000 Feet, its pretty amazing to wonder how this place ever came about. After the mine, you slowly descend 600 Feet into the Silver Creek Canyon to Mogollon.
Many remains of old houses, buildings, and rusty decaying mining machinery dot both sides of the road into town. Mogollon also refers to the extensive western New Mexico Mountain range named after Don Juan Ignacio Flores who, in the 18th century, served as Governor of Lands for Spain. The first Post Office opened in Mogollon in 1890 and with that, came a school in 1892. From early on, the mining town of Mogollon was not without misfortune. In 1894, Mogollon was plagued by a series of floods and fires, with the first big fire of 1894 nearly wiping out the town. Ambitious and eager citizens quickly rebuilt the town using stone and adobe. More fires followed in 1904, 1910, 1915 and 1942. The town also has a history of major flooding. In the late 1800’s several torrential floods swept through the canyon. Despite these major setbacks, the Little Fanny Mine and other interests extracted several million dollars worth of gold and silver.
By 1915 Mogollon’s population expanded to 1500 residents, and Mogollon had electricity, running water, and telephone service. The town also had five saloons, four merchant stores, two restaurants, a theatre, a bakery, and even a hospital to name a few. Mogollon was even home to a couple of red-light districts, “Little Italy” on the west end of town and the Spanish section on the east side. The Silver City and Mogollon Stage Line provided service between Silver City, Mogollon, and the Little Fanny Mine carrying passengers, freight, gold and silver bullion over 80 miles on a daily basis. With the advent of World War I the demand for gold and silver dropped and Mogollon’s population dropped to two hundred.
By 1934 the town experienced a revival when the price of gold went from $20.67 per ounce to $35.00 per ounce and by 1938 Mogollon reported nearly a thousand residents. World War II caused yet another decline in demand for precious metals and along with a huge fire in 1942, almost wiped the town out. By 1950 the Little Fanny Mine was all that was left in operation. It closed shortly thereafter.
In 1973, a spaghetti western called “My Name is Nobody”, starring Henry Fonda, was filmed in Mogollon. Today several residents privately own Mogollon. The historic district of the entire Mogollon community was added to the federal government’s National Register of historic places.