Remains of a Stone Building at Elizabethtown

ELIZABETHTOWN

     A funny thing happened to travelers between Elizabethtown and Taos - they never returned. At least not those who stayed at Charles Kennedy's resting place between the two cities. It wasn't until Mrs. Kennedy arrived in Elizabethtown one day and announced that her husband had killed their baby, that officials began searching Kennedy's house. They found bones and later unearthed skeletal remains under the floorboards.

QUICK STATS

  • COUNTY:  Colfax
  • LOCATION:  4 miles north of Eagle Nest on NM 38  
  • POST OFFICE:  1868-1931
  • NAME ORIGIN:  Named for the daughter of John Moore, one of the  town's first settlers
  • RATING: Three ghostsThree ghosts
  • GNIS Info & Map

      This unfortunate incident in the history of New Mexico's first incorporated town is only one of many.  Not that other mining towns in New Mexico didn't have their own share of bad guys (and gals!)  But Elizabethtown has a history notorious enough to belie its pretty name. Even the hauntingly-beautiful landscape surrounding the area, with Mount Baldy in the distance and the Moreno Valley sweeping past, lends it an air of...well, creepiness.  Or maybe it's just that I went on an overcast day.      

     Elizabethtown, or E-Town as it came to be known, began as a tent city in the 1860's when gold prospectors converged on Mount Baldy.  As the settlement grew, it boasted enough enterprise (including seven salooons and three dance halls) to make it the Colfax county seat.  By 1871, however, the mining operations had all but run dry, and a fire in 1903 spelled the end of the town.      

     Elizabethtown is an easy trip from Eagle Nest and a good day trip from Santa Fe.  The ruins of  a beautiful stone building are visible from NM 38.  A small dirt road runs up the hill past the structure and a few other remains. Just past the store on the hill is a museum, run by one of the descendents of an E-Town inhabitant. Drop in and see the memorabilia on display. Donations are welcome.

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

(click on the thumbnail image to see a larger picture)


The porch of an old building
sags under the weight
of time.


Same building to the left
in old FSA (Farmer's
Security Administration)
photograph. (Doesn't
enlarge very big.)