Mogollon

MOGOLLON

     To understand what Mogollon is like, you need only pronounce the name correctly. If ever there was an onomatopoedic place name, this is it. Say it this way: Muggy-own. Now close your eyes and picture a small mining camp with a stream running down the middle, smell the fresh wet earth on your sneakers, feel the cool, damp air around you. Welcome to Mogollon.

QUICK STATS

  • COUNTY:  Catron
  • LOCATION:  15 miles northeast of Glenwood
  • POST OFFICE:  1890-1973
  • NAME ORIGIN: Possibly named for Juan Ignacio de Flores Mogollon, governor of NM from 1712 to 1715
  • RATING:
  • GNIS Info & Map

      To say that Mogollon is "mogollonic" is circular, I realize, but after driving 10 or so miles on a winding and often single-lane road to reach the place, even your thoughts will be playing Twister. The earth is a large part of what "makes" Mogollon. A clump of buildings stand together like a cottonwood grove, feeding off the little stream running through the center of town. The surrounding mountains shelter the town in a bosom of green and brown. Wetness pervades. When I was there, snow was melting off building roofs and tree branches, making plopping sounds as patches fell to the ground. The sound made me think someone was jumping out at me from around every corner. But when I turned around - and I did, often - only shadows and snow. Mogollon has secrets.

    Mogollon also has a history that rivals Old Testament tales. Five devastating fires, four floods, two red-light districts, robberies, stagecoach holdups, etc. One of the most interesting characters to emerge from this history is James Cooney, whose discovery of gold in the Mogollon Mountains while on an Army mapping expedition in 1870 led to the creation of mining camps in this location. Cooney was later killed by Apaches and buried in a boulder by his friends. (See Cooney's Tomb.)

    Mother Nature is a big part of life at Mogollon, and the town has reached an accord with the land around it. The two seem inseparable, even mutually dependent. There is harmony in the sound of the little creek as it trickles past Holland's Furniture and Notions. The melting snow, the gentle wind, the ornamental tin on some of the buildings, the smell of mined earth, the cracking sound - real or imagined? - of wet wood, the shadows ever-present at the edges of the trees.

    Like I said, it's a very Mogollonic place.

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

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


The Mogollon payphone
and phone book make a
good photo.


The General Store awaits
customers.


This false-front is just
that - false. It's an old
movie set.