Monday, April 26, 2010

Kelly Mine

We visited the Kelly Mine near Magdalena on a recent overcast Sunday. On the way there we saw these antelope, who kindly let me photograph them.
Silver was discovered in Kelly, NM around 1866 and the town existed from about 1876 to the 1930's when Zinc mining began to play out. But the town was home to as many as 3000 citizens during it's prosperous boom days. Today it is a ghost town.
As well as silver and zinc, the mining operations sent huge shipments of lead to smelters, making Kelly the foremost mine in central New Mexico. The mine was named after Patrick H. Kelly who held some of the claims.
By 1884 Kelly Township was established with several banks, saloons, churches, stores and a clinic. The AT & SF Railway terminus was established 3 miles away in Magdalena.
The Kelly Mine headframe was erected in 1906 and was designed by Alexander G. Eiffel to be state-of-the-art for that era. It towers 121 feet over the Tri-Bullion Shaft which drops nearly 1000 feet down into a maze of over 30 miles of tunnels.
The last residents of Kelly departed in 1947, and most of their homes were carefully hauled down to Magdalena.
The only building in use today is the church, which still holds mass once a year.
Sightings and experiences of the para-normal have been reported. "There have been thousands of residents that have lived here since the 1860's, some have never left."

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