Cerrillos Mining District

The Cerrillos Hills are the most mineral enriched area in New Mexico. All the main minerals are present, just not all in one place or enough for large scale mining.

Before describing the history of the Cerrillos Hills, I would like to start at the present. At this moment in time the southern part of the mining district has become a State Park, 1125-acres large. There are 5 miles of hiking trails. On your hike you will see many of the mines reclamated with netting and viewing platforms. The mines are labeled with who, what and when signs telling the history of the mine. In the reclaimed project done by the  Abandoned Mine Land Bureau (AML), many of the holes were filled in, to within 10 ft deep so a person could crawl back out. Some of the mines were foam plugged; many netted and all made safe for the public. Most of the mines are territorial mines (before Statehood) and it is well worth hiking to see them. Silver, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Galena and Gold mines exist in the park.

The historic Cerrillos Mining District, a New Mexico State Cultural Property since 1973, is divided into County Property (leased to State Parks), State Land Trust property (permit needed to walk on) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  At this time there is no motorized BLM access open to the public (only by walking in). There is also private property with owners who do not want you walking on their property.
Please respect all "No Tresspassing" signs when observed!

At this moment in time there are three Placer gold claims on the east side of the district. There are 6 Turquoise mining claims on BLM. These claimants have the right to mine for turquoise and must file yearly. There are no unclaimed turquoise mines at this time and BLM is not issuing any new permits. All the gates are locked. The mine claimants have worked it out with property owners to pass through these parcels. Only to pass through, not trespass.This is a closed mining district. The State Park is open to the public but there is no mineral collecting allowed.

The Tiffany and Castillian mines are to the north and are on private property.These mines are not worked with tools. The turquoise comes from the tailing piles and has been picked clean by the owners many years ago. A few mine claimants have veins which are worked and then covered. A few go through the tailings to find their turquoise pieces.  At the Mining Museum in Cerrillos, tours can be arranged to see Mount Chalchihuitl, the oldest turquoise mine in New Mexico. The Mining Museum also sells Cerrillos Turquoise from their two mines. There are shops in Madrid that sell Cerrillos Turquoise also.

                        Hayward Map of the Cerrillos mining district - click on map to enlarge

                                                     Prehistoric Mining
The first miners in the district were Puebloans from the thriving communities along the nearby Rio Grande and Galisteo basin. From the study of recovered pottery shards, archaeologists believe that they began collecting turquoise in the Cerrillos Hills shortly after 900AD. Although Native Americans had mined small amounts of turquoise from other New Mexico sites at least a century before, the size and richness of the Cerrillos deposits would profoundly impact the perceptions of and uses for the stone.

Turquoise was present at a dozen different sites, five of which would become major sources of the stone. Mining in the district occurred in two lengthy periods of intensive activity. The first lasted from 1000 to 1200 AD and involved many different Native cultures. San Marcos Pueblo and the Rio Grande Puebloans controlled the second period of intensive mining, which was interupted with Spanish settlers in the late 1500s.

The Puebloans mined both turquoise and lead in the district, which was recovered from oxidized outcrops to make lead-based glazes which were used to decorate traditional Galisteo Basin pottery.

Initially Native American miners simply gathered loose turquoise from the surface or chipped it from outcrops. When that surface material was exhausted, they turned to digging open pits. Later, they followed rich veins underground, driving narrow, twisting drifts using only crude stone hammers and the heat of fires to crack the solid rock.

The extent of prehistoric mining at Mount Chalchihuitl, the main mine, is remarkable. Over seven centuries, native American miners quarried out the entire west side of the hill, removing many thousands of tons of rock over a 10-acre area. The main portion of the central pit, which was carved from solid rock, measures 130 feet deep and more than 200 feet across.

How much turquoise was mined at Mount Chalchihuitl will never be known, but the quantity was certainly large enough to make it a major trade commodity. Much was traded to the Chaco Canyon culture in northwestern New Mexico, which developed rapidly between 1150 and 1280 AD, largely because of prosperity from the turquoise trade. Chaco Canyon craftsmen worked huge quantities of Cerrillos turquoise into beads and pendants. The Chaco Canyon culture traded most of its worked turquoise, but still retained large quantities for its own use. Archaeological excavations at Chaco Canyon during the early 1900's recovered more than 50,000 drilled and polished beads and hundreds of pendants, some as long as 3 inches.
                                                               Spanish Mining
Upon the arrival of the Spanish in New Mexico they started noticing Galisteo basin glazeware pottery at Zuni Pueblo. Inquiring where the glazeware pottery was from, they were sent to the Cerrillos mining district where natives were mining the turquoise and galena for their glazeware pottery. The Spanish immediately shut down the turquoise mine workings and  took over the  galena mines,some say they enslaved the natives to dig out the galena ore which they smeltered for silver and lead for their bullets.Galena ore is a combination of lead, zinc and silver. 

A new era in the mining district began in the early 1600s when newly arrived Spanish settlers started mining lead and silver at the camp of El Real de los Cerrillos. Because the Spanish appointed a mayor who organized and controlled the mining, Cerrillos qualifies as the oldest documented mining district in the American West. For about 80 years, the Spanish mined lead and silver on very semi-peaceful terms with Puebloans.

The bloody Pueblo Revolt of 1680 ended this sharing of the Cerrillos Hills' mineral resources. Some say the main reason the Pueblo revolt started was from the natives being enslaved at the galena mines.Tradition has it that all the known galena mines at that time were filled in during the revolt so that when the Spanish returned they were unable to find the mines again. Upon the peacefull reconquest of 1692. The Spanish reentered the district and did not know where the mines were or were too lazy to redig them, without native labor. Regaining control of the upper Rio Grande region, the defeated Pueblo cultures had ceased both lead mining in the district and production of their traditional lead-glazed pottery.

Some historians have questioned whether the Spanish actually did mine silver and lead in the district. But in 1971, the Albuquerque Archaeological Society discovered evidence confirming 17th century colonial mining and smelting activity. Because colonial mining in the district is so poorly documented, historians suspect that the colonial miners worked without official sanction and without paying taxes to the Spanish crown.
                                                    19th Century - The American Period


Bill Baxter

(Excerpted from a work in progress)


In early 1879, when the miners began arriving in the Cerrillos Hills in large numbers, they saw one of their first tasks was to set up a mining district and decide, by vote, upon the rules of their district. The men were all there for the same reason; to strike it rich. And they all knew that riches bring out the worst in people. They knew it was essential for their coming prosperity that there be mutually agreed-upon rules and regulations.


The Galisteo Mining District and the Cerrillos Mining District were created in March of 1879, and were followed shortly thereafter by the Gonzales Mining District.


The concept of setting land aside as a mining district – that the highest use of mineral lands was for mining rather than homesteading, agriculture or farming, and that a codified process for discovering and working the mineral deposits should be part of it – became national policy in the United States and its territories between 1866 and 1872. Prior to that in the United States there were only local mining rules and practices, if any.


In New Mexico, however, standardized mining practices prescribed by the Spanish Crown had existed for centuries. It was those same Spanish practices (somewhat modified and currently known as the Mining Law of 1872) that the American nation adopted, and that we still use in the United States.


Long before, of course, the Cerrillos Hills had been the place where Native Americans had come to obtain certain minerals, most importantly turquoise for medicine and ritual uses, and later on galena with which to decorate pottery. In Indian eyes the gifts of Nature were there for everyone and were the private possession of no one. You came, gave thanks, then gathered the bounty and made use of it. When you were done you gave thanks again and returned what had been given you back to Nature.


This holistic approach toward the gifts of the earth would clash with the practices of some of the subsequent immigrants to New Mexico, the Europeans.


The Europeans – we call them Spanish but they were as diverse as the global Empire of Spain – brought their peculiar practices of land tenure. For example, in very early Santa Fe some “Spanish” metallurgists of record were what we would today call Belgians.  


For minerals, the underlying principle was that all minerals were the personal property of the Spanish Crown. The Crown, in its kindness, would allow you to work a deposit and extract the mineral so long as you rendered, in the case of gold, a fifth of your production to the Crown. There was also a Christian obligation to tithe the Church a similar amount. For precious metals other than gold the Crown taxed and the Church tithed less; silver at 10% and copper less still. Additionally, for an initial period new colonies were exempted from any tax at all on precious metals, typically for the first ten years. And when taxes finally came due they were pervasively and chronically evaded, especially in remote corners of the Empire such as the Crown Colony of New Mexico where the Crown was never able to achieve functional taxation.


When the Republic of Mexico replaced the Spanish Empire after 1821 what had been the Crown’s “quinto” fifth passed to the new government, along with the widespread practice of evading it. But because of the Republic’s anti-Roman Church stance, the tithe along with all other support for the Church was officially ended.


When the Americans swallowed up New Mexico by way of the divisive, Manifest Destiny-driven war of 1846, they brought with them no national mining regulations. In New Mexico by default the Spanish-Mexican mining regulations were retained.


During all of the centuries of rule by Spain and Mexico and later the United States, it was normal practice for miners in New Mexico to evade or minimize the levies on their production. But this was human nature. It wasn’t just Spain. Being devious or outright lying about the production of your mine was the norm everywhere in the world, and “selective reporting” remains a common practice among miners today.


Among quips attributed to Mark Twain is one about a mine being nothing more than a hole in the ground owned by a liar.


At the beginning of the great Cerrillos mining boom the onetime Spanish- onetime Mexican territory of New Mexico had already been an American possession for over thirty years. Despite those decades of Americans occupation New Mexico was still predominantly a land of Spanish culture (Spanish-descendant Spanish speakers and Hispanicized Indian-descendant Spanish speakers known as genízeros). The Americans were largely an Anglo (that is English speaking, not necessarily of English heritage) overlay. The most literate and powerful Hispanos and Anglos were frequently fluent in both languages.


This was the world into which the Cerrillos Hills boomers arrived, and though the boomers themselves were often recent immigrants from Germany or France or Poland or Greece or Italy or South Africa, their common denominator was the use of English. A number of the workers employed in the Cerrillos mines were longtime New Mexicans – Spanish speakers – but the boom in the Cerrillos Hills was a largely Anglo event.


The origins of the Cerrillos boom can be traced to 1869, when the Court of Public Land Claims declared the Baca y Delgado grant, which was supposed to have covered the Cerrillos Hills, invalid. In a related decision the following year the same court declared the Hills were open for development.


Such court action was necessary because the Hills had been for nearly a century the fiefdom of the powerful Baca y Delgado family, and they continued to hold sway. Manuel Salustiano Delgado [1792-1854], and most importantly for our story, five of his sons – Simon, Pablo, Fernando, Felipe S. and Felipe B. – protected the Delgado lands. If you were foolish enough to trespass upon the Delgado properties the family or their retainers would make sure you didn’t stay long, and that you didn’t come back.


The CPLC judgment voided the Delgado’s legal standing at the same time that political and family connections left them a force to be reckoned with.


El rancho Delgado was at (or very near to) the site of the 1695-96 Spanish mining camp Real de los Cerrillos. Today it is where the Bonanza Creek Ranch headquarters complex is situated.


The most important of the early Anglos in the Cerrillos Hills was Doctor Enos Andrews, who came to Santa Fe from New York just before the Civil War. His dental office cum jewelry and watch shop, assay office, and newsstand was for the next five decades a fixture on the Plaza of Santa Fe.


In early 1872, before the new more restrictive 1872 Mining Law took effect, mining entrepreneurs across the American states and territories scrambled to acquire properties. In the Cerrillos region Enos Andrews, R.B. Willison and John Gwyn were the most energetic scramblers. By himself, and sometimes with partners such as Julius Fairfield, James McKenzie, Trinidad Alarid and John Gwyn, Enos Andrews came to control about 1,000 acres of mineral land on what had been the Delgado grant, especially in the Vallecitos (later called Hungry Gulch), where several of the old Spanish silver mines were situated. It is assumed that in order to accomplish this Andrews had made some kind of arrangement with the Delgado family, possibly a lease.


Andrews built a smelter on the north bank of the Rio Galisteo and that smelter is one of the few named features to appear on maps of this era. Among his many mining properties in the region, Dr. Andrews registered for himself the “old Indian turquois” deposit everyone called Chalchihuitl. And it may be that Enos Andrews himself is largely responsible for setting off the Cerrillos mining boom.


By one account Andrews employed a miner by the name of Frank Dimick (sometimes Dimmick), who had wandered from Colorado down to New Mexico, to work his mines. By another account it was Territorial Representative Stephen B. Elkins, who had a few years earlier acquired the entire 108 square mile Ortiz Mine Grant as well as over 600 acres of land on the Galisteo where he intended to develop a railroad center (it would become Cerrillos Station), who employed Frank Dimick and his Oro City, Colorado, partner Robert Hart. In either case – and both accounts might have been the case – in late 1878 Frank Dimick was back in Colorado, at the new town of Leadville, showing ore samples and representing the little hills south of Santa Fe as the latest and best El Dorado.


The first claim of the Cerrillos boom was filed on the Bonanza Lode on January 15, 1879 by Frank Dimick and Robert Hart. The Bonanza Lode claim was situated on the lower slopes of the Central Mountain, several hundred feet northwest of the turquoise hill called Chalchihuitl.


The Cerrillos rush was on!


On March 14, 1879, the Santa Fe Anglo miners got together and formed the Galisteo Mining District (GMD), and elected Enos Andrews president and M.A. Bartleson recorder. W.P. McClure was appointed Deputy Recorder.


This district shall be defined and bounded as follows – west by the public road known as the Albuquerque Stage road running past Pino’s ranch to Galisteo Creek – East by a line ½ mile east of Township lines of Townships 14 and 15 north of Range 8 East.


The miners affirmed that the Galisteo District would follow the 1872 United States mining law, which allowed surface claims of up to 1500 feet in length and 600 feet width, a maximum of 20.44 acres. But some of the early GMD claims were only half-size, 300 feet width. This 300-foot size, allowable under the 1872 law, doubled the potential number of claims in the Hills and in theory accommodated more miners. The three hundred feet rule was formally adopted by the rival Cerrillos Mining District two weeks later.


As a general rule the 20-acre claims in the Cerrillos Hills predate March 1879 and the more numerous 10-acre claims date between 1879 and about 1907.


It is of interest that the GMD miners, in Resolution II of their by-laws, set the pay for a day’s labor on all lodes at an unrealistically high $4. The going rate for mine work in the region had been $1.50 to $3 per day. A year later the Engineering & Mining Journal reported that miner’s wages in the Cerrillos area were $25 to $35 a month (of 10-hour days and 6-day weeks) plus board. Twenty years later, long after the Galisteo District was history, miner’s work in the region still paid $1.75 to $3 per day. It is unlikely any mine worker was ever paid $4 for a day’s work. The Cerrillos Mining District was to be more honest when it came to their $4 figure.


The GMD mine owners and miners of record for the first three months included Andrews, Bartleson and McClure, and also C.L. Thayer, William T. Guyer, J.S. Taylor, W.H. McBroom, the Spiegelbergs; Abe, Solomon, Lehman, Levi, Willi and Willi S. (you’ll see Abe and Willi S. later), J. Giroux, M.L. Good, the brothers George C. Bennett & Edward F. Bennett, T.J. Anderson, H.F. Swope, John Forsha, D.D. Finch, N. Sanderson, John Ayres, C.H. Gildersleeve, William M. Tipton, William Mailand, J.S. Loud, John N. Thompson, George E. Blain, Mo Breeden, H. Ilfeld, L.A. Hughes, A.D. Craig, G.S. Barnes, W.S. Jenkins, Grace Breeden & Hattie Watts [the only women on this list], W.A. McKenzie, A.G. Irwin, John T. Elkins [brother of Stephen B. Elkins], U.A. Gould, Joseph L. Baker, Edward W. Rice, Henry Reed, B. Kahn, John B. Gaunt, F.A. Manney, Sam Keiser, Valentine S. Shelby, John Shaw, W.F. Johnson, John Martin, J.H. Stewart, Charles Mailey, W.M. White, Simon Filger, and M.F. Hawkins. This list of initial GMD participants is noteworthy for the preponderance of Anglos and the absence of Spanish surnames.


Having a local mining district with a local recorder was a convenience, since the miners did not then have to go to the county recorder in Santa Fe every time a transaction was made, but it also made the transactions more costly because everything had to be registered twice. The district recorder entered your claim in the district record book, and in return for the $1.50 fee he was supposed to ensure that all his entries were duplicated into the county’s master books, the fee for which came out of his $1.50.


In practice, not all of the miners spent the money to have their claims and other transactions recorded with the local recorder, as they should, and not all of the local recorder’s entries made it into the county books, as they should. The study of the details of these omissions reveal a great deal about the perceived worth of the various claims and about the apparent intentions of the filers.


The much larger group of newcomers from Colorado, reacting to the institution of the Galisteo District by Andrews and the Santa Feans, formed the Cerrillos Mining District (CMD) on March 27. With their own district the Colorado miners could institute their own rules, including limiting surface claims to a maximum of 10.22 acres. Frank Dimick was elected president and recorder of the CMD and Robert Hart secretary. William B. Guthrie was deputy recorder.


The division of the mineral lands between the districts was apparently peaceful. The Galisteo District was west of the Central Mountain (soon to be known as Grand Central Mountain), and included the south half of Hungry Gulch where Enos Andrews had his best mines. The larger Cerrillos District covered the east and north sides of the Cerrillos Hills, including the north half of Hungry Gulch.


At their southern extremity the two districts split down the middle the tiny cluster of shacks on the banks of the Rio Galisteo, where it was understood that someday a train station was to be located. As it turned out the first railroad train appeared at that camp almost exactly one year later, on March 15, 1880. Founder’s Day for Cerrillos Station was observed on March 8th.


The owners and miners of record for the first several months in the Cerrillos Mining District were as follows: (On this list of 78 of the earliest CMD participants, the seven that appear also in the early GMD are marked with *) Frank Dimick, Robert Hart, P.F. Herlow, Henry M. Atkinson [the Surveyor-General of NM], William B. Guthrie, Nelson Hallach, James Willard, William C. Rogers [remembered today by Rogersville], Jordan B. Cottle, Samuel Bonner, W.E. Cousins, W.A. Forbes, E.O. Smith, Christian Eberhart, William Bolander, W.A. Givens, George H. McCloskey, C.A. Bush, David J. Miller, William M. Tipton*, Ben M. Thomas, J.C. Davis, W.A. McKenzie*, J.C. McKenzie, A.G. Irvine*, Quincy Stitler, J.H. Belcher, A.M. Ghost, J.R. Wallingford, William B. Fenderson, Henry F. Swope*, Henry C. Griffin, J.L. Sanderson, Philip Mould, W. Streiby, Lowell O. Ives, A.M. Williams, H.N. Shaw, W.H. Lawrence, W.T. Thornton [future mayor of Santa Fe and future governor of NM], John W. Martin*, John Grady, George H. Vickroy, P.H. Warner, Simon H. Lucas, S.T. Armstrong, Joseph M. Gough, W.E. Dame [later the first chair of the Cerrillos town trustees], John S. Volger, Charles E. Caldwell, Charles L. Guirmond, W.S. Jenkins*, James H. Stewart*, Robert H. Longwell, Ed Miller, John J. Bush, O. Bostrum, Samuel Hull [agent for the Marshalltown Mining Company, of Iowa], J.C. Hull, Warren W. O’Brien, J.C. Piersol, T.A. Maddux [the unofficial mayor of Carbonateville, and its Justice of the Peace], J.W. Windfield, Charles Carter, H.B. Sullivan, Ed Dalbow, John Doyle, James L. Morris, John Martin, Samuel Dean, Charles Krouse, W.R. Blount, A.D. Giles, Albert Grunsfeld, William B. Henderson, Lew Wallace [the current NM governor], John R. Friend, Peter E.D. Loye, and William McMullen.


From the beginning the two districts had everything in common save a few personalities. Both districts had a component of New Mexico-resident Anglos and both districts a majority of Coloradans. The newcomers were called “Colorado miners” but were in fact predominately from the rest of the States (Colorado at this time had been a state for less than three years), or recently arrived from Europe.


At a CMD miner’s meeting at Carbonateville on May 21, 1879 it was proposed to look for a way to combine the GMD and CMD, but nothing came of the effort.


At another CMD miner’s meeting three weeks later, on June 13, it was decided that the recorder should receive $1 per claim recorded, and that three miners should be selected as Committee of Safety to investigate alleged malicious destruction or fraud of any claim, and they should have the power to arrest and hold the miscreant if necessary. To defray the expenses of the Committee of Safety the recorder was ordered to charge an additional 50 cents for each and every claim recorded. (Which surcharge made the registration fee in the CMD the same as that of the GMD.) Furthermore, conflicts between miners would be resolved by three arbitrators, one each chosen by the parties in contention and the third chosen by the first two. Finally, the first year’s annual assessment work prescribed by the 1872 law (10 feet of work) should in the CMD be accomplished within 90 days of the location of the mine.


The Cerrillos Mining District regulations were modified again on September 1, 1879.


The CMD boundaries were set (this is the original orthography)… to wit;- The South boundry line shall be the Galisto River and the West boundry line shall be the East boundry line of the Galisteo District, previously established; and from the north East Corner of the Galisteo District to Peno’s Ranch on Cerrillos Creek, thence to Ojo principal Spring, thence to San Marcus Spring; thence to Galisteo River along the Santa Fe and Old Placier road.


Surface claims were set at a maximum size of 1500 feet by 300 feet, as before. Ten days were allowed from the day of location to having the claim staked and the location notice posted, and 90 days from the day of location to having the claim registered. All controversies related to claims would be resolved at a meeting of miners called by the recorder. A meeting of district miners could be called by any five miners. The CMD recorder was now allowed $2 per entry in the record book, but he had to see that those records were filed with the office of the Probate Clerk in Santa Fe at his own expense.


The following month, October 1879, an energetic and personable man named Maj. Hugh Marshall arrived in the Cerrillos Hills, and by December he, with his partner James F. Callendar, and with the cooperation of a nearby hacendado, Nasario Gonzales, had begun to organize the Gonzales Mining District. This was on the land on which Willison and Gwyn had been scramblers back in 1872.


On March 1, 1880 the Gonzales Mining District was formalized at the Marshall and Calendar ranch (location unknown) and three days later was registered with the county recorder. The Gonzales District was to be a square of ten miles, with the store and dwelling of Francisco Gonzales at its center. Nasario Gonzales was elected president of the district and Henry Nevin the secretary. The district rules required that ten feet of shaft or other work be performed each year in order to hold a claim, and that a survey of each claim be made within three months of registration.


The “square of ten miles” would have subsumed, in modern terms, all the land between the Santa Fe airport and the town of Cerrillos, but in practice the Gonzales Mining District’s activities were concentrated in the small 3 by 3-mile area between the Rancho Delgado/Bonanza Creek Ranch and the northernmost Cerrillos Hills. As the boundaries of the Gonzales and Cerrillos districts overlapped, whether a claim was registered in one or the other district was a matter of personalities and of politics.


The early participants in the Gonzales Mining District were Hugh Marshall, James F. Callendar, D.C. Hyde, Nasario Gonzales, Manuel Baca y Delgado, J.H. Wadsworth, Henry Nevin, William E. Cook, S.E. Carter, Levi Hughes, Alexander G. Irwin, John McDonald, Alfred Brainard, Miguel Yeoman, Olivas V. Aoy, S.A. Lawick, J.J. Mahony, M.G.R. Fritzgartner, Alexander Newby, and Lehman Spiegelberg.


Possibly the best mine in the Gonzales District – one of the few that paid for the working of it – was Hugh Marshall and James Callendar’s Marshall Bonanza lead-silver mine, only a short distance south of the Rancho Delgado.


More than Andrews for the Galisteo Mining District, Marshall and Callendar were the reason that the Gonzales Mining District existed. Especially because of the smooth-talking Maj. Marshall. And Maj. Hugh Marshall harbored a deep dark secret.


Of the three districts of the Cerrillos Hills, only the Gonzales District included Hispano New Mexicans. Nasario Gonzales, as one of the wealthiest landowners in the region, lent his important name to the enterprise. Maj. D.C. Hyde, of the New York Hydes, had enormous financial resources and a disposition to use them to exploit the gold that he knew for certain was to be found in the Cerrillos turquoise deposits. Olivas V. Aoy was a Spaniard, a convert to Mormonism, a Renaissance man, and the founder and publisher of the first newspaper in the region, the Los Cerrillos Prospector, later called the Los Cerrillos Rustler. Consul J.J. Mahony, formerly the U.S. Consul at Algiers, was the founder of Bonanza City, situated three miles north of Carbonateville, and a man of probity and experience and an interest in turquoise as well. Lehman represented the Spiegelbergs, the premier mercantile family of Santa Fe.


Lehman Spiegelberg and A.G. Irwin have to share the award for promiscuity when it came to filing claims in all the different mining districts. They had mines in them all.


Thus, the Cerrillos Hills at the pinnacle of the boom had three separate and competing mining jurisdictions, the Galisteo, the Cerrillos and the Gonzales. Notwithstanding their differences, they were all very much alike. The districts all functioned to provide stability and order to a rowdy and adventurous group of mostly itinerant men. The region’s miners might have made a greater effort to merge them had their attentions not been focused on other things; developing their mines and making money. Especially on making money.


From the beginning the Cerrillos Mining District was the dominant district of the three. The Cerrillos District covered more claims and thereby counted more voting miners, it contained more of the profitable claims, and it had the most competent district recorder, a man named N.B. Laughlin.


Napoleon Bonaparte Laughlin – he so disliked his given names that he never used them; only the initials – was intelligent, well-schooled and as honest a man as you could find. Born in Illinois in 1844, ex-Confederate, he came to the Cerrillos Hills in the spring of 1879 by way of Dallas, where he had practiced law. One member of Laughlin’s small party from Texas was J.W. Bell, who two years later would gain a degree of fame by being one of the deputies killed by Billy the Kid during the Lincoln jailbreak. Laughlin was elected recorder of the CMD in June and served, at a time when other recorders served no more than one year, for the next three years. Later Laughlin became the judge of the First Judicial District (Santa Fe), and was also a justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court from 1894 to 1898 (during the second Cleveland administration).


The Cerrillos Mining Distict miner’s meeting at Carbonateville on July 5, 1880 resulted in some significant adjustments to the boundaries of the district. The miners approved the absorption of the redundant Galisteo District without ever mentioning it by name, and they voted to extend the Cerrillos District northeast to include Turquoise Hill and a lot more. The revised district was to be known as Los Cerrillos Mining District and was delineated thusly (original words):


beginning at a point on the East boundary line of Santa Fe County which is due west from the N.W. corner of the Pecos Pueblo Grant, thence west to the Santa Fé Creek, thence along said creek in a Southwesterly direction to the Western boundary line of Santa Fé county. Thence in a Southerly direction along said boundary line of Santa Fe County to the N.W. Corner of the Ortiz Mine Grant. Thence East to the Eastern boundary line of Santa County, and along the north line to said Ortiz Mine Grant. Thence in a northerly direction along the Eastern boundary line of said Sant Fé County to the place of Beginning.


The district encompassed an east-west swath across all of Santa Fe County, between the Galisteo River on the south and today’s prisons on the north.


It was also specified at this meeting that for purposes of assessment work labor shall be estimated at $4 per day. This is probably the real story behind the GMD’s $4 per day. Not that any worker was paid that much, but that valuation could be applied toward the $100 yearly assessment work requirement.


At another meeting on January 24, 1881 the merger of the CMD and GMD was formalized, this time by name, and it was stipulated that the rules of the CMD take precedence. The GMD recorder, William R. Golden, was invited to turn over his record book to CMD recorder Laughlin.


The Gonzales Mining District, which had overlapped the Cerrillos District on the north, had also come to be of little consequence. From its beginnings in the spring of 1880 the Gonzales Mining District usually appears in the records by the phrase “Los Cerrillos Mining District, sometimes called Gonzales Mining District.” That terminology persisted into 1881 and did not pass from currency until sometime after the truth about the Gonzales District Godfather, Maj. Marshall, came to light.


The beginning of the end of the Gonzales Mining District came when Maj. Hugh Marshall was discovered not to be a Major at all. And worse, he was not even Hugh Marshall. The rumor had circulated that Hugh Marshall was in fact Edward Eggleston, accused of murder in Colorado and now on the lam in New Mexico. But the Colorado authorities had offered no reward so the Cerrillos miners, those who were aware of his likely identity, had no interest in pursuing the matter. Hugh Marshall/Ed Eggleston continued with his great and diverse interests in New Mexico in the belief that his true identity remained a secret.


The rumor eventually reached the ears of the authorities in Santa Fe, who telegraphed Colorado for more information. And then on March 27, 1881 they arrested Marshall-Eggleston in Albuquerque. A man named Rice, on whom Eggleston had originally jumped bail, came down from Colorado to take Marshall back for trial. But in Albuquerque on June 10th, while handcuffed and in the custody of Rice, Marshall disappeared.


A couple of days later Rice, too, was not to be found, and it was whispered that Rice was in cahoots with Marshall and had helped him escape. Again!


The last laugh was that the Marshall Bonanza mine, which Hugh Marshall (or whatever name he went by next) never saw again, turned out to be one of the more profitable properties in the Cerrillos Hills.


The Cerrillos boom ended at the start of 1884 when the New Mexico legislature’s new law making it more difficult to speculate in mining claims took effect. Because of the money made through speculation the Cerrillos boom had lasted, based on the minerals discovered and their production, perhaps two years longer than it might have.


Though greatly scaled down after 1884 the Cerrillos Mining District endured.


At an April 14, 1885 meeting of the remaining miners A.D. Giles moved to discontinue or abolish the office of the recorder. His intent, probably, was to eliminate the recorder’s fees and his motion was supported by then-recorder Henry Beckwith. Giles proposal was voted down because the miners feared such action would also bring an end to the district. Mr. Giles then moved that registering claims with the recorder be made optional, which also lost.


At a meeting later that year Beckwith was elected as recorder again. Beckwith ultimately served as recorder for four years, during which time he made a total of twenty-two entries in the record books.


The last few entries in the Cerrillos mining record books (in CMD Book #7) were: for 1887 two proofs of labor, in 1888 relocations by E.F. Bennett and Mike O’Neil of two previously abandoned mines, and in 1889 the relocation of the Norma Lode by W.S. Spiegelberg and Mrs. Henrietta Jefred, and the relocation and renaming of the adjacent Bourbon Lode as the Henrietta Lode by Willi’s brother Abraham F. Spiegelberg.


This is Willie S. Spiegelberg, Solomon & Bertha Spiegelberg’s son, not the more prominent Willi Spiegelberg, who had moved from Santa Fe to New York City in 1888.


Since the Cerrillos record books had been passed in the fall of 1888 by Beckwith to Willi Spiegelberg, who was catering, along with his older brother Abraham, to his sister, Mrs. Jefred, those last two entries in 1889 probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously.


One way to measure the Cerrillos Hills boom is to count the records filed. N.B. Laughlin, in his three years as Cerrillos Mining District recorder and notary public of Carbonateville, had made well over 1,200 entries in the CMD books. During those last three years of Beckwith and Spiegelberg, 1887 through 1889, the books show a total of six entries.


The Santa Fe New Mexican reported on a Los Cerrillos Mining District meeting held on May 29, 1907 at the house of Mike O’Neil in Cerrillos. It is not known whether there had been any official CMD meetings during the twenty years before this 1907 meeting. Spiegelberg and then O’Neil possessed the CMD record books during that time and, except for a couple of pages dated 1898 documenting the (lack of) business at the Carbonateville post office, there are no records from these years. This 1907 meeting was not recorded in the books either. And to further fuel the uncertainty, over 75 paper pages have been removed from Book #7, the last of the CMD record books.


The attendees at the 1907 meeting were Dr. Friend Palmer, W.A. Brown, James P. McNulty, Mike O’Neil, Diego Mares, Edgar Andrews, J.F. Williams, H.S. Kaune, Dr. Fred A. Yoakum, Fred Muller, A. Spiegelberg and W.H. Kennedy, who represented 12 of the 15 persons said to be at that time engaged in mining here in the district.


O’Neil and McNulty were longtime Cerrillos miners who specialized in turquoise, as was Mares, whose 160-acre homestead was situated between the Lone Butte and the modern TTVFD station. Edgar Andrews, no relation to Enos Andrews, was a Cerrillos miner who met his end in a mine accident in 1918, but his wife achieved a kind of fame in Cerrillos as the proprietor of the Old Boarding House, and for her pies. Palmer and Yoakum were medical doctors in Cerrillos who dabbled in mining. W.A. Brown was the manager of the Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company, across from the railroad bridge at Cerrillos. Williams was a livery, feed & coal merchant in Cerrillos. Kennedy (formerly hardware merchant in Cerrillos), Kaune, Muller and Abe F. Spiegelberg were Santa Fe merchants with interests in the Cerrillos mines. Kaune and Mares were partners in the Elisa mine, a Turquoise Hill patent claim.


Among the three unnamed miners not present at the 1907 meeting one was probably the ailing Enos Andrews, the Alpha and the Omega this story, who did not depart this world until 1910. Another of the CMD miners missing from this meeting might have been Willi S. Spiegelberg.


There were only two actions taken by those present at the 1907 CMD meeting. One was to rescind the half-size claim regulation and institute the full 1500 by 600 foot claim size, and to validate those full-size claims that had been made, perhaps illegally, in the interim. The other action was to elect a CMD clerk and recorder for the ensuing year: Mike O’Neil.


As recorder O’Neil would have had custody of the eight district record books until at least 1908. We know that at some point the books passed to O’Neil’s stepson, Verne Byrne, who was born in 1908 and whose homestead was what is now the Silver Hills subdivision. After Verne’s death his wife Laverne passed the books to the current [2012] holder, Homer Milford.


The most recent chapter of the Cerrillos Mining District culminated on February 9, 1973, when the historical Cerrillos Mining District was approved and entered into the State Register of Cultural Properties #273. The submission to the State Register was sponsored by David H. Snow and A. Helene Warren. The historical district is defined by old Route 66 (I-25) on the west, Bonanza Creek Road (CR-45) on the north, Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway (SR-14) on the east, and Waldo Canyon Road (CR-57) on the south.


The old Cerrillos Mining District may be long gone but the role of Cerrillos in the story of New Mexico endures.




The single record book for the Galisteo Mining District contains entries dated between March 14, 1879 and January 15, 1881. From March to June 1879 M.A. Bartleson served as the district recorder, along with his deputy W.P. McClure. Then W.P. McClure took over as recorder, with H.E. Spiegelberg (no apparent connection with any other Spiegelberg mentioned in this paper) as his deputy. The year 1879 was concluded with C.M. Purdin serving as recorder and William R. Golden as his deputy. Golden took over the office of recorder in January 1880 and served without a deputy until the district was dissolved a year later.  


In late 1881, after the GMD was no more, the Cerrillos Mining District recorder, N.B. Laughlin, made four new entries on some unused pages of the book.


The Cerrillos Mining District records comprise seven books, containing mining records dating from April 11, 1879 to July 9, 1889. The seventh CMD book also includes two pages of tally documenting the (lack of) business at the Turquesa (Carbonateville) post office in 1899, the year it was finally shut down.


The entries dated between April 11 and August 28, 1879 are all made by the first CMD recorder, Frank Dimmick and his deputy W.B. Guthrie. N.B. Laughlin’s first entry as recorder is September 4, 1879, and his last is August 28, 1882. During Laughlin’s long tenure L.M. Lymons appears as his deputy for one entry only, November 7, 1879. On January 1, 1880, W.A. Robinson is deputy recorder for a single entry. These probably represent the very few days when Laughlin was absent from the district. Finally, E.F. Nisbet served as Laughlin’s deputy recorder in 1882, during the last eight months of his tenure.


Starting in September 1882 A.A. Cruttenden takes over as CMD recorder, and is joined in March of the following year by A.D. Giles as deputy recorder. Cruttenden and Giles serve through August 1883.


J.A. Larock is CMD recorder from September 1883 through July 1884, and he is succeeded by Henry Beckwith, among the longest serving and least busy of all the CMD recorders, whose last entry is dated March 24, 1888.


The aforementioned Spiegelberg entries dated July 9, 1889 are the last mining entries in the record books. It is likely that Beckwith handed over the books and the job of recorder to Willi S. or Abraham F. Spiegelberg in either ’88 or ’89.


The subsequent chain of possession of the CMD record books is uncertain, but it is likely that one of the Spiegelbergs gave them to Michael O’Neil, who probably passed them on his death to his stepson Verne Byrne. Byrne was about 22 years old when O’Neil died in 1930. Verne’s wife Laverne, some years before her passing, gave the books to the current holder Homer Milford.

                                                    20th Century Cerrillos Mining
Exerpt taken from Alan Disbrow & Walter Stoll, Geologists for the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Minerals. What follows is from 1957 and does not reflect the ownership or land status today. Working claims in the hills have been grandfathered in. At this time there is no possibility for new claims.
The past history of the district should provide sufficient indication of what may be expected in future mining. The principle producing veins have been explored to depths of 96-650 feet below the outcrops during the last 75 years of mining. All known ore shoots are small, although some of the run-of-mine ore was high in grade. The walls of ore shoots were commonly weak and slabby, and required timbering of drifts and filling of stopes. Where mining descends below the water table, at depths of 100-300 feet below the surface, pumping or bailing is necessary. The close association of sphalerite and galena make milling necessary, but the small size of the deposits does not justify a large mill. As may be judged from these facts, operational costs are comparatively high.
Underground development should be preceded by thorough surface trenching and pitting, to determine the existence and possible extent of the ore. Oxidation of the veins makes it necessary to sink or drift for considerable distances before reaching the zone of primary sulfides. Perhaps the best exploratory method for new veins would be diamond drilling to points below the oxidized zone, after surface prospecting has revealed a favorable indication of ore.
                                            Some of the mines worked in the 20th century:
Marshall Bonanza Mine The Marshall Bonanza mine at the north end of the district was the middle one of a patented group which also includes the Baca Bonanza and the Spielberg Bonanza. In 1945 the owner was the James W. Gerard estate of New York City. The mine was said to have been worked from 1900 to 1906 by the Bonanza and Milling Company which shipped a few cars of ore and erected a mill on Bonanza Creek, one and one-half miles north of the mine. The Bonanza Company produced a little copper ore in 1917. Alec Mathieson, of Cerrillos, dewatered and timbered the workings in 1920. A few tons of zinc-lead ore was mined at that time, but none was shipped. In 1947 the Bonanza Trust Company leased the property, installed pumps and reconditioned and deepened the shaft. During 1948 and 1949 this company shipped a modest amount of ore to the smelter. The mine has been idle since 1950. The vein was opened by a shaft said to be 220 feet deep. From the 160-foot station, drifts extend 125 feet northeast and 175 feet southwest. The vein was reported to be 3-31/2 feet thick in these drifts and to contain small amounts of high-grade sulfide ore below the oxidized zone. Much water was present below the drift level. The vein was stoped from the drift upward to the bottom of the oxidized zone, 120 feet below the surface.
Evelyn Property The Evelyn property, comprising the Brown, Evelyn, Manhattan, Santa Rosa, and Shannon lode claims at the north edge of the district. The first recorded operators were WH & RB Paul, in 1910; the owner at that time was the Evelyn Gold-Copper Company. In 1912 the ownership had passed to Page Rodman and WG Franklin. The greater part of the production, probably amounting to 1,500-2,000 tons, was mined by Alec Mathieson and Joe Zucal in the late 1920s. The property has been idle since 1930. In 1945 it was reportedly under lease to W Simonson, of Denver Colorado and Alec Mathieson, of Cerrillos. According to available information, the ore shipped was a siliceous oxidized ore containing about 21/2 percent copper as malachite and 0.2 ounce of gold per ton. The main ore body, which was mined in a small open pit at the collar of the Evelyn shaft, was said to have been 40 feet deep and 40 feet across. The Evelyn property included seven veins that dipped steeply to the northwest or southeast, in augite-biotite monzonite. The vein thicknesses ranged from 6 inches to about 5 feet. Only the gossans were exposed, which showed altered rock and veinlets of quartz and chalcedony, highly stained with limonite and manganese oxide. Here and there were a few specks of malachite, pyrite, and chalcopyrite. The veins were opened by shafts, pits, shallow cuts and three drifts and adits. The Evelyn shaft was said to be 247 feet deep and is inaccessible.
Trio Claim The Trio claim, west of the Evelyn property was staked in 1941 by Verne Byrne and Sam Carnes, of Santa Fe, but all the workings were excavated prior to 1941. The vein lay in a small inclusion of quartzite that was surrounded by augite-biotite monzonite and overlapped on the north by gravel of the Ancha formation. Ore occurs as a partial filling of small cracks in a weakly defined zone of fractures cutting the quartzite. The vein was opened by three 20-foot shafts spaced over a strike length of 48 feet and connected underground by a drift. Some stoping had been done in the drift. Other workings included three shallow cuts, two of them lying in the porphyry and exposing no vein matter. The only visible ore lay in small piles. Galena cubes with coatings of ceruussite form clusters on quartzite. Some of the ore was composed of loosely aggregated small quartz crystals and galena cubes, with minor amounts of cerussite, limonite and manganese oxide.
Tom Payne Mine Original location was made in 1879. In 1905 the shaft was 176 feet deep and some ore had already been shipped. The earliest recorded ore shipment was made in 1911 when the property was owned by the Sunset Mining & Milling Co. At that time the mine was opened by a shaft by drifts at the 100- and 176-foot levels. In 1912 the mine was acquired by the Cerrillos Mining & Smelting Company, operations were carried on intermittently from 1912 to 1918 during which period the greater part of the mine's total production was realized. Most of the ore was concentrated at the company mill near Cerrillos, where a 60-percent lead concentrate and 40-percent zinc concentrate were made by tabling. Only a few tons of ore was mined between 1919 and 1942. Ore mined during 1943-44 was shipped to the custom mill of the American Smelting & Refining Company, at Hanover, New Mexico. Shipments were made in 1949, 1951 & 1952. The recorded production for the period 1911-1952 was about 7,000 tons; the ore was high in zinc compared with the average for the district. Much of the ore exposed was distributed in several widely seperate parts of the mine and mineable at a relatively slow rate & high cost. The resumption of full scale mining in the Tom Payne mine depended on prior development of additional ore bodies by sinking and drifting.
Andrews Tunnel The Andrews tunnel was 225 feet long and followed a vein 6 inches to 5 feet thick and consisted of sheared, altered monxonite containing a few stringers of quartz, veinlets of ankerite or siderite, and disseminated crystals of galena, pyrite and sphalerite. The vein was heavily stained with limonite. 115 feet vertically below the surface the vein was unweathered. The vein zone was 2 feet thick and contained only 2-3 percent total of sulfides.
Armington Property The Armington tunnel was dug during the early days of mining in the Cerrillos district. The shaft reported to be 150 feet deep and flooded to a level 80 feet from the surface. The discovery shaft, a few yards to the south was 29 feet deep. The vein may be a branch of the Pennsyvania vein but more probably was a seperate body, parallel in strike but lying west of the Pennsylvania. The Armington tunnel extended north on the Tom Payne vein from a point which apparently was near the south end of the vein. the vein was a band of altered monzonite 1-6 feet thick, contained a few small quartz stringers, copper stains, and much iron and manganese oxide 130 feet below the surface.
Pennsylvania Mine The Pennsyvania group was comprised of the Bob Ingersoll, JB Weaver, Bertha Mable, Owl and Sure Winner claims, some of which were among the oldest locations in the district. The mine shaft was on the northernmost of the claims, the JB Weaver, about 90 feet from the north end line. At one time the claims were patented, about 1915, the shaft had been sunk to a depth of 150 feet by the owner, Michael O'Neill, and ore had been found at a depth of 80 feet. During 1917-1918 John W Beard leased the mine and reportedly shipped several carloads of ore. In 1934 the American Metal Company performed a little exploratory work and retimbered part of the shaft. The Cerrillos Lead & Zinc Company, started working the Pennsylvania mine in October 1942. Verne Byrne, of Santa Fe, was the property owner and also manager of the operating company. During 1942-1945 the shaft was deepened to the 189-foot level, drifts were driven north and south, and three stopes were opened. Late in 1945 the shaft was extended to the 300-foot level. Ore was sent to the custom mill of the American Smelting & Refining Company, at Hanover, New Mexico. Approximately 900 tons of lead-zinc ore of good grade was produced between 1942 and 1952. The ore had been mined by both overhand and underhand stoping. Stopes were carried at a minimum mining width of 4 feet, and so the ore and adjoining sheared wall rock were blasted together. The ore was handsorted and the waste backfilled on timbered drifts.
Bottom Dollar Prospect The Bottom Dollar prospect was owned by Reese P Fullerton and Frank Staplin, of Santa Fe, in 1945 and was leased by Rovert Hume. The workings included an old shaft 175 deep, with a 25-foot drift at the 150-foot level, and said to show ore 5 feet thick. In 1944 Hume retimbered the shaft to a depth of 130 feet. A small tonnage of ore was recoverd at this time and stockpiled at the mine. The Bottom Dollar vein may be continuous with one of the veins exposed in the vicinity of the Andrews tunnel. About 350 feet west of the shaft was a second, parallel vein, opened over a strike length of 720 feet by four pits. Some of the ore consised of alternated bands of ankerite and sphalerite containing minor amounts of galena and chalcopyrite.
Black Hornet Prospect The Sierra Metals Company, as part of a program of exploration and development in the Cerrillos district, sank the Black Hornet shaft in 1944 about 2,000 feet west of the Pennsyvania shaft. Reese Fullerton and Frank Staplin of Santa Fe were the property owners. The shaft was sunk vertically to a depth of 100 feet and short cross cuts were run east and west. Development was in progress during the fall and winter of 1945 under the direction of Richard McGhee, mine superintendent. A well had been drilled to the water table at a depth of 175 feet below the floor of Hungry Gulch, and a flotation mill was built.
Cash Entry Mine The Cash Entry mine is one of the earliest locations in the district. The first operator appears to have been the Boston-New Mexico Mining Company, which was said to have sunk the Cash Entry shaft and driven many of the underground workings. The mine had been idle in 1904 and was filled with water to a level 150 feet below the surface. Subsequently it was unwatered. From 1909 to 1915 the property was owned and operated by the Boston-Cerrillos Mines Corporation. An appreciable production was recorded for the years 1909 and 1910, part of which was supposed to have come from the Cash Entry No. 3 shaft, on the Franklin vein. From 1911-1915 no production was recorded, and the mine was closed January 1915 on account of water. At the time it was closed mining reportedly on the 450 foot level and the inflow of water was about 250 gallons per minute. John W. Beard of El Paso, Texas was the owner of the Cash Entry, Franklin, Grand Central and adjoining claims and has leased the property, totaling some 420 acres to the Moline Mining & Milling Company, of which John Reba of Santa Fe was the manager. The Cash Entry mine has been one of the most productive mines in the district. About 500 tons of rich silver ore, with values in gold and copper were produced in 1886 and 4,500 tons of lead-zinc ore was produced in 1890-1903. During 1909-1952 about 9,000 tons of lead-zinc ore was mined from the Cash Entry, Grand Central, Franklin and other nearby properties.
Grand Central Mine The Grand Central shaft had veins on the surface that were tracible for 500 ft in pits and in the shaft. It roughly paralleled other veins in the vicinity. the visible parts of the vein are thin bands of altered monzonite porphyry, stained with limonite and manganese oxide. The mine was flooded; it was reported to be 500 feet deep and to have stopes. About 4,800 tons of ore was mined during 1890-1893, averaging 4 ounces of silver per ton, 7 percent lead and 18 percent zinc. In 1905 efforts were made to sort and ship oxidized zinc ore from the upper levels. At one time the mine employed many men and was the largest ore producer in the district. After the shaft housing and mill burned down in 1918 the mine was idle untill 1951. During 1951 & 1952 small tonages of ore were shipped from the upper levels. In 1952 the mine was leased to the Moline Mining & Milling Company.
Franklin Mine  During 1909-1920 considerable rich ore was said to have been mined from the Cash Entry No. 3 shaft, on the Franklin vein. The operator was Dockweiler, who reportedly shipped 5 or 6 carloads of high-grade lead-zinc ore from an ore shoot 6-7 feet thick and 80 feet long. The shaft was flooded later by water pumped from the Cash Entry mine. The Franklin shaft, started from the bottom of a 25-foot prospect pit, was sunk to a depth of 96 feet in 1943. Drifts were driven 135 feet northeast and 120 feet southwest on the vein at the 90-foot level. The southwest drift connects with old stopes from the Cash Entry No. 3 shaft. A small stope was opened in the soutwest drift, and about 1,500 tons of low-grade ore from this stope and from development was milled in the rebuilt Cash Entry mill during 1945-1946. A zinc concentrate containing 49 percent zinc and a lead concentrate containg 63 percent lead, according to preliminary assays, were produced by flotation. The zinc concentrate was reported to have contained a little cadmium. Between 1946 and 1952 the only mining appears to have been in 1949, when about 500 tons was produced. In 1952 the mine was under lease to the Moline Mining & Milling Co.
Mina Del Tiro Two old shafts which form part of the mine workings were found by the earliest American prospectors. It is a common belief that this work was performed by natives americans prior to 1680. In modern times the mine produced only a little ore. About 1910 a vertical shaft was sunk 90 feet in the hanging wall of the vein, and a carload of ore was mined. Another carload was said to have been taken out by Jones and Davis in 1933-1934. In 1938 the property belonged to Verne Byrne of Santa Fe. A mill-test lot was mined and shipped in 1942. On the surface the vein is traceable for 1,300 feet, although not continuously. The country rock is a moderately sericitized hornblende monzonite porphyry. Both the Spanish and the modern workings lie near the northeast end of the vein. One of the ancient shafts apparently was sunk as deep as 90 feet vertically on the vein, but it is completely filled. The other appears to have been an incline descending in steps to a shallow depth and is totally filled with silt. The recent shaft was sunk between the two Spanish workings, and a short drift was driven on the vein, intersecting old workings. The main ore shoot underground, exposed for a length of 55 feet. A second ore streak, 8 inches wide and composed of quartz and galena, lay a few feet within the hanging wall of the main shoot. It followed the Spanish workings at the northeast end of the drift.
                                                           Closing Remarks
All of these mines from the 20th Century have been filled in or were netted by Abandoned Mine Land Bureau (AML). There is no access to these mines and sites. They have been closed. You can only read about them now. Neither County, State, Federal nor private owners allow any new claims at this time. BLM has had a temporary hold on all new claims in the Cerrillos Hills pending the approval of their new RMP.  Hiking through the Cerrillos Hills State Park will take you past mines from the Territorial Period that have been netted, labeled and are safe for viewing.  There is no mineral collecting on State Park property at any time.      
                                          Fracture pattern of the Cerrillos Mining District - click on map
Pat Brown,
Mar 4, 2012, 2:16 PM