Cerrillos in the 1880s

Selected News Items From MINING WORLD; 1880-81         

From the database of Jane Calvin Sanchez, Historian


The Iron Horse, the railroad, arrived in Cerrillos in 1880, and the early 1880s were the heyday for Cerrillos Hills mining when over 2,000 individual claims were filed on only a few square miles.  This was boom time, when fortunes were quickly made and just as quickly lost.  And within a decade it would all be history. What follows are gleanings from MINING WORLD, the journal of events for these hardy souls.

F. Brainerd, Turquesa, says there have been a number of recent sales and leases: the Aztec was bonded for $35,000 for 30 days. The Capital was bonded for $2,000  for 20 days. The Monitor sold for $2,500 and a contract for 100' let on it, also a number of 50' and 30' contracts. A number of small interests have been sold for large sums. MW Oct 1880:5

Capt. Brittenstein of the St. Louis Smelting and Refining Works recently purchased from the Livingood Brother three claims in the Cerrillos: the Monitor, Sunshine, and Wano for $5,500. A contract for sinking a 120' shaft has already been let and work commenced. MW Oct 1880:8

Los Cerrillos is virtually booming. Maj. D. C. Hyde is working the Turquoise, Straight Flush, Old Castilian, Hyde Bonanza [mines]. Owners of the Marshal Bonanza, Butcher Boy, Granite State, Good Hope, Sacramento, and Stone Cutter [mines] are working double shifts. Signed Bill Hoyt. MW Oct 1880:13

"Los Cerrillos" by John Robertstor, special correspondent:  Bonanza, Spiegelberg,  et al, S.V. Vernon, supt. shows high silver, lead, and a trace of gold. The Aztec near Bonanza, 1/3 has just been bonded for $35,000, the Delta, the Bourbon, etc. similar. MW Oct 1880:13

Purdin District on the south side of the range has some fine mines. Carbonateville has some excellent claims: the Good Hope, Robert Harp, Empire State, Denver City, Granite City, Silver Queen, Poverty Hollow, The Hut, and the Perfect Ashear. MW Oct 1880:13

The Mina del Terra [Tiro], a rich old Spanish mine is flooded below 150', but there is rich pay ore to that. There is an extension of lead they went down, an old shaft not yet opened. Owners are Hubbs and Wells. MW Oct 1880

Nearer to Cerrillos are The Royalina owned and operated by the owners of the smelter has rich ore. Chalchihuitl; Maj. Hyde Camp is one of the best in the Territory. Just as soon as the mines strike water the ore becomes stronger, "live rock", and proves much richer. Water strike is from 12' to 150' or more, but the richer ore always. If there are facilities for smelting and storage there should be a strong, permanent boom. MW Oct 1880

Geological description of the Cerrillos District: In the central region, ore runs high in galena. Surface ore in the Bonanza # 3 has run over 65% lead.  All fissures of this region run high in silver and at 100' will average 75 oz. a ton.  Of over 1,000 assays made by Prof Mehany, the average was more than $60 a ton with specimens up to $1,400. Water is struck between 100' and 150'; in every mine down to water the ore raised will average not less than $100 a ton. Prospecting is done "all we want now is capital". MW Jan 1881:7

Carpenter's smelter at Cerrillos station is daily in receipt of rich ore from the Rio Grande Valley fields. MW Jan 1881:8

Recent Cerrillos assays: B. B. Pears 4' vein, $3.40 gold, 25 oz. silver. Chester at 20' 2875 oz. silver per ton. Bullion King at 30' $10 gold, 83 oz. silver. War Eagle, 30 oz. silver, $10 gold, Massaponax at 10' $10 gold, 173 oz. silver. MW Feb 1881:5

The reduction works will soon be in operation at Cerrillos Station and Bonanza City. MW Feb 1881:8

Shipments of turquoise from Cerrillos mines will be shipped to New York for jewelry. MW Feb 1881:9

One of the reasons the Cerrillos mines have not developed better is that the miners have not been stable enough to stick it out. Now they are beginning to come back. MW May 1881:3

"Three Days of Observation Spent in Los Cerrillos by a sworn conservative."  Anonymous: General director all lodes Cerrillos District northeast and southwest. Mina del Tiro engine failed to pull water last year. The full depth of the shaft is unknown. The property is now leased to L. H. Whitson... Co. Work to begin immediately with a large force. Whitson Co. has also: Atlantic # 2, Pacific,  Buckeye, Winnebago, Abbott, Eureka, and Collier. MW May 1881:8

L. H. Whitson Gold and Silver Mining Co. of Davenport, Iowa, has the Mina del Tiro for 20 years. This company also signed articles this week with R. G. Abbott  and S. C. Collier et al to work the mines mentioned above. The ore now on the dump is quartz and course galena with spar. The resumption, south extension of the Mina del Tiro, lately rechristened, is owned by Bob Maxwell old hole of 150'  with old ladders is on the property. MW May 1881

Monitor, Supt. Sam Vernon, good. The Cortez, owned by Dame, Vogeler, et al, was evidently an old Spanish discovery. The General Moore owned by George Holman of Fitchburg, Mass. Mt. Monarch and Hoosier Boy, D. L. Miller, Santa Fe. The Centennial, an extension of the George Moore is owned by Fisher Weller and Fisher also has The Josie, near the "well-known Bourbon" and the south extension of the Monitor. MW May 1881

Mr. Parish is superintendent of the Bonanza #3 (Tennessee Co.) a new discovery of a good body of chlorides. The Clowery (bromides) near the Mina del Tiro, a Leadville Co. The Business Lode is owned by Josh (John) Billings, "who was almost the first man in these mountains." He has made more than 100 discoveries. The Business, now owned by Parmaly, who bought it for $100, its ore assays 5 ounces  gold, 3 1/2 ounces silver at 20'. Parmaly also owns The Park (the south extension of the Business), 25% copper. Josh Billings owns the Silver Boy, 84 ounces of gold at 12' and the San Lazaro, which has two Spanish tunnels and a shaft of 10' assay 1 ounce gold, 10 ounces silver. The Ralston, Fred Malley, about a half mile northwest of the Mina del Tiro, 418 ounces of silver. MW May 1881

The Robert Hart, Frank Dimick, one mile east of Carbonateville. Bromides in the ore are similar to the Mina del Tiro. W. R. Fallis, the Henrietta, about one mile from Cerrillos Station copper and 132-600 ounces of silver. Hungry Gulch, about 1 1/2 miles Northwest of Carbonateville the Sterling Mine, Mina del [de la] Santa  Rosa, an old Spanish mine, Rogers and Co. owners. MW May 1881

B. B. Pierce [Pears?] owners Parmaly and Purdon are working tow shifts on the Capitol Mine, depth 150'.  Parmaly also owns the Grand Reserve, which he bought from Billings for $1,100. The Washington, on a very prominent outcropping vein, is owned by Golden et al galena and 260 ounces silver. MW May 1881

The correspondent is informed that native silver was found at the Bonanza #1.  H. F. Brittenstein, manager of the Marshall Bonanza has three shafts, the main shaft of 200' has engines and pumps. The Aztec, near the Marshall Bonanza, is promising. It was bonded for $35,000 and has more recently developed horn silver. The Bourbon, Spiegelberg and Co. 420 ounces at 100' MW May 1881

The Good Hope, near the eastern edge of the range, is very reliable, much lead.  Givens, McClusky, Bolander are about to sell at a profit. The Granite State, parallel to the Good hope some litigation as to title. The Great Western, Charles Thayer. Coal mine William Patton and Co., 75 tons a day. It is only a few months since any interest was manifested any place south of the Galisteo River. Today all land is taken for ten miles around. Probable sale of 360 acres in these placers to be made for $30,000. The future of Cerrillos town seems bright. Within a few  hundred yards from the station "fine galena" was found last week. The town will be built on duriferous ground that would pay three dollars a yard with hydraulics. MW May 1881

Good Hope ore is white spar and quartz with galena in a large body. The vein is almost perpendicular. The Poverty Hollow, W. R. Fallis, W. L. Fisher, and Charles  Frisher has a 5' vein; ore runs 25% copper carbonate and 30 ounces silver. The Orchard is near the Ortiz station and crossed by the AT&SF track. Paystreak 18", assay $41 gold vein widening rapidly. MW May 1881

The Aztec Mining Co., superintendent Frank Raymond, has some excellent properties in the south placer district. The Texas, Santa Fe and Northern Railroad narrow gauge is surveyed to cross the AT&SF a few hundred yards from the station in Cerrillos. MW May 1881

A new smelter will be built at Cerrillos station by Denver parties. George Holman is back in Cerrillos after a sojourn in the East with his family. MW May 1881:13

Cannot speak too highly of the Placers along the Galisteo Creek and from the  foothills in the Placer Mountains. Ortiz station on the bank of the Galisteo River. MW June 1881:6

Frank Raymond of Cerrillos, prospector and miner, has fine gold claims at Rogers Bend. MW June 1881:10

Coal from Mr. Patton's Cerrillos mines is being used by the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. MW July 1881:2

Cerrillos:  Rogers and Cottle's artesian well is down 175'. They intend going to 400'. MW Sept 15, 1881:21

Turquesa letter: Cerrillos seriousness. Mrs. Joseph Richards and Co. are building  a 2-story frame store 20' x 40' on the corner next to Mr. Parmally's residence.  Rooms in the upper story will be rented. This letter signed SCORIFIER. MW Sept 15, 1881:21

Money is plenty in the camps of Cerrillos Mountains [Hills] MW Oct 1, 1881:36

Los Cerrillos Mining and Reduction Works.  Organized at Santa Fe.  Capital stock: $600,000. Pres. H. A. W. Tabor, Supt. Fritz Wolf; Operations on a large scale to begin immediately. MW Oct 1, 1881:38

The Pacific Lode has made a fine showing the past two weeks. The Black Ranger shows a nearly 2' vein of argentiferous galena. The Red Jacket a 6' vein on which the owners will sink to water level at once. MW Oct 1, 1881:40

N. B. Laughlin was elected recorder of the district by a large majority. A number of mines are idle because of delay of machinery needed to remove water.  Considerable work being done near Rico City. MW Oct 1, 1881

H. B. Cartwright of the Delta Mine sold a one third interest for $4,000.  The shaft of the Georgia is being straightened by Messrs Sisson and Evans. Taking out some fine mineral. MW Oct 1, 1881

Cerrillos: the Bonanza Mining Co. contracted to furnish Cerrillos Smelter ten tons of ore a day. The Handy Andy is 25' deep with over ten tons of ore on the dump and a pay streak 11 inches thick. The Captain assay work is finished and shows galena  and copper at 24'. A contract was let on the Agricultural for 100'. The Duchy is  timbered. Shaft to be completed to 100' this week. Work on the Old Santa Rosa is progressing steadily. The Bonanza #3 machinery: 60 h.p. boiler 18' long. 30 h.p. engine, large [Sturveyent] blower with 6 h.p. engine to work it, 600' wire cable with buckets. MW Oct 1, 1881

The Old Santa Rosa. Platform moved down to water level. Pay streak about 2 feet  wide is going way up. Four men take out 1 1/2 tons plus a day. The Pretty Betsy mine machinery being placed: 18 h.p. boiler with 15 h.p. engine, durable Knowles  pump. Boiler upright carries 10-100 pounds of steam. MW Oct 2, 1881:40

Notes: "Placer claims along the Galisteo Creek are selling at good prices." MW Dec 1, 1881:107

And from the SANTA FE DAILY DEMOCRAT, Mar 25, 1882:  Carbonateville Debating Club Grand Ball was illuminated by electric lights  purchased at Rogers & Cottles.

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