Fayette Alexander Jones.

New Mexico mines and minerals ... Being an epitome of the early mining history and resources of New Mexican mines, in the various districts, down to the present time .. online

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Being an Epitome of the Early Mining History and Resources
of New Mexican Mines, in the Various Districts, Down
to the Present Time. Geology of the Ore Deposits,
Complete Census of Minerals, Mineral and Ir-
rigation Waters, Table of Altitudes and
Other General Information.


"Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for the gold
where thev fine it." Job 2K:1.






Member of the Territorial Board of the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition Managers and Director of the Mineral Exhibit.


1 W4.





1 32587





This Volume is Most Sincerely Dedicated

by the
Territorial Board

of the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition Managers.

The passing of the "old time" prospector forever removes from

the American people one of the most unique characters

in the history of the Republic.



1. "Tooth of Time."

2. "Enchanted" Mesa,

3. Vertical Section of the Earth's Crust in New Mexico.

4. Ruins of the Gran Quivira.

5 Vertical Section of the Rio Grande Basin.

6. Ortiz Mine.

7. Los Cerrillos Smelter.

8. Santa Rita Mining Camp.

9. Old Adobe Spanish Prison

10. Adobe Furnace at Hanover.

11. Shamrock Smelter.

12. David Egelston.

13. Organ Mountains.

14. Stephenson-Bennett Mill.

15. Blowing Gold from the Sand.

16. Geological Section Across Apache Canyon.

17. Log Cabin Mine.

18. Geological Section Across Sierra Oscura.

19. Socorro Mountain.

20. Mount Magdalena.

21. "Old Hutch."

22. Tomb of J. C. Cooriey.

23. Mill of the Mogollon Gold and Copper Company.

24. Geological Section Across Baldy Mountain.

25. Mathew Lynch.

26. Hydraulic Mining, Lynch Placers.

27. Dredge of the Oro Dredging Company.

28. Cross-section of the Glen- Woody Lode.

29. A Vein on the Danberry Mine.

30. Scene on Rio Bonito.

31. Geological Section at White Oaks.

32. Dredge of the American Placer Company.

33. Dry Washer of the Electric Mining and Milling Company.

34. Cross-section of the Monzonite Dike, Jones District.

35. Massive Iron Croppings.

36. Fierro Iron Mine

37. Opening of Pinavititos Coal Mine.

38. Collecting &alt at Big Salt Lake, Estancia Plain.

39. Crater Salt Lake.

40. Graphical Diagram of Cement Industry.

41. Geological Section of the Gypsum Deposits at Ancho.

42. Ancho Cement Plant.

43. Ancient Stone Hammers.

44. "Turquoise John."

45. Gem Turquoise Mines.

46. Ojo Caliente.

47. Faywood Hot Spring.

48. Coyote (Chavez) Spring.

49. Cecill's Artesian Well.

50. Map Illustrating Pecos Valley Water Supply.

Governor Otero and Board of Managers.



I. Geology. Our Fragmentary Knowledge of, Plateau Region: "Tooth
of Time," Enchanted Mesa. Recent Lava Flows and Their Effects.
Cretaceous and Eruptive Areas. Vertical Section of the Earth's

Crust in New Mexico and Mineral Bearing Horizons 1

II. Early Spanish Conquests for Gold. Expeditions of Coronado. and
Other Adventurers and Their Disappointments. Destruction of the
Gran Quivira; Its Buried Treasure. Early Mining History and Rec-
ords at Santa Fe 8

III. Placers. The Various Fields of, Their Extent, Richness of Gravels,
Accumulations of Gold in the Bed of the Rio Grande. Early and
Presen t Placer Operations 15

IV. New Placers (Silver Buttes) District. The Old and New Placers.
Their Discovery and Primitive Methods of Working. Ortiz Mine.
Golden. San Pedro and Dolores Camps. San Pedro Copper Mine.
Geology of Ore Deposits of the District 21

V. Cerrillos (Galisteo) District. Prehistoric Turquoise Mining at Mount

Chalchihuitl (Turquoise). Mina del Tierra. Geology of the District. 29
VI Central District. Its Early History and Mining. Santa Rita and
Hanover Copper Mines, Iron Deposits at Fierro and Hanover. Ke-
cent Gold Strike at Gold Gulch. Lone Mountain District. Mimbres

District. Georgetown Silver Mines. Carpenter District 34

VII. Pinos Altos District. Its Discovery. Fights with the Apache Indians.

Hardships in Pioneer Mining. Mines and Mills. Silver Cell Mine 47

VIII. Silver or Chloride Flat (Silver City), White Signal (Cow Creek),
Bullard's Peak, Clark's Peak and Burro Mountains Districts. Silver,

Turquoise and Copper. Production Discovery 53

IX. Virginia (Shakespeare), Pyramid, Gold Hill, Malone, Eureka (Ha
chita), Fremont and Apache No. 2 Districts. Copy of an Old Dodger
of the Early Days. A Glimpse of Exciting Times in Mining. Advent
of the Santa Fe Railway Gives an Impetus to General Mining Activ-
ity 58

X. Kimball (Stein's Pass), San Simon, California, Steeple Rock (Car-
lisle), Anderson and Telegraph Mining Districts. Old Butterh'eld

Stage Route. Death of Captain Stein 66

XI. Organ, Dona Ana Mountains and Hembrillo Mining Districts. Gold
Camp. Black Mountain. Stephenson-Bennett Mine and Its Early
History. Torpedo and Little Buck Mines. Geology of the Ore De-
posits 73

XII. Las Animas(Hillsboro), Pittsburg (Caballo Mountains) and Iron Reef
Districts. Discovery of Gold at Hillsboro and Apache Canyon
Blowing Gold from the Sand. Geological Section Across Apache
Canyon 81

XIII. Lake Valley. Macho and Bromide No. 1 (Tierra Blanca) Districts.
Tne Celebrated Lake Valley Mine; Its Discovery, History and Pro-
duction. The Bridal Chamber. Occurrence of the Ore. The Log
Cabin Mine 89

XIV. Black Range, Xos. 1 and 2, Palomas (Hermosa), Apache No. 1,
Cuchillo Negro (Limestone) and Sullivan's Hole Districts, Embracing
the Silver Camps of Kingston, Hermosa, Chloride, Edwards and
Grafton. Indian Massacres. Hardships Suffered by the Pioneers.
Silver Monument Mine 95



XV. Jones, Hansonburg, Estey City, San Andreas, Little Burro and Mock-
ing Bird Districts and Camps. Geological Notes on the Iron and Cop-
per Deposits. Historical Data 102

XVI. Socorro Mountain, Lemitar, San Lorenzo, Hanson (Ladrone Moun-
tain), Canyoncito, Chupadeio, Rjsedale and Red Hill Districts. Early

Mining History. Geology and Character of the Ores 1C9

XVII. Magdalena, Pueblo, Iron Mountain,. Cat Mountain. Silver Mountain
(Water Canyon) and Abbey Districts. Mount Magda'.ena and Its Su-
perstitions. Discovery of the Districts. Kelly and Graphic Mines.

Council Rock, Observations on the Ore Deposits 1 19

XVIII. Cooney, Wilcox and Tellurium Districts. Discovery of the Cooney
Mine. Death of J. C. Cooney and William Wilcox by Victorio's Band
of Indians. Camps of Mogollon and Graham. Production, Character

and Geology of the Region 129

XIX. Moreno, West Moreno (Hematite), Uraca and Bonito and Cimarron-
cito Districts. History of Discovery of Gold at Elizabethtown and
Baldy Mountain. Big (Lynch) Ditch. Aztec Mine. Placer Fie'ds

and the Big Dredge 138

XX. Red River, Black Copper. Keystone, Midnight, La Belle, Rio Hondo,
Cieneguilla, Copper Mountain and Picuris Districts. Camps of Red
River, Twining, Amizette, South Fork, Glen- Woody and La Belle.

Rich Gold Strike at Red River 153

XXI. Bromide, Headstone (Hope well), Copper Canyon and Ojo Caliente
Districts. Bromide Mine. Platinum in Tampa Mine. Eureka Gulch

Placers 162

XXII. White Mountain, Nogal, Bonito (Parsons), Eagle Creek and Ruidoso,
White Oaks, Jicarilla and Red Cloud (Gallina Mountains) Districts.
History, Geology and Production 168

XXIII. Cook's Peak, Florida, Tres Hermanas, Canzillo Springs, Victorio and
Stonewall Districts. Early History of Cook's Peak. Graphic, Des
demona and Othello Mines. Jose Camp and Pneumatic Concentrator
Ores and Production 180

XXIV. Cochiti Mining District. Bland, Peralta Canyon, Woodbury Mill, Al-
bemarle Mine and Mill. Nacimiento Mining District. Jura-Trias
Copper Company. San Miguel District and Mines 185

XXV. Mining Districts of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. Placitas,
Sundia, Tijeras Canyon, Coyote and Star (Hell Canyon) and Man-

zano Districts 190

XXVI. Silver Hill (Jarilla) District. Turquoise Discoveries. Assassination

of De Mueles, Iron, Copper and Placer Mining 193

XXVII. Las Vegas Districts of Selitre, San Pablo, San Miguel, Tecolote,
Mineral Hill. Also Rociada, Coyote (Mora County) and Miscella-
neous Districts. Zuni Mountains, Copperton and the Guadalupe

Mountains 197

XXVIII. Iron. Geology of Deposits. Localities and Analyses 201

XXIX. Coal Chemistry of the Hydrocarbons. First Mention of New Mex-
ican Coal. Government Mine. Area of Fields. Statistics and

Analyses 210

XXX. Salt; Its Geology. Estancia Lakes and Crater Salt Lake 223

XXXI. Cement, Plaster and Lime. Portland Cement. Other Types. Ce-
ment Plaster. Slag Cement. Geology of the Gypsum Deposits of
New Mexico. Technology of Gypsum at Ancho. Analyses. Plain

of the White Sands 231

XXXII. Clay, Brick and Stone. Clay Horizons. Crushing and Absorption.
Tables of New Mexican Bricks. Analyses of Clays. Classification
of Building Stones. Formula of Strength. Table of Crushing
Strength. Analysis of Ricolite. Ornamental and Lithographic
Stone. Localities of Building Materials 247



XXXIII. Mica. Classification as to Grades. Occurrence and Localities. Sul-
phur. Localities. Otero's Sulphur Works. Guano; Its Mode of
Occurrence. Pumice Stone and Tripolite, Ocher, Alum, the Gila
River Deposits 259

XXXIV. Gems and Precious Stones. Turquoise. Antiquity of New Mexican
Mines. Geology and Mode of Occurrence. Quality. Localities.... 267

XXXV. Petroleum, Asphaltum and Graphite 278

XXXVI. Radium and the Ores of Radio- Activity. Physical Properties of
Radium. Reflections on the Ultimate State of Matter. Has the
Alchemist's Dream Been Realized? Notes on Some of the Rarer

Metals 283

XXXVII. Mineral Waters. Census of the Mineral Waters of New Mexico.
Notes on the Early History of Some of the Celebrated Springs. Me-
dicinal properties and Analyses 289

XXXVIII. Well (Artesian) and River Waters. An Exhaustive Compilation of
These Classes of Waters with Analyses. Map Illustrating the Pecos

Valley Water Supply 313

XXXIX. Table of Altitudes. Embracing the Elevations of All Important
Land Marks and Points in New Mexico, with the Authority of the

Observation 327

XL. Census of New Mexican Minerals, Complete so Far as Now Known.
Statistical Tables on the Production of Mines and Labor Employed

for the Year 1902 8 i2

APPENDIX. Synopsis of the Mining Laws of the Territory of New Mexico Gov-
erning the Location and Re-location of Mining Claims. Biographical
Sketches of Governor Otero and Board of Managers 347


Through the medium of the Territorial Board of the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition Managers of New Mexico,
the publication of this volume on New Mexico Mines and
Minerals was made possible.

The Board of Managers fully recognized, in the beginning,
the importance of presenting in a proper and concise manner
such matters of interest, at the Great Exposition in the City
of St. Louis, concerning New Mexico, as would redound to the
general welfare of the commonwealth and at the same time
tend to reflect credit on itself in the performance of its
manifold duties, has in accordance w r ith such views, sanctioned
the publication of this brief historical Memoir descriptive of
the Mines and Minerals of New Mexico. It is sincerely hoped
by the Commission that the matter herein contained will be
cordially received by a generous public and may prove both
interesting and valuable to all from a scientific, as well as from
a historical standpoint. Technical terms and phrases have
been avoided as much as was consistent in elucidating intelli-
gently the various topics discussed.

Should any criticism be offered as to the manner, character
and style of presenting the subjects contained in "New
Mexico Mines and Minerals,'' the author desires the other
members of the board exonerated from such rebuke, and will
himself shoulder the full responsibility; since the whole
volume was entirely w r ritten by him and was left in his
hands, absolutely.

Moreover, the author washes to say that he gratuitously
prepared the whole of the manuscript and bore the entire
burden and expense of collation, correspondence and stenog-

Every effort was exerted to secure and include only that
w T hich is authentic, and whenever possible, verified by living
representatives of the "early days,*' who were on the ground
in person. It should be observed then, that the source of


much information thus obtained, was not through mere hear-
say or by second-hand evidence. Such evidence as was gotten
can be gathered at this time with more accuracy than would
be possible so to do a decade hence.

The fact should not be overlooked, that the surviving
prospectors of the "early days" are few in number, when
compared to the vast army that have followed the inexorable
command of the Silent Captain to explore the untrodden
regions of the Great Unknown.

The passing of the "old time" prospector, forever removes
from the American people one of the most unique characters
in the history of the Republic.

The author is indebted to numerous persons throughout the
Territory for valuable aid and data furnished in preparing
this volume; among those deserving special mention for their
kindness are :

James Lynch, J. M. Webster, Prof. J. S. Macgregor, J. P.
Rinker, John Y. Hewitt, Capt. M. Cooney, Charles R. Smith,

F. B. Schermerhorn, Major W. H. H. Llewellyn, Col. G. W.
Prichard, Col. A. W. Harris, H. Lesdos, Hon. L. B. Prince, B.
D. Wilson, J. Van Houten, Hon. J. M. Abbott, Thos. A. Lister,

G. L. Brooks, J. C. Plemmons, Dr. Charles R. Keyes, Hon.
Seaman Field, David Stitzel, Dr. M. M. Crocker, J. S. Hutcha-
son, M. W. Porterfield, E. L. Smart, D. S. Miller, J. G.
Schumann, W. J. Weatherby, David Egelston, EC?. H. Smith,
H. W. Russell, Jack Richardson, W. M. Woody, Hon. Antonio
Joseph, A. R. Gibson, Arthur Seligman and Hon. W. S.
Hopewell. The greater number of coal analyses were taken
from, the 1902-3 report of the Hon. Jo E. Sheridan, United
States coal mine inspector.

To Prof. E. M. Skeats, of El Paso, many thanks are due for
valuable service rendered in furnishing most of the analyses
of river and well waters; especially, the Pecos Valley water
analyses. And to M. E. Hickey, attorney at law, for a synop-
sis of the Mining Laws of New Mexico, the author is greatly

It is to be hoped that when the body corporate of the
Territorial Board of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
Managers has been absolved by reason of the act which limits
its existence, that it has left, at least, a foot print in the sands


of"the desert of time, faithfully embodied in this brief


Very sincerely,

Member of Board of Managers.

Albuquerque. N. M. r
Julv 4. 1904.



What is known concerning the geology of New Mexico at
the present time is in the main fragmentary. New Mexico
affords the largest unexplored field for geological research of
any section in the Union.

With but few exceptions, not enough work has been done in
any one part of the Territory, whereby the geological relations
may be intelligently correlated with those in a different
locality. Aside from the work of a few investigators, the
general government has sorely neglected this region. Less
than a dozen topographic sheets comprise the principal work
done under the auspices of the United States Geological
Survey; not a single complete quadrangle, of any particular
locality, has been effected.

Prom what we have learned on this subject, w r e are very
much indebted to Drs. Newberry and Hay den in their cur-
sory, yet highly interesting investigations, in detached sec-
tions of the Territory; to Lieut. Wheeler in his geographical
surveys west of the 100th meridian: to the valuable monograph
by Captain Button, supplemented by Major Powell, on the
plateau region in the vicinity of Mount Taylor; and later, by
Dr. Herrick in his series of economic papers published in the
bulletins of the University Geological Survey of New Mexico.

Valuable and comprehensive as these publications are, they
serve only as a beginning, and are to be regarded as fragmen-
tary in comparison with the great expanse of Territory that
remains untouched by scientific investigation.

Nowhere in the world are the natural environments so
favorable for the study of geological conditions, as exist in
New Mexico. The exposure of the rock system is all that
could be desired and may be read as the leaves of a book. The
great tilted orogenic block composing the Sandia range, lying
east of Albuquerque, is regarded as classic in this extraor-
dinary type of mountain modeling. The bold escarp which


faces the Rio Grande represents a perpendicular throw of
fully five thousand feet.

The plateau region west of Mount Taylor and on toward the
Grand Canyon is, perhaps, the most intensely interesting
territory, where the effects of erosion may be observed, that
can be found in the world. Here in this strange land of the
Zunis the geologist fancies he catches glimpses of the eternity

Fig. 1 "TOOTH OF TIME," near Acoma. Photographed by
W. M. Borrowdale, 19OO.

of the whole past; yet, he is forced to admit that all of this
high handed carving and sculpturing has taken place since
the great Cretaceous rock system was laid down. Geologically
speaking the horizon of his view borders on a comparatively
recent period.

During Tertiary times New Mexico Vas a theater of volcanic
activity; a greater portion of the eruptive flows took place


during this geologic period. Most of the so called mal pals
had their origin at, and just after the close of the Tertiary,
lasting throughout the Pleistocene. Many of these lavas (mal
imis) are so recent that it is thought by some that the early
Spanish explorers may have witnessed some of the lingering
volcanic outbreaks. It has been claimed that the destruction
of the Gran Quivira and some other Pueblos was due to causes
of this nature. In the writer's opinion, from personal
observations at the Gran Quivira and elsewhere, such a
conclusion cannot be verified and would seem untenable
for lack of evidence. Centuries before the landing of
Columbus, it is quite probable that the aborigines of this
region may have witnessed some of these outbreaks; it seems
certain, however, that nothing of the kind has transpired
since the discovery of America. The purported finding of
corn, pieces of pottery and old ruins imbedded in lava has been
investigated by the writer on several occasions and in every
instance it was a clear case of "mistaken identity."

Many of the rivers of New Mexico have been deflected
from their former courses by being obstructed and entirely
dammed by the more recent lava flows. The most noted
example of this nature is found in the Rio Grande, extending
from the upper part of the Espanola valley north sixty miles
to the San Luis valley in Colorado.

Throughout this entire distance the river channel was
completely filled by the vast lava sheet which extended over
an area of at least ten thousand square miles. It is difficult
to conjecture the position of the old channel; it may have been
as far west as Ojo Caliente.

Throughout the whole sixty miles exists a grand gorge,
carved through a level plateau, with almost perpendicular
walls rising majestically over one thousand feet.

To this obstruction in the Rio Grande the origin of the
fertile San Luis valley is due. That this valley was an old
lake bed there is not a shadow of doubt; the final opening of
the gorge drained this vast Pleistocene lake, and the valley
of San Luis was thus born.

The Espanola valley had its origin in a similar manner, due
to damming at the railroad bridge; not far above Albu-
querque obstructions of this nature at one time existed.


All of the beautiful valleys along the Gila and San Francisco
rivers were formed in like manner; the old lake bottom exists
in a number of distinct terraces, which were formed at
different periods, as the outlet of the river gorge was lowered.
It is not improbable that the former course of the San
Francisco river may have been down Duck Creek to the Gila
at Cliff; the nature of Duck Creek Valley and the difference in
levels of the two rivers seem to favor this supposition.

The two principal classes of formations most generally
found on the surface over the territory, are the lavas (mal
pais) and Cretaceous rocks.

In New Mexico it is thought that about one-sixth of the land
surface is covered with eruptive sheets and fully one-third of
the whole area by Cretaceous formations.

The minerals of economic importance most generally sought
in New Mexico, are associated with the older classes of erup-
tive rocks and later gravels; in the massive Carboniferous
limestone; and in the later or uppermost Cretaceous sand-

This association of particular classes of minerals with
special types of rock formation, is now recognized as a matter
of fact by every intelligent person.

In being able to recognize mineral bearing horizons and
formations, is a qualification much to be desired in the
successful pursuit of economic geology.

A generalized vertical geological section of the earth's crust
in New Mexico is given for comparison with similar sections
in other states and elsewhere.

It is seen that the geological column is fairly complete; the
principal exception being the lower Paleozoic rock system . At
Lake Valley, Tierra Blanca and near Silver City, it is thought
that portions of the Silurian and Devonian exist; confirmation
on this point, however, is lacking. Any omissions of this
character that may occur are partly offset by a very full de-
velopment of the Permo-Carboniferous series. The sequences
of the "red beds" series are very complete, and probably reach
a total thickness of 3,500 feet in certain localities, which
includes the Jura-Triassic systems. The "red series" are
conspicuous for their wide distribution of copper, dissemi-
nated through certain strata of shale and sandstone. Since the

IN NEW MEXICO. By F. A. Jones.


copper is very low grade, but few localities will pay to work.
Copper in many instances has replaced fossil plants and trees
in the "red series" deposits; this character of ore is a high
grade glance.

The coal deposits of New Mexico all lie in the upper Creta-
ceous sandstones; some beds are in the Laramie and others
belong to the Fox Hills series, or upper Montana.

Only two principal fields are definitely known to belong to
the Fox Hi 1 Is series; these are the Cerrillos and Carthage

It is observed that the Fox Hills coals are superior in quality
to the later Laramie deposits; since their coking qualities are
much more pronounced. Whether this desirable feature is
due to the superiority in age, or whether the conditions were
more favorable from being influenced by eruptive members,
or both, is a matter that will require further investigation.

The Carboniferous limestones are recognized as mineral
carriers, or ore bearing horizons. Much of the copper and
all of the principal lead and zinc ores are found in intimate
association with this important series.

Gold and silver ores are most generally or always found
intimately associated with the metamorphic and eruptive
types of rocks; a good gold section is usually recognized by the
intelligent prospector as a region having an abundance of
"porphyry." To a greater or lesser degree the associated
minerals of lead, copper, zinc, etc., are found intermixed with
the gold and silver ores.

The occurrence of the rarer metals, is usually in association
with the more plentiful commercial metals; and are frequently
extracted as a by-product.

In the stream and river sands of the Territory intimately
connected with the placer gold and black sand, platinum and
a number of the heavy and rare metals unquestionably exist
in a greater or lesser degree. Very little attention was ever
given any of the concentrated black sand, and our knowledge
of its contents is mainly conjectural.



Online LibraryFayette Alexander JonesNew Mexico mines and minerals ... Being an epitome of the early mining history and resources of New Mexican mines, in the various districts, down to the present time .. → online text (page 1 of 26)