On the corner of Central Avenue and Poplar Street in downtown Bayard, New Mexico, the Bayard Mining Park commemorates Grant County miners with a collection of mining equipment and educational plaques. While the park does not warrant a trip in and of itself, the park, like a fine wine, is paired nicely with a trip…
Chino Mine is one of New Mexico’s standout mines and host to many historic events in mining. It was a critical copper mine supporting Spain’s New World holdings in the early 1800s. It was the hub for many burgeoning mining towns after the Civil War. And it became the test site for one of mining’s most significant innovations: open pit mining. While still an active operation, the diggings are easily observable from a viewing deck which is open daily.
Silver City, as the name suggests, owes its name, architecture, and very existence to the rich silver deposits found in the Silver City Mining District of New Mexico. The Silver City Museum houses a collection of artifacts from local mining operations and the daily life of the town’s residents. Native copper, assaying tools, portable scales, and even radioactive health treatments from the local ore all are on display for the curious visitor.
While many mining museums commemorate the collection of precious metals, the New Mexico Mining Museum in Grants highlights a material that only gained value in the mid-20th century: uranium. Located 78 miles west of Albuquerque, Grants, New Mexico has experienced many booms, from railway to logging to carrots. But when a local Navajo shepherd named Paddy Martinez discovered uranium ore in nearby Haystack Mesa in 1950, Grants was flooded with uranium prospectors and experienced a mining boom spanning the 1950s to the 1980s.