Tour Locations | Oral History Tour of Madrid, NM: The Town Too High To Die
Old Coal Town Museum
Let's stop here for a moment in front of the Cantina and the Old Coal Town Museum. Every location on this tour is a stop which lasts about three minutes, so from here onwards I'll be expecting you to stop when you hear my voice.
In 1880 the railroad came through and Madrid sprang up practically overnight, a company town whose sole purpose was to mine coal. Buildings were hauled in, whole or in pieces, and soon thousands of people lived here. The hill before you is completely hollowed-out from the mining, the ground beneath you is honeycombed two miles deep.
Mining coal is hard and dangerous work. The fight for workers’ rights erupted largely in reaction to the economic and safety conditions miners faced. Madrid was no exception.
Madrid was wholly owned by George Kaseman until his death, after which his superintendent Oscar Huber took over.
Before this was the Mineshaft Tavern and the Old Coal Town Museum, this area was the actual center of Huber’s mining operations. After a long-festering strike, this spot was also the site of a violent struggle.
We’ll hear about it from Waz and Josie.
When you are ready to continue, keep walking north up highway 14 about fifteen yards, until you get to the grand entrance of the Railyard and the public restrooms, which are clean and modern waterless toilets.