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White Oaks NM Townsite - Ghost town

Photos Courtesy of Mike Sinnwell March 2011

Down out of the forest and into the town. I took the back roads in from the north to get here. Pleasant drive past several old deserted towns. I see plenty of these old safes in the ghost towns I visit. This one was unique as it had been blown open by some bandits.  

Stories are told about the finding of a rich vein by a fella named Tom Wilson. Apparently he spotted the vein and told his fellow prospectors. That was back in 1879. If you can believe the rest of the story it is interesting. Some say Tom was a outlaw, a fugitive from the law etc. Anyway a wanted man. He sold out his ownership in the claim for couple of silver dollars, two ounces of gold dust (about $38.00 in this days), and a pistol, then Tom left for parts unknown.

The town began to grow as prospectors and merchants heard the news of a strike. A post office was even established in 1879. Shortly after the town got a good start the infamous Billy the kid and his gang entered the area. The usual rustling, mainly horses, petty thefts and yes major gunfights followed during the early 1880’s.  

Other the next couple of decades the town had boom and slack periods depending on what mines were producing and new finds. One successful man Watt Hoyle, decided to construct a 'superior' residence. The result was a two-story brick home, complete with a viewing balcony on top. It is still standing. The story goes that he was building it for his prospective bride and when she wrote him that she was not coming to White Oaks, he walked up to the North Homestake mine and leaped to his death. Others say Hoyle never finished the inside but did live in the home with his older brother and his wife. The home became known as 'Hoyle's folly".

Many structures standing plus if you are lucky the “No Scum Allowed” saloon will be open for business.

A viewer writes -  Sunday, August 28, 2011 --  my wife and I stopped there on our honeymoon. we visited with a lady that lived in the assay office and she told us of a man that live there by the name of Jackson that would give you a tour but he was gone at the time some one was living in the large ranch house on the north end. AT that time there were old cars left around and we  went to a mine , elevator and engine that run it was still there and tools. retuned years later and every thing was gone. First visit was 1956 later visit 1999.This was quite a thrill to see as if everyone had just left. On the return trip It was disappointing to see how things had changed. and thank you Rocky . David and Jeanette [] and still married.  55years