Monday, July 26, 2010

What to do in Orogrande, NM, Population 65

First off, stop at the Outpost for all your refreshing drinks and munching supplies!
Let me tell you, there's no place like it in Orogrande as this is it, the one and only one stop shop for all your needs.  Be it a tale of local happenings or just a hot cup of Java or ice cold drink, this is the place.

A day in Orogrande can be full of history and tales of times gone by and things are not as austere  as they seem on the surface.  I was invited for a little prospecting with my metal detectors and a trip up to the Nannie Beaird mine that has so much history that is just minutes away in Jarilla Mountians just to the North West. 

We first went behind the U.S. Post Office with our detectors and found this water meter in the sand from when the area was a tent city during the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) days.  Credit goes to James for the find, yes, a very nice find indeed!

I've sent an email to the Niagara Meters Co. as it's called now and hope to post a response from them soon.

There was also an abundance of nails and tin cans  from the tent city that used to occupy the land where the meter is located.  Most of the meters have been looted that were made of brass for the salvage value.  Also most of the above ground steel pipe has been salvaged at one time or another.  This meter is made of cast iron.  And was about 6 inches deep in the sand.

Around mid Morning we had enough of the wet humid conditions (it rained the day before) and decided to go up to the famous Nannie Beaird Mine  and see what remains of this famous mine just around the mountain from historic mining town of Brice.  In 2001 the mine shafts were secured with covers so that the bats can fly in and out but keep folks out as the last person to die in the Jarilla's by falling down a mine shaft was as recenty as in 2000.

There's a a lot of tin (steel) cans at the Nannie Beaird mine site that were used in a catalytic leaching process to extract copper from the ore and as these photos show the cans still occupy the processing facility to this day!

Here's a peek through a crack in the wall of the office area now full of tin cans.

Just outside of the offices there's a ton of tin cans that have been left to fall victim to rust and it gets so hot from the Sun that not even a weed will grow.

Lunch was approaching so we went back down the mountain to Orogrande and took up the offer to have Brats and Fixn's at the old CCC school house that now serves as a Community Center for those living in Orogrande.  Last time that I was in the Jarilla Mountians was in 1963 with my father who was prospecting on behalf of my Grand Dad (who was always looking for that fortune) but in reality I think that it was the comradeship of the folks prospecting and a cool brew that kept him coming back for more of the Orogrande / Jarilla mining experience.

And that's what we did in Orogrande on the 4th of July 2010!