Monday, June 8, 2015

A Brief History of the Monte Cristo Saloon and Dance Hall

Monte Cristo Saloon and Dance Hall Gift Shop and Gallery
Chloride, NM 87943
GPS Coordinates (in three formats):
N 33.338660o, W 107.681298o
N 33o 20.3196', W 107o 40.8779'
N 33o 20' 19.17", W 107o 40' 52.67"
Elevation: 6,186 feet

The Monte Cristo Gift Shop and Gallery

The Monte Cristo Saloon and Dance hall is a large adobe building with a ‘false front’, fronting on Wall Street. It was built in 1880 by Mr. Austin Crawford, and was probably the first of the nine saloons that eventually lined Wall Street.

In 1884, the city fathers realized they needed a school for the approximately 42 children in town, so they leased the Monte Cristo Saloon building for the school. Some of the rooms were used as living quarters for the school teacher, and for at least one of the original families. Eventually a real school building was built, and the Monte Cristo building became a repository for mining equipment.

At the rear of the building in what may well be an addition, is an Assay Furnace. It is a large structure made of brick, but with a very small fire box. The assay furnace was used to test the ore samples brought in by local prospectors to determine the value. It was also used to determine the value of the ore on the ore wagons heading down from the stamp mill to the smelter east of Chloride.

The Monte Cristo Saloon and Dance Hall has been completely refurbished, and is now the home of the Monte Cristo Gift Shop and Gallery. The Gallery is operated as a Co-op, and has over 30 local artists displaying their creations. The items include wood carvings, photography, hand painted glass ware, fiber arts of all kinds, and collections of locally produced paintings.

Excerpt from
As told by the ‘Old Timers’ of Chloride
by: Donald R. Edmund

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