Located just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the mineral rich Ortiz Mountains, Madrid is in the oldest coal mining region in New Mexico. There is evidence of primitive mining in the Madrid area as early as the mid-1850's.
By 1892 the yield from a narrow valley known as "Coal Gulch" was large enough to warrant the construction of a 6.5 mile standard gauge railroad spur, connecting the area to the main line of Santa Fe Railroad. Coal Gulch later became the town site of Madrid.
By 1893 a seven story anthracite breaker was constructed, and by 1899 all coal production in the area was consolidated at Madrid. Wood framed cabins were dismantled in Kansas and brought to Madrid by train, to house the miners and their families. The town flourished as a "Company Town" of some 2500 people.
in 1919 Oscar Joseph Huber was hired, by Mr. Kaseman of the Albuquerque and Cerrillos Coal Company, as full time superintendent of mines. Under his capable leadership Madrid became a model for other mining towns to follow. Elementary and High Schools, a fully equipped hospital, a Company Store and an Employees Club were some of the benefits of line in Madrid during the 20's and 30's. Believing that idleness was an enemy to a stable community with Chicago Cigar Bars, Mr. Huber formed the Employee's Club, requiring miners to donate from .50 to $1.00 per month for community causes. They were also required to participate in town events such as the Fourth of July celebrations and the now famous Christmas Light Displays. Beginning in the early 1920's Madrid miners lit up the winter sky with 150,000 Christmas lights, powered by 500,00 kilowatt hours of electricity. The power was provided by the company's own coal fed generators. The displays were the product of both Madrid and Northern New Mexico artisans and laborers. Madrid's Christmas celebrations ended with W.W.II and the mines closed in the 1950's. Today the Christmas in Madrid has been revived, with main street all lite up, with Christmas carolers, Santa and parades. Madrid now has two-three weeks per Christmas that merchants remain open late for holiday shoppers and families
Recently, certain events have brought Madrid New Mexico to the world spotlight. Touchstone Films produced the 2007 film Wild Hogs that showcased Madrid, and had the restless shirt and tie bikers making their final stand at the Madrid Chili Festival.
As you know New Mexico is a big manufacture of granite. Lately Madrid has bee exporting lots of granite slabs for countertops to Michigan Granite. They are top of the line and the business only seems to be getting bigger.
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