N 33o20’19.17″, W 107o40’52.12″ Elevation 6,186′
From the north:
Albuquerque to Truth or Consequences – 143 miles
From the south:
Las Cruces to Truth or Consequences – 84 miles
Truth or Consequences to Chloride – 34 miles
— Leave I-25 at Exit 83 in Truth or Consequences, NM
— Travel north on Rt 181, then west on Rt 52 for 32 miles to Winston.
— Turn left on Republic Rd (County Road C006) and follow two miles to Chloride.
— Road ends in Chloride.
The Zip Code is 87943 and the Area Code is 575
Chloride, NM is buried in the Black Range Mountains adjacent to the Gila National Forest. It was a silver mining town. Silver Chloride was the form of silver ore being mined, hence the town name.
Chloride got its start in 1879 when the first cabin was built. By June of 1881, Chloride had three general merchandise stores, three eateries, eight saloons, two butcher shops, a news stand, a lumber yard, an assay office, a confectionery store, boarding houses, and a livery yard.
The U.S. Post Office opened in 1881, and the Pioneer Stage Line began operating between Chloride and the Railroad Depot at Engle.
By 1890, the town had boomed to nearly 3,000 people, mostly hard working, hard drinking, hard rock miners. It took nine saloons of every description to slack the thirst of these hard-living men. There were no Churches in Chloride.
Free silver versus the gold standard was the central economic issue in the presidential election of 1896. “Gold Standard” candidate, William McKinley defeated “Free Silver” candidate William Jennings Bryan for the presidency. The nation quickly adopted the gold standard. Silver prices plummeted, silver mines closed, and silver mining towns died. So went Chloride.
Chloride died practically overnight. Virtually all mining activity stopped. The stamp mill and the smelter shut down, and the workers all moved to where there was work. The only remaining activity was lumbering and cattle ranching. Chloride’s population decreased to a few families, and eventually became a quiet little retirement haven for those too old to work.
About 1978, Don and Dona (correctly spelled with one n) Edmund entered the picture. Don worked for IBM installing computer systems for the military and the FAA. At this time, he was working at White Sands Missile Range. The Edmunds lived in Las Cruces and spent weekends in Chloride restoring a derelict house they had purchased.
Over the years, they have acquired and restored several buildings including:
— the Pioneer Store now the Pioneer Store Museum
— the Monte Cristo Saloon and Dance Hall now the Gift Shop
— the Chloride Bank now the Cafe
— several cabins now restored as museums or rental units
Since Chloride borders on the Gila National Forest, most visitors (aside from tourists) come to hike or ATV in the forest. The permanent full-time population of the town is thirteen. (My kind of place)
My wife and I spent two months there in the spring of 2015 as workampers. I helped Don build a mine railroad exhibit beside the Pioneer Store Museum. My wife participated in a major top-to-bottom cleaning of the inside of the museum and all the artifacts. That took most of two months to accomplish – it doesn’t get done very often.
IF YOU GO
— Allow 45 minutes for the trip from/to Truth or Consequences.
— Allow two hours for your guided visit to the Pioneer Store Museum and the Monte Cristo Saloon & Dance Hall Gift Shop & Gallery.
— If you ask Don, he will happily provide a history tour of the town. That takes about an hour.
— Enjoy a meal or snack at the Chloride Bank Cafe.
— For the outdoor enthusiast, hiking trails abound in the adjacent Gila National Forest.
— Traveling in an RV:
Apache Kid RV Park in Chloride is a small (5 sites) but adequate facility with full hookups. The rate is very reasonable. Call 575-743-2736 for reservations.
— Need a room:
Several rental cabins are available in Chloride. Call 575-743-2736 for information and reservations.
Major hotel chains are available in Truth or Consequences. Several hotels are hot spring spas.
— Lunch and dinner are available in the Chloride Bank Cafe. (Thu – Sun)
— Many restaurants in Truth or Consequences.
In another part of this website, I mentioned that I use four “GPS Games” to help me find places off the map. So I think it makes sense to include them in the posts when applicable. Here are items near Chloride.
GC1WNJF – Chloride Cache (Traditional) (Small)
GC65D7K – Santo Nino Cemetry (Traditional) (Micro)
GC45WZN – Spirit of Chloride (Traditional) (Micro)
GC270M8 – Directional Cache (Traditional) (Micro)
GC2W5PR – Tree Cache (Traditional) (Regular)
GC4RZHK – Kellie’s Rock Cache (Traditional) (Small)
WMDB0 – Chloride, NM
WMD37T – 1921 Doodle Dum Cobblestone House
WMD37B – The Grafton Cabin
WMD37Q – The Bicentennial Cabin
WMD36Q – Pioneer Store Museum
WMD37N – Guest Book for Pioneer Store Museum
WMD36J – Windmill near Winston, NM
254862 – Silver Chloride
157420 – Reaching for Magic
157618 – Lest We Forget
164017 – T or C