The Chronicles of Grant County

This column will feature items that relate somehow to Grant County - the name of a street in the case of the first one, and maybe other streets, or the name of a building or whatever catches the fancy of the contributor, Richard Donough. Readers are encouraged to send him topics of interest to them, so he can do the research and write an article.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

Veterans Day 

Veterans Day Thank You Forest ServiceThis image was provided courtesy of the United States Forest Service. What will you be doing today at 11:00 AM?

Some Americans will pause what they are doing to remain silent at that moment.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

rainbow gila national forest emory pass july 5 2017 flickr 1This rainbow was seen at Emory Pass in the Gila National Forest on July 5, 2017. (The photograph was provided courtesy of the United States Forest Service.)

Rainbows bring smiles to many throughout Grant County. Perhaps even on Rainbow Road in San Lorenzo or on one of the more than 35 other roadways in New Mexico with the name “rainbow."

But, according to information on a website produced by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “A rainbow isn’t really a ‘thing’ and it doesn’t exist in a particular ‘place.' It is an optical phenomenon that appears when sunlight and atmospheric conditions are just right – and the viewer’s position is just right to see it.”

The Chronicles Of Grant CountyOaks – Part II

emancipation oak jerry gammon april 17 2019According to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, residents of Hampton first listened to a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation under this Oak tree - the Emancipation Oak – in early 1863. (This photograph was provided courtesy of Mr. Jerry Gammon, April 17, 2019.)According to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, residents of Hampton first listened to a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation under this Oak tree - the 

Oak trees are found throughout the United States, including in Grant County and New Mexico. Five roadways are named after the Oak tree in several communities in Grant County; more than 200 roadways are named after Oak trees throughout the state.

oak tree public domain pixabay november 27 2010 The leaves of Oak trees change colors from green to a variety of oranges, yellows, and browns in the Fall each year. Public domain photo on PixabayRoadways in a number of communities in Grant County are named after the Oak tree. Among the roadways are three separate Oak Streets in Bayard, Santa Clara, and Silver City. In addition, Oakridge Drive is located just east of Silver City, while Oakwood Avenue is situated just west of Silver City.

According to the United States Forest Service, oaks a common sight in the Cherry Creek Campground in the Gila National Forest: “In the autumn, hillsides turn into a beautiful mosaic of golden aspens, rusty oaks, and bright red sumac.”

Louisiana Street is one of the roadways in Silver City named after an American state or commonwealth.  This street is located near the campus of Western New Mexico University. Part of New Mexico was initially part of the Louisiana Purchase.

“Louisiana” was named after the King of France, King Louis XIV;  he was also known by other names, including the “Sun King”. Three Frenchmen are credited in various reports with being among the first Europeans to explore what became known as “Louisiana”:  Louis Jolliet, Jacques Marquette, and René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle.

According to a news article in The Windsor Star on April 30, 1999, “René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle…[erected] a cross and…[proclaimed] the Mississippi delta the property of Louis XIV” on April 9, 1682.  A news article dated September 23, 1983, in The Weekly News of Marksville, Louisiana, stated that it was La Salle who gave the name “La Louisiane” to the territories that included all of the Mississippi River watershed.  La Louisiane stretched from a portion of what is today Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Rocky Mountains to Appalachia.

The Chronicles Of Grant County

hummingbird produced by georgeb2 from pixabay A hummingbird drinking nectar from a flower. (Image was provided courtesy of GeorgeB2 through Pixabay.)

Three local streets in Grant County were named after two birds, the hummingbird and the mockingbird. Other area roadways are named after other birds.

Hummingbird Lane is a small street located off of Silver Heights Boulevard in Silver City, while a second roadway with the same name is located off of Route 35 in Mimbres.

Eighteen roadways in Grant County have names related to three of the metals that have been mined in Grant County – Gold, Silver, and Copper. The mining of these metals goes back generations in the area.

On October 7, 1915, the Albuquerque Morning Journal reported that “the ores of Pinos Altos district are complex and carry copper, zinc, lead, silver, and gold.”

The New Mexican, a newspaper based in Santa Fe, reported on October 20, 1865, about quartz gold mining in Pinos Altos (“Tall Pines” in Spanish): “Thirty lodes were discovered, paying from $40 to $200 per ton.”

gold image by steve bidmead from pixabay 50The image above shows gold in the form of gold bars; the image is provided courtesy of Steve Bidmead from Pixabay.

There are five roadways with names related to “Gold” in Grant County: Gold Street in Silver City and Gold Street in Arenas Valley as well as Golden Avenue in Pinos Altos, Gold Gulch Road in Tyrone, and Gold Rush Road in Mimbres.

 Silver City developed “in the 1870s, after the discovery of silver in and around the Town,” according to the website of the Town of Silver City. “Silver City quickly became a boom town.”

Silver is utilized for a wide variety of products, including coins for the United States of America.

silver coins image by matthew heinrichs from pixabay 50The photo above, provided courtesy of Matthew Heinrichs from Pixabay, showcases the one ounce silver dollar coins minted by the Federal Government.

Globally, more than 855 million ounces of silver were mined throughout the world in 2018, according to the World Silver Supply published by The Silver Institute.

This metal is recognized in the names of seven roadways in Grant County: Silver Streets in Silver City, Pinos Altos, and Arenas Valley; Silver Spur, Silver Spirit Trail, and Silver Heights Boulevard in Silver City; and Silver Creek Road in the area between Bayard and Santa Rita. The middle school in Silver City is La Plata, Spanish for silver. 

 Copper, mined for decades in Grant County, is used to manufacture a number of products.

copper wire image by łukasz klepaczewski from pixabay 50One of those products, copper wire, is seen in the photo above provided by Mr. Łukasz Klepaczewski from Pixabay.

“The United States of America is the second largest producer of copper in the world,” according to the Copper Development Association. “The largest copper mine is found in Utah (Bingham Canyon). Other major mines are found in Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, and Montana. In South America, Chile, the world's largest producer, and Peru are both major producers of copper.”

Six roadways in Grant County trace their names to this metal: Cooper Court and Cooper Drive, both in Tyrone; Cooper Loop and Copper Vista in Arenas Valley; Cooper Street in Bayard; and Copper Ridge Drive in Silver City. Plus the school district in the Mining District of the county is called Cobre, the Spanish word for copper.

 Do you have questions about communities in Grant County?

A street name? A building?

Your questions may be used in a future news column.

Contact Richard McDonough at chroniclesofgrantcounty@gmail.com.


© 2019 Richard McDonough

california avenue silver city map image from usgsCalifornia Avenue is located in the western part of Silver City.  The roadway was named after the State of California. Portions of California Avenue are shown to the left in the map above; the map is courtesy of the United States Geological Survey.

Much of the land that is now included in California and New Mexico – including a large portion of what is now Grant County – became part of the United States of America at the same time in 1848.  The rest of area now included in Grant County was added to the United States through the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico in 1853. One of the key reasons for the Gadsden Purchase was to allow for the construction of a railroad from America’s southern states through New Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and California.