Saturday, 27 February 2016 21:03

Hadley, San Miguel County, New Mexico

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Hadley, San Miguel County, NM

     One evening while perusing Cram's "Auto Trails and Commercial Survey of the United States" atlas of 1918 I came across the place name Hadley. The map shows that it was located approximately three miles west of Rociada up against the eastern side of the Santa Fe National forest.

     Hadley? I had never noticed this name on any contemporary maps of NM: Forest service, USGS 7.5 min. quad of Rociada, Shearer's atlas of NM ...

     So my first source was of course Robert Julyan's "The Place Names of NM". There are two citations listed. Hadley, Luna County, Cookes Peak Mining District and Hadley, San Miguel County, "exact location unknown, P.O. 1904-05, mail to Rociada".
Julyan goes on to say "Ephemeral postal locality, name origin unknown, though an association with W. C. Hadley is possible". 

     Location, origin, name? This really piqued my interest and so it was off to the archives and the Internet.

     It turns out there are three place names associated with the name Hadley in NM. The first and most prominent is the one in the Cookes Peak District developed by the above mentioned W. C. Hadley in the 1890's.

     Space does not permit a discussion of W. C. Hadley and his history in NM, it will have to wait for another story.

     The second Hadley is the subject of this article, the one three miles west of Rociada. It is Named for Ozro Amander Hadley (1826-1915), the one-time governor of Arkansas 1871-1873.

     The third is the O.A. Hadley ranch south of Tiptonville on the Mora river a few miles northwest of Watrous on the Scolly Grant. This too is another story.

     The Hadley in question here was a mining camp developed by O.A. Hadley in 1904 in what is known as the Rociada Mining District. This district, starting in 1900, had over the years approximately 15-20 mines.

     The principal ores initially prospected were copper, gold, silver, lead and iron. The main mines associated with the mining camp Hadley were the Azure, Rising Sun and the Iron Hole. They are located on a ridge west of the confluence of Maestas and Spark's creeks at approximately 9200 feet.

     The mining camp of Hadley was located in the meadow at the confluence of the two mentioned creeks.

     I found the following in the "NM Business Directory 1905-06": Hadley, pop. 20. Mining properties developed by O.A. Hadley. 

     Besides the Cram atlas I subsequently found two other early 20th century atlases showing Hadley. It then disappeared from the map record.

     The Rociada district never really prospered. This from F.A. Jones 1904 report "NM Mines and Minerals": "The district has never produced, the grade of the ore being insufficient to stand the long wagon haul to the railroad".

     These mines weren't just shallow surface prospects. A report by G.T. Harley in 1940 "Geology and Ore Deposits of NE New Mexico" has a map and description of the district showing the Azure-Rising Sun mines, as it was then known, as having vertical shafts of 170 feet and horizontal tunnels of 100-300 feet.

     O.A. Hadley himself was quite an interesting character. Besides being governor of Arkansas he homesteaded in Minnesota in 1855, spent a year in Europe with his wife on a "Grand Tour" before coming to NM in the early 1880's where he is associated with the Tipton, Dorsey and Hallett families. 

     Historical citations mainly mention his name in NM in association with ranching interests. Three maps in the archives show a Hadley-Hallett Tract on the Scolly Grant where he ran cattle and raised forage and other crops.

     An interesting aside relating to the Hallett name was found in an article by Sharon Snyder on the web site NM "History in the Writing of Peggy Pond Church". "Peggy's mother was the granddaughter of former governor O.A. Hadley who owned a 4000 acre ranch called the Clyde near Ft. Union". The ranch mentioned above on the Scolly Grant. This means P.P. Church was the great granddaughter of Hadley.

     With the demise of Hadley's mining venture and the Hadley camp there are references in the mining literature of continued interest in the Rociada district: in the 1930's and again in 1946-47. Nothing came of any of this until 1961.

     At that time another attempt was made to tap the ores of the Azure-Rising Sun mines. Exploratory work was done, thousands of tons earth excavated, a mill built on the site all in the name of a mineral called tantalum, atomic number 73. Wikipedia says it is a "rare, hard, blue-gray lustrous transition metal that is highly corrosion-resistant". A substitute for platinum it is used in medical implants and bone repair; also in capacitors and electronic equipment, mobile phones, DVD players, video game systems and computers.

     Ore samples were analyzed but all for not. Tantalum was not found in high enough quantities to make it economically feasible to mine. And so ends the sporadic, failed history of the Hadley Azure-Rising Sun mines of the Rociada district.


     A note on my bibliography: my citations and references are so voluminous and extensive that I feel it over-kill to list them in an already long posting. If anyone does want them I will be happy to provide upon request.


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