top of page

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 George 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 Employee's 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, 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 celebration and the now famous Christmas Light Display. Beginning in the early 1920's, Madrid miners lit up the winter sky with 150,000 Christmas lights powered by 500,000 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, Christmas in Madrid has been revived, with main street all lit up, Christmas carolers, Santa and parades. Madrid now offers the three weeks prior to Christmas when merchants remain open late for holiday shoppers and families.

 

In the early 1970's Joe Huber (Oscar's son), then owner of the entire town site, rented a few of the miner's cabins to rugged individuals, artists and craftsmen eager to make a home in the mountains of New Mexico. He remained dedicated to the town he'd grown up in and it's new community until his death in the late 1980's. Some of those who shared his vision of a new Madrid, more than 25 years ago, are still here today. Today, Madrid, with a quiet residential area and a busy main street filled with merchants and artisans, welcomes visitors from across the world.

 

Located on the Scenic Turquoise Trail (State Highway 14) between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Madrid has evolved into a bustling mountain community of some 300 people.

History

bottom of page