It is the oldest coal producing town in the state. The company also owned the mining towns of Sugarite, with its few remains located in Sugarite Canyon State Park east of Raton, and Van Houten, now part of the NRA Whittington Center, located about 10 miles south of Raton. Large-scale production began in 1892 when the Santa Fe Railroad linking the town to the surrounding world was completed. We receive lots of emails from people who find their name or a relative’s name on our site and want to know if this means they have some right to the land listed under that name. The company ranched and expanded the facilities for guests. The data and maps may not be used to determine title, ownership, legal descriptions or boundaries, legal jurisdiction, or restrictions that may be in place on either public or private land. In 1906, the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company took over the Raton Coal and Coke Company and its shares of the Blossburg Mercantile Company, which had been founded in 1895 to buy and sell goods, merchandise, and land. Some of these places became total ghost towns. . Both are part of the PLSS measurement system but have different uses. The focus was on extracting lead, zinc, silver, gold, copper and, in the 20th century, uranium. })(); Copyright © 2020 | Among these immigrants, Italians were the most prominent. gcse.type = 'text/javascript'; Blossburg Mercantile Company at Gardiner, New Mexico. One was the Swastika Fuel Company in Raton, whose purpose was to mine coal and other minerals as well as acquire mine lands and conduct mercantile business. Rocky Mountain & Pacific Railroad. With Prohibition in 1918, company saloons were closed and turned into clubhouses or amusement halls, which held movies twice a week, sponsored dances, and sometimes had refreshment rooms and libraries. He then could use the scrip at company stores and saloons. Today the 590,823-acre (923 square miles) ranch, which stretches from the Great Plains to the summit of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is used primarily for conservation, hunting, fishing, and other recreation, but also produces significant quantities of coalbed methane, a type of natural gas. The swastika symbol, which represented good luck, was painted on all the rail cars. These once flourishing towns include Blossburg, Brilliant, Swastika, and Gardiner in Dillon Canyon and Koehler, farther to the southwest. In 1973, Pennzoil bought the property for $26.5 million and increased its area to 588,000 acres. Discover mining activity in your area and find new regions of opportunity. The company employs more than 240 workers and offers over $30 million in royalties, taxes, wages and charitable contributions. Brilliant Coal Mine is a mine in New Mexico and has an elevation of 7257 feet. During Maxwell’s ownership, a number of squatters and miners had settled on the lands, from which the new company was determined to evict. These two sites are not part of the Vermejo Park Ranch. Big Costilla Peak is one of the two highest mountains on the Vermejo Park Ranch, photo courtesy Wikipedia. As the coal business declined, so did the mercantiles, and the company was dissolved on November 30, 1935. We use cookies. Most camps had resident doctors and the community of Gardiner had a hospital, which served all of the camps. The area was estimated to contain 300,000,000 tons of high-quality coal. The company operated until January 31, 1956, when its assets were turned over to the parent company, the St. Louis, Rocky Mountain & Pacific Company. Game animals include 8,000 to 10,000 elk, 3,000 to 4,000 mule deer, pronghorn, 2,000 bison, black bear, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, and wild turkey. The Vermejo Park Ranch is now owned by American media mogul, Ted Turner, who also owns a number of other ranches throughout the nation, making him one of the biggest private landowners in the United States.