Elizabethtown New Mexico

Elizabethtown started with the Mystic Copper Mine in 1866.  Gold was discovered in Willow Creek soon after and the population grew to over 7000 in just two years.  By 1868 there were seven saloons, five stores, a newspaper, three dance halls and two hotels.  Almost 5 million dollars worth of gold was recovered in 1868 and 1869. 

E-town, as the locals referred to it, was a violent place.    Saloonkeeper Joseph Herberger shot George Greeley, a rival saloonkeeper, for throwing a more successful party.  Another murderer, Wall Henderson's specialty was shooting people through the eye.  The local vigilantes claimed many lives, including one petty thief who was hung from the rafters of the jail simply for requesting, and getting, a change of venue for his trial.

However, the most horrific events involved local hotel owner Charles Kennedy.  Kennedy's wife ran into a saloon late one night screaming hysterically and covered in blood.  After calming she was able to relate that her husband had bashed in their sons head.   A group of men rode off to check it out, and caught Kennedy burning the remains of a drifter.  Charles Kennedy had been murdering guests of his hotel and hiding the bodies under the floorboards of the building until he had a chance to dispose of them.  The night his wife turned him in he had killed his son in a drunken rage, locked his wife in a closet, then passed out .  She escaped through a chimney. 

The vigilantes allowed Charles Kennedy to stand trial, and despite the evidence, the trial ended in a hung jury.  The towns people stormed the jail and took Kennedy from his cell.   They then tied a rope around his neck and dragged him through town until he was dead.   A local man named Clay Allison then cut off Kennedy's head.  The head's where a bouts are unknown.

Of course I had to check this place out.  Elizabethtown is now little more than the ruins of Kennedy's hotel, a cemetery and a small cluster of dilapidated wooden buildings that the current caretaker and his family are trying to salvage.  The surroundings are beautiful, but very creepy.  The caretaker is a really nice guy, and has an extensive collection of town records that he is happy to show visitors.    I didnt get any phenomena during my daylight investigation, I had been dissuaded from walking around at night by the high number of bears in the area, but I did get some cool photos of the ruins, and the cemetery.  Oh, and one more thing, there are large bone fragments littering the ground all around the hotel. 

~Kriss

 

back