(Monticello NM)
I drove out to see the purported ghosttown of Monticello. Yet, it appeared many folks still lived there, and in the surrounding area along Alamosa Creek. It was founded in 1856 by ranchers and farmers, and near to the Warm Springs Apaches (think Geronimo).

Monticello Ghosttown

Monticello – San Ignacio Chapel

An equine welcoming committee greeted me at the edge of town. After a few minutes delay, while they checked me out, I was allowed to enter. The San Ignacio chapel in the center of town, on a small square surrounded by other buildings, was typical of a Mexican village. Around the corner was the public school ruins; said to be haunted.

Monticello Ghosttown

Welcomed by Horses

Monticello Ghosttown

Public School Ruins

Some houses were crumbling adobe, but many have been restored. A couple of businesses, other than the farms, were all that I could find. It’s a pretty small place, so it didn’t take long to see it all. I really liked the aged gate to someone’s yard.

Monticello Ghosttown

Street Scene

Monticello Ghosttown

Antique Gate

Today, Monticello is known for vineyards and organic farms; one growing lavender and creating award winning Italian style balsamic vinegar. Located about 25 miles off the main highway, and a step back in time, it might be worth a visit.

Camp: BLM-Rock Canyon Rd boondock
Scene: Ghosttown, chapel, old buildings

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4 Responses to Monticello

  1. Barney Ward November 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

    Dang. I roamed all over that area but never got to Monticello. The road turning right shortly before Monticello goes up to Springtime Campground. DO NOT TAKE IT with Tardis. Use the road on the north side of the mountain to go up there to some dramatic scenery. Thanks for the memories again.

    • Pleinguy November 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm #

      Paved Hwy-142 goes all the way into Monticello. A shorter gravel road goes from town to Springtime CG; but, I’ve been warned off that one too. Yes, I’ve heard the area northward is fantastic.

      • Barney Ward November 16, 2018 at 10:35 pm #

        As I recall, you could go up the south side to Luna Campground and turn around easily. Past Luna my previous truck was almost too wide for the notches in the cliff, and I could not turn around. From then on, I always went up the north side. The gravel roads in that area were well maintained and good traveling. I enjoyed the gravel road to Magdelena coming from Elephant Butte also. Lots of great scenery in those mountains.

        • Pleinguy November 16, 2018 at 10:39 pm #

          Thanks for the tips Barney. I’ll get up that way one of these days. Elevation makes it too cold at this time of year.

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