From the sign posted at Lake Valley:

Lake Valley's heyday was the peak period of silver ore production between 1881 and 1885. It was within this relatively short time frame that the majority of Lake Valley was built. Local soil was used for adobe bricks and local tabular limestone was used for foundations.

Architecture within the business section was characteristic of Western towns for the period. In this case, the false-front facades, covered boardwalks, and wood sidings often covered adobe walls. Adobe was the basic building material for residences, as well, to which were added typical Anglo construction features such as wood floors and pitched roofs. Only the foundations in the section of town known as "Chihuahauita" remain, but homes in the Mexican-settled neighborhood may have followed the more traditional Hispanic adobe construction practices.

The railroad made large quantities of cheap building materials readily available. Photos taken after 1884 show an increase in wooden buildings. There may also have been numerous wooden houses of frameless construction, known to be common in mining towns of this period. These buildings were quick and easy to erect, but were also easily dismantled, leaving no trace.

There are no surviving examples of Lake Valley's commercial architecture. This is due, in part, to a fire in June, 1895, which destroyed Main Street.

There was a short-lived revival of Lake Valley beginning in 1917, when manganese ore was mined. The adobe chapel, originally a home, was built in this era. The schoolhouse, originally constructed in 1904, was rebuilt and expanded. Other than these buildings, very little new construction occurred after the initial construction episode in the early 1880s. After the train tracks were taken up in 1934, many buildings were dismantled and the materials were salvaged for use elsewhere.

Lake Valley, NM
Archaeological Site

Historical Marker

Community of Lake Valley, NM
From the cemetary across the highway.

Old ramp to former railroad for loading ore cars.


Miscellaneous Town Signs

Gate into the Lake Valley Archaeological Site

Map of Lake Valley, 1893, 1902

Historic photo of the town

Rusty bank vault

Miscellaneous Town Buildings

Gas Station

More Old Adobe Walls

Old windmill base

Pictures taken with Nikon D50

Paul contemplates the cemetary

Evening Shadows Fall

An interesting monument

A little closer

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