What's in a name?
Favorite thing: Madrid (pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, MAD-rid, unlike its Spanish namesake) was a coal-mining town, founded in 1869. In its heyday the town supplied coal for the Santa Fe Railroad, local customers and even the US Government. It was one of the first “company towns” in the US; in 1919, the Superintendent of Mines, Oscar Huber, introduced a number of modern conveniences and facilities for the miners, including paved streets, a hospital, a company store, schools, and unlimited free electricity from the company power plant. During Prohibition, the company even furnished a place where people could distil illegal liquor!
Now, despite the presence of a museum dedicated to coal mining (which we didn’t visit) it’s hard to believe that Madrid was once a mining town. Certainly now the focus is not on heavy industry, but on art and tourism. If you enjoy poking around in galleries this is your sort of town. Only a few decades ago though, Madrid was a ghost town. The mines had all closed, the houses were unoccupied. Then in the early 1970s it was discovered by a few artists who moved into some of the derelict buildings, restored them and opened galleries. Where these pioneers went, others followed, and now Madrid is all about arts and crafts.
The artiness extends outside the buildings too. Whether it is a row of colourful mail-boxes, a brightly painted wall, a collection of old signs in a coffee shop or simply a gallery’s porch adorned with samples of the owner’s work, you are never far from an eye-catching image.
- Arts and Culture
Something for everyone :)
Favorite thing: Can I say this enough? GET OUT OF YOUR CAR AND WALK AROUND!!!I You'll only get the feel if you touch this town .... physically touch .......
Fondest memory: I love the eclectic nature of this town! You'll find native art, pop-art, and even cowboy art :) I've come up here to spend money, and I've come up here to simply experience .... it doesn't matter which is your intention. Just come!
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip