Ghost Town Wednesday: Cloverdale, New Mexico

CloverdaleStoreCloverdale is believed to have been established sometime in the 1880’s.  On May 2, 1882 The Critic (Washington, D.C.) had a story about an Indian fight at Cloverdale between Apaches and the Sixth Cavalry, led by Captain T.C. Tupper.  One soldier was killed in the battle, two wounded and fourteen Apaches were killed.  It was not the first battle with Indians in the area and certainly not the last – the war with Apaches continued until about 1924.

The Cloverdale Ranch was also established in the 1880’s by either Bob Anderson or John Weames, but sold to the Victor Land and Cattle Company in 1889.  According to C.W. Barnum, a New Mexico genealogist, other ranches were established and the number of residents increased.  The name “Cloverdale” was chosen as the name for the spread-out community.  Said to have had as many as two hundred residents at one time, the town had a general store (built in 1918), post office, blacksmith shop, school and cemetery.  A stage line ran from Cloverdale to Animas.

CloverdaleSchoolIn 1902 and 1903 the area suffered a severe drought, according to the oral interview of a former resident, George Pendleton.  His parents, Thomas Maynard and Eva May Bass Pendleton (see yesterday’s Tombstone Tuesday article on the Bass family), had married in Carlsbad in 1912 and moved to the area in 1914.  In 1912 the post office was established, making it the southwestern-most in the state of New Mexico.  More on the Pendleton family in a future article.

CloverdalePicnicBeginning in 1913 the Cloverdale community held an annual camp meeting and picnic, drawing large crowds of ranchers and area residents.  As mentioned in yesterday’s Tombstone Tuesday article about the Bass family, the Mexican Revolution brought the likes of Pancho Villa to the area, as well as General Jack Pershing who pursued Villa in 1916.  Such characters as the Clantons of OK Corral fame and Geronimo also roamed the area and made history in that part of the world.

The annual picnic continued to be held until 1962, although by 1943 the community had declined and the post office was closed.  All that remains today is the deserted general store, a flagstone house belonging to Henry Sanford (see next week’s Tombstone Tuesday article for more on Henry) and the remnants of a dance floor.

CloverdaleScenesI found several stories about the Bootheel of New Mexico and Cloverdale which are fascinating, so watch for future articles about Cloverdale and the surrounding area – Military History, Wild West, Ranching History (a new article theme coming soon), as well as more Tombstone Tuesday articles on settlers who came in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s (Cousin Randy told me he saw another cemetery in the area!)

Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!

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© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 2014.

 

13 Comments

  1. I was so excited to see my grandmother in the school picture! She had a copy of it and I remember it so well!

    Reply
    • Hello,

      I came across an old photo album of Cloverdale New Mexico. It has a number of different pictures showing the post office and the school. I was wondering if you had any information regarding the Reynolds family? They are in the majority of the photos taken. Thank you for your time and i hope to hear from you soon.

      Reply
    • I came across an old photo album of Cloverdale New Mexico. It has a number of different pictures showing the post office and the school. I was wondering if you had any information regarding the Reynolds family? They are in the majority of the photos taken. Thank you for your time and i hope to hear from you soon.
      Reply

      Sharon Hall on August 2, 2015 at 12:47 am

      Reply
      • What were some of their names?

        Reply
        • oh yes,thanks for ask, georgina , jackelin,josefine,felix,

          Reply
          • Sorry … I didn’t run across any of those names when researching the story.

          • Thank you

  2. Thanks for stopping by … glad you enjoyed the article.

    Reply
  3. where are the other articles of the last paragraph

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  4. Does anyone remember Lucille Corbet who taught there and had a harmonica band?

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  5. does anyone remember the family Reynolds from the early 1900s?

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  6. My mother, Miriam Best Churchyard, taught elementary school at Cloverdale in the mid 1930’s. Does anybody have any memories or information about her?

    Reply
  7. My great grandfather and great grandmother are buried in Cloverdale. John T Clark(1922) and Charity Ann Clark(1933]

    Reply

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