Gold and silver were discovered in the late 1880’s in what is now southwest Catron County, New Mexico. Preferably, in order to contain costs, gold and silver needed to be processed as close as possible to the mines. However, the problem in this particular area was that Whitewater Canyon, where the majority of the mines like the Confidence, Blackbird, Bluebird and Redbird were located, was too narrow.
The next best location was at the mouth of the canyon and in 1893 John T. Graham arrived to build the mill, and in so doing had the mill town that would spring up named after himself. The mill location, however, had its own set of challenges since there wasn’t enough water to run the steam generators. Nor was there sufficient water to supply the town of around two hundred residents.
This article is no longer available at this site. However, it will be enhanced and published later in a future issue of Digging History Magazine, our new monthly digital publication available by individual purchase or subscription. To see what the magazine is all about you can preview issues at our YouTube Channel. Subscriptions are affordable, safe and easy to purchase and the best deal for getting your “history fix” every month.