Madrid Historical Timeline
1822 - Gold miners first came to the area. Soon after Bituminous (soft) was discovered “Coal Bank”
1835 – Coal mined from Coal Bank to operate nearby gold mill at Dolores
1859 - The New Mexico Mining Company owns 108 square miles of Ortiz Mining Grant (all of Coal Bank)
1860* - Coal mined to supply military establishments at Santa Fe and Las Vegas during Civil War
1886 - Coal mining entrepreneur William Keesee discovers Anthracite Coal at Coal Bank. Madrid Coal is used to make coke and sent to Pueblo Colorado for steel production. Madrid is owned by The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I)
1891 – “Coal Bank” is sold to the ? A&CC or A.T.&S.F. railroad for a million dollars
1892 - Madrid is now known as Coal Gulch. New construction of the town begins with wood framed cabins (dismantled in Kansas and brought to Madrid by train) to house the miners and their families.
1893 - The town flourished as a "Company Town" and the population grows to 2500 people.
1894 - The town is renamed to “Madrid” and formally founded
1898 - Madrid fielded the Madrid Blues baseball team
1900 - Thomas Edison visits the area, his experiments using electricity to extract gold extraction from ore in the nearby Ortiz Mountains failed. He also helped implement a power plant in the area
1906 - Albuquerque & Cerrillos Coal Co. (A&CCC) is now owned and managed by George Kaseman
1920* - Madrid homes was wired for electricity. Madrid had Elementary and High Schools, a fully equipped hospital, a Company Store and an Employees Club. The Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark lights are installed making it “the first lighted ballpark in the West of the Mississippi”
1921 – Major Town events and celebrations begin with the Fourth of July and parade, and the Madrid Miners Baseball
1922 - The first Madrid Christmas lights with hillside montages and hundreds of electric lights. The Madrid Motor Club formed (for improved roads and its lobbying contributed to the rerouting of the highway)
1928 - Madrid’s peak coal production took place with almost 200,000 tons
1934 - Madrid population estimated at 1300
1936 - Walt Disney visits Madrid with Walter Lantz via California -urban legend claims Madrid Christmas lights so impressed Walt Disney that he later copied the concept for his popular theme parks
1937 - TWA routed its night transcontinental flights so passengers may view the dazzling phenomenon of Madrid’s Christmas lights.
1938 – Owner George Kaseman is killed in a tragic mining explosion. Superintendent Oscar Huber continues operations.
1941 - Pearl Harbor is bombed and WWII begins - The War Department negotiates Madrid Coal for Los Alamos. Christmas activities ended.
1943 - The A&CCC primary customer is now a place called only “the Hill”, ( Los Alamos). One hundred tons of coal a day were delivered to the Hill by as many as 15 trucks.
1947 - Oscar Huber purchases the A&CCC becoming the sole and complete owner of everything at Madrid
1960* - Five businesses in town: Bud Hughes’ The Mine Shaft Tavern , The Pick ‘N’ Shovel, Madrid Antique Shop, Hand-Craft Shop and the Old Coal Mine Museum
1975* - Joe Huber put the remaining 150 buildings still standing in Madrid on sale individually. He sold them all in 16 days. The larger houses went for $2,000 and the smaller ones for $1,500. Madrid’s population swells to 80 people.
1975 - The Huber family donates land to Madrid. The land for the ballpark and parking lot, the fire department and greenbelt. Volunteer organizations revive the town.
1983* - The iconic coal mining “tipple” or breaker collapses
2000 - Madrid population now 149
2006 - “Wild Hogs” filmed in Madrid. The town in the movie is Madrid
201? - The Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark Stadium is rebuilt
2017- Madrid population est. 350, and includes over 40 businesses
Midori Synder website with collections of Madrid photos