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by Toby Smith

Download Coal town: The life and times of Dawson, New Mexico eBook
Toby Smith
Ancient City Press; 1st edition (1993)
133 pages
EPUB book:
1418 kb
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1335 kb
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Toby Smith's career in journalism began in 1966. Coal town: The life and times of Dawson, New Mexico Jan 1, 1993. He has taught writing and reporting courses at the University of New Mexico, Ohio State University, and at universities in South Korea and Romania, the latter where he was a Fulbright Senior Fellow for two years. He has been an IREX Fellow in Yerevan, Armenia, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Harvard, and a James Thurber Writer in Residence at Ohio State.

By (author) Toby Smith. AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Dawson (also Mountview) is a ghost town in Colfax County, New Mexico, United States. Dawson was the site of two separate coal mining disasters in 1913 and 1923. Dawson is located about 17 miles northeast of Cimarron, New Mexico. Dawson was a coal mining company town founded in 1901 when rancher John Barkley Dawson sold his coal-rich land in northern New Mexico to the Dawson Fuel Company. The Dawson Railway was built connecting the town to Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Coal Town : The Life and Times of Dawson, New Mexico. Houses in Time : A Tour Through New Mexico History. Howl : The Artwork of Luis Jimenez (New Mexico Magazine Artist Series). If Mountains Die : A New Mexico Memoir. The Contemporary Ecology of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico (Arroyo Hondo Archaeological Series, Vol 1). Coronado's Land : Essays on Daily Life in Colonial New Mexico. Country Towns of New Mexico. A Cowboy Writer in New Mexico : The Memoirs of John L. Sinclair. Crafting Devotions : Tradition in Contemporary New Mexico Santos.

A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004. A work of scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico.

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These days Dawson, New Mexico is a ghost town, a relic of. .Phelps Dodge quickly razed the town and one of the few reminders of the town today is its extensive cemetery.

These days Dawson, New Mexico is a ghost town, a relic of the days of boomtowns and long forgotten dreams. Not much remains other than a cemetery and a few stray buildings. Miners were found inside, frozen in time by the explosion with tools still in hand. Only 23 miners survived the blast. Dozens of iron crosses painted white stand against the landscape, a stark reminder of the dangers miners endured.

At the time, I knew it only as the home of people who gave very . 13Bonestell was an interesting person. A small part of the story originally appeared in somewhat different form in The New Yorker.

At the time, I knew it only as the home of people who gave very, very small Christmas tips. For most of his working life he was an architect, and ran a practice of national distinction in California until 1938 when, at the age of fifty, he abruptly quit his job and began working as a Hollywood film-set artist, creating background mattes for many popular movies. As a sideline he also began to illustrate magazine articles on space travel, creating imaginative views of moons and planets as they would appear to someone visiting from Earth.

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  • caster
"Coal Town, the Life and Times of Dawson, New Mexico"
Toby Smith
ISBN 0-941270-82-3
My wife and I discovered Dawson on a vacation to northern New Mexico. A picture on a historical marker showed a once relatively large town that had had many houses and facilities. We were both struck by there being a cemetery with no surviving town. Later, when, during a web search, I came across Toby Smith's book about Dawson. I ordered it.
With a relatively obscure subject, this is a book not likely to be widely read, and that is a shame. Because the book that Toby Smith has written is a remarkable one. Through extensive interviewing, he has reconstructed the vanished homes and buildings of Dawson, re-populated them with departed generations of citizens, and breathed life back into what was once a dynamic coal mining community.
There are photos in the book that depict, among other things, the bodies of miners in caskets after a 1923 mining explosion, the proud 1937 football team that shared the state championship, and a 1941 photo of a smiling GI on furlough with his brother and sisters. Apart from the pictures, Mr. Smith tells stories about and gives impressions of many of the townsfolk. What Edgar Lee Masters did for the people in the fictional Spoon River cemetery, Smith has done for the former inhabitants of Dawson.
Our vacation walk through the Dawson cemetery revealed that many of the coalminers were from other countries. One section contains graves of over two hundred men, mostly Italians, who were killed in a disastrous mine explosion in 1913. Other nationalities represented in Dawson were Yugoslavs, Japanese, Finns, French, Swedes, and Mexicans.
The Phelps Dodge Company that owned the mines and the entire town, in many regards, engaged in enlightened management. For example, it had an anti-discrimination policy for employees of all nationalities and races, including blacks. After the 1913 tragedy, Smith writes that the company "did not look at the tragedy in terms of lost earnings." To its credit, each widow was given $1000, each miner's child $200, and the family of each bachelor $500, large amounts for that time. On the other hand, the company remained a staunch holdout for years in recognizing the miners' union.
In 1950, with coal demand having steadily declined from the heyday of the coal-burning, steam engine, Phelps Dodge closed Dawson's last mine. As it owned all the buildings and houses, the town was simply shut down. Everyone left, and the buildings and equipment were sold off. Dawson, unlike other defunct mining towns, though, for over fifty years has refused to die. A visitor to the cemetery can see that it is still kept up, and every other year, former residents gather on the town site to have a picnic and to reminisce.
There is something about the universal human struggle in this story of Dawson, and Toby Smith has written a fine book about it.
  • Browelali
I loved this book...and so did my brother and husband. The book was extremely well written and provided an in-depth as to the people living in this town. The pictures were amazing. Very well done!!!!
  • Oso
great book
  • Xisyaco
One of the pleasures I was able to provide for my father, shortly before his death at 89, was the gift of this book. Toby Smith has done a wonderful job of resurrecting and bringing back to life the "ghosts" of this coal mining camp, known now only for its cemetary. My parents and I read the book together, reliving our personal memories of the people and the environment which not only shaped our lives but was forever etched on our consiousness. There was so much he could have written about Dawson but his excellent culling and synthesizing of the countless interviews brings to life the essence of the "company town" and the lives of the resident. He was able to show that in this community of immigrants, ethnicity meant sharing your cusine and your culture rather than an emphasis on differences, a phenomena no doubt influnced by the impact of thedangerous unpredictable occupation of mining coal that united us all. My second reading left me with the impression of "a story well told", one which could be enjoyed not only by former "Dawsonians" and current New Mexicans but by anyone who enjoys a glimpse of what life was like in those times in a place where "everyone knew your name". Those whose lives have been disrupted by the closing of plant or industry might also enjoy it. Mr. Smith should do a sequel focusing on my generation and their view of how growing up in Dawson influenced their live.
  • tref
on page 66 there is an article written by The Dawson News. In that article it has a list of bodies recovered from the 1923 explosion. But there is one George Makris, my great uncle, that was killed in the 1913 explosion not the 1923 one.