Send Steve Where?: Madrid a must-see along Turquoise Trail
January 31, 2018 07:55 PM
Send Steve Where? This is the latest in a series to let KOB anchor Steve Soliz learn New Mexico, and to give New Mexico a chance to get to know Steve. Send your suggestions on where Steve should visit at firstname.lastname@example.org
MADRID, N.M. -- The moment you drive into Madrid, you quickly realize this little village is unique. Some call it the most artistic community in the state.
But that wasn't always the case in Madrid. The town was born in the 1890s for commercial coal mining. The remnants of those days are still scattered at the old mining site.
Lori Lindsey runs the Mine Shaft Tavern -- a building you've probably seen in various movies. Lindsey said the tavern has been a mainstay since 1899, even after the mines shut down in 1954.
"This is a 1947 building, but it has a history dating back to the 1890s," she said. "It was the amusement hall, which was for the miners when they'd get off work."
The Mine Shaft Tavern is now a popular eatery along the Turquoise Trail. It's also home to New Mexico's longest stand-up bar.
This bar is designed for a miner that had been in the mines, all cramped down and everything to come here and be able to stretch their back back out," Lindsey said.
With coal miners long gone, a different group of Madrid residents is leaving their visual mark on this tiny town. Many shops in are filled with authentic pieces from New Mexican artists.
"The artistic expression in this town and the way that people feel open I think really appeals to people and they love it," Lindsey said.
These days, the air in town is filled with a new form of expression. KMRD is a low power radio station operated by the people of Madrid. We met a man named Frank. He is a painter by trade, but once a week he uses music to create shades of color Madrid can hear.
"It's up to the DJ to play whatever they want," he said. "If there are DJs that you like, they're going to play stuff you like and it's commercial free. Plus, there's community stuff that goes on too. There are talk shows; there's a cooking show."
It doesn't take long to realize Madrid is an authentic place because of the people who call it home.
"I lived in Seattle for 11 years and didn't know my next-door neighbors. I know everybody in this town and we all know each other," Lindsey said.
Together, the people of Madrid are building the next phase of the town's rich history, one that New Mexico can appreciate.
As far as the pronunciation of the name -- "MAD-rid", not "mawh-drid" -- there a few other theories about the name. To learn more about that research, click here.
Updated: January 31, 2018 07:55 PM
Created: January 30, 2018 08:12 PM
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