Local Landmarks

Alps A station on the Colorado & Southern Railroad 5 miles northeast of Folsom and 6 miles south of the Colorado border. Named in 1887 when the railroad was built, because of the terrain's similarity to the Swiss Alps.

Amboy On the Colorado & Southern Railroad 3 miles northwest of Des Moines.

Aubry Cutoff (Cimarron Cutoff) Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail; the cutoff began at Fort Dodge, Kansas, ran to the southwest corner of Kansas, into the Oklahoma Panhandle, briefly up the Cimarron River in New Mexico to the Folsom Falls. It went east of Capulin Mountain and on southwest to Wagon Mound, ending at Santa Fe. It was named for Captain Francis X. Aubry.

Bell 12 miles northeast of Raton. Settled by a group of dissatisfied miners from Blossburg, who went to Johnson Mesa to farm. Named for Marion Bell, leader of the settlers. The first postmaster was Alonso S. Bell; the post office existed from 1891 to 1933.

Black Jack Caves  Located 2 miles southwest of Folsom, the caves were formed by hot lava from Mount Capulin. Named for Tom 'Black Jack' Ketchum.

Blacksmith Canyon  Two and a half miles north of the Dry Cimarron River. The canyon heads in New Mexico and opens out into North Carriso Canyon in Colorado. In the early 1860's, a band of outlaws, led by the notorious William Coe, did their blacksmithing in this canyon. Later settlers found a part of the anvil block. It was made from a piece of fine hard wood which was very rare in that part of the country.

Briggs Canyon  2 miles northeast of Folsom; it heads a few miles north of Des Moines and opens into the Cimarron Canyon. It was named for a family who located there in 1866.

Buffalo Head  High point of rock north of Folsom, named for its resemblance to the head of a buffalo.

Capulin Volcano National Monument  Cone shaped dormant volcano located 7 miles southwest of Folsom, 3 miles north of Capulin on Highway 325. Was made a National Monument in 1916. An all-weather road circles the mountain providing access to the top, the crater and the walking trail around the rim. The crater was named because of the wild chokecherries which grow inside of the cone. The Spanish word for chokecherry is Copoline, pronounced cah-poo-LEEN, thus Capulin. The high elevation allows a view into 5 states: Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Early traders called the mountain 'Cinder Cone.'



Catalpa  Log cabin used at one time as a school located 6 miles down the Dry Cimarron River from Madison; 13 miles from Folsom. Originally built by Mike Devoy, it housed a store and postoffice. Now on the Brown Ranch.

Corrumpa  An Indian word meaning "wild or isolated." Former settlement on the headwaters of Corrumpa Creek, now it is the headquarters of the Ferrol Smith Ranch.

Corrumpa Creek (McNees Creek)  Heads 10 miles east of Des Moines, at the headwaters of the north Canadian River. First named McNees Creek by the traders on the Santa Fe Trail, in memory of a young man who was murdered there by the Comanche Indians in 1828. Later the name was changed to Corrumpa. Also called Corrumpaw Creek.

Cross L Ranch  A large ranch 20 miles east of Folsom on the Dry Cimarron River.

Dead Man's Arroyo  A few miles east of Sierra Grande Mountain where Seneca Creek heads. It received its name from the last Indian raid in Union County (then a part of Colfax County). On July 4, 1874 Indians came through the canyon on the warpath, killing several people; hence, the name.

Devoy Peak  Two and a half miles south of the Colorado line and 10 miles northeast of Folsom; named for Michael Devoy.

Dry Cimarron River  The Cimarron River, known by the name 'Dry' only in New Mexico. It is believed to have been a "disappearing river" because of the notable feature of sinking and rising again further on. It flows from the foot of Johnson Mesa, cuts a deep canyon across the northern part of Union County, crosses a corner of Oklahoma, and finally empties into the Arkansas River near Dodge City, Kansas.

Emery Gap  First known as Cimarron Pass, it lead from Colorado through the mountains into the Dry Cimarron country. Post office from 1896-1908 and from 1909-1925.

Emery Peak Located on the south bank of the Dry Cimarron River, 8 miles from the Colorado line. Both Emery Gap and Emery Peak were named for James Madison 'Matt' Emery.

Exter  Post Office 1890-1903, changed to Valley (see Valley).

Fisher Peak  A little valley 3 miles northwest of Folsom, along Highway 72. Named for pioneer Fisher family.

Folsom Falls  Natural waterfall fed by springs. Located 4 miles northeast of Folsom on the Dry Cimarron River. Pinebeta Creek joins the river just above the falls. A favorite fishing hole and beautiful area for picnics.

Gleason Canyon  On the Cross L Ranch. It is a prong of the Dry Cimarron Canyon, the mouth of which is not far from Highway 325. Named for Alvaro Fritz Gleason.

James Dam  Large, earth-rock dam on the Corrumpa Creek 8 miles east of Des Moines; used for irrigation. The dam is at the former headquarters of the T. P. James Ranch. It is now called Weatherly Lake for the present owner, A. D. Weatherly.

Johnson Mesa   Flat top mountain approximately 14 miles long and 5 miles wide, lying between Folsom and Raton on Highway 72. Named for Elijah Johnson who had a ranch south of the Mesa and used the Mesa for summer pasture.

Long Canyon  23 miles northeast of Folsom and 3 miles below the Cross L Ranch, the canyon opens into the Dry Cimarron Canyon. It runs in a northwest direction, forking in the upper part of the canyon. George Hardesty was the first settler in the canyon. It was named because of its length.

Madison 8 miles northeast of Folsom, in the Dry Cimarron Canyon. It is the first town in what is now Union County. All that is left are ruins of the old gristmill. Named for James Madison Emery, who settled here in 1865. Post Office 1874-1888.

Nigger Mesa  On the Colorado line between Branson, Colorado and Folsom, New Mexico. Named by cowboys after a Black chuck wagon cook killed a Black cowboy at the foot of the mesa in the early 1800's.

Oak Canyon 4 miles south of Emery Gap between Folsom and Emery Gap.

Peacock Canyon A prong of the Dry Cimarron Canyon 35 miles northeast of Folsom. family by the name of Peacock located there in the early 1870's.

Sierra Grande Sierra is Spanish for Saw. In Spain the word applies to high, saw-tooth mountains and was appropriately transferred to the southwestern ranges by Spanish Colonists.

TO Ranch  Located 12 miles southeast of Raton on Highway 87. Large cattle ranch homesteaded in 1869 by Antime J. 'Tony' Meloche from Canada.

Toll Gate Canyon  Branch of the Dry Cimarron Canyon 8 miles northeast of Folsom. A road was built by Bill Metcalf through the canyon in 1870-1871 to avoid having to go to Trinidad via Raton Pass. A toll was charged to use the road.

Towanda  A passing track on the Colorado & Southeastern Railroad, located halfway between Folsom and Alps.

Trincherita  Spanish for Trench. Trincherita was a post office in 1882-1883, later the mail was sent to Madison.

Trinchera Pass  Located in the northeastern corner of Johnson Mesa, it cuts through the mountains north into Colorado.

Twin Mountain  Two small cinder peaks between Folsom and Des Moines. Cinders from the mountains were used for ballast on the railroads and for building blocks.

Valley  Trading point on New Mexico Highway 456, 2 miles from the Colorado line on the Dry Cimarron River. Settled in 1879. Post office 1903-1926.

Walker Hill  Located 4 miles east of Folsom on Highway 456 in the Dry Cimarron Canyon. Named for the Louis Walker family.

Wedding Cake  Located on the north side of Highway 456, 12 miles west of the Oklahoma line. Named for its peculiar formation; a round mound rising some 300 feet from the floor of the canyon. The grass covered slope is topped by red, white and brown layers of sandy rock, giving the appearance of a big layer cake.

Weatherly Lake  8 miles east of Des Moines. (See James Dam).

Wild Horse Arroyo Located 13 miles northwest of Folsom, about 3 miles west of the Owen Ranch. It got its name from George McJunkin who used to train wild horses. George found the large bison bones in the arroyo after the 1908 flood, which led to the Folsom Man Discovery.