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Mogollon, N.M.: 1940

Mogollon, N.M.: 1940

May 1940. "On the main street of Mogollon, New Mexico." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Coronado Cuarto Centennial

is the slogan across the top of the 1940 NM license plate facing us, celebrating the 400th anniversary of an expedition into modern New Mexico by the Spanish explorer of that name. The slogan was intended to promote the many cultural and historical commemorative events held in that year. The tag, vivid yellow on red, features the Zuni sun symbol (the Zia) used on NM plates from 1927 to the present day. Combining all these attributes makes this license plate one of the most collectible of all.

More Recent Mogollon

Two buildings on the left are still present, at least in 2008, but the Shorpy sign is gone. Someone's still sitting out on the road, this time guarding the Mogollon Museum!

Welcome to the Anachronical Cafe!

Visually, this is on the border of the 19th Century Wild West and modern 20th Century. Texaco and Coca Cola signs above antique boardwalks, modern traffic on millennially old dust road, an automobile in a "garage" that looks like a shelter used centuries ago by nomads etc. In the middle of this anachronistic image, two men and cat, witnessing the passing of time.

P.S. I saw the top left corner of the image and for a moment I said to myself: "look, they have a SHORPY sign on that slope of the mountain". Yes, it was not a landmark, but a watermark.


Never heard "Mogollon" pronounced by a native Spanish speaker, but the locals near the Mogollon Rim county in AZ and NM call it "mogie-yawn." Named for the Spanish Governor of New Mexico in the early 18th century, the escarpment is cut with canyons and crested with the largest ponderosa pine forest on this planet.

A beautiful place and a favored recreation locale of mine, especially the area that straddles the AZ/NM state line. Little native Apache trout live in the streams, black bear and gray wolves in the forested areas and huge elk graze the open parks. Sublime.

[See you at Big Lake. - Dave]

This ain't Mount Airy

Until this moment, I thought that "Snappy Lunch" was exclusively a Mayberry thing!

Watch your step

There seems to be a rather deep hole at the end of the sidewalk. The two gents outside the cafe might at least put up a sign.

So ...

According to Wikipedia, Mogollon "was founded in the 1880s at the bottom of Silver Creek Canyon to support the gold and silver mines in the surrounding mountains. A mine called Little Fannie became the most important source of employment for the town's populus. During the 1890s Mogollon had a transient population of between 3,000 and 6,000 miners and, because of its isolation, had a reputation as one of the wildest mining towns in the West."

["Populus" ?? - Dave]

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