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Dramatic Entrance: 1940

Dramatic Entrance: 1940

May 1940. "Front of abandoned residence in Georgetown, New Mexico. Ghost gold mining town." Acetate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Location of the Georgetown Cemetery

Apparently the only thing left of this town:

Interestingly, the apparent foundations of several buildings can be seen nearby when you switch to Satellite view.

Going, going, gone

It's interesting to compare topo maps from 1999, 1948, and 1909 (top to bottom.)

Just off screen

Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Cord and shadow

I see a cord or wire or line of some kind running horizontally along the base of the house, on the left, about a foot off the ground, and it appears to continue along the underside of the porch, past the stairs, and on to the right underside of the porch where it disappears. To complicate matters, I also see the shadow of a line running diagonally across the wall on the left, above the wire, and also cutting across the porch. Does anyone know what I am looking at?

[A barbed-wire fence. - Dave]

Oh, now I get it! No wonder the wire is out of focus – it's in the foreground. Thanks, Dave.


This site has some background on the place, other pics by Russell Lee and a shot of the only surviving relic, the cemetery. It mentions some reasons for the town's demise, a fire and a smallpox outbreak in 1892. Not long after that the Panic of 1893 finished it off.

At least the walls are well insulated

Adobe bricks are good for that.

Not to be found now

Google maps doesn't even show a place called Georgetown, New Mexico now; just Georgetown road leading to Georgetown cemetery.

I'm sure this porch was intended to project prosperity and was frequently used as an outdoor sitting room during hot summers. My mother's family ranched (& still ranches) about 60 miles north of Georgetown. The front porch on the old house there is larger than this one, but not as ornate. During the summer my grandfather rolled his roll-top desk onto the front porch and conducted his business there.

The short way out

If you think the entrance is dramatic then stay to watch the exits.

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