Sunday, 17 July 2011


Madrid was a coal mining town with a unique history of being a progressive “company town.”  The coal mine owners created a community philosophy for their employees based on the concept of participation.  Each employee contributed a small amount of their paychecks to a community fund that developed a community center, parks, a baseball park with a semi pro baseball team. 

When the coal played out, the population plummeted.  Most of the homes were owned by the son of the mine operator who began renting out the homes to artists at a very fair rent.  This kept the homes occupied and somewhat well maintained resulting a charming town on the Turquoise Hwy south of Santa Fe. 

Madrid was the filming location for a number of scenes for the movie Wild Hogs starring: Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, John Travola, and William H. Macy. Since the film was released, Madrid is a popular stop for the so called, “shirt and tie bikers,” weekend motorcycle enthusiasts. 

For photographers, Madrid is a wonderful mix of eclectic galleries housed in fascinating buildings, landscapes loaded with great views and unlimited detail features that can keep you snapping pictures for hours.


  1. I'm loving all of the New Mexico photos, but there is something about this town that is wonderfully strange. And you've captured it beautifully. I noticed the 'Ghost Town Kitchen aka No Pity Cafe' and had a moment remembering your recent photo of 'The Heart Attack Cafe'. I'm sensing a theme! Kind of a 'You've Been Warned - Please Come In' attitude. And yes, 'Bad Coffee Sucks' anywhere, but it's not often you see the message posted on a mailbox! Wonderful.

  2. We share you sense of unique when it comes to Madrid. A wonderful mix of history, self deprecating modernity and a freedom to experiment in art and expression exists in Madrid that is palatable and fun. We were still in Madrid at the end of the business day and watching the creative types and the longer term residents gathering at a single studio to share food and have a beer reinforced our sense of their community.

  3. Elena and Russ, you know, this town really has that sympatico/communal - meaning REAL community - feeling. I'm so happy seeing your response. Also, I consider myself lucky to live nearby a similar town. They do exist! And they are a joy to behold.