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White Oaks is a ghost town in Lincoln County, New Mexico, United States. Located on the outskirts of the Lincoln National Forest, it became a boomtown in 1879 following the discovery of gold and coal in the nearby Jicarilla Mountains.HistoryThe region was first roamed by the Piros Indians, it abundant with game and made it one of their hunting grounds. Whoever, the invading Apaches drove them out and claimed it as their own.The first Europeans to explore the area were the Spaniards of Don Juan de Onate's expedition, who arrived in the late 1500s. The called the land 'Malpais (meaning "badlands") because of a nearby lava flow.In the late 1870s, John J. Baxter, an unsuccessful California '49er, heard reports of gold discovery in the area. He followed in the footsteps of local Mexican prospectors to a shallow canyon east to the mountains, where he discovered a rich gold field. Within a year, a mining camp of tents was had appeared. Called White Oaks after a nearby stream, the camp soon grew to be a permanent settlement, boasting 50 different businesses, including four newspapers, two hotels, three churches, a sawmill, a bank, an opera house, livery stables, as well as saloons and gambling houses. A post office had opened as early as 1880.Baxter and another prospector named Winters established two claims, known as the Homestake Mine and the South Homestake Mine. The local mountains would be named for Baxter. The parties later sold their claims for $300,000 apiece. The town was frequented by notable Old West personalities, including Dave Rudabaugh, Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and Shotgun John Collins. Jonathan H. Wise established the town's first newspaper in 1880, called the White Oaks Golden Era. Additional newspapers included the Lincoln County Leader, the Old Abe Eagle and the New Mexico Interpreter. (Florin, 1970, P. 662)White Oaks is in New Mexico. With our custom trip planner, United States vacations can be built around trips to White Oaks and other destinations in United States.
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