White Oaks

In this section

“...With its brothels and casino’s, Billy the Kid thought of White Oaks as a resort”

Three miles north of Carrizozo on US Hwy 54 is the turn-off to the “ghost town” of White Oaks. White Oaks is not your typical flat-roofed adobe New Mexico historical experience.  It's more cowboy/frontier than adobe Disneyland. There were no Conquistadores bringing the word of God to the native population. It was a frontier wild west cattle community right up until gold was discovered... an almost pure vein going down into Baxter Mountain; then everything changed.

White Oaks became "eastern influenced" with about as many lawyers as miners.  Homes were built with pitched (instead of flat) roofs. The Hoyle House - which still exists today - is a Victorian with a "widow's walk" on the roof.  The second largest city in New Mexico, it was surpassed only by Santa Fe. White Oaks died when the local fathers tried to sell the right of way to the expanding railroad (they said, "No, thank you.") and the gold was mined out.  It was one of Billy the Kid's favorite places; but gold made White Oaks, and no gold and no railroad broke it.

Today, visitors may explore several historic buildings, the Cedarvale cemetery, and the historic No Scum Allowed Saloon, recently named one of American Cowboy Magazine's "Best Cowboy Bars in the West." 

Location

Three miles north of Carrizozo on US Hwy 54

Getting There

From Ruidoso, take Hwy 48 North toward Alto. Drive almost 10 miles to NM 37, turn left. Drive 14 miles to US380, turn right. Drive 8 miles, turn right on US 54. Drive 3 miles, turn right on county road 349. Drive 8 miles, turn right on Pine St (County road A044).

Image Courtesy of Mike Sinnwell (http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com/)