The Old Boarding House Mercantile, restored and still in operation
Lead mines in the area around Madrid captured the interest of Roque Madrid in the 17th century. It is unclear whether the current name of the community comes from that of earlier residents or the capital of Spain. The dominant English pronunciation of the name differs from that of the Spanish capital, with emphasis on the first syllable: MAD-rid. Coal mining began in the area around 1835.
coal breaker and power house buildings, Madrid, circa 1935. Anthracite coal was preferred for passenger trains, as it burned cleaner.
The coal deposits were called the Cerrillos Coal Bank following the arrival in early 1880 of the
New Mexico & Southern Pacific Railroad (as the AT&SF in New Mexico was organized), named after the nearby mining and railroad town of Cerrillos Station. After a dozen years at the Coal Bank of wildcat, unpermitted, and unorganized mining the AT&SF acquired the property on December 10, 1891, and through purposefully-created subsidiaries solidified its control. The Cerrillos Coal & Iron Co. developed the layout for the town, mines, and facilities, and the Cerrillos Coal Railroad Co. built the 6.25-mile standard gauge spur from the AT&SF main line at Waldo Junction.
In late August 1892, the spur finally terminated at the relatively new mining camp of Keeseeville (an illegal trespass settlement, however one whose 20-acre plat had been approved by Santa Fe County). At the site of Keeseeville, which the Cerrillos Coal Railroad co-opted, the town of Madrid was built. More accurately the Cerrillos Coal Railroad transported-in, section by section, prefabricated wooden miner's cabins from as far away as Topeka, Kansas; there were insufficient carpenters and suppliers in the region to provide the instant infrastructure that was needed for the town.
Madrid celebrated its "founding" in 1895. Since the town was for the next 80 years wholly owned by a series of corporations, the town itself was never incorporated. In the late 1940s, the demand for coal withered: Natural gas gradually replaced coal as the preferred home-heating fuel, and the AT&SF was replacing its coal-fired steam locomotives with diesel-electrics. By 1954 the Albuquerque and Cerrillos Coal Company ceased to operate and most of the residents moved away. The railroad spur was removed shortly thereafter.
Madrid Miners AA Minor League Baseball team
The Miners were started by the Madrid Employees Club and won many pennants. The
Oscar Huber Ballpark was the first lighted ballpark west of the Mississippi in the 1920s.