Corona New Mexico
Corona New Mexico is a small historic town in literally the middle of nowhere. In fact it’s pretty much as far from anything as you can get. It’s 102 miles to Albuquerque, 106 from Roswell New Mexico, and 190 from El Paso Texas. Despite being directly next to the Cibola National Forest it doesn’t even act as much of a supply town for those visiting the forest for recreation.
Despite that, Corona was at the intersection of two pieces of history. Billy the Kid, Davide Rudabaugh, and William Willson hid out at a store and tavern just outside of what is now Corona in November 1880. They accidentally shot and killed Deputy James Carlyle as he was negotiating their surrender.
Sign outside of town about Billy the Kid
Reverse side of sign with map of the local area.
Corona was founded in 1899 with the El Paso & Northeastern Railroad built a line to the Dawson coalfields. The name was chosen as it was the highest point along the line. The area rapidly grew around the depot and made Corona a trade center.
Abandoned homes in Corona
The interesting historical point of interest is that the first “Roswell Incident” actually happened about 30 miles SE of Corona New Mexico. After traveling to town to tell about the accident, the witnesses then traveled to Roswell to spread the news.
View of the desert outside of town
Modern Corona still has about 240 citizens. Their City Hall building looks fairly new and well kept. Main Street is all empty or closed store fronts except for the Museum which is only open a few hours on the weekend.
After stopping by the library to look for names in the (only copy) local history book, and getting a couple of copies of the relevant pages, the librarian was nice enough to call the lady in charge of the town’s museum who opened it to let me look around.
The museum is in the old Corona Hotel and is filled with artifacts passed down in the family. I wasn’t able to find much information about my ancestors, but the museum seemed like it had a lot of good information. While physically small, they have quite a bit of information and pictures available. If you happen to be in Corona yourself, I highly recommend stopping by the museum if it’s open. Unfortunately it was very dark inside and impossible to get pictures.