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New Mexico

ONLY ON ABC-7: The history of Blackdom, New Mexico

The State of New Mexico in enriched with history, but sometimes, that history goes unnoticed.

That includes a ghost town, located in southeastern New Mexico, once called Blackdom.

That town was formed back in the early 1900’s when Frank and Ella Boyer wanted to live in an established black community. But, that wasn’t going to happen in the Deep South in the late 1800’s.

So the Boyer’s took their dream west. The journey would bring him to a remote location about 18 miles south of Roswell.

The Boyer’s journey began in Georgia after they made their way by foot in a long-year trip.

Blackdom was established in 1901, under the requirements of the now defunct Homestead Act, which allowed anyone, no matter their race, a chance to own 160 acres of land, as long as they proved they lived on the land for five years.

Blackdom was the first community in New Mexico to be comprised solely of African-Americans.

By 1908, Blackdom was a thriving community that covered nearly 15 thousand acres and had a population of about 300.

Blackdom had a post office, a number of businesses and a Baptist Church. But then things took in turn for the worse, in 1916.

The drought of 1916 did take its toll on Blackdom and families began relocating to Roswell, while others relocated to Las Cruces. The Boyer’s would eventually moved their family south to the village of Vado.

Eventually, those who stayed in Blackdom were forced to sell off its biggest asset, oil reserves. As a result, Blackdom died in 1930 and became the ghost town it is.

KVIA 2019

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