Dawson is a ghost town in Colfax County, New Mexico, United States, originally a mining town founded in 1901 when rancher John Barkley Dawson sold his coal-rich land in northern New Mexico to the Dawson Fuel Company. . The Dawson Railway was built connecting the town to Tucumcari, New Mexico. The mines were productive, and by 1905 the town boasted a population of nearly 2000.
On October 22, 1913, Dawson suffered its first major disaster. Stag Canyon Mine No. 2 was shaken by an explosion that was felt two miles away in the town proper. Relief teams rushed in from surrounding communities, but of the 286 men who arrived to work in the Stag Canyon mine that morning, only 23 survived. Two rescuers died during the rescue effort. It was later determined that the explosion was caused by a dynamite charge set off while the mine was in general operation, igniting coal dust in the mine. This was in violation of mining safety laws.
The other mines remained productive after the disaster in Mine No. 2. Then, on February 8, 1923, Stag Canyon Mine No. 1 suffered an explosion. A mine car derailed, igniting coal dust in the mine. 123 men were killed in this explosion, many of them children of the men who died in 1913.
Full history of Dawson.