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Socorro County Historical Society
Socorro, New Mexico, USA
SCHS Home > History Pages > Mines > Kelly 
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What is commonly called "the Kelly Mine” actually consists of the Traylor, Paschal and Billings shafts, and the Kelly tunnel, originally owned by the Tri-Bullion Smelting and Development Co. and sold to the Empire Zinc Co. in 1913. The property covers 40 claims over 578 acres. Lead and zinc were the main metals mined at Kelly, with lesser amounts of silver, copper and other metals also recovered. The mine is located just north of the townsite of Kelly, NM ... originally called "Middle Camp." 

Under the ownership of the Empire Zinc Co., the old Billings and Paschal shafts were closed. After 1915, the Traylor shaft, the familiar headframe at the mine today, was the main access to the mine used until its closure in the 1950s. The Traylor shaft is about 1,100 feet deep to access 10 levels of the mine. Eventually, some of the tunnels, or drifts, from nearby mines
connected to the Kelly mine forming a network of over 30 miles of tunnels.

The mine was idle during the 1921-1922 depression. A 1929 company  report stated that all known pay ore had been removed and nearly exhausted. The exploration required to discover new bodies of ore would be cost prohibitive.
Ore was mined at a smaller scale until 1939 primarily from the eastern reaches of the mine. This included considerable oxidized copper ores. Smaller amounts of barite and calcite were found along the quartz cross faults. By the end of the 1930 depression years, future prospects had been deemed so unfavorable that nearly all mill and smelter equipment had been removed from the property and the plant buildings scrapped.
There was some production during the WWII war years with the Kelly Mine ceasing operations shortly after that. Today, the Traylor shaft and tunnels are all now closed and sealed for safety.
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NOTE: The Kelly Mine is PRIVATE PROPERTY. The owners are very tolerant of visitors who enjoy and appreciate the Kelly mine - one of the best preserved historic mines in New Mexico. Please respect the property. Do not climb the structures or remove anything. 
A permit is required for rock collecting -- contact Tony's Rock Shop in Magdalena, NM for more information.
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The Kelly mine - 1916
Cross section of Kelly mine north of Traylor shaft
Cross section of level 10 of the Kelly mine west of Traylor shaft
Information sign at the
 Kelly mine
From "Geology and Ore Deposits of the Magdalena Mining District,
No. 200," New Mexico School of Mines, 1942
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The Kelly Mine
The Kelly Mine - Then
Smithsonite - the mineral
that made the Kelly area
mines famous
Before the railroad (1885),
ore was moved to the
smelters by a fleet of horse
and oxen drawn wagons
Working a stope
inside the mine
Winch inside the mine
working an incline between levels
Miners at the Kelly mine
probably late 1930s
Many mules were used inside the mine for hauling the ore cars
Visiting the Kelly mine
The Traylor shaft
and ore bin
The Traylor shaft and the remnants of the Tri-Bullion smelter
The Kelly Mine - Today
Photos - Then and Now
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Aerial Drone Photos
The Traylor shaft at the Kelly mine
Tri-Bullion smelter
Have photos?  If you have photos of the Kelly mining district you'd like to share, please let us know here.
The Kelly Mine & Traylor Shaft
SCHS photos except where noted
Photos by Paul Harden
Photo: Western Mining History
Have photos?  If you have photos of the Kelly mining district or of family that worked the mines you'd like to share, please let us know here and we'll add them to these pages.
Kelly Mine video
3:36 min
66 meg