$96M ranch on historic New Mexico coal mining site for sale

New Mexico

CIMARRON, N.M. (KRQE) – It is a rare piece of property on the market in New Mexico, and the price tag reflects that. A large ranch with a rich, dark history is up for sale for a mere $96 million.

From the ground, visitors will see a modest, historic four-bedroom house, but a view from above of the expansive property shows what the real selling point is at Dawson Elk Valley Ranch near Cimarron.

“In terms of interest, it has kind of been unprecedented,” said Hall and Hall Real Estate Partner Jeff Buerger. “I have been shocked by the amount of interest this ranch has generated.”

Even though there is no mansion on the property, the ranch includes more than 50,000 deeded acres of land. It offers 11 miles of both banks of the Vermejo River and a flourishing resident elk herd population. Plus, there is one more thing. The purchase includes 50% interest in the nearly 37-mile York Canyon Branch Spur Rail Line.

“Kind of an interesting thing that someone would own 50 percent of a private railroad,” Buerger said. “Only one time in my career have I experienced a ranch with a private ownership of a railroad.”

The property is also connected to some unique and dark New Mexico history. It used to be home to a big coal-mining town of 9,000 people, even featuring an opera house.

However, an explosion in 1913 made it the site of the second-worst coal mining disaster in U.S. history. Another disaster followed ten years later. In all, more than 380 people died.

Most of the buildings were torn down afterward, but the real estate company now selling it says the current owner has tried to preserve what is left of the historic site and allow access to those who want to pay their respects. They say they want to make sure the new owner will do the same as well.

Billionaire Brad Kelley currently owns the ranch. Forbes lists him as one of the largest land owners in the country.

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