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Stag Cañon Mining Disasters Remembered a Century Later
The ghost town of Dawson, New Mexico may be the deadliest mining town ever. From 1913 to 1923, the Stag Cañon coal mines located there experienced three different mining disasters claim that collectively claimed the lives of nearly 400 men. The second-deadliest single mining disaster in U.S. history occurred at Stag Cañon No. 2 on October 22, 1913 when an improper dynamite blast ignited coal dust claiming the lives of 263. Seven years later on April 14, 1920, five more miners were killed in another explosion at Stag Cañon No. 1 & 6. And finally, on February 8, 1923, at Stag Cañon No. 1, a mine train jumped its track taking out supporting timbers and sparking a coal dust explosion that took the lives of 120 workers. Many of the 120 killed were the sons of those who perished ten years earlier.
Today, all that remains of Dawson is a cemetery, only rediscovered in the early 1990s, bearing special white iron crosses for the hundreds of deceased miners.