San Francisco de Asís Catholic Church, Golden (Video)

Michael R. Montano is an extraordinary person. He has undertaken, with the help of the parishioners he mobilized, the reconstruction of the historic church in Golden, New Mexico. Originally built in the 1830s, the San Francisco Catholic Church is one of the most photographed sites along New Mexico’s historic scenic byway known as the Turquoise Trail. Abandoned for twenty years, the tiny church now holds Mass every Saturday afternoon.

While the area had long been occupied by Native Americans and Spaniards, two small mining settlements, Real de San Francisco and Placer del Tuerto, were established there in the 1820s. Gold was discovered in 1825, and miners swarmed in as the first gold rush west of the Mississippi got underway. The two communities eventually merged and became known as Golden. By 1928 the population had plummeted and the post office closed, leaving Golden a ghost town with only a few residents. Today, the village is once again growing. New homes are sprouting, and some of the old ones are being restored.

Michael R. Montano does not use email but can be contacted as follows: 4435 Puertocito Rd. Sandia Park, NM 87047

Cell phone: 505-321-0782

Links of Interest

New Mexico Photography at Wordpress

Wikipedia entry on Golden

Photos from the project's visit to the church at Golden