Official White Oaks, New Mexico, site.
Historic White Oaks, Lincoln County, New Mexico. Billy the Kid thought of White Oaks as a "resort."
White Oaks, New Mexico, was once the second largest city in the state with 2500-5000 people living where only about 22 do now. It's not "really" a ghost town, just a ghost of what it once was.

Return to the White Oaks home page.

  • Local residents raised $10,000 and Local residents raised $10,000 and
  • built the school house in 1895 built the school house in 1895
  • on land donated by the state's first governor. on land donated by the state's first governor.
  • Students returned to the school house Students returned to the school house
  • for "Pioneer School Days" for "Pioneer School Days"
  • in May, 2007. (Click to read about it.) in May, 2007. (Click to read about it.)


Open about 10-4 on Saturdays and noon-4 on Sundays (maybe, they're having problems finding volunteers to man it) during warm months (White Oaks Time). No phone. No running water. Public outhouses.

The historical jewel of White Oaks. It was built in 1895 and has four school rooms. Built post-gold rush in White Oaks; the residents found such a value to education that they raised $10,000 to build it on property donated by the first governor of the state, McDonald.  The bricks were locally made in Ancho.  There was also a power plant just outside of the township eventually supplying electricity.  It was last used as a school house in the mid-1940s. (As a comparison in costs, while the school house cost $10,000 to build in 1985, it cost over $20,000 to put a new roof on it a few years ago. The roof was funded in part by the R. D. & Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation.)

Because of the gold, White Oaks was settled by easterners, not by Mexican/Americans. The architectural influence was about pitched roofs, brick if possible (not adobe).  The school house is throught to be the finest example of an eastern-influenced four room school house remaining in New Mexico today.

The White Oaks Historical Society is restoring this building and has established a museum in it. Mrs. Joyce Simpson, Mrs. Lorene Casey, Mrs. Florence Ward and Mrs. Mary Stoneman were some of the most recent teachers. The school was closed in 1947. Rob Leslie, Nettie Lemon and Bill Gallacher were among the first students. The Gumm brothers built the school. The big classroom is now used as a meeting place. It has a maple floor often used for dances. It is still heated by a pot-bellied stove and still has the old blackboards. The original school desks are also still in the building, many bearing the autographs of former students. The old home economics room has the wood stove ready for the class.

The school house is available for special events, including weddings. It is also often available for private group tours by calling Karen Mills at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Carrizozo.

Often spelled "schoolhouse" by locals.






REELSCOUT (a movie location page)

Watson Lund Law Office, White Oaks, New Mexico.

THE WATSON-LUND LAW OFFICE (currently the No Scum Allowed Saloon).

Open Fri-Sat-Sun noonish til whenever. New owners are considering opeing more days.

It was never any larger than the brick portion is at present. The brick had to be brought in by wagon at a considerable cost. At one time it was a printer's office for the local newspaper. Nowadays it is the local watering hole, the White Oaks Saloon and Social Club, now the No Scum Allowed Saloon.



  • The Hoyle House was built in 1880. The Hoyle House was built in 1880.
  • Local "Ancho" brick was used. Local "Ancho" brick was used.
  • It was built by the Gumm Brothers. It was built by the Gumm Brothers.
  • The Hoyle House sits on the south side of the valley. The Hoyle House sits on the south side of the valley.
  • Sunset over the Hoyle House. Sunset over the Hoyle House.


Built in 1880 by the Gumm Brothers. This is currently owned by the Wetzel family and has been since a member of the family was the manager at the mine.

A two story brick Victorian with a widow's walk. There are all kinds of (unconfirmed) stories about it being built for a mail order bride who took one look at White Oaks and hit the road.  We've heard the same stories about other home is other mining communities. Very little public access. Please don't cross any fence lines.

Now owned by Mrs. Larue Wetzel, a daughter of Allen Lane. The house was a landmark in White Oaks from the moment it was built in 1893. It is reported to have cost $40,000.00. Note the observation platform, sometimes known as the "Widow's Walk," and the various windows: two round and one rectangular attic windows and one arched front window. Upon a close inspection, you can see how well the stone cornices are joined into the brick. It is said that stonecutters were brought from St. Louis to do this work.




The Historic Gumm House in White Oaks, New Mexico.

THE GUMM HOUSE, 1893, private.

Anne New, White Oaks realtor.The home is currently owned by White Oaks real estate broker Anne New. Her email is, and she has a website at

The Gumm Brothers built it. They owned the lumber business in White Oaks. It's said (unconfirmed) that they just took the blueprints for the Hoyle House and flipped them over. It has bay windows and shows excellent carpentry work; it is a good example of precise workmanship. It was owned at one time or another by Ed Queen, Warden Brother and Pat Murphy.

The Gumm House was restored to its current condition by Michael New over the past 15 years.

While Pat Garrett, Lincoln County Sheriff, was rumored to be at the Gumm House arranging to purchase lumber to build a scaffold to hang Billy the Kid when the Kid made is famous escape form the Lincoln Courthouse...not true. Construction started on the home in the fall of 1892. Billy made his escape in 1981.


Brown Store, White Oaks, New Mexico

THE BROWN STORE, partially restored, for sale.

One of the buildings still standing and in need of a restoration that started a couple years back by the late Joe Bowen (it's said to have a hot tub in it big enough to hold the Dallas Cowboys' Cheerleaders).

It is on the main road. The Brown Store, at one time or another, contained a school, a dance hall, and offices. The White Oaks jail was to the northwest of the Brown Store.

It served as a jail until an inmate kicked a hole in the roof and escaped. He stood on his head on a cot to accomplish this feat. The Sol Weiner store was just west of the Brown store. Behind the Brown Store is a cistern involved in a legendary incident. At a dance, one of the local men imbibed too much, caused some trouble and was put in the cistern because they lacked a jail.

The cistern was dry, but during the night it rained. The following day his frantic calls revealed he was standing in four feet of water.

The building is for sale if you're looking for a nice little B&B or road house opportunity in New Mexico. Here's more information on the rennovation. Contact Anne New at


The Taylor House, White Oaks, New Mexico, Billy the Kid Country.

TAYLOR HOUSE, private.

Across from the Brown Store. Mr. Taylor was a blacksmith and you can still see the remains of the blacksmith shop foundation directly across from the Brown Store. The adobe portion was added on to the original log building.

Email a native.  This site and created and maintained by the White Oaks Arts Council, Inc . Brad Cooper, designer.