Morley’s Ghost

The Church of Saint Aloysius (the Saint is the patron of those beset by plagues) overlooks the ruins of Morley.  Just to the north of the New Mexico-Colorado line, below the crest of Raton Pass sits the ruins of the old coal town.  Scattered foundations and mounds of rock mark the townsite.  Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s coal was king and the area around Raton Pass had plenty of it.

St Aloysius Church
Ruins of St. Aloysius Church


John D. Rockefeller owned Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) and the coal mines that furnished the fuel for the steel mills in Pueblo, Colorado.  CF&I owned the town of Morley and all that implies.  Around 600 souls lived in Morley in its heyday, the steam trains chugged up and down the pass along the route of the old Santa Fe Trail,  mule trains pulled the coal from the mines.  A church was needed and St. Aloysius was finished in 1917.

St Aloysius Church
Ruins of St. Aloysius Church in IR. We had an old Nikon D2X camera converted to Infrared. Black and White with a twist.

By 1956 the mines were closed and Morley sat empty.  For liability reasons CF&I  decided that the buildings of Morley had to be demolished, some buildings were moved, others scrapped.  When it was time for the church to come down, work began….and stopped.  The men charged with the demolition couldn’t finish the job.  Superstition?  Or the memories of weddings, baptisims and funerals?  No matter, the ghosts of Morley still have their church.

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