Smeltertown (HMPHW)

Location: El Paso, TX 79922 El Paso County
Country: United States of America

N 31° 47.174', W 106° 31.6'

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The Kansas City Consolidated Smelting and Refining Company came to El Paso in the late 19th century, creating a mining and smelting center for the Southwest. In 1899, the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) bought the operation and refined lead, copper and other ores. The need for a large labor pool brought in thousands of Mexican immigrants; these workers established homes for their families on company land around the smelter and developed a dynamic community called Smeltertown, or La Esmelda.

Smeltertown grew into a small city within a city and was home to Asarco brick and cement plants, and a limestone quarry. The settlement was divided into upper and lower Smeltertown, or El Alto and El Bajo, and within these areas were smaller barrios. The only one remaining today is La Calavera, or Skull Canyon, laid out along the road to the Smeltertown Cemetery. Smeltertown was home to its own Y.M.C.A. branch and schools, most notably E.B. Jones School. Throughout the area, residents established organizations, stores, restaurants and other businesses, and named streets after residents who died in military service during World War II. The San Jos? Del Rio (San Jos? de Cristo Rey Catholic Church) served the residents as a place for worship and social and community activity. Parishioners undertook regular pilgrimages to the top of Cerro de Muleros, now known as Mount Cristo Rey, and initiated creation of the Cristo Rey Monument, erected in 1940.

In the early 1970s, after environmental officials found high levels of lead contamination in the soil, community buildings were razed and families were relocated. Today, an annual reunion brings former residents together to remember the once vibrant and bustling Smeltertown.

Smeltertown (La Esmelda)
La Fundadora y Refiner?a Consolidada Kansas City estableci? un centro de miner?a y fundici?n en 1887. En 1899, Asarco Compr? las operaciones para luego fundir plomo, cobre y otros minerales. Para poder cubrir las grandes necesidades de mano de obra, llegaron miles de inmigrantes Mexicanos. Los obreros establecieron hogares en los propios terrenos de la compa??a, desarrollando una comunidad din?mica llamada La Esmelda.

La Esmelda creci? en una peque?a ciudad dentro de la ciudad grande. El asentimiento se vio dividido en las areas de La Esmelda Alta y Baja, dentro de las cuales se ubicaban los barrios. El ?nico que existe hoy d?a es el barrio "La Calavera." La Esmelda contaba con su propio centro YMCA as? como escuelas, La m notable siendo la escuela E.B. Jones. Los residentes establecieron organizaciones, restaurantes, tiendas, as? como otros negocios, designando las calles con nombres de aquellos residentes que hab?an dado su vida en el servicio militar durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. La iglesia Cat?lica San Jos? del R?o fue no solo el lugar espiritual sino tambi?n un centro social y comunitario. Los feligreses realizaban peregrinaciones regulares a la cima del cerro de Monte del Cristo Rey. Asimismo iniciaron el establecimiento del Monumento Cristo Del Rey, Edificado en 1940.

A principios de la d?cada de los 70, autoridades ambientalistas encontraron altos niveles de contaminaci?n de plomo en el suelo. Las instalaciones comunitarias fueron demolidas y las familias trasladadas. Actualmente, se re?nen anualmente los antiguos residentes con el fin de recordar La Esmelda que en su tiempo fue una comunidad llena de vitalidad y energ?a.
Year Placed2004
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 1:22pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13R E 355456 N 3517756
Decimal Degrees31.78623333, -106.52666667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 47.174', W 106° 31.6'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 47' 10.44" N, 106° 31' 36.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)915
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-122 Ewald Kipp Way, El Paso TX 79922, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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