Stock Certificate, unissued/uncanceled1800'sL. N. Rosenthal, PhiladelphiaThe item shown is representative of the piece you will receive
In 1870, prospectors found samples of very rich silver ore in the area and went searching for financing for the new mines. William Ralston, president of the Bank of California in San Francisco, came in with financing and the town was named in his honor. The financier then posted a general claim to the entire district, formed the New Mexico Mining Company, sold stock, and interested a number of other investors. However, by the time that many of those investors arrived in the camp, they found the best properties had already been claimed by Ralston himself.
In the meantime, the town was booming, as newspapers as far away as San Diego and San Francisco, told the news of the rich silver finds. Independent miners flocked to the town that soon sported some 3,000 people. Allegedly, the New Mexico Mining Company hired a number of gunfighters to keep the independent miners off of their property.
Though the New Mexico Mining Company found a few isolated pockets of silver ore, Ralston's credibility was quickly waning. His stock dropped dramatically and people began to leave the newly formed camp. Quickly, a rumor began that diamonds had been found on Leeís Peak, near Ralston. Though people were skeptical, they began to invest once again into Ralstonís stocks. Later, it was found to be a hoax. To William Ralstonís credit, he paid back, from his own pocket, all who had invested into the scheme. By 1873, there were only a few people left in the boom town, primarily those that worked at the stage station and a few prospectors. William Ralston, meantime, continued to suffer through several years of hardship until finally, during the depression of 1875, the Bank of California collapsed, leaving him in financial ruin. That same year, on August 27, he reportedly went for a swim in the San Francisco Bay and drowned.NM-New Mexico Mining and Related Mining-New Mexico Mountain Scene River Scene Town Scene