1877 Second Empire – Springer, NM

Added to OHD on 6/30/18   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   43 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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804 1st St, Springer, NM 87729

Map: Street

  • $105,000
  • Foreclosure
  • 5 Bed
  • 1.5 Bath
  • 3193 Sq Ft
  • 10.19 Ac.
Historically Low Price for Historical Springer, New Mexico Property!This 5 bedroom, 2 bath, SPACIOUS mansion is located on OVER 10 ACRES and is also known as 'Mills Mansion.' This home has the touches of the late 1800's throughout. Do not let this opportunity pass you by. FULL OF POTENTIAL! This property is being sold as is, where is, and w/ all faults. Must see for yourself!
Contact Information
Jesus Esparza, Asset Solutions Realty
(505) 896-3694
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: , | Misc: ,

42 Comments on 1877 Second Empire – Springer, NM

OHD does not represent this home. Comments are not monitored by the agent. Status, price and other details may not be current, verify using the listing links up top. Contact the agent if you are interested in this home.
  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11843 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks Linda for finding this video, showing the interior.

    • says: 14 comments

      You are welcome! Doing more research! Here’s another video of just listening and touring the property. Nature listening.


      • cheryl plato says: 174 comments

        Okay.. there are three videos of this mansion! Then… I just spent an hour watching videos of abandoned farmhouses, Victorians… only reason I quit was the camera holders filming was making me queasy…

    • Charlotte Wilford says: 1 comments

      The builder of the mansion was Melvin Mills a Canadian Quaker born in Sparta Ontario south east of London Ontario . Moves to Springs NM. Mills a Lawyer who graduate from Michigan USA became a state legislature and was instrumental for getting the railroad through Springs. Built orchards around Springs. All the orchards were destroyed by flood in 1904. If I had the USA money I would buy and refinish to it’s glory.

  2. MaryBeth says: 53 comments

    This is really in the Old West ! Springer is remote and I’d love to know the history of this house.

  3. BethanyBethany says: 3426 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    This is so neat! Looks like a hotel or something to me.

  4. JimHJimH says: 5097 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Some history and a few photos from around 1970, worth looking at for the great newel post:

  5. Jennie Bauer says: 93 comments

    This is my favorite period in history so I did some checking and found this link that has a great history of the house (built
    as a mansion although I agree it looks like it was a hotel) and the man who built it, Melvin Mills. He was a ” major player” in the Colfax County War.

    The wierd reddish hue of the pictures is from
    a red window that is in a transom above the front door. This link has lots of neat exterior photos.


    Kelly, I don’t know if the blogspot site will show up as a direct link, because it isn’t showing up that way as I typed it, so if you need to delete it, please do.

  6. RosewaterRosewater says: 6662 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    WHOA – talk about atmosphere. Wow. This couch / divan BELONGS in this house, (along with me); https://www.flickr.com/photos/regulusalpha/16768154641/in/dateposted-public/
    Antique mud adobe mansion = SWEET!

  7. Emily says: 34 comments


  8. John Shiflet says: 5357 comments

    One often reads the terms “unique; one-of-a-kind” in real estate listings but infrequently a period home truly lives up to those terms. The 1870’s Mills house definitely is a unique property. I would imagine the number of extant Second Empire style homes in New Mexico can be counted on one hand. What is more difficult to imagine is how the millwork items (doors, staircase, porch parts, flooring, and windows) were transported to this location back in the 1870’s. I’m not sure that a rail depot for shipping these products existed nearby at that time. If everything was hauled by wagons from some distance, it must have cost a small fortune to transport such finished items. I also noted a fine stone outbuilding that is badly in need of repairs and restoration. We rarely get to see a time capsule type house on these pages but in my opinion this house truly fits into that limited category. The home’s ideal next owner should try to keep the house as original as possible without unnecessary modernization or extensive alterations. The wise owner should retain the authentic “Old West” aura and preserve it that way in perpetuity. In the older photos, there’s some ornate iron roof cresting shown but apparently it has since been removed or perhaps, if fortunate, it’s still stored somewhere on the property. Reproduction iron cresting is available and this house deserves a purist restoration approach. Subjecting this house to a thoroughly modern makeover would border on the criminal. I completely concur with the listing statement that this is a piece of Colfax County history. It would make for a superb Western themed bed and breakfast establishment or a small hotel. I could also see it being used in Western movies as well because this property is the genuine article. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the next owner(s) recognizes, appreciates, and maintains the historic character of this property and decides to bring it with sensitivity and finesse into the 21st century. This distinctive property is beyond rare in my estimation.

  9. Rachelle says: 1 comments

    I lived in the area a year ago and drove over and looked at this house from the outside. Not a bad little town but there is a State prison in Springer and the closest Wal-Mart is in Trinidad, Co. The closest hospital is 40 miles away in Raton, and Raton is a shrinking old town. Lots of wildlife in northern NM and beautiful scenery. Friendly people in Springer. Because the area is very remote, lacks many amenities of larger cities and New Mexico is one of the poorest states, this house may be over priced for it’s market, also including considering costs of any necessary repairs or required updates. Also, adobe needs specialized repair and renovation. If you buy it, do your research and don’t cover with cement! I don’t think this has been done to it, at least. If it’s covered in cement any repairs will be much costlier and possibly prohibitive. Adobe should NEVER be plastered in cement! Be sure to get a professional inspection on any home before you buy. Especially older homes built before 1979. This home is at the edge of town and feels private, the property is not bad looking but needs landscaping. I suspect the interior is in much better looking condition then the exterior. I wish I had a chance to see the inside and that staircase! But I wasn’t in the market and did not wish to waste the seller’s time. The history is interesting and we’ll documented as well.

  10. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11843 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Posted 2017, since went into foreclosure. Moved to front page, much lower price! New photos, I didn’t bother keeping the old ones since they were pretty bad. Moved to front page, comments above may be older.

  11. RosewaterRosewater says: 6662 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    Here’s a cool article:


    Some good exterior shots, (don’t think they are all of this building).


  12. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 5357 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1897 Queen Anne Colonial
    Cadiz, OH

    Where else can one buy such a unique, unspoiled-by-modernization house with 10.19 acres for $109K!? I could see a prominent artist, writer, or someone who just wants to get away from it all finding their paradise here. A replacement appropriate to the period salvage mantel and overmantel mirror to replace the missing originals would bring back the period flavor. Nice Renaissance Revival furniture with period wall and ceiling treatments could also take the interior back to the 1870’s. If the main house exterior is indeed Adobe covered with stucco, then special care and expertise are required to repair and restore the exterior. A few early adobe homes have survived in California and were properly stabilized and restored by experts so that might be a good information resource for dealing with the walls of this house. The double gallery side porch is a very rare original survivor. Perhaps the dry desert climate aided in keeping it from deterioration. Any old photos showing the house as it originally was might reveal it once had a full width porch across the front and if so, putting it back on would also enhance this rare house. I think the potential is certainly there but I do wonder how adobe has structurally held up in a full two story house since 1877? For lovers of the mystique of the Old West, it doesn’t get more authentic than this one. I sincerely hope the next owner(s) respects the historic character of this house and property. If the state of New Mexico wished to acquire and faithfully restore it the period, (perhaps for a historic house or interpretive center?) then that would also be appropriate. The interior should not be gutted and modernized, IMO.

  13. CoraCora says: 2053 comments
    OHD Supporter & Moderator

    Clinton, TN

    This is fascinating. Beyond fascinating! Who wants to road trip with me to NM just to snoop?!

  14. Karen says: 1136 comments

    It looks a lot smaller on the street view,i think. and the surroundings aren’t my taste. I know the street view was done in February, but it looks so arid. I can’t imagine how much the original owner had to pay, to get all the building materials to New Mexico, back in the day. I do love that 2nd story verandah! I hope someone saves this place

  15. peeweebcpeeweebc says: 1063 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1885 Italianate.

    Well i have no words for this that no one else has already said. The videos are great! This is a very unique piece of property as it is still intact and old west. Someone here buy it.

  16. Philip Poburka says: 20 comments

    It sure lost a lot of it’s furnishings, Fireplace Mantel, and other parts over the last decade or so.

    Wonderful old Home though, even still…

    A lot of the exterior over handing Porch elements look to be about on their last legs…I’d be careful if up on the second story Walkways I think.

  17. MimiMimi says: 188 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Rochester, MN

    Great elements and structure—. I agree this era home would be a rarity in NM— that staircase is fabulous!

  18. Elizabeth Email Stafford says: 12 comments

    If walls could talk

  19. Mississippi Dude says: 30 comments

    Growing up in New Mexico, one could hardly not know about Springer, New Mexico—even though it was never bigger than 2,000 people. Four hundred miles south of Springer, we all knew that was where boys were sent to reform school, and I should also say that bad boys were threatened with Springer even in my hometown four-hundred miles south. That’s my background on this post. Fast forward almost 50 years when my son was getting married in Denver, and I decided that I would stop for the night in Springer and head out early the next morning. I thought it might be fun to visit a place that was so prevalent in New Mexico’s lore. I had considered other small towns in this part of the state as a place to stay, because one in Cimarron was supposed to have a hotel room so haunted that no one was ever able to stay in the room the whole night. Another town had a famous hotel that was known for its true old-west charm. But I settled on Springer since it was right on I-25 and I wouldn’t have to get off the main route. I arrived there in late afternoon and found the hotel quickly. By then I was committed to staying in Springer because it would have been too late had things not worked out to go on to Pueblo Colorado or some small NM town.

    So I checked into the only hotel in town, and I was informed that the owner would have no staff on hand once the hotel closed down at 8 p.m. As I said Springer was known for it’s reformatory “prison” for boys, but by the time I stayed there in the 2000s, the boys reform school had given way to an adult prison, and it was really the only “industry” in the small town, except for a few other limited jobs, or working on the nearby farms and ranches. And true to the ambiance of the town, I had not realized that if the staff left at 8 p.m. they would lock up the hotel for the night with me in it! It was rather a fun irony that in a town known for its boys prison, travelers were also locked into the hotel at night. I really wasn’t worried at the prospect and thought it would also be fun to tell someone this odd story.

    I explored as much as I could before the lock-up time, and I found Springer to be a small spot in the road with some charm of what must have been the old west. The house on the market is on a small street just off the main drag through town. The setting is lovely in a dry-prairie and rolling hills sort of way, but if you spend the night in Springer, you’re going to spend the night Locked up. You do get a free breakfast the next morning, however, and it is truly good old-fashioned cooking.

  20. CarolynCarolyn says: 297 comments
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Does it worry anyone else that there is no picture or mention of the staircase? With the mantle being missing it makes me wonder if the stairway parts were pilfered too. 🙁

    • CarolynCarolyn says: 297 comments
      Grand Rapids, MI

      Nevermind, just looked through all the links and saw it’s still there. Odd that they wouldn’t put something that spectacular in the listing pics.

  21. Lord Richard Mannyng says: 5 comments

    My mother’s family have been in New Mexico for nearly two centuries (cattle ranches). At some point we ended up with a lot of the furniture out of this old house, most of it signed Horner pieces. I hope to make a quick trip to see the property sometime after the 4th, and if I do, I shall take a lot of pictures.

    I live in an old adobe, about the same period as this one, though in the southern part of the state. It was one of the headquarters for one of the ranches and is about 6000 square feet and two story. We still heat it solely with all the fireplaces though they now have gas logs. The original cedar shingle roof is 140 years old and we are replacing bits of it this year. New Mexico weather, combined with the altitude, make these old adobes a joy to live in and relatively maintenance free.

    All of these old houses had to have all mill work, gasoliers, etc brought in by horse and wagon. In the 1880s my great grandmother had a piano shipped in and the wagon was stranded by sinking into the sands of what is now the white sands national park!

    Having grown up in England and Africa, I was fascinated by these olde grand dames of the west and happy to have preserved and be living in one of them!

  22. Gregory_KGregory_K says: 457 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Chatsworth, CA

    The National Register forms list this house as ‘Greek Revival.’ Boy did they get that wrong!

    I have been told that this house is actually stone in a mud mortar, like the outbuildings and the ruins at the ranch, not true adobe. This is still a fragile building, particularly now that it sits empty. Lets pray someone buys it soon. The owner had best be careful. It would only take one vandal to make this investment worthless. 10 acres in Springer without an intact Victorian mansion is not going to be worth very much.

  23. AbMellyAbMelly says: 40 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1920 Craftsman

    I am very intrigued by that piano! It looks very similar to the one we saw at Cedar Grove mansion a few days ago that was made of rosewood and values at $1.5 million. That one was in pristine condition however. The pictures of the newel post, if you can call it that, are stunning!

  24. Mary says: 2 comments

    This house is amazing. I can see all the amazing potential . I love it!!

  25. Brandy Darnell says: 1 comments

    Is this home still available for sale?

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11843 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      It was pending sale and looks like it’s “off market” according to the listing sites. I’d call the agent if you were interested, just to be for sure.


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