Silver City, NM (88061) located in the southwest corner of New Mexico was founded in the early 1870s and has since grown into a destination for culture and history. Our 6000-foot elevation makes us a “cool” spot to visit in the summer. As Gateway to the Gila Wilderness, there are extensive hiking and biking trails to enjoy. In our Downtown Historic District, discover numerous art galleries and shops. Silver City is home to over 17 galleries, 23 studios and 39 independent artists (www.silvercityart.com). Spend a day visiting our informative museums: the Silver City Museum featuring history of the area and the WNMU Museum with a world-class collection of Mimbres pottery.
North of the City
Pinos Altos, NM (88053) is where gold was discovered in 1859 and it became a boomtown for a while. Now at a cool 7000 feet with tall pines and mountain vistas, it is an interesting small town to visit on the way to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. These fascinating structures built by the Tularosa Mogollon people in the late 1200s consist of five natural caves that contain the ruins of the dwelling — a total of 40 interconnected rooms.
West of the City
Glenwood, NM (88039) is located near the Whitewater Canyon and home to The Catwalk, a 2-mile round-trip walkway that in places clings to the side of the canyon walls above Whitewater Creek. It was begun as a mining operation in 1893 and rebuilt by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. It became part of the Gila National Forest and renovated by the Forest Service in 2004. It a cool, green space to visit during the heat of the summer. Also nearby is the Glenwood Hatchery operated by the State Dept of Game and Fish for the raising of trout.
Cliff, NM (88028) is a ranching and farming community west of Silver City. Here one can find the Grant County Fairgrounds, where in the fall the 4-H and FFA youngsters show their livestock for prizes and sales. Also in the area is the Bill Evans Lake for fishing and recreation as well as the Gila Riparian Preserve for great birding.
Gila, NM (88038) is in the irrigated valley of the Gila River. Here in 1890, Tom Lyons and Angus Campbell founded the Lyons & Campbell Ranch (the L.C. Ranch), one of the largest ranches (990,000 acres) in the U.S. at the time. The headquarters building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
East of the City
Santa Clara, NM (88026) location of the National Historic Monument Fort Bayard established in 1866 to protect the mining settlements from the Apache. Fort Bayard was home to the Native American Indian Scouts and the Buffalo Soldiers. After the Apache threat was ended, it became the first US Army tuberculosis hospital and later transitioned into a long-term health care facility. It is lovely to visit with its park-like atmosphere and old homes. The cemetery was named a National Cemetery in 1976.
Bayard, NM (88023) is known as the Hub of the Mining District and incorporated in 1938 as a number of mines became established in the area. Near Bayard is the Chino Mine Viewing area from which one can marvel at the immense hole in the ground and the gigantic trucks moving through it. The Chino Mine is one of the oldest active mines in the country, going back to the Apaches who scraped the surface for copper through the Mexicans who mined it in the early 1800s for their currency and current owners Freeport-McMoRan. Downtown Bayard has a Mining Park dedicated to the miners and displaying mining equipment in use over the years.
Mimbres, NM (88049), Faywood (88064) and San Lorenzo (88041) all located in the Mimbres Valley surrounding the Mimbres River. This has been an attractive agriculture area since settled by the prehistoric Mimbreno Indians and through today’s farming and ranching ventures. Recreational opportunities include hot springs for soaking, lakes for fishing, the City of Rocks State Park and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument for exploring.
Tyrone, NM (88065) The original Tyrone was an elaborately planned community financed by the Phelps Dodge Corporation, based on Mediterranean and European styles, designed by well-known architect Bertram Goodhue and built in 1915 at a cost of more than a million dollars. A drop in copper prices in 1921 closed the mines and the town was deserted. The townsite was later destroyed as part of Phelps Dodge's development of the Tyrone open-pit copper mine, which began operation in 1969.
The current townsite was built by the Phelps Dodge mining company (now Freeport-McMoRan) to house miners. Between 1968 and 1972, there were 320 homes built; four or five more have been added since then. A large commercial building at the entrance to the townsite (on Highway 90) housed a post office and a general mercantile (now closed). The townsite includes a baseball field, children's park, and ten acres of a grassy 'picnic park'. Large homes with extensive views on the top of the ridge were referred to as Bosses Hill homes. In the 1990s, the mining company divested itself of the homes, which are now privately owned.
Tyrone is now a friendly, close-knit community with reasonably priced homes ten minutes from the Silver City commercial district.