Santa Rita — the town that vanished into thin air

The mine encroaching on Santa Rita, circa 1915. Photo courtesy Silver City Museum "The Santa Rita is, perhaps, the most famous mine in Western America, for it was here that the techniques of copper mining were first developed in the Southwest." So wrote Carey McWilliams in his 1949 book, North From Mexico. Santa Rita - some 15 miles east of Silver City, site of today’s mine and yesterday’s town - is in a region of greasewood flatlands, of yucca patches […] Read more »

Grant County Guide

Alma, five miles north of Glenwood on U.S. 180, was a hideout for Butch Cassidy and his gang. when they worked for the W-S Ranch in the 1890s. It is said the gang members were good workers, and Cassidy was even offered a permanent job there. A post office existed from 1882 to 1896, then again from 1900 to1931. Mail now goes to Glenwood. Read more »

Pinos Altos, then and now

The Pinos Altos Museum Photo by Bob Wilson Pinos Altos (Tall Pines) is located about six miles north of Silver City on NM Highway 15. The townsite is located along the Continental Divide at an elevation of 7,067 feet at the southern end of the Pinos Altos Mountains. Pinos Altos is a very old mining town; it was Grant County’s first county seat. Gold was first discovered by the Spanish and Mexican miners. The Americans discovered gold in 1859/60. Hank […] Read more »

Kneeling Nun Legends

The Kneeling Nun monolith. Photo by Dianna Dobbs "What would you, holy maiden Of that rock face, cold and grim? Were you seeking for a loved one When you knelt in prayer to Him?" These first lines, from an early 1900s poem entitled "The Kneeling Nun," were written by Lou Curtis Foster, the niece of a Silver City Judge. The pathos of the words beautifully expresses the feelings of wonder that Santa Rita’s famous volcanic monolith inspires in all but […] Read more »

El Fierro — the past lives on

Fierro Cemetery Photo by Frank Ramirez Records indicate that mining began in Fierro around 1841. While working in a Mexican mint, a German immigrant noticed the high quality of copper coming from up north, and he went to check it. Attracted by the rich deposits of copper and iron, he started to mine on a mountain a few miles north of the Santa Rita mine. He named it Hanover mountain, after his home in Germany. There was enough copper to […] Read more »

What’s Happening in Silver City

"The months ahead are filled with exciting events in the Silver City area," according to Camille Clark, the new director for the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce. The Silver City calendar is peppered with exciting events that really capture the romance of this southwestern town. In March, Showcase 2002 will be held Easter Weekend the 29th-31st in the WNMU intramural gymnasium. Come and see all that Silver City and Grant County has to offer! Great food, entertainment and […] Read more »

Cattle brands of Grant County

Grant County Beef Country Sign. Photo by Carla DeMarco Drive any of the three main approaches to Silver City and a moment comes when your eye is arrested by a homely, hand-painted billboard showing dozens of cattle brands grouped around the silhouette of a cow. It doesn’t take higher math to put two and two together:  A lot of Grant County’s residents and acreage are in the cattle business. All of the brands pictured have current registration, or did when […] Read more »

Catherine McCarty — the mother of Billy the Kid and a jolly Irish lady

Today Cathy McCarty, the mother of Billy the Kid, rests in a cemetery off Highway 180 leading into Silver City. In 1873, Silver City resident Louis Abraham, a boyhood friend of Henry McCarty as he was known then, described her as a "jolly Irish lady, full of fun and mischief." But for being the mother of Billy the Kid, history would probably never know the name of Catherine McCarty. One hundred and twenty-five years later, history still knows precious little […] Read more »

Alma — once a hideout for notorious outlaw gangs

View from Alma Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks Alma, five miles north of Glenwood on U.S. 180, was a hideout for Butch Cassidy and his gang. when they worked for the W-S Ranch in the 1890s. It is said the gang members were good workers, and Cassidy was even offered a permanent job there. A post office existed from 1882 to 1896, then again from 1900 to1931. Mail now goes to Glenwood. Only a few families reside in this once […] Read more »

Glenwood — for outdoor lovers

Glenwood, New Mexico Photo by Carla DeMarco From 1747 when Spanish explorers discovered Indians farming in the verdant valley until today, visitors have enjoyed the quiet beauty of the San Francisco River country. Glenwood with its quaint shops, motels, and restaurants, is the center of this valley in West Central New Mexico. The village of 300 people is 65 miles northwest of Silver City on US 180, and is 39 miles south of Reserve. The first house was built there […] Read more »