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Sunrise at Tombstone, AZ

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Silver City, New Mexico

Thursday, Nov 14

On the road by 9:15 am from Lake Roberts. A short drive today to Silver City and only took just over an hour. The road was much better once we reached the junction of Highway 35 and Highway 152 and then onto Highway 180.  Coming down into Silver City you are struck by the copper mine tailings that looks like 4 huge mountains. Once the largest open-pit mine in the world, Chino (aka Santa Rita) Mine is about 15 miles east of town. Although you can’t enter this active copper mine, you can pull into the Santa Rita Overlook viewing area, off N.M. 152, which contains interpretive signs about the region’s rich copper deposits.

Image result for silver city copper mine images
Picture from Google

We settled into our site at the Rose Valley RV Park. Great large pull-through sites with lots of space and a privacy fence to your neighbours.This is a Passport America Park and they allow 2 nights at half price and any more day 10% off with Good Sam or AAA. The only drawback for some is that we are right next door to a historical cemetery where Billy the Kid's mother is buried. Billy was raised in Silver City.

Catherine Devine Antrim

DEATH16 Sep 1874 (aged 44–45)
Silver City, Grant County, New Mexico, USA
BURIAL Silver CityGrant CountyNew MexicoUSA

 Catherine <I>Devine</I> Antrim

Once we were set up it was off to lunch downtown at the Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery. Great beer and great food served out of a very historical building. (These are my pics from my phone ...)

With the University I think sports are a big thing here at this bar. lol

Back home to face nearly two weeks of laundry. I checked out their laundry facilities and found them empty so I hurried to get my stuff going. Only 3 of the 4 washers were operational so I had to do two batches of clothes. The last two I dried with my dryer in the MH. Ray enjoyed himself outside while I was driving back and forth. I was finally able to sit down for a frosted beverage at 5pm.

Friday, November 15th  Happy Birthday Ray!!

First thing in the morning I took off to do the grocery shopping. Yeah, they have a really nice Albertson's here so was able to restock my larder. lol Back home by 10:30 am and after groceries were put away, Ray and I headed off to tour the downtown and have his birthday lunch. 

We stopped at the Visitors Centre. They have a marvelous front entrance.

The murals are all constructed of tiles and there is lots of textures to feel.

Next we headed over "The Big Ditch" via a pedestrian bridge which startsat the Visitor Centre parking lot.

In the early days of Silver City, stormwater runoff surged down Main Street and carved a big ditch. For years the ditch was used as a trash heap and sewer. In the 1970s, slated to be paved over for parking, the citizens decided they wanted to preserve the area. Today the “Big Ditch” is a beautiful greenway.

After Ray took some pictures we continued our tour up and down the main streets, popping into all of the art gallery's and trinket stores. They have some really interesting old buildings.

Across the bridge is the Warren House.

"Overlooking the Big Ditch is the 1885 Italianate red brick O.S. Warren House. Once owned by the indefatigable Elizabeth Warren, the first woman insurance agent in New Mexico, it's today's only survivor of the Main Street Floods"

The old Courthouse.

El Sol Theatre

One of the private residences ... didn't get it's name.

Municipal Hall

The old Palace Hotel. The lobby still looks original.

Me shopping ... I match the colour in the store. with my "Oprah" hat on. lol Although cool out the sun is really strong and this hat just rolls up into my pocket when not needed. Thanks Kristi.

Tromping up and down the streets for an hour or so brought on a "powerful thirst" so we looked for a restaurant to eat in and did not find anything as good as the brew pub so back we went. lol

Birthday Boy.

This was some of the best fish we have had down south every. Great food at this pub.

After lunch it was time for a "toes up" after all the walking. Ray is sore so need to relax in his chair outside. I continued with a few chores before joining him.

Saturday morning much warmer at 36F, no frozen water hose. Most of the day was cloudy with sunny periods though so it stayed a little cooler outside.

After I got my monthly pedicure done it was off to visit Fort Bayard. It does have very interesting history but unfortunately it is really run down and most of the buildings are collapsing.

We sat down to what we thought was a quick orientation of the place but ended up with an hours lecture on American History of New Mexico and finally Fort Bayar. The Volunteer happened to be a retired history professor and lives in the area !!!!! Ray gave up and walk before the speech ended, he just can't sit that long. It was very interesting however, but a tad too long.

Ft. Bayard.jpg

Fort Bayard Hospital circa 1890

From Wikipedia:
Fort Bayard was established as a United States Army installation in 1866 to protect miners and other settlers in the area along the Apache Trail. The fort was named for Brigadier General George Dashiell Bayard, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862. Fifteen square miles of land were set aside as the Fort Bayard Military Reservation by presidential order in 1869. In 1886, then-Second Lieutenant John Pershing arrived at Fort Bayard and oversaw the installation of a heliograph, linking the fort to an Army communications network from Arizona to Texas.[4]
Fort Bayard was one of many installations throughout the Southwest that was garrisoned by the so-called Buffalo Soldiers. Company B of the 25th United States Colored Infantry Regiment established the post, and they were joined by other black units, including troops from the 9th Cavalry RegimentCorporal Clinton Greaves, stationed at Fort Bayard with C Company, 9th Cavalry Regiment, received the Medal of Honor for his actions against Apache raiders on January 24, 1877. A monument to the Buffalo Soldiers was erected on the old parade field of Fort Bayard in 1992.
Following the capture of Geronimo in 1886, the Apache were no longer considered a major threat. Fort Bayard's continued usefulness, like that many posts in the southwest, thus came under scrutiny. Due to its distance from the border with Mexico, the fort was selected for deactivation. However, U.S. Army Surgeon General George Miller Sternberg, noting the excellent health record of the post, chose Fort Bayard as an Army tuberculosis hospital and research center (Lectures on tuberculosis made at the fort are archived at the National Library of Medicine).[5] The fort was then transferred to the Surgeon General's Department in 1900. In 1922 the hospital became the part of the Veterans Bureau.
The fort was partially reactivated as a military installation during World War II. A number of German prisoners of war were held at the fort from 1943 to 1945. The fort is now administered by the New Mexico Department of Health as Fort Bayard Medical Center, a long term care nursing facility that also contains a chemical dependency treatment center.[6][7]

Fort Bayard is located 0.5 miles (800 m) north of the intersection of United States Route 180 and New Mexico State Road 152,[3] near Bayard, New Mexico.

Fort Bayard Circa 1909

Finally we got the opportunity to walk around the museum "First Officer's House".  What beautiful architecture. I could see Nicole of "Rehab Addict" getting extremely excited about this old house.

Ode to the Buffalo Soldiers. They were called this by the natives at that time because of the colour of their skin and hair and the name "stuck".

There is also a Nationally Registered Cemetery with many of the Buffalo Soldiers buried here, including two Medal of Honour recipients.

The 9th US Cavalary built this fort.

Back in the car it was time for lunch. We decided to try out the Wrangler Bar and Grill. What a deal. Happy Hour is between 11 and 4 every day so the beer is really cheap. Imagine paying $1.40 per pint of beer and then getting a discount on top of that. Beer ended up being 80 cents per! How about that Steve Colibaba? You even get a bucket of peanuts to shell (and eat) at every table. Too bad this is our last day here. They have a very small bar area and it was full of ranchers. I can see why with these prices.

After lunch we drove to Western New Mexico University to visit a great museum.  Many of the artifacts discovered from ruins in the area are on display. They have many buried pueblos in the area. An attendant here informed us there is one almost every two miles.They have the largest collection of Mimbres pottery, which apparently is world renowned for its quality and design. It is a very cool collection. Mary Colter (the pioneer architect) used some of the designs and incorporated them into dishware, mugs etc. This china became the pieces used on the Santa Fe dining cars and in the Harvey House restaurants in the day.  The replica pieces are sold at all the national parks in this area. We have 6 of these mugs from a few years ago.  It's nice to see where Mary got the designs, which are in the picture below.

View from the University over Silver City.

The Museum Building.

Look at the old porcelain Drinking Fountain!

Such an interesting design.

There were also tons of pottery that has yet to be categorized. 

The picture below shows fibre remnants of baskets they made. Amazing the fibre still remains visible after 1000 years.

Baskets intact.

These are the remains of sandals made from yucca leaves.

And one of the other fascinating things in this museum was the urinal in the men's bathroom ! Early 1900's.

The Science Lab 

After a walk around there we drove the short distance downtown to visit the Silver City Museum. It is located in an interesting old house. We found the museum info to be "humdrum" .

What a huge piece of copper below.

Historical picture of the "Big Ditch" after the flood.  Imagine a wall of water 300' wide and 12' deep carving a 35' deep gouge down the middle of Main St.   Oops!

The old register below was employed by the Cosgros brothers at their hardware store.  The museum is actually one of two kit houses bought by the Cosgros'  The adjacent house to the museum was built above a spring and sank into the ground.

Back home it was off to the laundry room to do the last 3 loads of wash. A busy day for me, but we really enjoyed seeing the Mimbres Pottery display after hiking around Fort Bayard. 

Another lovely day. Tomorrow is moving day to our next adventure.


  1. Happy Birthday Ray! Looks like you enjoyed your special day...

    1. Ray says "Thanks" and that he did have a great day. :)

  2. A belated happy birthday Ray! Same day as my brother actually. Great tour of Silver City and .80 cent Amber Bock, not sure I would leave! Have fun and play safe.

    1. Same to you Dave. You sure have been traipsing around seeing wonderful things too.

  3. Happy birthday Ray! You sure know how to stop the clock. Looking good!!
    Nice tour of Silver City and area. We definitely need to get over that way. Same with Elephant Butte.
    You guys sure know how to sniff out a good deal on beer....and food!
    Keep enjoying and safe travels.

  4. Love old western history and that place looks full of it. Happy Birthday Ray!