Western Trips

Western Trips

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Silver City New Mexico

palace hotel silver city nm
Palace Hotel, Silver City, NM
Silver City New Mexico is a historic town in New Mexico in a very scenic part of the state that offers many attractions for both history lovers and recreational enthusiasts.The town was named Silver City because rich deposits of chloride silver were discovered just west of town during the 1870's. Silver City's growth took off after this discovery. A lumber mill was established shortly afterward using the vast nearby timberland to supply wood for the mines.

Open pit copper mining processes can even be viewed today at a site about fifteen miles west of town. Minerals have been produced from this very same site since the 1880's. It's one of the largest of it's type in the United States. Another open pit site about twelve miles south of Silver City yields about 50,000 tons of copper ore today. Mining obviously is still a big industry in the modern Silver City.

The Town of Silver City sits atop a site that has been home to Native American, Hispanic and Anglo settlers for hundreds of years. 

silver city hotels
Palace Hotel lobby
As a side note, and Silver City's connection to the old wild west, it's said that William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, experienced his first arrest and incarceration in Silver City. While The Kid went on to infamous notoriety, his family did reside in Silver City for years. William Bonney's mother is buried in the town cemetery.

Located about 230 miles south of Albuquerque and about 40 miles west of Interstate 25, Silver City is the jumping off point to some of the most popular attractions in New Mexico. When you look at the map of New Mexico you;ll notice that Silver City is located about 45 miles south of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. From Silver City you drive scenic NM 15. The drive from Silver City will take about two hours. Once there you will want to take the hiking trail to the ancient cliff dwellings. The Mogollon ancestral people lived in this area of great beauty and serenity.

Historic Downtown Silver City Hotels

Silver City New Mexico is the site of two historic district downtown hotels. One is named The Palace Hotel and the other The Murray Hotel.

murray hotel silver city
Murray Hotel
The Palace Hotel has been featured in the New York Times as well as other popular publications such as Sunset Magazine, Travel and Leisure, Lonely Planet and others. The hotel offers eighteen suite rooms and was originally built in 1882 to serve as a bank building. The hotel opened on the site in 1890. When the hotel opened it offered some of the finest accommodations in the region. Each suite offered bathrooms and closets.

After decades, The Palace Hotel was restored to it's original splendor and was reopened in 1990. If you enjoy staying in an old west hotel in an old western town, The Palace Hotel is the place to experience. All of the rooms are on the second floor and each is decorated differently.

The Murray Hotel also in the downtown historic district was constructed in 1937 and is a local landmark best noted for its Art Deco style. Art Deco was particularly popular in the 1930's. The hotel originally had 52 guest rooms. In 1949 an addition increased the hotel’s occupancy with 48 more rooms. Included in the hotel was a dining room, coffee shop and in 1949 a ballroom was added. When the five story hotel was built it was the tallest structure in downtown Silver City and still is. It's streamlined Art Deco style remains it's unique touch.

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<tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Silver City Museum</td></tr>
<b>Silver City Arts and Cultural District</b><br />
<br />
The historic district of downtown Silver City New Mexico features<b> artist studios and galleries</b>.Author <b>John Villani</b><span style="color: #006633;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"> <span style="color: black;"><span style="font-size: small;">named the <b>Silver City Arts and Cultural District</b> one of the </span></span><b><span style="color: black;"><span style="font-size: small;">"100 best art towns in America".</span></span></b><span style="color: black;"><span style="font-size: small;"> </span></span></span></span><span style="font-size: small;"><span style="font-family:
Silver City Museum
Villani is the author of the book of the same name. The Arts and Cultural District pretty much is centered along Yankie Street in the downtown historic district.

The Gila National Forest

The Gila National Forest, established in 1905 during the President Theodore Roosevelt administration, is very well known for the Gila Wilderness area, the first wilderness area in the United States. Prior to 1905, the area was known as the Gila River Forest Reserve

The Gila National Forest is comprised of over 2.7 million acres and is a short drive north from Silver City New Mexico which is where the forest headquarters are located. The National Forest surrounds the site of the Gila Cliff Dwellings.

silver city new mexico historic district
Part of Silver City, NM Historic District

The links below will take you to three additional Western Trips photo articles you'll enjoy. 

Historic Mesilla New Mexico which was the first settlement in the present day Las Cruces New Mexico area.

Inscription Rock at the El Morro National Monument in New Mexico where early Spanish and Native Americans carved inscriptions during their journeys.  

Mountain Bike Riding in the West ...Trails, Regions and Types of Bikes

The Silver City Museum

The Silver City Museum is located in a mansion downtown at 312 W. Broadway Street. The museum hosts a collection of exhibits artifacts and photos from the 19th and 20th centuries and a lot of information about this area and it's Native Americans in general. 

Also in Silver City is the Western New Mexico University Museum where you'll see exhibits from the prehistoric Mimbres Indian culture. Artifacts here include jewelry, pottery and stone tools.

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips)
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