Chloride, located 120 miles north of Las Cruces on Highway 52, was settled in 1880 by miners who found silver ore in the area. The town boasted nine saloons to slake the thirst of the 3000 hard drinking, hard working, hard rock miners. It had all the facilities a Boom Town needed, including a red-light district. The Pioneer Store, built in 1880, was closed in 1923 with all the furnishings and merchandise left intact. It has been refurbished and is open to the public as the Pioneer Store Museum. The Museum and other restored buildings are open daily. Recently found records show that the ‘good folk’ did not like the rowdy elements in Chloride, so they settled a new town, Winston, about two and a half miles away. Currently, there are nine residents in Chloride and about 30 residents in Winston. The Pioneer Store Museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Several of the restored buildings are listed on the State of New Mexico’s list of Cultural Properties.
Located 70 miles north of Las Cruces on Highway 152, Hillsboro was founded in 1877 as a gold miners town. Today, Hillsboro’s fortunes now rest on apples, not gold. There are quaint gift shops, restaurants, the Black Range Museum and the remains of the Sierra County Courthouse.
Located 100 miles north of Las Cruces on Highway 52, Winston was first settled in 1881, growing to a population of 3,100 within three years. Today, the home and carriage house owned by founder Frank Winston still stands, along with an 1890’s schoolhouse.
Kingston, Chise, Cuchillo, Monticello, and Placita
Small, historic ranching towns along Highway 52 and 142 with plazas, churches and interesting old buildings. Kingston was the largest city in New Mexico in 1890. It was founded in 1882 when rich silver deposits were discovered in the nearby hills and its population soon grew to 5000-7000. It quickly became known as one of the wildest towns in New Mexico. Kingston had its share of gamblers, outlaws, prostitutes and miners who supported its 22 saloons, but it also offered an opera house, a church, and a school. A few of its historic buildings remain today, notably an assay office, the Percha Bank – which is now a museum with the original teller windows, the Victorio Hotel (private residence), the Black Range Lodge, a relaxing retreat on the edge of the Gila National Forest, the Kingston fire bell, and the one room school house which is also a museum.The museums are currently opened the first and third Saturdays of each month from 11 am to 3 pm. Other times by appointment. We also offer tours of “Main Street Kingston in 1890” by appointment. Cost is $10 per person with a minimum of 5 required. Please call 575 895-5501 for museum information and 575 895-5652 for information and reservations for the Black Range Lodge.
The museums are currently opened the first and third Saturdays of each month from 11 am to 3 pm. Other times by appointment. We also offer tours of “Main Street Kingston in 1890” by appointment. Cost is $10 per person with a minimum of 5 required. Please call 575 895-5501 for museum information and 575 895-5652 for information and reservations for the Black Range Lodge.