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Silver City,NM

The original seat of Grant County, Pinos Altos ("Tall Pines") is seven miles north of Silver City and founded in 1859 by miners returning from the California gold fields, who found color in nearby Bear Creek. Among those that did well in Piños Altos was one George Hearst, father of William Randolph Hearst, who started his publishing empire with the fortunes his father made from the Pinos Altos mines. Life was tough in the early days, though, with Apaches besieging early Pines Altians; in 1861, Cochise and Mangas Coloradas ran the first settlers out, and the miners didn't return until 1866, when operations resumed and Piños Altos was built into a good-sized community, with the requisite banks and saloons, and even an opera house

The town, sitting at an elevation of 7,040 feet, is a charming old gold-mining community as a reminder of the past and appears as an old western movie set. Many of the local buildings date back to the 1800’s and have been restored and decorated with original memorabilia and artifacts, mostly 19th Century American. Visitors can enjoy the rich history with tours of Fort Cobre, the museums and other historical sites.


Fort Cobre, NM. Fort Cobre is a structure that is a three- quarter scale replica of the Santa Rita Del Cobre Fort (circa 1804) which was originally located on the site that is now the open pit copper mine in Santa Rita. Rebuilt as authentic as possible from available information, the fort brings you back in time to life in the 1800 s. A tour is well worth your time. The entrance to the fort is thru the gift shop (features a fine selection of Case Grande pottery & other gift items) and art gallery.

Buckhorn Saloon, Pinos Altos, NM. It's time to get ready for the opera. The Buckhorn Saloon, erected in the 1860s would meet the miners needs. The restaurant today provides some of the best food in three counties. There is live entertainment in the evenings on weekends.

Pinos Altos Opera House, NM. The Pinos Altos Opera House, which serves as a theatre for the local Melodrama Company, is ornately decorated with 19th century memorabilia and showcases excellent displays of prehistoric Indian artifacts, Mimbres pottery, pictures of Apache Indian chiefs, ancient tools, and weathered wood relics of the old west.