Silver City, New Mexico

Silver City, New Mexico

Northern America

Silver City is a town located in Grant County in the US state of New Mexico. In the last Census of the United States carried out in 2010 it had a population of 10,315 residents and a population density of 392.61 people per km². The city is home to Western New Mexico University.


The city of Silver City, called El Valle de los Ríos, was the home of the Mimbres Indians (of Mimbreño, the town of willow) around the year 1000. There remarkable white- on-black ceramics were produced, with a sophisticated and complex rare design. once rivaled in all these centuries of pottery making in the American Southwest. Like their neighbors, the Hohokam to the west, or the Anasazi to the north, the people of Mimbres mysteriously disappeared in the first centuries of the second millennium.

Silver City was originally called San Vicente de la and before the English settlement, the valley was a camping ground for the Apaches. With the arrival of a wave of American explorers in the 1860s, however, the face of the valley soon changed.

Silver City was founded in the summer of 1870, shortly after Captain John M. Bullard found silver deposits in the Chloride Plains, located on the hill just west of Captain Bullard and his brother James’ farm. After the discovery of silver, Captain Bullard laid the streets of the new Silver City on the old farm and a bustling city began life. Although the development trajectory of Silver City was to be different from the hundreds of other mining cities established during the same period; Captain Bullard never lived to see even the beginnings of the city, as he was killed in an Apache confrontation less than a year later, on February 23, 1871.

In those early years of development, all of southwestern New Mexico was plagued by Apache attacks. Bands of these fierce warriors roamed the area, led by famous chiefs such as Chato, Cochise, Geronimo, Mangas Coloradas, Nana, Natchez and Victorio. Due to the rough terrain and strategic observation points, the impenetrable area of Gila Locura was an important stronghold in which the Apaches felt safe from persecution by the United States Army.

During the 1870s the high rate of violent crime was substantial. Grant County Sheriff Harvey Whitehill was elected in 1874 and gained a notorious reputation for his trouble-handling skills. In 1875 Whitehill became the first law enforcement officer to arrest Billy the Kid, known at the time as William Bonney. He was arrested twice by Whitehill, both for robbery in Silver City, and would later claim that Bonney was a nice guy whose robberies were the result more of need than crime. In 1878 the town hired its first town bailiff, ” ” Dangerous Dan “Tucker., who had served as a deputy for Whitehill since 1875. Tucker killed many men during his tenure as bailiff and is one of twelve gunmen included in the book ” Deadly Dozen ” by author Robert K. DeArment, who proclaims Tucker as one of the most underrated gunmen in the old west.


Silver City is located at the coordinates ((coord | 32 | 46 | 43 | N | 108 | 16 | 10 | O | type: city_region: US | display = inline | format = dms)). According to the United States Census Bureau, Silver City has a total area of ​​26.27 km², of which 26.23 km² correspond to the mainland and (0.17%) 0.04 km² is water.

Economic development

Silver City was founded as a mining town and the nearby Phelps Dodge mining operations are still the foundation of the local economy. In 2006, the Chino and Tyrone mines 125,400 long tons of copper. Employment in the mines was 1,250, with salaries totaling $ 73 million. However, a Phelps Dodge spokesperson recently remarked that based on current economic projections, our properties in New Mexico will no longer be operating after 25 years. Phelps-Dodge was acquired by the international mining company Freeport-McMoRan in March 2007 and the Chino and Tyrone operations continue under the Freeport name. The tourism, retirement and commerce are the other important components of the Silver City economy. In 2006 the median price was $ 160,000 for a three-bedroom, 140- square-meter home.

Social development

Notable residents

  • Henry McCarty (” Billy the Kid “)
  • Composer James Tenney (1934-2007) was born in Silver City.
  • Norman Packard, physicist Bass, Thomas A., The Predictors, 1999, Henry Holt Publishing, p. 54 </ref>
  • Doyne Farmer, physicist
  • Harrison Schmitt, astronaut
  • Phillip Parotti, fiction writer and educator
  • New Mexico Senator Jeff Bingaman grew up in Silver City.
  • Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Chicano literary historian
  • Paul Benedict, “Harry Bentley” in “The Jeffersons”


Public schools

The public schools are the Silver Consolidated School District. The District covers the city of Silver City as well as Cliff, Piños Altos, Tyrone and White Signal. The system has five elementary schools and two secondary schools.

Primary schools
  • Cliff Elementary
  • GW Stout Elementary
  • Harrison H. Schmitt Elementary
  • José Barrios Elementary
  • Sixth Street Elementary
Secondary education
  • Average of La Plata
Secondary schools
  • Cliff High School
  • Silver High School
  • The charter schools School of Aldo Leopold

Private schools

  • Agape Academy
  • Calvary Christian Academy]
  • Down to Earth School
  • Gudalupe Montessori School]
  • Meadowhawk Erdkinder


Despite its small population, the town prides itself on its ability to bring in high-quality cultural offerings, including the Grant County Community Concert Association, which presents numerous events each year. More than 50 murals adorn historic buildings throughout downtown, as well as near Santa Clara and Bayard.
Other attractions include the Log Cabin Curio Shop and Museum (33 Main St.; 575-388-1882), housed in a former school and filled to overflowing with Navajo blankets, Jewelry Village and more; and the Art Gallery Pinos Altos, showing the works of 50 artists at the historic Hearst Church (575-574-2831; The Bear Creek Motel and Cabins offers 15 bi-level, pine-shaded cabins with handsome fireplaces and private decks.
The Mimbres Region Arts Council attracts talented artists and artists here; Their lineup includes an indie / folk series held at the Buckhorn and Opera House at Pinos Altos, touring classical and musical concerts at WNMU’s Center for the Fine Arts Theater, and the annual Pickamania! bluegrass festival in mid-September.
The Silver City Blues Festival takes place over a Memorial Day weekend in Gough Park ; every year; Grammy- winning Taj Mahal legend is the headliner, artist capture lecture cycle and temporary exhibits at the MRAC gallery inside the Wells Fargo Bank building at 1201 North Pope Street.


Saturday mornings from May through October, the Silver Farmers Market appears downtown near Big Ditch Park, just off Bullard on 7th Street. March 20-21, the market will host a round-trip exhibition featuring a program of classes in composting, lacto-fermentation, house hoop construction, and much more just a couple of blocks away, talented local artisans offer handcrafted, colorful ceramics tapestries and wrought copper and silver at the Silver City art market. 709 N. Bullard St.

Silver City, New Mexico