Mining Towns, Pinos Altos, New Mexico
We stopped in the little town of Pinos Altos on our way to silver city New Mexico and most of the town was closed. There were a few historic structures throughout town, but most were fenced off or on private property.
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, saloons, and even an opera house.