Kingston New Mexico was founded when a rich lode of silver ore was discovered at the Solitaire Mine in 1882.
It quickly became a bustling town that offered all of the trappings of civilization and culture. It was also one of the wildest towns in the Wild West. Numerous hotels played host to the likes of Mark Twain, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Black Jack Ketchum. Stage lines served all major routes, and the town supported twenty-three saloons, some of which advertised fresh oysters 24 hours a day! The town also had 14 grocery and general stores; a brewery; three newspapers; and an Opera House where the Lillian Russell Troupe once performed. Albert Bacon Fall and Ed Doheny of the Teapot Dome Scandal got their start in Kingston.
From those glory days, the old Assay Office and the remains of the Victorio Hotel have been renovated as private residences. The Kingston Schoolhouse Museum is open by appointment; call 575-895-5169 or 575-895-5501.
The Black Range Lodge, a Bed & Breakfast / retreat center, offers accommodations in a setting of massive stonewalls and log-beamed ceilings constructed from the ruins of what once was Pretty Sam’s Casino.
Some Kingston residents offer straw-bale and natural building workshops; they are usually listed at SierraCountyEvents.com and on our Current Events page. More info on Kingston is at KingstonNewMexico.com.
Walking Map of Kingston:
(9 miles W of Hillsboro on NM 152; driving directions)