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Hillsboro & Kingston Celebrate History Saturday 9/2, Labor Day Weekend

Black Range Museum, Hillsboro New Mexico
Posted on August 15, 2017 in ,
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Reviving a Labor Day weekend tradition that was once celebrated annually during Apple Fest, the towns of Hillsboro and Kingston invite you to join them on Saturday September 2nd as they pay tribute to “One Thousand Years: From Mimbres to Miners.”

Explore the vast amount of history in these two former mining towns that sit nine miles apart on Highway 152 (to Silver City). Both are located in the Black Range Mountains at the eastern edge of the Gila Wilderness. For more than a thousand years, prior to the discovery of precious metals and the droves of Europeans that came west to get rich, Native Americans lived here. Mogollon-Mimbres dwellers built the Gila Cliff dwellings and lived in the area until the late 1400s. The Chiricahua Apaches came along circa 1500, and were still here when miners arrived.

The town of Hillsboro was officially founded in 1877 after gold was discovered at the nearby Opportunity and Ready Pay mines. Kingston came along five years later when a rich lode of silver ore was found at the Solitaire Mine. It eventually became the largest silver mining town in the state.

Three museums will be open to the public during the event — the Black Range Museum in Hillsboro and Kingston’s School House Museum and the Percha Bank Museum — offering information on the history of the area.

Black Range Museum, open Labor Day in Hillsboro

above: sign outside the Black Range Museum, Highway 152, Hillsboro

Kingston Schoolhouse Museum, open Labor Day in Kingston

above: Kingston Schoolhouse Museum

Percha Bank, Kingston New Mexico, July 4 1888

above: Percha Bank on Main Street in Kingston, July 4, 1888

Black Range Museum back in the day

above: patrons outside Tom Ying’s restaurant, now Hillsboro’s Black Range Museum

As part of the day’s events, an Arts & Crafts Fair and Silent Auction will be held at the Hillsboro Community Center.

Lunch based on Tom Ying’s recipes, which were found at the Black Range Museum, will be available at the Community Center as well.

Peruse yard sales town-wide and visit downtown merchants who’ll be open all day. Downtown Hillsboro’s shops and vendors will be open for business, including the popular General Store Cafe (delicious food and bumbleberry pie, while supplies last).

In Kingston, be sure to stop in to the The Black Range Lodge, a perfect place to unplug for a weekend or plan your next group event or personal retreat.

Kingston Black Range Lodge - open during the Labor Day celebration

above: Kingston’s Black Range Lodge (photo: Catherine Wanek)

Kingston Main Street

above: Kingston New Mexico Main Street during its heyday

Both towns have walking tours (maps shown below). Tours of Kingston’s beautiful cemetery will also be available.

Walking Tour of Kingston:

take a walking tour of Kingston New Mexico on Labor Day weekend during the September 2 celebration

Walking Tour of Hillsboro:

Hillsboro walking tours available Labor Day weekend on Saturday September 2

1. Black Range Museum *
Built before 1893 as the Ocean Grove Hotel owned and run by Sadie Orchard and Tom Ying, the Chinaman. Adjacent is Tom Ying’s frame Victorian house with porch.

2. Sue’s Antiques
Formerly a general store, pool hall, and dance hall, as part of the original commercial district.

3. Site of the Union Hotel
Once the center of Hillsboro night life, burned in 1904.

4. Community Center *
Built in 1923; served as the High School until 1937 and as the Grade School until 1971. Today, the Community Center hosts concerts and other community events.

5. Sullivan House *
Built in the 1890s by the Sullivan/Tafoya family is a classic 3-room L-shaped adobe.

6. Union Church
Built in 1892 for all denominations. Features a semi-circular apse and a unique chandelier.

7. George Tambling and Ninette Stocker Miller House *
Built in 1898 in classic Victorian style of black slag bricks made from smelter waste.

8. Courthouse Ruins & Jail
Built in 1896, it was the site of many famous trials including the Oliver Lee trial for the murder of Albert Fountain and his son. After the County Seat was moved to Hot Springs, the Courthouse was sold and demolished. The Jail was immortalized in many Eugene Manlove Rhodes stories.

9. Dines House
Built before 1893, the house is actually two adobe houses joined together. Fran Dines, a local rancher, was born here. She is mentioned in Eugene Manlove Rhodes books.

10. King House
Built circa 1900 by the manager of the famous Bridal Chamber Mine in Lake Valley.

11. Rubio Complex
Owned by the family that maintained the roads in the Hillsboro area for over three generations.

12. The Tirey House
Built in 1894 of adobe with a Victorian façade.

13. Murphy House
A classic adobe ranch house built between 1893-1898. Home to Sheriff Tom Murphy.

14. Two Victorian Adobe Houses
Built before 1893 with similar floor plans.

15. The Pink Adobe
Built in the 1890s, the home retains its Italian style. It was the residence of Fred Mister, the owner of the last known operation stage coach line in the United States.

16. Enchanted Villa Bed and Breakfast
Built in the late 1930s by Sir Victor Sassoon, a Chinese–Indian entrepreneur who was the first non-British Islander to be knighted.

17. Edmund Tittman House
Actually two houses built before 1893, joined in the 1920s. Home to the first Territorial Representative for Sierra County. On the New Mexico Historic Registry.

18. Bucher House *
Built before 1893, the Bucher house was the residence of a well-known banking, ranching and mining family.

19. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Mission
Reconstructed to original plans after the 1972 flood.

20. The Old Grade School
Built before 1893, it served as the grade school until 1937. Today it is a private home.

21. General Store Café
Built in 1879 as part of a larger structure that was destroyed in the 1914 flood. The building has housed a bank, post office, general store and the Miller Drug Store. It retains a 1890 ambience and is very popular with locals and visitors.

22. The Crews House
Hillsboro’s first adobe home, it was the residence of the first M.D. who practiced well into the 20th century.

23. Post Office/Masons Building
Built before 1893, it features a turn-of-the-century Masons’ Hall on the 2nd floor.

24. Hatcher Hotel/Hospital *
Built before 1893 and used as a hospital until 1923, then as a hotel and café.

25. S-Bar-X
Originally used as a dance hall, then the S-Bar-X Bar.

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