It took the fever caused by shiny metal to wrest this land from the Apaches in the 1800’s. Gold, silver and copper were discovered, and plenty, in these hills, creating many a millionaire before the best ore was finally played out. Ghost towns like Kingston, Hillsboro, Lake Valley, Tyrone, Pinos Altos, Shakespeare, Mogollon, Winston and Chloride all knew the glory days of the rich strikes. The recession of 1893, followed by the demonetization of silver, caused most boom towns to bust by the turn of the century. Artifacts from pioneer days can be seen in museums in Kingston, Hillsboro, and Silver City.
Along with miners came merchants, madames, gamblers and gangs. Billy the Kid grew up in Silver City. As a wild young man he rode far and wide over this country. Later, as an outlaw, he escaped and hid in his old forest haunts.