"Kingston" Hillsboro Off The Beaten Path Tip by toonsarah
Hillsboro Off The Beaten Path: 3 reviews and 10 photos
If Hillsboro is itself somewhat off the beaten path, Kingston is even more so. It lies just off Highway 152 at the foot of the Black Range Mountains and is officially a ghost town, although a few people live there. It was founded in 1882 after a rich lode of silver ore was discovered in the area, and became a thriving metropolis almost overnight. At the height of the silver mining boom its population outstripped that of Albuquerque by at least 1,000. Its many hotels played host to Mark Twain and to assorted outlaws: Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Black Jack Ketchum, and Billy the Kid. Its stage lines served all major routes, and there were 23 saloons, 14 stores, a brewery, 3 newspapers, and an Opera House.
Today only a few buildings remain, and the Percha Bank is the only fully intact original building in the town. Built in 1884, it was once the largest bank in New Mexico Territory and at its richest held $7 million in silver in its vault. The bank has been restored and is Kingston?s only ?sight?, but when we were there in late September 2011 it was closed, with a sign saying that it was undergoing further restoration and would re-open in Fall 2011 ? so it seems we may have missed it by just a week or so! But although it was closed, it was quite easy to peer through the windows and see its ornate lobby, the tellers? windows and a small display of old photos etc (photos two and three). I could just make out the explanatory notice:
?This is the original lobby of the Percha Bank as it appeared in 1890. The woodwork on the five teller windows is original, exactly as it would have looked at that time?
Directions:Nine miles west of Hillsboro on Highway 152 ? look for a ?Dead End? sign (on your right if driving west)
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