"A "congested" area" Hillsboro Favorite Tip by toonsarah

Hillsboro Favorites: 1 reviews and 2 photos

  Street in Hillsboro
by toonsarah
  • Street in Hillsboro - Hillsboro
      Street in Hillsboro
    by toonsarah
  • Barbershop Cafe, Hillsboro - Hillsboro
      Barbershop Cafe, Hillsboro
    by toonsarah

Favorite thing: As we drove into Hillsboro we were met with a warning sign – we were apparently approaching a “congested area”. Well, we live in London so we know what a congested area looks like, and let me assure you that it does not look like Hillsboro! It would be hard to find a more peaceful, tranquil little town.

Admittedly in times past it would have been rather different. Hillsboro is one of New Mexico’s many towns founded in the boom times of the mid- to late- 19th century, when silver was mined in the surrounding hills. At one time its population numbered 10,000, but the town went bust when in 1893 the price of silver plummeted. By the mid 1890s fewer than 2,000 residents remained.

Unlike some towns though (including nearby Kingston), Hillsboro managed to survive, kept alive by a few gold mines in the area, and cattle ranches dotted around this wild and rocky landscape. It was for a while the county seat, but lost that status to Hot Springs (later renamed Truth or Consequences) in 1936, and with it most of the remaining population.

Today the population is just 200, and from what we observed when we stopped here one Saturday morning, everyone pretty much knows everyone else. But whether they know you or not, Hillsboro folk are quick to offer a friendly greeting. It’s really worth a short visit to see the nicely restored, characterful old buildings, to grab a cold drink in the atmospheric General Store or the colourful Barbershop Café, and to browse the excellent selection of art and crafts in Perch Traders.

We had only planned to stop for a few minutes, but we lingered. In just a short while Hillsboro and its friendly residents had charmed us. And for the rest of the trip we measured the busyness of a place by how “congested” it was in comparison to lovely, sleepy Hillsboro.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 26, 2011
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