Above: The Silver City Museum. Photography courtesy of Silver City Museum.
As a Norteña, I sometimes feel like other parts of the state elude me, including a place like Silver City, where the whole identity, even today, is built on mining. I knew only the basics—a silver boom and bust, a history-making midcentury mining strike, and the existence of one of the world’s largest copper strip mines just outside town. To fill in the dots, I got a quick primer at the Silver City Museum, which is housed in the H.B. Ailman House, a Victorian brick with a mansard roof, on Broadway. Inside, I read up on everything from the history of the building, which was built in 1881, and the many surrounding mines and mining towns (even those that no longer exist) to the presence of Apache throughout the region. There were period objects and photographs and a narrow staircase leading to more exhibitions on the top floors that paid tribute to feats of geological engineering. Spending several hours at the Silver City Museum was like digging into the earth to reveal all the complex strata of the area.
Silver City Museum
312 W. Broadway St., Silver City