Kingston, Sierra County, NM...Pt. 1
Kingston was founded along Percha Creek beneath the Black Range mountains in 1882, when prospector Jack Sheddon made a rich silver strike. Word spread, and almost overnight Kingston became a mining boom town. Despite pioneer hardships, smallpox and Apache raids, it continued to grow. The census of 1890 officially counted more than 7000 residents, making it the largest city in New Mexico Territory.
One of the west's wildest mining camps, Kingston boasted 22 saloons, 14 stores, 3 newspapers, numerous hotels and boarding houses, and an Opera House. A stage line connected Kingston to Hillsboro, Lake Valley, and the railroad at Nutt. Lillian Russell, Mark Twain, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid all visited this colorful community, known as the "gem of the Black Range." But when the Silver Panic of 1893 caused silver prices to plummet, the town rapidly folded.