Elephant Butte Inn Blog
Posted January 5, 2013
Hillsboro had its ups and downs. Fires, floods, influenza epidemics and economic downturns took their toll. An unsuccessful attempt in 1920 to move the county seat to Hot springs (T or C) was followed in 1938 by the permanent loss of the designation to Hot Springs. Through all this, Hillsboro has continued to survive and now has become a small active community of artists, ranchers and retirees. Main Street now has a variety of colorful shops, art galleries and restaurants. Photo: the present day post office is in the original building which was built before 1893.
Posted January 4, 2013
From December 1877 to 1880, the town was home to 300 residents. By 1880, there were 4 saloons, 4 grocery stores and a post office. Because Hillsboro was in the heart of Apache territory, a garrison was established on the North Percha to protect the miners from outlaws and the Apache. The town continued to grow and became the county seat in 1884. Gold and silver mines continued to produce even through the 1893 silver panic and depressions. Hillsboro's economy diversified as ranchers settled in the surrounding area. The town's Hispanic district developed east of Percha Creek, a small gardening area called Happy Flats. The commercial district, primarily Anglo, developed west of Percha Creek with hotels, boarding houses, stores and a post office.
A brick courthouse was built in 1892 on the hill just south of town near the 1892 Union Church, an Episcopal church still in use today. The ruins of these buildings can be seen on Elenora Street. Several more buildings from this era can be seen on Main Street.
The photo below: this is inside the Union Church. These chairs are still used every Sunday for two services.
Posted December 29, 2012
Hillsboro has a rich history dating back to April 1877 with the discovery of gold in nearby mountains along Percha Creek. Two prospectors, Dan Dugan and Dave Stizel staked out the Opportunity and the Ready Pay mines. Anothe...r prospector, Joe Yankie, gave the town its name in December 1877. Each miner put his idea for a name of the town into a hat. Joe's suggestion was drawn: Hillsborough, after his home town in Ohio. Later, the name was shortened to Hillsboro. Here is a photo of Joe's headstone:
Posted December 26, 2012
Dairy farms are a thriving segment of the agricultural economy of Sierra County. Much of the output of the county's 3,000 acres of alfalfa and 1,200 acres of corn production goes to supporting these farms. Alfalfa is harvested several times each year and made into large bales of alfalfa hay. Corn is harvested and chopped into silage. This dried feed for the dairy cows can be stored for many months.
Posted December 23, 2012
Ballet Folklorico dances are part of the culture of Mexico and Spain. The children of the Arrey Elementary School have brought back to life these traditional dances. They perform them at fiestas and school celebrations.
Posted December 22, 2012
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE DOG-MAS!
By Travelin’ Jack
Twas the Night Before Dog-Mas
And All Through the Dog House
Not a Critter was A-Stirring,
Not even a Squeaky Toy Mouse.
The Puppies and Kittens Were All Snug in Their Beds
With Visions of Chew Bones and Catnip in Their Heads.
Their stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care
In the Hope that SAINT PAWS Soon Would be There.
Mama Cat in her Holiday Collar
And Me-Travelin’ Jack in My St. Nick Cap
Had Just Settled Down
For a Cozy Winter’s Cat Nap.
When OUT on the Lawn there Arose a Great Clatter,
I Sprang from My Dog Bed to See What Was the Matter!
And WHAT to my Wondering Pup Eyes Just Appears
But a Miniature Dog Sleigh and Eight Tiny Dog Dears!
With a 4-Footed Driver who was Set On a Cause
I knew in a Dog Blink, it must be SAINT PAWS!
More Rapid than Greyhounds, on Target They Came
He Barked out in Dog-Talk and Called Them by Name.
“Now Fido, Now Fluffy, Now Fifi and Fred
On Roxie, On Rascal, On Rover and Red!
To the Top O’ the Dog House, To the Top O’ the Wall
Now Dash Away, Dash Away, Dash Away All!”
Then to the Top of the Roof those Dog Dears They Flew
With a Sleigh Full of Dog Toys And SAINT PAWS Too!
As I Drew in My Pup Nose and was Hopping Around
Down the Chimney Came SAINT PAWS with a Bounce & A Bound.
He was Dressed in His Dog Fur from Front Paw to Back Foot
And That Dog Fur was Tarnished with Ashes and Soot.
A Back Pack of Pet Treats was Strapped on His Back
And He Looked Like a Pup Peddler Just Opening His Pack.
His eyes How They Sparkled, His Whiskers How Merry!
His Face Fur All Fluffy, His Nose Like a BlackBerry.
His Dog Smile was Drawn Up like a Howl-iday Bow
And the Beard on His Chin was White Like the Snow.
SAINT PAWS was Chubby & Plump, A Right Jolly ol’ Pup
And I Said When He Spied Me “Hey Ol’ Paws-What’s Up?”
With a Wink of His Eye and a Cock of His Head
He Soon Let Travelin’ Jack Know I Had Nothing to Dread.
He Barked not a Word, but Went Straight to His Work
He Filled All the Pups’ & Kitties’ Stockings Then Turned with a Jerk
Laying a Paw Aside of His Puppy Dog Nose
And Giving a “YIP” Up the Chimney He Rose.
He Jumped in His Sleigh to His Dog Dears Shouted out a Loud BARK
And Away They All Flew, Enroute to a Nearby Dog Park.
But I Heard Him Dog-sclaim as He Drove Out of Sight………
“MERRY DOG-MAS TO ALL
AND TO ALL A DOGGONE GOOD NIGHT!”
TRAVELIN’ JACK dedicates this Pup-Poem to ALL the Puppies and Kitties Waiting for A Forever Family. Don’t YOU need a new family member this Holiday Season? If You Can’t Adopt, then Support Your Local Animal Charity.
THANK YOU…. & HAPPY HOWL-IDAYS!
Posted December 19, 2012
The southern part of Sierra County along the Rio Grande is noted for its emphasis on agriculture. As early as the 1870s this area was settled by Hispanic farmers and ranchers. They were attracted to the abundance of water and a long growing season. They established the small communities of Derry and Arrey. Arrey was named El Bonito by the first homesteaders in the 1880s. The town's name was changed to Arrey (a-Ray) to honor Urbano Arrey, who became the first postmaster in 1901. Derry, originally named Loma Parda (Gray Mountain) was settled in 1869. The name Derry was chosen to honor a soldier who had served in the U.S. Army with the father of a local farmer.
Posted December 17, 2012
Cutter was originally a railroad station constructed 11 miles south of Engle as another water stop for the railroad. It was primarily a shipping point for ore from the Caballo Mountains and Hillsboro and for transporting supplies through the Palomas Gap to the west side of the Rio Grande. Cutter reached a population of 3,500 during the mining boom of the 1890s. The last original building was torn down in 1956. A new settlement has sprung up centered around the established ranches. The only remains of the original town of Cutter is one railroad sign.
Posted December 16, 2012
Engle thrived as a cattle town and shipping point for ore and supplies. Construction of Elephant Butte Dam (1911-1916) brought new jobs to town, increasing its population to 500. After the dam was completed, though, the town rapidly shrank to 200 in 1919 and 75 in 1926. In 1945, the area east of town was restricted by the U.S. government when the White Sands Missile Range was created. A further blow to the town's economy happened as ranchers began shipping their cattle by truck instead of railroad. Engle was nearly deserted by the late 1960s. Today, a few original buildings remain such as this photo of the Community Church that once was a schoolhouse.
Posted December 15, 2012