May 2016. One of our day trips while staying in Silver City New Mexico was to the once thriving mining town of Pinos Altos (Spanish for Tall Pines). In 1860, three prospectors stopped for a drink at Bear Creek 7 miles north of Silver City and discovered gold. Soon, 700 miners were ravaging the hills in search of their fortune. They needed a town from which they could buy food and supplies, liquor and female companionship, so they created Pinos Altos, originally named Birchville for one of the men who made the discovery.
Building a town was the easy part. Keeping it was something altogether more difficult.
You see, this new town of Pinos Altos was located on hills claimed by Apaches. And not just any Apaches. This was the ancestral home of the Chiricahuas … yup, those same Chiricahuas who claimed most of Southern Arizona. And not just any ol’ band of Chiricahuas either. These were the Chiricahuas led by their greatest chiefs, Mangus Coloradas (Red Sleeves) who joined with his son-in-law, Cochise, to raise an army of over 300 warriors to drive the miners from the hills of Pinos Altos. Read More