Pinos Altos Travel Guide

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Pinos Altos Overview

Pinos Altos is a tiny, but historic town of 198 (up 36% since 2000) located along New Mexico Highway 15 between Silver City and the Gila Cliff Dwellings, in Grant County in Southwest New Mexico. Pinos Altos was established in 1860 following the discovery of gold in the nearby Pinos Altos Mountains. The town was once abandoned, but the town is now a place for summer homes and caters to tourists. The town was originally called Birchville after a prospector/outlaw named Robert H. Birch. Birch was one of the three people who first discovered gold here. The town later took its name from the nearby mountains; the name translates to Tall Pines. The town grew quickly during the mining boom and reached a population of 9000 in the 1880s and 1890s. The mining town suffered frequent harassment by bands of the Apache Nation in 1860 and 1861. In September 1861 the Battle of Pinos Altos occurred between Arizona Guard members, a Confederate Arizona Territorial militia company, and Apache les by Cochise and Mangas Colorados. Hostilities continued for several years, even after a peace treaty was signed, until forts were built in the area in 1869. A stamp mill was built here in 1889 followed by the Silver City, Pinos Altos and Mogollon Railroad. Many of the original building are still standing in the small Pinos Altos Historic District. The Pinos Altos Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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