1 5 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N P S T W Y Z

Silver City

geographic name | part of encyclopedia/places
Pronounced: \sil-ver sit-ee\ | IPA: /ˈsɪl vər ˈsɪt i/

Definition of Silver City

Silver City - Bullard and Broadway
Silver City, Bullard and Broadway – Streetview

County seat of Grant County, this town is located just south of the Gila National Forest, in the Gila Region, Southeast New Mexico. Currently known for its well-regarded restaurants, Mogollon sites, Apache and Spanish roots, wild west history including being the birth-place of Billy the Kid and Geronimo, thriving downtown arts district, and its bicycle riding. The town covers a total of approximately 10sq mi, with a current population, according to the 2010 census, of 10,315 people.

Located at about 6,150 feet above sea level. The terrain ranges from xeric shrublands, piñon-juniper woodland, to gallery forest.

Examples of Silver City


Silver City near La Capilla
Silver City, near La Capilla

The main streets of Silver City are North Hudson Street (NM 90), Silver Heights Boulevard (US 180), Pinos Altos Road, North Silver Street, North Ballard Street, West College Avenue, and West Broadway Street. North Bollard, and the flanking West College and West Broadway streets are noted for being a part of Downtown Silver City Main Street. Historic landmarks include the entire downtown area, and a re-creation of Billy the Kid’s childhood home and the site of Billy the Kid’s first prison escape. Several trails and open spaces including the San Vicente Trail along the Pinos Altos Creek and San Vicinte Arroyo, and the Boston Hill open space. Municipal parks include Gough Park, a skate park near Penny Park, and the Silver City Recreation Center. Museums include the Silver City Museum and the Western New Mexico University Museum. Silver City also has the Silver City Visitor Center, and multiple commercial art galleries.

Silver City, historic business district near bridge across Pinos Altos Creek
Silver City, historic business district near bridge across Pinos Altos Creek

The town is rich in artistic and cultural activities. Libraries in town include the Silver City Library and the Miller Library on the Western New Mexico University campus. There are two theaters located in the town there’s the historic Silco Theater, and a theatre that shows modern productions at Light Hall Theater on the Western New Mexico University campus. Western New Mexico University calls Silver City its home, and the broadcast . Broadcasts from outside of the college include a repeater of Albuquerque’s KOB at KOBG-TV, and on locally produced radio with a contemporary Christian radio station at 100.1 KKSC-LP and a hot adult contemperary FM station at 92.9 KSCQ. The town’s newspaper is the Silver City Sun-News, with other news publications being the Silver City Daily Press and the online Grant County Beat. There is also a sports park which includes Scott Park (2 dedicated baseball fields, and two shared baseball fields with enough room for a game of football or soccer) and the Silver City Golf Course.


There is a thriving dining scene in Silver City, many world-class chefs call Silver City their home.

New American cuisine: The Curious Kumquat, Tre Rosat Cafe, and Diane’s Restaurant we’re all featured on the travel show New Mexico True Television. Another New American restaurant in the town is Q’s Southern Bistro. New Mexican cuisine: Dining experiences are The Jalisco Cafe, Silver Cafe, Adobe Springs Cafe, Grinder Mill, Mi Casita, Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery, and Jaliscos. New Mexican fast food: don’t underestimate NM fast food Don Juan’s Burrito’s, El Gallo Pinto, and, of course, New Mexico’s statewide staple Blake’s Lotaburger. Other choices: Shevek & Co. Restaurant (Mediterranean cuisine), 1zero6 (Italian cuisine and Asian cuisine, fusion cuisine), and Vicki’s Eatery (Delicatessen). Keep your eyes open, there’s always hidden gems in foodie towns like this.

Natural landmarks

  • Boston Hill Open Space
  • Gila National Forest (located North of the city)
  • Mountains, the
  • Pinos Altos Creek (San Vicente Trail)
  • San Vicente Arroyo

Manmade landmarks

  • Fine Art Center
  • Fort Bayard
  • La Capilla
  • Silver City Main Street
  • Silver City Museum
  • Western New Mexico University


From the center of Bullard Street in the Silver City Main Street.

From Copper Street near La Capilla

Timelapse from Boston Hill Open Space

Origin of Silver City

The Mogollon prehistoric culture first called this area their home, and the 1500s saw the Apache modern culture arriving in the area. The Spanish modern culture arrived, during the start of the Santa Fe de Nuevo México culture, in the late 1700s and discovered copper ore, and opened the Santa Rita Copper Mines in 1805. Prior to the town being built, the land was referred to as Ciénega de San Vicente (St. Vincent Marsh). In the 1800s the town’s first defining man-made landmark, La Capilla; and by the 1870s the discovery of silver ore, the town became Silver City quickly became a boom town.


Alternate spellings exist; Ciénega de San Vicente.
First Known Use: 17th century as Ciénega de San Vicente, 19th century as Silver City.

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