In 1879 a mule skinner named Henry Pye, who hauled freight to military posts, was traversing the area. He saw some ore he thought was silver where Chloride now stands. He took a sample, had it assayed, and found he had made a strike. As soon as he completed his contract with the government, he returned with a party of friends to develop claims. Within six months, the area grew from a tent camp to a full-fledged town. The name Chloride was given because of the character of the ore. Pye did not live to enjoy his wealth; a roaming Apache killed him and several settlers. The town grew to 500 residents who patronized eight saloons, three general stores, three restaurants, two barber shops, a newsstand, a lumberyard, an assay office, and the Pioneer Stage Line. In 1882 a newspaper called The Black Range was established by Mr Beckett. It is reported that the city had at least one, and probably more, brothels. Because of the scarcity of women in town, the "city fathers" offered a free building site to single women who chose Chloride as a place to live. The same report states that a building site would be provided to the father of the first child born in Chloride- IF it could be learned who the father was!! Today Chloride is truly a ghost town. The pioneer store is now a museum, and the old hanging tree still grows in the middle of Main Street.
#1 Small adobe building. Old blacksmith shop. Only one wall now standing
#2 Old house, once home of Miss Minnie James and site of millinery store
#3 Old Fort
#4 Old house once owned by Dr. Blinn
#5 Old Calhoun house
#6 Native rock buildings. House built with steep-pitched roof to resist severe hail storms. Used for the last 30 years as Cassie Hobbs "doodle dum", or workshop. Buildings now on New Mexico's Register of Historic places
#7 Old home to Cassie and Earl Hobbs for many years. Next door are outhouses marked "Ma's" and "Pa's".
#8 Small plastered adobe building. Started as one of several saloons in early Chloride
#9 Open area was site of Chloride livery business
#10 Wood-sided frame house. One of the few wood buildings surviving more than 100 years. Was once the site of Gila national Forest Ranger Station. Also was the site of a small, temporary jail.
#11 Small, native-stone building originally built as a chicken coop, it was also used as a residence and as a temporary schoolhouse. Old timers reported a working "moonshine stil" in the basement during the 1930's.
#12 Tan-colored adobe building, now a residence, was once Henry Schmidt's photography studio and assay office.
#13 Large adobe building was originally Judge Edwin Holmes' law office. Later was post office, barber shop, church, dance hall and feed storage. Now a wood-working shop.
#14 One of Chloride's early saloons. Was the post office until 1957, when it was closed. Now private property, the building is being remodeled by its owners.
#15 The "Hanging Tree". This old oak is almost the same size in photos taken at the turn of the century.
#16 Raymond Schmidt's home. Raymond is the son of Chloride's earliest pioneers. Raymond died in 1996 at age 98. Born in Lake Valley, NM 1897, moved to Chloride in 1905 and lived until 1991, when failing health forced him to join his daughter in Texas. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Chloride.
#17 Native stone building is the remains of Chloride's only bank. It failed before it ever opened. Building was used as a residence for many years.
#18 Old wood-framed building was used to store mining equipment. Was once the property of the Silver Monument Mining Company
#19 Large log building was the Pioneer store, 1881-1923, now a museum. The building has been placed on the state of New Mexico's Register of Historic Buildings.
#20 Large adobe building was built as the Monte Cristo Saloon. We also used as a schoolhouse and as local headquarters for various mining companies. Also on the state Register of Historic Buildings.
#21 Adobe building built by Captain Jim Blain as headquarters and barracks for the militia based in Chloride
#22 Small adobe house used as "miners' cabin" in the 1880's
#23 Small log house said to be the first building in Chloride