Towns and Places

In the larger scheme of things, the towns of the Black Range are not that old, many date from the 1880’s and very few can claim a settlement date earlier than the Anglo incursion into the area.  Some have, for all intents and purposes, vanished; some still hang on as small rural communities; and in the Mimbres growth seems to be the order of the day.  The following pages provide more information about a limited number of these settlements.  

The Black Range is located in southwestern New Mexico in the United States.  Both its natural history and its cultural history are diverse and complex.  It ranges in elevation from about 5,000 feet to about 10,000 feet, vegetation varies from Chihuahuan Desert to pine-oak forests.  As a result both the flora and fauna are varied and the ecosystems are complex.  Geologically the Black Range is the center of Emory caldera, one of the largest in the world.  Culturally, the area has been inhabited by various Indian cultures, the Spanish and Mexican peoples, and Anglos.

Mining has been the major economic factor in the boom and bust economy of the area.  As a result the area is dotted with abandoned mines and communities.

We love our music.  On a casual drive through Hillsboro you can easily encounter impromptu music happening on someone’s porch.  The Hillsboro Community Center and The Black Range Lodge are established music venues which offer one or more concerts a month by regional - national - international acts.


Kingston, in particular, is a place to visit to learn about cost-effective and environmentally responsible building techniques such as straw-bale and rammed earth building.  Classes are often taught on these subjects.  And, of course, many of the people in the Black Range are at the cutting edge of rain water harvesting and the use of solar and wind to provide energy.  As an aside, this is not new.  The people here have used passive solar and thumb wall techniques for centuries.  Many of the structures in our towns are made from adobe bricks made from the mud in our hills.  The use of wind to pump water is evidenced by the windmills scattered across our landscape and found in our towns.

Lastly, in recognition of the fact that we live in an incredibly pretty place and many of us cherish our natural history, The Natural History of the Black Range, provides information about the latest happenings in the natural world - in the Black Range.

There are other sites which reflect the heritage and natural history of the Black Range.  Visit our link farm to those sites.

Andrews - Eastern foothills of the Black Range, north of NM-152.

Ft. Cummings and Cooke’s Spring - Southeastern edge of the Range

Fluorite Ridge (Pony Hills etc.) - Southwestern edge of the Range



Lake Valley

© Robert Barnes 2018-2024