Above: The late Janaloo Hill in Shakespeare, which she and her parents owned and maintained. Photograph by Buddy Mays / Alamy Stock.
State Historical Marker: Shakespeare
An 1869 discovery of silver led to a town site at the old stage stop of Mexican Springs, about two miles south of Lordsburg. First called Ralston City, it collapsed in 1874 after a diamond swindle. English investors revived it in 1879, renamed it Shakespeare, dubbed the old main street Avon Avenue, and called the hotel Stratford. By 1880, it claimed 100 residents and a visit from territorial governor Lew Wallace. By 1893, the silver was played out and it became a ghost town. Now privately owned, it opens for four tours a month, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., this month on June 9 and 10 (shakespeareghosttown.com).
Excerpted from Roadside New Mexico: A Guide to Historic Markers, by David Pike (UNM Press). Explore more roadside history at nmmag.us/RoadMarks.
HOLD THE FORT
Established as a hedge against Confederate threats and to protect Santa Fe Trail travelers, Fort Union survives today as a national park—a testament to the past amid sunflowers and ruins. On June 15–17, experience the days of yore during Fort Union Days. Events include a symposium on the history of the Martínez family in New Mexico, followed by a buffalo feast and Native dances. Members of the Buffalo Soldier Association of Wichita, Kansas, describe the role of African American troops in taming the West. Civil War reenactors set up an encampment and demonstrate artillery firing. Most events are free, but the symposium and dinner require registration and a small fee (505-425-8025, nps.gov/foun).
On June 15, 1892, the University of New Mexico welcomed its first students.
On June 3, 1924, the U.S. Forest Service created the nation’s first wilderness area, setting aside 750,000 acres of the Gila National Forest for special protection.
Santa Fe’s Cristo Rey Church, the nation's largest adobe church, was dedicated on June 27, 1940. Built mainly by parishioners, it was architect John Gaw Meem’s favorite project.
Land-grant activist Reies Lopez Tijerina and his followers took hostages and shot up the Río Arriba County Courthouse, in Tierra Amarilla, on June 5, 1967.
Taos and Las Vegas, New Mexico, had bit roles in the movie Easy Rider, released on June 26, 1969, starring Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, and Jack Nicholson.
At the age of 100, con-servationist and former New Mexico Magazine writer Elliott S. Barker was declared “a hero of our time” in the June 29, 1987, issue of Newsweek magazine. —Kate Nelson