Staycation Steve: Taking a trip back in time to Kingston & Hillsboro | KOB 4
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Staycation Steve: Taking a trip back in time to Kingston & Hillsboro

Steve Soliz
July 26, 2018 08:50 AM

KINGSTON, N.M. -  There’s not much along New Mexico highway 152 in southwestern New Mexico. It twists and turns through a quiet, desolate stretch of the state.

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But it also leads to the Black Range Lodge in Kingston.

It was built in the late 1800s. It’s now a bed and breakfast and a haven for music lovers.

"We have organized a series of summer concerts we call the starlight concerts," said Black Range Lodge owner Catherine Wanek. “In the evenings, it's cool and pleasant and green, so people can come up and listen to music."

The Black Range Lodge is just one of many landmarks in Kingston that is a reminder of earlier times.

"Kingston was a big city in the 1880s, probably bigger than Albuquerque. It had up to maybe 7,000 people, they say, looking for silver,” said Wanek.

More than 130 years later, the town's original bank is still standing.

The town's old schoolhouse is now a museum, filled with relics from the past.

Preserved history can also be found down the road, in the small town of Hillsboro.

"Hillsboro and Kingston share a common history and we're only nine miles apart," Wanek said.

Hillsboro was born in 1877 when gold was discovered there.

The Sierra County courthouse was built shortly thereafter. What's left of it still remains on the edge of town.

Hillsboro is also home to the Black Range Vineyards. Owners Brian and Nikki O'Dell say their wine bar is popular with the locals, but they depend on visitors to keep their doors open.

"You can't make a living just off of 160 people. I mean, 90 percent of the residents do patronize us but it's the road traffic, it's the people coming through on 152," said Brian O'Dell.

Another popular spot in Hillsboro is the General Store Cafe. Locals say it's the best food for miles.

"I have to say it's not fast food because it's all made from scratch, but there's lots of things to look at as well as people to talk to," said Wanke. 

For those looking to venture off the beaten path, Kingston and Hillsboro are true New Mexico gems.

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Steve Soliz

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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