There's never a bad time to visit Pinos Altos, Silver City and Grant County. Our four gentle seasons make for fantastic weather whenever you choose to visit, and our vibrant community has events and things to do all year 'round:
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Schafer log cabin
Not many log cabins have survived since the 1860's when they were built by miners who came to search for gold on the mountain. Apaches liked to set fire to them, kerosene lamps were accidentally turned over, and fireplaces spit out burning pieces of wood. Bear Creek and a few wells provided the only water supply - so once a fire started, there was only a slim chance of saving a log cabin.
But today the Schafer cabin stands as proud and straight as the day it was built. Twenty-four foot long base logs attest to the "Tall Pines" that grew in great abundance then. The windows were put together with wooden pegs and the glass is wavy and etched by blowing sand. Wild poppy and sage grow beside the front door and a big old rambling rose blooms beneath a gnarled peach tree.
It is believed that this cabin housed the first school in Pinos Altos where children sat at long tables and the only heat in winter was from the fireplace at one end.
George Schafer II brought his young bride there - a widow with four small children - and together they added three more children before moving to Hanover, NM.
For awhile it was a grocery store where the people could buy food, kerosene and other necessities on credit until their paychecks arrived - something the big mercantiles wouldn't allow.
Yes, the old log cabin has led a busy life and it was George Schafer III who wanted to turn it into a place where visitors could step back in time and for at least a little while experience life as it was in the glory days of the old mining town. Gold pans and scales stand beneath pictures of the miners who spent so many long hours deep beneath the mountains. Indian arrowheads, points, and other artifacts are stark reminders that the miners were not welcome in this land. Butter churns, flat irons, dishes, kerosene lamps and furniture from George's family as well as the family of his wife, Frances King Schafer, are remnants of a time when life was hard and uncompromising and happy.
So the little log cabin has come full circle, now furnished as the home it once was. And sometimes, standing beside the fireplace, it seems that echoes of children's voices can be heard in the empty room.
The web site for the Pinos Altos Historical Museum contains descriptions and photographs of the historic artifacts and memorabilia. In 1972, the Schafer's built a gift shop adjoining the original cabin. Handmade pottery, jewelry, old territorial maps, and a fine selection of books about the Southwest are to be found within the shop.