Shakespeare is an authentic ghost town and a National Historic Site. During its lifetime its been known by several different names, Mexican Spring, Grant, Ralston and finally Shakespeare.
It was named Shakespeare in 1879 by William George Boyle the “Famous English Mining Engineer” who held all the claims to the town he also named the main street, Avon.
In 1935 Shakespeare was purchased by the Hill family to work as a ranch, people were interested in the old town and so the tours began.
We visited the Grant House saloon which has bullet holes in the walls.
During prohibition the saloon became a café but as there were very few revenue officers in the area stills abounded and you never quite knew if it was going to be whiskey or tea in your cup! One enterprising man even painted some milk bottles white so that he could deliver whiskey with the milk.
The saloon leads into the Butterfield Stage Station, the floor might look like concrete but it is the original adobe floor.
A new dining room was added to the front of the stage station, however as there were no large trees in the area the room had an unusual dual purpose.
The hotel, the Stratford was on Avon, need I say more? At one time the partitions between the rooms were made of muslin tacked from floor to ceiling, so ladies had to extinguish their candles before undressing.
Shakespeare is just south of Lordsburg in south west New Mexico and is well worth a visit, opening times and re-enactment dates can be found on http://www.shakespeareghostown.com
We really enjoyed our visit and when we’re next passing through that area hope to be able to visit during a re-enactment weekend.
Have fun, we are!