Chairs at Shakespeare


     Take a gunfight over a bad breakfast, a diamond swindle, lawlessness and a young Billy the Kid. Put it all together, throw in a few hangings, and you've got the ghost town of Shakespeare, New Mexico.

     At first, it was Mexican Springs. Then it was Pyramid Station. Then it was Grant. Then it was Ralston City. Then it was Shakespeare.


  • COUNTY:  Hidalgo
  • LOCATION:  2 miles south of Lordsburg
  • POST OFFICE:  1879-1885
  • NAME ORIGIN:  Named for the Shakespeare Mining Company
  • RATING: Three ghostsThree ghostsThree ghostsThree ghosts
  • GNIS Info & Map

     Between all the name changes was a fraudulant diamond strike, carried out to lure rich East-coast investors, a gunfight between two Shakespeare residents over a breakfast egg, and a bunch of characters with names like Bean Belly Smith, Russian Jack, Flora Belle, Happy Bob Fambo and Curley Bill. Did I mention that Billy the Kid washed dishes in the hotel? This is an amazing place, if you haven't guessed.

     Shakespeare is privately-owned, but open for scheduled or pre-arranged tours. There's a general store, a hotel (the Stratford), a powder magazine, an assay office, and a mail station, all authentically restored by the owners. (By the way, don't mention the "Hollywooded" ghost town of Tombstone, Arizona while you're in Shakespeare, unless you want to get kicked out.) The very modest entry price gets you an informative tour through the buildings. Additionally, local citizens reenact vignettes from Shakespeare's past several times a year. Recently, a fire severely damaged several of the buildings, but the tours and reenactments continue. For more information on visiting Shakespeare, call them at (505) 542-9034.


(click on the thumbnail image to see a larger picture)

Early morning light crosses
a floor in Shakespeare.

The Stratford Hotel checks in
ghost customers along
Avon Avenue.

A view of Shakespeare
(with Lordsburg in the
distance) from the hill.

Visitors are reminded
which end of a noose
is the business end.