Silver City Past and Present


Silver City sprang into life during the summer of 1870.  the discovery of silver brought thousands of miners, and merchants followed in their footsteps.  The town's founders decided Silver City would be "built to last".  In 1880, an ordinance was passed requiring masonry construction for new buildings in the city limits.  This left behind a wealth of solid commercial buildings, brick Victorian homes, and adobe structures.

A series of devastating floods between 1890 and 1910 washed away the original Main Street and all but one of its handsome brick buildings.  The stately Warren house by the Market Street pedestrian bridge is the sole survivor.  What used to be Main Street is now known as the Big Ditch, and lies some 55 feet below grade.  It was named after the Panama Canal, and is the watercourse for San Vicente Creek 

The Silver City Visitor Center and Big Ditch Park provide gateways into Historic Downtown for both visitors and residents.  Award-winning Silver City MainStreet Project has provided comprehensive downtown revitalization services since 1985.  This vibrant district has over 200 entities including retail and service businesses, art studios, government services, nonprofits, churches, and schools.




 Downtown Business Spotlight

January 2017

Leyba & Ingalls Arts-Supplies & Gallery

315 N. Bullard St.

Owners- Diana Ingalls Leyba & Bob Leyba

Open since November 1, 1996


This month, MainStreet would like to spotlight Diana Ingalls Leyba, co-owner of Leyba & Ingalls Arts.  The business recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, having been in downtown Silver City since November 1, 1996.   Originally, the store opened its doors on Texas Street (where Diana now keeps a studio space) then moved to the current location, after receiving requests for the business to be closer to Main Street.

Diana hails from Philadelphia, where she received a B.F.A. Magna Cum Laude, from Tyler School of Philadelphia.  She also opened and ran a craft and art supply store there.  Since moving to Silver City, she has been an essential part of the art scene, having directed the Mimbres Region Arts Council (MRAC) Youth Mural Program since 2003, and overseeing the completion of over 60 murals.  (www.mimbresarts.org/youth-mural-directing-artists).  She is also a key coordinator for the Dia de los Muertos celebration, held at the end of October. 

MainStreet would like to congratulate Diana and Bob for 20 years of successful downtown business, and extend a warm “thank you” for their great contribution to the downtown community and to Silver City as a whole.

 If you would like to know more about Leyba & Ingalls Arts or Diana Ingalls Leyba, please visit: 





**Next month’s “Spotlight” will feature Patsy Madrid, owner of Vintage Fantasies.**





MainStreet News . . .

On Saturday, February 18, Silver City will celebrate the 139th Anniversary of the signing of the Town of Silver City Territorial Charter by Governor Samuel Axtell on February 15, 1878.  Silver City is the oldest, continuously incorporated municipality in New Mexico.  On January 26, 2016, the Town council of the Town of Silver City adopted a resolution designating the Saturday closest to February 15 as Territorial Charter Day.  The day has been set aside to celebrate the unique historical evolution that has helped shape Silver City into the community that it is today.  This year's celebration will begin with a ceremony at the Silver City Museum, 312 W. Broadway at 10:30am on Saturday, February 18, followed by a program of traditional music from the late 1800's.

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A “Small” Success with Great Potential

            On Saturday, November 26th, downtown businesses and The Silver City MainStreet Project participated in Small Business Saturday, an event founded by American Express to promote shopping locally during the holidays.  Many of the downtown businesses participated by creating customized “Shop Small” merchandise; a few shops featured sales and specials, while others offered treats and activities.  MainStreet hosted the event’s “headquarters” at the Hub where shoppers could pick up canvas shopping bags, stickers, pens and buttons, helping to promote the day.  The event was a downtown success!  The streets were bustling with people, seeking unique holiday gifts from local shops, and creating a stir of small business support in Silver City. 

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Silco T-Shirts Now Available!

Territorial Charter Day- February 18, 2017