The Pioneer Store Museum in Historic Chloride
The Pioneer Store was built in 1880 by James Dalglish, who had come from eastern Canada to the American southwest for health reasons. He arrived in Chloride just as the town was forming and became one of the towns founding fathers. Mr. Dalglish operated the Pioneer Store as a general mercantile, suppling goods of all types to the miners, ranchers, and town folk, until 1897.
The mining boom in Chloride ended in 1896 and after moving his family to Hillsboro in 1897, Mr. Dalglish leased his Chloride store for several years. In 1908 he sold the Pioneer Store to the U.S. Treasury Mining Company which was managed and operated by the James brothers.
The James family had come to Chloride in 1882. Mr. James was killed in a mining accident four years later. The oldest of the six children became the head of the family at age 14 and by the time he was 35, the James owned or controlled many businesses and large tracts of land.
The James put together a very large ranch that included forest lands now part of the Gila National Forest. Because they had timber, in addition to running cattle, they had sawmill operations. They also became the major share holders of the Silver Monument, the U.S. Treasury, and the Midnight mines which were three of the largest producing mines in the district. The Pioneer Store was used as a commissary for the employees of their ranch, timber, and mining operations until 1923. That year they boarded up the windows and locked the doors sealing all of the original fixtures, furnishings, and merchandise inside. The Pioneer Store sat boarded up to the outside world for over 70 years, with only the bats and the rats as visitors.
After purchasing the property Don and Dona Edmund began restoring the old building in 1995. They spent almost four years doing cleaning and restoration before they could start to bring the furnishings and merchandise back into the building. The Edmunds also brought in items of historic interest from other old buildings they own in Chloride to create the museum.
Today the Pioneer Store Museum is like a step back in time, to a time when Chloride was booming, the streets bustling with wagon loads of ore, people shopping for necessities and niceties and hoping the boom would never end. The museum is open daily 10 AM to 4 PM. Chloride is located just 40 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences via Hwy 52. For more information contact 575-743-2736, firstname.lastname@example.org or check out pioneerstoremuseum.com.