Photos and article by Mary Alice Murphy
Video by Martha Hamblen

The afternoon of Memorial Day, May 27, 2024, the Town and Country Garden Club hosted its final History Live event at Memory Lane Cemetery. The club has now disbanded, but some of the last members wanted to once more host the event they began some years ago.

The club, since the 1960s, had raised money, through its thrift store downtown and other efforts, to keep their adopted special project, the Memory Lane Cemetery, beautified, with its Rose Garden. With the disbandment of the club, a permanent fund remains to maintain the Rose Garden.

The event allows participants to walk through the cemetery and hear from actors portraying figures from the town's history.

The organizers of this final event hosted by the club assured everyone that the portrayals to bring the town's history alive will continue under the Silver City Museum, with support from Silver City Westerners, both of whom sponsored this year's performances.

Below is the list of all the town characters portrayed this year, not in the order of the program list, but rather in the order, this photographer took the photos. The list includes the birth and death dates of each person, as well as what they were known for, and who portrayed them.

This photographer apologizes for not getting photos of everyone, although she tried, but didn't get photos of three of the historical figures.

Rebecca Brewer, 1866-1989, businesswoman, community benefactor, portrayed by Patricia Ross

Ben Lilly, 1856-1936, Mountain man, bounty hunter of bears and lions, portrayed by Robert Boyle

Sgt. Leonidas Lytle, 1846-1924, joined Army in 1861, recipient of Medal of Honor for bravery during Indian Wars, portrayed by Dale Lane

Agnes Mary Kennon, 1835-1876, a doctor's wife, nurse, died of pneumonia, portrayed by Kari Lane

James Woodward, 1853-1926, pioneer rancher, portrayed by Dennis Murati

Mary Richard Casey 1847-1900, English-born schoolteacher who taught Billy the Kid, portrayed by Linda Bluestone

Catherine McCarty-Antrim, 1829-1874, Mother of Billy the Kid, tuberculosis victim, portrayed by The Rev. Tara Soughers

James Metcalf, 1824-1910, Indian fighter, California 49er, Newspaper columnist as "Sage of the Mangus," portrayed by Douglas Dinwiddie

Forrest Norrel, 1833-1884, Buffalo Soldier, Silver City handyman, portrayed by the Rev. Earsete Ross.

John Bullard, 1841-1871, A founder of Silver City, farmer, mine owner, portrayed by Donnie Koebel

Jennie Culver, 1846-1871, mother of two, first Anglo woman buried in Silver City, portrayed by Kris Isom.

James Lucas, 1826-1900, miner, rancher, inventor, Mimbres farmer, portrayed by George Carr.

Minerva T. Carrillo, 1925-1988, participant in the Empire Zinc strike, memorialized in the film, "The Salt of the Earth," portrayed by a descendant, Ana Tolhurst

Cornelias Cousland, 1856-1927, Section foreman of the Silver City branch of the Santa Fe Railroad, portrayed by James Charleston

Bessie Harper, 1855-1929, Madam, real estate investor, portrayed by Liz Mikols

"Bobby" Jackson, 1918-1969, pharmacist, survived Bataan Death March, portrayed by Tom Hester

W.D. Murray, 1870-1962, member of the New Mexico Constitutional Convention of 1912, merchant, banker, hotelier, portrayed by John Bell, M.D.

John Ball, 1825-1903, lawyer, judge, first Grant County representative to the Territorial Legislature, portrayed by Bruce Tolhurst

Nat Straw, 1856-1941, jokester and tale spinner, mountain man, trapper, portrayed by Tim Turner

Joseph Lafferr, 1841-1864, lawman, posse member killed i a shooting north of Silver City, portrayed by Raul S. Turrieta, Jr.

Accidentally not photographed: Sophia Timmer, 1855-1916, Swiss born, married Louis Timmer, hotel owner, portrayed by Hallie Harris.

Nan S. Kaufman, 1890-1988, witnessed "Big Ditch" flood, town clerk, growing up in Silver City, portrayed by Candice Carr.

Maggie Flurry, 1876-1978, member of a pioneer ranching family, portrayed by Phyllis McQuaide.

To pause the slide show, mouse over the image.

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