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Shakespeare NM Townsite - Ghost town

Photos Courtesy of Mike Sinnwell March 2011

Billy the kid used to stand at the window in the Stratford Hotel kitchen to wash dishes. Plenty to see and do in Shakespeare.  

The Grant House served the Butterfield Stage Station. The front, which was added later, served up Justice. The front room was called the hanging room where stories are told that they had a double hanging. Just a few of the buildings on the site include the Stratford Hotel, the old mail station, a powder magazine, assay office, a general merchandise store and perhaps the best equipped Blacksmith shop of any ghost town.  

Apparently during the prohibition era this was sometimes a wild town. The lawmen and the gamblers would meet in the basement to drink and play poker. One night a fight broke out. Fists, bottles and chairs were soon flying. As things settled down they went back to playing poker. Well, most of them did. After a few hands of poker someone noticed a fellow still lying on the floor. They checked him out and saw a bump on his head but he was still breathing so they figured he would wake up soon. Back to poker they went. A little while later they decided to check on him again. This time he was no longer breathing. He had passed away. Now they had a problem. They could not call the law as the lawmen were all there already drinking illegal booze and gambling. The mayor and most of the town council were also there. It would not look good. Suddenly someone suggested a possible plan of action. They poured more booze on the guy and then dragged him outside and laid him on the railroad tracks. When the train came through a couple hours later their problem disappeared. People thought he got drunk and passed out on the tracks.  

Go here to see more of the history of Shakespeare -