Pioneer Store Museum, Chloride
The Pioneer Store, located in Chloride and accessed via Highway 52 along the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway, was built in 1880 during Chloride’s short-lived silver boom, and operated until 1923. By that time most of the town’s residents had moved on, and the owners of the mercantile closed the store, sealing all of its contents inside the building.
More than sixty years later, a recently-retired couple bought the dilapidated building, and soon realized it was a treasure trove of historical artifacts (including most of the town records from 1880 to 1923).
After a four year period of restoration, the property’s furnishings and inventory were reinstalled, and the Pioneer Store Museum opened in 1998. It was subsequently added to the State Register of Cultural Properties.
In addition to the plethora of items that are original to the store, the museum contains displays devoted to the lives of former residents—along with clothing, utensils, cash registers, dental instruments, a mineral collection, and much more.
The Apache Kid RV Park offers 5 spaces with hookups nearby, and Pye Cabin, named for the man who first chanced upon silver ore in the area, is available as a rental. According to the Pioneer Store Museum website:
“The Pye Cabin was home to a succession of miners through out the silver boom period, then was home to ranch hands and their families up into the 1940s. It was used as a hunting cabin for a few years, and then stood empty and unused for almost fifty years. It has been completely refurbished into a modern two bedroom vacation cabin.”