Harry Pye (prospector)

Harry Pye (prospector)

Harry Pye (died 1879) was a prospector and sometime mule skinner in New Mexico Territory who discovered silver chloride in the Black Range in 1879 initiating a multi-million dollar silver rush.Abarr, p. 1] Twitchell, p. 271]

Born in England, he first went to Australia where he was unsuccessful, then he came to the American Southwest. Pye was working as a teamster hauling goods for the U.S. Army when he recognized the greyish mineral weathering out of the rock in a remote canyon as silver chloride or chlorargyrite.Harley, George Townsend (1934) "The geology and ore deposits of Sierra County, New Mexico" published as "New Mexico State Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Bulletin 10", p.178-179] He finished his contract, filed a claim and started mining, only to be killed a few months later by the Mimbres Apache. [Woods, Betty (February 1953) "Trip of the Month: Chloride" "New Mexico Magazine" 31(2): p. 6] But his mine continued under new management and the town of Chloride, New Mexico was founded in the canyon. [http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/about_page.html#chloride "About Sierra County:Chloride" Sierra County Recreation & Tourism Advisory Board] Historical information courtesy of LaRena Miller, Geronimo Springs Museum, Truth or Consequences, and Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT).]


Pye’s claim, and the success of his mine set off a silver rush with hundreds of silver mines being opened in the Black Range. Among them was the discovery of the "Bridal Chamber" in 1882, the richest native silver deposit ever found.



* [http://www.abqjournal.com/venue/travel/tourism/heritage_ghosttowns.htm Abarr, James (14 June 1998) "Frontier mining towns cling to life in southwestern New Mexico" "Albuquerque Journal" section I, p. 1]
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=ukQOAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA271&dq=%22Harry+Pye%22 Twitchell, Ralph Emerson (1911) "The Leading Facts of New Mexican History" Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, p. 271] [http://worldcat.org/oclc/3828708 OCLC 3828708]

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