Silver City Museum
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The H. B. Ailman house, built in 1881 at the height of the silver mining boom, is home to the Silver City Museum and its largest artifact. Constructed in Mansard-Italianate style with local brick and lumber, this Silver City landmark reflects the optimism of its era, but its early owners also experienced the downside of a mining economy. Prospectors Harry Ailman and H. M. Meredith struck it rich in silver mining, opened a bank in Silver City, and built twin homes for their families on block 67, Broadway Street. The original house consisted of the wood floor areas and what is now the kitchen. The house ended with a room just past the stairs, and the pine flooring on the second floor is original. The partners prospered until their bank failed in 1887—all of their property was sold to satisfy debts.
The twin houses were built by Robert Black, a building contractor. A sawmill in the Burro Mountains, owned by Meredith and Ailman, was traded as partial payment for the construction of the houses. It took Black over one year to build the houses.
Get a sense of the museum collection by visiting the online collections database.