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Alamos is a little town in northwestern Mexico. Located in the southern tip of the state of Sonora, it is inland from the city of Navojoa, which is some 550 km south of Nogales, Az, on the Pan-American highway.

Alamos is a town out of the past. Founded in the late 17th century by Spanish explorers who were looking to expand their empire into the northern provinces, it came to its full glory after silver was discovered in nearby La Aduana in 1683. The city, and its leading citizens, became amazingly rich and built lavish homes which have lasted until this day. In the 18th century, Alamos was reportedly one of the richest cities in the western hemisphere. The silver mines eventually played out and yet the upper classes retained their wealth, largely through cattle ranching. In the early 20th century, the government decided to stop subsidizing quicksilver (mercury) which is essential in silver refining, particularly when the ore is less rich as was true by that time. Little by little, the town lost population until the second world war when, by one account, there were fewer than 50 permanent residents (other reports indicate a population of closer to 2,000). About that time, a man who was peripherally connected to the movie industry in Hollywood began to talk up the town, principally due to its excellent dove hunting. People began coming down from the US and, enchanted by the lovely homes many of which were still standing, bought property and the town began to grow again. Today, while not exactly thriving, Alamos is a city of fifteen thousand, including some 500 foreigners (largely from the US and Canada) who live here permanently or at least much of the year.

View of Alamos from the lookout above the town. From Alamos -- Sonora's City of Silver by Rachel French, published in the Spring of 1963 by the Tucson Corral of the Westerners

View of Alamos from the lookout above the town

 

City Center from the old jail. Picture on left from Alamos -- Sonora's City of Silver by Rachel French, published in the Spring of 1963 by the Tucson Corral of the Westerners

I tried to take the picture on the right from the same angle as the one on the left, but, unfortunately someone had built a house right where the old picture had been taken. The house can be seen in the picture from the lookout above.