Silver City is located at the southern boundary of the vast Gila Wilderness in a region of soaring mountains, lush river valleys, and bountiful mineral deposits. Ancient ruins give evidence of prehistoric occupation, followed by a historic parade of Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, miners, outlaws, and settlers, resulting in a community celebrating a rich cultural blend. When silver was discovered in 1870 at La Cienega de San Vicente, prospectors rushed in despite the danger from Apache Indians who traditionally occupied that land. Newcomers flooded into southwestern New Mexico Territory, and Silver City became the county seat the following year. Soon there were businesses, saloons, and homes. Silver City became the supply center for the widespread mining district with a brick plant and lumberyard. By 1883, a narrow-gauge railroad connected the town with the outside world.