Curry-Thornton Saloon, Lincoln, New Mexico, 1890's.
Also called the Bank Exchange Saloon, this place was owned by J. Y. Thornton and George Curry. The saloon featured a billiard's table with the bar at the back of the room. Behind the bar is a mirror and shelves, and it appears the bar had the typical foot rail, on which a cowboy is resting his foot. Walls are adorned with a patterned wallpaper, and a few prints. Lighting provided by lamps hanging from the ceiling and the floor is made of plank boards
A native of Pennsylvania, J. Y. Thornton came to New Mexico as a soldier
in the United States Army in 1870. After serving for five years with the Fifteenth Infantry stationed at Fort Stanton
, he was discharged in 1875. Afterwards he engaged in the cattle business at Fort Stanton with George Curry for five years and the two opened the saloon and hotel in Lincoln
, New Mexico
in about 1880. Thornton also owned the Pioneer livery stable in Lincoln. The very next year a bit of excitement took place right across the street from the saloon when Billy the Kid
, who was housed in the jail, awaiting execution, killed his guards, and escaped on April 28, 1881. Thornton moved from Lincoln to Roswell
, New Mexico in 1895.
Vintage photo restored by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.