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Photos of the Silver Creek Inn hosts

Your Hosts

Sue Lingo, Stan King and Kathy Knapp welcome you to remote Mogollon, New Mexico and the Silver Creek Inn.

Read more about your hosts and this unique ghost town Bed & Breakfast in this article from Men's Journal:

Men's Journal, November 2001
25 Perfect Weekends

New Mexico
MOGOLLON
A Remote Ghost Town, A Haunted Bed-And-Breakfast, and Some Seriously Tasty Pie

Night Travel Discouraged. They're not words you want to see plastered across a sign when you're deep in New Mexico's Gila National Forest and the only ambient light is the hazy blue shimmer from a full moon. But what could I do? I was several hours late for my arrival at the Silver Creek Inn, a "haunted" bed-and-breakfast in the tiny ghost town of Mogollon, and the proprietor, Stan King, a crunchy fifty-five-year-old originally from Seattle, had gotten a little hot under the collar when I'd called him an hour earlier, telling me, "If you're lucky, we might save you a piece of homemade blackberry pie." I took another swig of lukewarm gas-station coffee, coaxed my truck into low gear, and kicking up a wake of dusty gravel, inched down the road. It was as bad as the sign suggested, a gantlet of twisting switchbacks, blind curves, and thousand-foot drop-offs. But at last, the road petered out in front of what looked like an old two-story adobe store with a big dusty picture window. I dragged my bags across the wood-plank bridge over Silver Creek and knocked on the door. Like a pony-tailed Lurch, King appeared at the door. "Please," he implored, "come inside." On the counter behind him sat a single slice of over-stuffed blackberry pie.

Walking through the door and into the wood-floored dining room/card room/kitchen was like stumbling onto the set of Wild Wild West - one in which your host is Wavy Gravy. The clean, historically accurate joint is a throwback to a different time, when men rode horses, drove steel, and either struck it rich quick or skedaddled out of town in search of the next would-be gold mine.

After a dinner of poached salmon, stir-fried veggies with roasted chestnuts, and the freshest-tasting pie west of the Rockies ("We beat the bears to the best berries up at the patch," King said), we retired to chairs on the patio, and he uncorked a bottle of red wine. Niels, a carpenter and one of the town's fifteen other year-round residents, soon joined us, and the two of them regaled me with stories about the fearsome Apaches, led by the notorious medicine man Geronimo, who ambushed and killed prospective settlers nearby. They spoke of the Fanny Hill Gold Mine, just up the mountain, whose shafts are haunted by many a dead miner, the nine-year-old girl ghost upstairs in the house, the dozens of reported UFO sightings and abductions in the area.

Breakfast came at eight sharp, and I chased my spicy-hot green-chile omelet, coffee, and slice of grapefruit with a tour of main Street (all six buildings of it). Then, alone, I scrambled among the ruins of the local gold mine, which produced more than eighteen million ounces of silver and $20 million worth of gold between 1880 and 1945, by which time folks had turned their attention to World War II. In its heyday, Mogollon was home to five thousand people, seven restaurants, fourteen taverns, and a handful of brothels. Today, its most commercial venture is the Rock Shop, which sells, well, rocks.

I never tired of exploring the mine, and the bookshelves in King's parlors, but if you need a taste of the endless big skies and arid high-desert expanse, bliss is not far away. The massive Gila Wilderness, the first designated wilderness in the country and home to the newly reintroduced Mexican gray wolf, is the town's big, bad backyard.

I can't say that I saw any bona fide ghosts at the Silver Creek Inn, but the place had a spirit — laid-back, welcoming, and incredibly away from it all — that I couldn't resist. I'm definitely going back, but, to make sure I get seconds on the pie, I'll arrive well before sundown.

— Brad Wetzler









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