(Fort Sumner NM)
I had intended to visit the site of Bosque Redondo where Apache and Navajo natives were kept after being forced from their homelands. Unfortunately, the monument was closed on the day I arrived.
However, adjacent was the old fort cemetery where Billy the Kid was buried. He had fled to this area after killing two guards and a civilian while escaping from the Lincoln County jail. By the age of 21, the notorious gunslinger had gunned down 21 men.
Someone tipped off Sheriff Pat Garrett about his whereabouts. As he was looking for him, apparently, Billy was sneaking up behind the lawman, when Garrett suddenly spun around and shot Billy dead.
It seems every little town in New Mexico lays claim to some Billy the Kid lore. Even here at his final resting place, his gravestone has been stolen three times over the years, and spirited away. They now have it back and secured in an iron cage bolted to a cement slab.
Camp: Oasis SP drycamp
Scene: Cemetery, gravestones
See also: Lincoln and Old Mesilla
Cool trivia and most interesting!
Yes, very interesting historical details. Thanks for reading Brad.
I remember visiting it about 20 years ago and it had the iron cage around it.
I believe they said the cage was added in 1981, after the third recovery of Billy’s headstone. That was the 100th year since his death.