“This sturdy old hotel’s story began in the 19th century, when sheriff Pat Garrett was a co-owner. It’s one of a handful of old buildings in the tiny mountain town of Lincoln, all so flawlessly restored that it’s easy to sit back in your chair and imagine the wild shoot-outs that occurred on the main (and only) drag. Up the street to the right is the jail from which baby-faced outlaw Billy the Kid made a dramatic break in 1881.”
The Wortley Hotel holds the distinction of being at the heart of the Lincoln County War and the historical ‘Billy the Kid legend’. It became a center of occupation as the Regulators battled The House, its hired guns (‘The Boys’) and finally, the U.S. Army.
Located opposite the courthouse, the Wortley began serving meals and providing overnight accommodations to travelers, judges, lawyers, lawmen and in 1874.
On April 1, 1878, Sheriff William Brady had breakfast at the Wortley shortly before being shot 11 times by various Regulators as he and three deputies made their morning rounds walking down Lincoln’s single street.
In 1881, prior to killing Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett purchased the Wortley for $275.
A few aside notations to help summarize a stay at the Wortley…