Pilares is on the Rio Grande a mile from Quinn Creek and eight miles southwest of Gettysburg Peak and San Carlos in southwest Presidio County. At the site have been a presidio, a penal colony, and a silver ore smelter. In 1750 the Spanish viceroy designated Pilares a presidio and in 1775 a military and penal colony. The soldiers, as well as the convicts marooned there, worked the farms. The source of the silver ore and the time of its extensive smelting at Pilares is unknown.
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